Suzdal is a small town in Vladimir region and is located 210 kilometers north east of Moscow. It is one of the main orthodox church religious centers in Russia and one of the most ancient Russian towns.
There are 13 000 people living in Suzdal now.
IMPRESSION OF SUZDAL.
A picturesque green town, where you can at the same time feel the russian country life and enjoy walks around fairy tale dome convents. Inside Suzdal the atmosphere is as if nothing had
The hilly green town, that looks more like a village, is very seducing, walking around is a pleasure, the monasteries offer dreaming viewsO
But of course as for the rest of Russia there are stricking contrasts: you would await a village bakery, and village made cheese, but the soviet system still remains and, for example, the only bread you'll find is made by the factory for Vladimir's area and is only sold in food shops. Also the small picturesque village seems to live in the ancient way only in the center: the outskirts are built with high concrete buildings.
The peaceful and inviting appearance of the town center certainely remained because of its touristic vocation: next to each monastery you'll see stalls with russian souvenirs for tourists, accomodation and most of the restaurants are quite expensive for such a small place.
Suzdal is, perhaps, one of the most interesting and rewarding stop along the Golden Ring, as it'll give you the feeling of the countryside (especially, after the busy Moscow), there you can enjoy the ancient Russian architecture, and marvelous views.
HISTORY OF SUZDAL.
People were living in Suzdal area already in the beginning of the 9th century, they were doing crafts and cultivating their land. The settlement had trade relationship with the northern countries (Germany) and with the Central Asia.
In historical chronicles of ancient Rus' (eUO?) Suzdal was first mentioned in 1024, when Yaroslav Mudry, the Kiev prince, came there to suppress the riot.
Since the beginning of the 11th centrury, Suzdal was the capital of Rostov-Suzdal principality, which had the territory from the river Volga on the east to Smolensk on the west (Moscow was also part of this principality). Suzdal, as the capital of such a strong and powerful pricipality was becoming more and more important.
When Andrey Bogolyubsky became the prince, he moved the capital of his principality from Suzdal to Vladimir, but Suzdal still was an important town, and there were many monasteries, fortifications, and churches being built at that time.
In the 18-19th centuries Suzdal became an important religious center of Russia, still keeping its positions as the center of crafts and trade.
WHAT TO DO IN SUZDAL.
Walking around, getting lost, entering in the kremlins and monasteries, crossing the stream on wooden bridges, exploring the country side, lying in the grass, eating bliny (russian pancakes), looking what's inside the churches, horse riding, breathing fresh air.