The Golden Ring

Suzdal Travel Blog

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Welcome to Suzdal - highest concentration of Russian Orthodox churches in the world (maybe?)

So we arrived in mid-afternoon in Suzdal, one of the towns that make up the Golden Ring on the northeast outskirts of Moscow (others include Vladimir, Yaroslavl, and Ivanovo, among others). The Golden Ring towns played a major role in the establishment of Russia from the 12th-18th centuries prior to Moscow claiming the central political role of Russia. Suzdal was one of those cities that could claim to be a provincial capital of pre-Russian times in the 12th and 13th centuries. Eventually the capital was moved down to Vladimir and Suzdal became a more religiously centered area as one can see from the accompanying photos from the next couple of days.

Central Market in Suzdal and the Sokol Hotel where we stayed in the background.
In fact Suzdal has approximately 40 active churches today for a little over 11,000 citizens.

But more of that later. First things first. After getting to town and getting checked into our rooms it was time to clean up after three days on the train. While I wasn't completely rank, it felt grand to get cleaned up and take a shower. A major laundry run was still a few days away in Moscow, but needed to rinse out a few things in the interim. Second task was to generally get some bearings in town and also find some food. Walked around briefly, saw a few of the churches, looped around the Suzdal kremlin (a kremlin actually refers to a fortified structure/city in Russian so while the Kremlin in Moscow is best known it is not the only one that exists). We were going to come back to check out the churches in greater detail in the morning so for now it was just cursory exploration.
An old church that we walked past. We were surprised to hear a service taking place as we went past.


After eating at one of the small restaurants near the town market square, one final agenda item remained. Found the internet cafe behind the market (which interestingly seemed to be run by a group of teenagers) and placed an online order for Hermitage tickets in Saint Petersburg next week. I'll follow up more later but let me say that if you are planning to go to Saint Petersburg and visit the Hermitage Museum I highly recommend using the online option to order tickets.

All that taken care of there wasn't much else to do but sit back and grab a few drinks. Suzdal is overall a sleepy little town without a great deal of activity. But tonight ended up being the second fight I witnessed on the trip. Well not a fight really, more like a quick beatdown.
Initial views walking around the center of Suzdal
At the bar we stopped in for drinks there was one guy (obviously pretty drunk) sitting along the wall with his girl and another group at the bar. We ordered drinks and sat down and within about five minutes this guy staggered up to the bar. Not sure what was said and wouldn't have understood it anyway, but all of a sudden, bam, one of the guys at the bar just lays into the dude. Two or three quick punches and the guy is down. It seems to calm down after that with the bartender and the dude's girl coming to separate the parties, but after that, well we beat a fairly hasty retreat with our drinks not really wanting to be around if local law enforcement became involved. So we headed back to the hotel bar and finished out the evening in a slightly quieter environment.

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Welcome to Suzdal - highest concen…
Welcome to Suzdal - highest conce…
Central Market in Suzdal and the S…
Central Market in Suzdal and the …
An old church that we walked past.…
An old church that we walked past…
Initial views walking around the c…
Initial views walking around the …
Initial views walking around the c…
Initial views walking around the …
Initial views walking around the c…
Initial views walking around the …
Initial views walking around the c…
Initial views walking around the …
Initial views walking around the c…
Initial views walking around the …
A small playground and an ever pre…
A small playground and an ever pr…
This guy was trying to sell some p…
This guy was trying to sell some …
Pay 10 Rubles (35 cents) for a hea…
Pay 10 Rubles (35 cents) for a he…
No more blog or photos, Ive been …
No more blog or photos, I've been…
A man out tending to his goats.
A man out tending to his goats.
Enjoyed checking out the old Russi…
Enjoyed checking out the old Russ…
Enjoyed checking out the old Russi…
Enjoyed checking out the old Russ…
Suzdal Hotels & Accommodations review
Nice location right on Market Square and close to everything else
Spent two nights in Suzdal at the Sokol Hotel. It was a decent place to stay, close to all the main activities in Suzdal (including the monasteries, … read entire review
Suzdal
photo by: Kramerdude