The 27 best sights of Suzdal – description and photos

The 60 best sights of Suzdal

Those who want to see the sights of Suzdal go by the thousands all year round – some on their own by car, others on a weekend excursion, others as part of tours along the Golden Ring.

Why is this town so attractive? First of all, its color. You will find yourself in the Russian countryside, even though there’s not much from Moscow – about 200 kilometers. The scenery here is a feast, especially in the summer. White stone walls and temples against the green foliage. Sparkling domes. River, as if a narrow blue ribbon. Suzdal was turned into a movie set more than once. They filmed “Balzaminov’s Marriage”, “The Magicians”, “The Tale of Fedot the Streltsy” and other films here.

We tell you about the best sights of Suzdal, which is worth a visit.

1. Suzdal Kremlin

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Suzdal has been known since the X century, the Kremlin is the oldest part of the city. None of the 15 towers of defensive fortifications remained, they burned down during a fire in 1719. The territory of the Kremlin survived and still gladden tourists with a medieval Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, representative Bishop’s palaces and wooden St. Nicholas Church. The architectural ensemble, as well as the entire historic center of the city, is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

2. Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life

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Due to fires and dilapidation there are no old wooden buildings in Suzdal. But there is an open air museum in the city where unique constructions were brought from various parts of Vladimir region. On 3.5 hectares there are 18 monuments of wooden architecture – huts, windmills, churches and outbuildings. They are set up in such a way that you get the impression of a small ancient village. Inside you can see the interior decorations, rustic furniture and thematic exhibitions.

3. Holy Virgin Protection Nunnery

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This Orthodox monastery on the right bank of the Kamenka River was founded in 1364, and existed until 1923, so it was abolished and restored in 1992. On the territory, which is surrounded by a stone fence with towers, you can still see the old Intercession Cathedral of the beginning of the XVI century, a hipped bell tower of the XVI-XVII centuries, the Holy Gate, and the Church of the Annunciation above the gate. Here you can see the Refectory with the Church of the Conception, the cookhouse and the Prikaznaya hut.

4. Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery

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In 1352, Prince Boris Konstantinovich founded fortifications to protect the city from enemies. Later in the fortress was created a male monastery. Travelers come to see the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, the family necropolis of the Princes Pozharsky, the monastery bell tower, the Church of the Annunciation, the Assumption Refectory Church, the Archimandrite’s House and other masterpieces of white stone architecture. More than 30 museum expositions are placed on the monastery territory.

5. Posadsky House

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A stone building is a rare example of civil architecture in Suzdal of XVII – XVIII centuries. Several centuries ago ordinary buildings in the city were built of wood and they have not survived. Posadsky house belonged to someone of wealthy Suzdal. In 1970, it was bought from the last owner – Sofia Mikhailovna Maltseva, it was restored, and two years later a museum was opened in the building. Inside there are exhibited utensils and household items of wealthy citizens.

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6. Nikolskaya church

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The church was built in 1720-1739 shortly after a devastating fire that destroyed all the wooden buildings of the city, including the towers of the Suzdal Kremlin. During the Soviet years the church was closed for a long time, but in 1960 it was restored, after which church services began in the temple. The slender tent-like bell tower, a belt of tracery corbel arches, thin carved drum and neat onion headpiece leave great impression.

7. Church of the Resurrection

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This picturesque church in the center of Suzdal appeared in 1720 on the site of an old wooden church that burned down in a fire. The beautiful one-domed structure attracts by its laconism and simplicity of decoration. Inside there are still frescoes from the XVIII century, on which the restorers are working. For a small fee, tourists are allowed to climb the unusual octagonal bell tower with a spire and openwork belfry.

8. Church of St. Nicholas of the Cross

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The ornate church near the northern part of the Trade Rows appeared after a plague epidemic that took out half of Suzdal’s population. When the trouble abated and people stopped dying, the townspeople built a small wooden chapel. In 1770 a new stone church with a refectory and a bell tower were erected on its place. Yellow facade of the three-part pierless temple faces Lenin Street, and white – to Staraya Street.

9. Church of the Entrance to Jerusalem

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At the beginning of XVIII century a summer church with five triple domes was built on the place of the dilapidated wooden temple next to the winter Pyatnitskaya Church and consecrated it in honor of the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem. The architecture of the temple was influenced by the Suzdal style of church architecture. There used to be a hipped-roof bell tower, but it had not survived.

10. “Shchurovo castle”.

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Saturday 11:00-16:00, Sunday 11:00-14:00. Tours – Saturday at 12:00 and 14:00, Sunday at 12:00.

In 2008 in the vicinity of Suzdal there was filmed the movie “Tsar” by Pavel Lungin. A wooden settlement imitating the medieval town was built. When the shooting was over, it was decided to leave the log walls and buildings for the tourists. At the picturesque fortress you can take great pictures in warrior armor, ride a horse, and feed the animals in the open-air zoo. Visitors can attend master classes in archery, sword handling and javelin throwing.

11. the Archbishop’s chambers

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The white-stone chambers were built in the late 17th century for the Suzdal church lords. Today the beautiful buildings have been restored and serve as a museum devoted to the history of the Suzdal region and the Kremlin. The ancient icons, including the images painted by the famous isographer Simon Ushakov, the carved chair of the archbishop, documents, rare books and maps are displayed on the high vaults. In the chambers you can see ancient weapons, jewelry, household utensils and artifacts, which were discovered by archaeologists during excavations in Suzdal.

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12. trading square

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For nine centuries, the layout of Suzdal Square has remained unchanged, which is why it is often filmed by cinematographers. The colorful place attracts with its unique holiday atmosphere and ancient history. In front of the square there are two temples – Kazan and Resurrection. People come here to see the representative Gostiny Dvor, buy souvenirs – handy felt boots, painted matreshkas, birch bark bowls, try local pickles and take part in folk festivals.

13. Park of the 950th anniversary of Suzdal

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Near the central street of Suzdal there is a green park, where it is pleasant to walk with children and have a rest after excursions. Once upon a time there was a wooded area with trees and paths. Then it began to be arranged and turned into a real recreation area. The park has beautiful alleys, planted a young cherry orchard. There is a playground for children, bicycle paths that are turned into lighted ski tracks in winter months. There are regular festivals for adults and children.

14. House of merchant Agapov

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In the XVIII century in the house on the Zarechnaya side of Suzdal lived a rich family of merchant Agapov. The wealthy merchant sold manufactures, books, tea, coffee and spices to the citizens. The first floor of the building is made of stone, while the second is made of wood. The house represents the life of a merchant family – a desk with bills, antique furniture, a neat table for playing cards. On the first floor, where once there was a blacksmith’s shop, tools and products of the blacksmith’s trade are on display.

15. Reverend’s Belfry

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There are no modern high-rises in the ancient city. The highest building in Suzdal is the bell tower of the Rizopolozhensky monastery, which was built in 1813 after the victory over Napoleon. It rises to 72 m. In 1923, when the monastery was closed, all the bells from the bell tower were melted down. In 1999 the monastery was returned to the faithful. Today on the bell tower there is a museum of bells and viewing platform from which the historical center of Suzdal is perfectly visible.

What else to see in Suzdal

Despite its small size, the city still has many unusual monuments, ancient temples and interesting museums. Let’s list a few more sights worth seeing in Suzdal.

  • 16. Rizopolozhensky women’s monastery
  • 17. Alexander male monastery
  • 18. Svyato-Vasilyevsky monastery
  • 19. Kazan church
  • 20. Church of St. John the Baptist
  • 21. Church of Pyatnitskaya
  • 22. Church of Lazarus the Righteous
  • 23. Temple of Antipius
  • 24. Church of Tsarekonstantinov
  • 25. Church of Sorrow
  • 26. Church of Smolensk icon of the Mother of God
  • 27. Church of St. Simeon
  • 28. Church of Elijah the Prophet
  • 29. Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist
  • 30. Church of the Epiphany
  • 31. Tikhvin Church
  • 32. Church of the Deposition of the Robe on Mzhara
  • 33. Church of the Sign on Mzhara
  • 34. Church of Boris and Gleb on Borisov side
  • 35. Church of Kozmodemyanskaya on Yarunova Gora
  • 36. Peter and Paul Church
  • 37. Church of Alexander Nevsky
  • 38. Museum of Wax Figures
  • 39. House of filming the movie “Balzaminov’s Marriage
  • 40. Private Gallery “Katansky Art
  • 41. Monument Pozharsky.
  • 42. Monument to Suzdal people who died in the Great Patriotic War
  • 43. Monument to the sailor and poet Alexei Lebedev
  • 44. Center of Folk Art – house of Townsman Tabachnikov
  • 45. Ilyinsky meadow
  • 46. Gostiny Dvor
  • 47. Tabachnikov House
  • 48. Museum “Izba. Tavern.
  • 49. Factory “Dymov Ceramics” 50.
  • 50. Monument to Andrei Tarkovsky
  • 51. Museum “House of Cinema
  • 52. Yamsky Yard
  • 53. Old rampart
  • 54. Interactive museum “Suzdal Druzhina
  • 55. House of chaser Zhilin
  • 56. Bishop’s House
  • 57. Prikaznaya hut
  • 58. Swan pond
  • 59. Fire tower
  • 60. Museum of samovar and tea traditions
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Popular questions and answers

The ancient city is located 220 km from the capital. Tourists who travel in their own cars get there by Gorkovskoye or Yaroslavskoye highway, and then by the M8 highway. If there are no traffic jams, the road takes 3-3.5 hours. From Moscow’s Shchelkovsky Station, the bus takes 4 hours and 15 minutes to reach Suzdal.

One day guided bus tours from Moscow with sightseeing of Suzdal,, Bogolubovo and the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl river cost from 3200 rubles per person. The tours lasts 2 days and cost from 7500 rubles. The price includes transportation, tours, hotel accommodation and meals according to the program.

You can get the tour in the museum complex of the Suzdal Kremlin and the territory of the Kremlin and the Spaso-Evfimievski Monastery by Pushkin map. For the cardholders a walking excursion to the Museum of wooden architecture and peasant life is also available. Minimal number of tourists in group – 3 persons.

How to get there

Suzdal has no airport but you may fly to Ivanovo (71 km from Suzdal), Yaroslavl (139 km), or Kostroma (153 km) and then take regular buses to Suzdal.

There is no railroad in Suzdal, but you may take a train to Vladimir and then take a bus to Suzdal. Buses go regularly.

There is Suzdal bus station (44, Vasilyevskaya St., open from 4:00 till 20:00) which regularly takes buses from Vladimir, Ivanovo, Shuya, Yaroslavl, Murom and many other cities. Most buses go from Vladimir – every half an hour, so it’s easy to get to Suzdal. Suzdal bus station is located on the outskirts of the city, so if you want to get to the center, you will have to take a city bus or a cab.

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Suzdal sights – Top 40 the most interesting

Suzdal sights – Top 40 the most interesting

The main attractions of Suzdal are monasteries and churches. Over 30 churches for a provincial town with a population of no more than 11 thousand people create a unique look. This museum city as if risen from an old Russian fairy tale: majestic white-stone churches, wooden churches, merchants’ houses in the narrow streets, picturesque meadows and a narrow river, which stretches across the entire city.

Suzdal’s historical sights

1. Suzdal Kremlin

Suzdal Kremlin

The Kremlin is the heart and the oldest landmark of Suzdal. Archaeological research indicates that the history of the Kremlin dates back to the 10th century. At the turn of the XI-XII centuries on earthen ramparts walls with towers were erected, and in the ring of defensive constructions a fortress, where a princely court, a retinue and a bishop’s residence were located, was built. The Bishop’s palaces, a few churches, walls, earthen shafts and ditches were preserved.

2. the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin

The first building of the cathedral was erected during the reign of Vladimir Monomakh by Kievan architects. The temple was rebuilt several times for various reasons: first because of the dilapidation of the building, then because of the invasion of the Kazan Tatars, who set the temple on fire. The unique architectural monument combines elements of Russian architecture of the XII-XVI centuries. Fresco paintings of the XIII century and paintings on the walls of the XV and XVII centuries have been preserved in the interior of the temple. Today in the cathedral are conducted services.

3. The earth ramparts of the Suzdal Kremlin

The earth ramparts of the Suzdal Kremlin

The Kremlin earth ramparts are an unremarkable sight of Suzdal, and if you do not know about its historical significance, it is easy to pass by. But overgrown with weeds the mounds were once part of the Kremlin’s defensive fortification system. In the XI century, Prince Vladimir Monomakh ordered to pile the ramparts to protect the population of the principality from the raids of nomadic tribes. Today the monument is protected by the state, as evidenced by a commemorative plaque at the foot of the mounds.

4. The wooden St. Nicholas church

Wooden Nikolskaya church

For a long time the church was in the village of Glotovo where it was built, but in 1960 the building was transferred to Suzdal, on the Kremlin territory, and was placed behind the Hierarchal palaces, far from the stone structures of the Kremlin architectural complex. The purpose of the relocation was to protect the architectural monument and develop the city’s museum complex. Today this small church resembling a Russian hut occupies a worthy place among Suzdal sights.

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5. Rizopolozhensky monastery

Rizopolozhensky monastery

The monastery was founded at the beginning of the XIII century and is one of the oldest in Russian lands. The first buildings have not survived, and today visitors of the monastery can see only those architectural monuments, which were created in the XVI century. During the Soviet years, there was a power plant on the monastery’s territory, and only at the end of the 1990s it was returned to the church. Today the monastery is a functioning women’s monastery of the Vladimir-Suzdal diocese.

6. Church of Ilya

Ilyinskaya church

Church of Elijah the Prophet on Ivan’s Hill is situated opposite the Suzdal Kremlin. The stone white church with pink decorations and green dome was erected in 1744 on the place of a former wooden building. Before the Soviet regime there was a church of John the Evangelist next to the Ilyinskaya church, but it was destroyed in 1937. The bell tower and refectory of the Church of Elijah the Prophet were also destroyed. Their restoration was completed only in 2010.

7. Alexander’s monastery

Alexanderovsky monastery

The legend says that the monastery was founded by Alexander Nevsky himself in 1240. Once the monastery was called the Great Lavra and received women who took monastic vows after the invasions of the Kazan Tatars made them widows and orphans. During the reign of Catherine the Great, the monastery was abolished, and until 2006, the main cathedral of the monastery functioned as a parish church. Then monastic life was revived, and today the monastery is a functioning monastery.

8. Church of the Assumption

Assumption Church

Assumably, the Church of the Assumption was built on the site of the destroyed wooden church, but the exact time of its construction is not known. During the Soviet times the bell tower and two side-altars were dismantled. Later the church was restored and the bell tower restored. By the way, the Moscow Baroque style, to which the red church with a green dome and white platbands belongs, is considered a rare phenomenon in the cities of the Golden Ring of Russia.

9. Vasilievsky Monastery

Vasilievsky monastery

The monastery on the eastern outskirts of the city was founded in the XIII century as a defensive fortification on the road from the Kremlin to Kideksha. According to legend, the monastery was built in place of an older church, where at one time the inhabitants of the settlement converted to Christianity. During the Soviet regime, the monastery functioned as a warehouse, and only since the 1990s has monastic life been revived. Today St. Basil’s Monastery is active.

10. Trading rows

Market Rows

Trade rows in Suzdal are the center of social and tourist life. They look like a long gallery with arches and paired columns. The Gostiny Dvor was built in the beginning of the XIX century, and was the first building in Suzdal in the Empire style. At first the merchants’ shops, situated in the gallery, were intended for “guests”, i.e. merchants from other towns. Then they were transformed into stores, which were occupied by local merchants. Then the new name “Trade rows” caught on.

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