The Kremlin is the heart of Suzdal and the oldest part of the city. According to records, the city was first mentioned in 1024, but archaeologists believe the Kremlin dates back to the 10th century. Surrounded by a ring of earth ramparts with wooden walls and towers on top, the Kremlin was an aristocratic part of town, intended for the prince's court and bodyguard as well as for the highest clergy. The Kremlin’s ramparts and moats, several churches, the archbishop's residence, and the ancient Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin have all been preserved.
Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin
The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin is a unique example of the limestone architecture of pre-Mongol Vladimir and Suzdal. It was erected between 1222 and 1225 on the site of the former Assumption Cathedral, which had been built by Vladimir Monomakh in the late 11th and early 12th centuries and later collapsed. The new 13th-century cathedral was built with limestone, but the old plinth (made of comparatively slim and long bricks mainly used in the South-Rus’ construction) from the previous one was used in the masonry filling. This technique distinguishes the cathedral from other monuments of Vladimir-Suzdal architecture. The façades and portals of this 3-domed cathedral were decorated with carvings in limestone. After the fire of 1445, the upper part of the cathedral was rebuilt in brick. The 3 domes were replaced by 5 domes. The 17th century was a period of great change and large-scale reconstruction in the cathedral. The old choir gallery was removed, windows were widened, new narthexes were added, and the walls were repainted. In the 18th century the wooden roof was replaced by a metal one, and the central dome was gilded.
Between 1950 and 1960, the Nativity Cathedral was restored again, getting rid of the non-original constructions; this is when it acquired its present-day look. In 1992, the cathedral was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is one of the most visited exhibits of the Vladimir and Suzdal Museum, displaying authentic church utensils from the 17th to the 20th century. The original 13th-century doors—the famous Golden Doors—were created with a very complicated technique popular among the most skilled medieval European craftsmen. The 13th–19th-century wall paintings, the 17th-century iconostasis, and a huge 17th-century portable copper lantern in the shape of a five-domed church will certainly impress visitors.
9 am – 8 pm, seven days a week
9 am – 7 pm, seven days a week
The Archimandrite's Chambers and the Assumption Refectory Church
The Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour
The monastery Bell-tower
The Prison of Suzdal and the Golden Treasury
The Interwoven Fates exhibition
Entrance tower and the walls. The 17th-century example of Russian defensive architecture
The Herbal Garden
Mo – Fr, Su – 10 am – 6 pm, Sa – 10 am – 7 pm
Last Thursday of the month – 10 am – 2 pm