A smell of Russ! Of Russ all breathes there! …

From the poem by A.S. Pushkin “Ruslan & Ludmila”

Suzdal one of the oldest cities of Russia and has been known since the XI century. In Russia, not much has been preserved since those times, because in ancient times the Russian state occupied mostly flat wooded lands and all the cities were wooden. But wooden structures are not durable and defenseless to fires. The first stone buildings were churches after the adoption of Christianity in the ancient Russian state and this was the end of the X century.

Суздаль зимой
Snowy. Kodak Color Plus 200

Suzdal was the capital of the ancient principality during the period of feudal fragmentation, and then Suzdal became to a part of the young Moscow Principality. In the 19th century Suzdal turned into a provincial town due to its remoteness from the railway and was thus conserved, having reached the present day in a typical town of the 18th-19th centuries. In Soviet times the city was not built up with apartment buildings – the city has become to tourist center, which had a positive effect on the city (in my opinion, the economical problems for the city began only during 90s). Suzdal is a unique city, like a kind of time machine.

Никольская церковь в Суздале

Nikolskaya church. Kodak Color Plus 200

I was twice in Suzdal . For the first time in childhood, when I came to the neighboring Vladimir (also an ancient Russian city) being a musician as part of a children’s folk orchestra. Photos from that trip are not available to me yet. The second time I visited Suzdal on my own during the national holiday – Maslenitsa (Butter Week).

From Moscow to Suzdal you can get on any type of land transport for about 3-4 hours. It is more convenient to travel by bus, but if you visit Vladimir at the same time it’s better get by train. Between these cities a little less than an hour by bus.


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The city has its own Kremlin, but without walls (In the XI century the walls were wooden.). At a later time (XIV century) one of the monasteries began to the role of urban fortification. In the photographs he has massive red walls. In general, almost all the monasteries in Suzdal have their own walls, but usually white and low.

Монастырь в Суздале
Monastery and its own walls.

In Russia there were no feudal castles, their role was performed by Kremlins as the residence of the princes, clergy and nobility. But monasteries also performed the role of castles too. They coped with the protective function, usually.

Суздальский Кремль

Suzdal Kremlin, without walls. Kodak Color Plus 200

In the Suzdal Kremlin there is a wooden Nikolskaya (St. Nicholas) Church, brought here in the XX century. The church itself of the XVIII century, that for wooden buildings is a great old age.

Никольская церковь Суздаль

The church was transported here from the village of Glotovo. Kodak Color Plus 200

Almost in the center of Suzdal stands the Monastery of the Deposition of the Robe, but despite it’s location it is in poor condition and half in ruins. In Soviet times, the monastery began to rebuild at a center of folk art, but that did not happen. During the 90s, the monastery was partially abandoned.


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The monastery is a relatively modern tower of the XIX century – you can climb on it and see how the bell ringer works, and will see the panorama of the city.

Колокольня Суздаль, музей колокола
The bell tower also houses an improvised museum of bells.

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In the picture below at the right, in the distance, you can see a red monastery-fortress with towers. He is often confused with the Kremlin because of the red big walls. If it were not for the cars, then you would think that now is the beginning of the 20th century.


Actually it’s the Monastery of Saint Euthymius. The walls of monastery was built to protect the city in the XIV century instead of the Kremlin. Massive brick red walls and towers were built later instead of small old. Old wooden walls are not preserved.

Спасо-Евфимиев Монастырь

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Inside the fortifications is a cathedral, an old prison and a garden.


The old cathedral with the original painting of the XVI-XVII century. I even heard singing of the church choir there, it’s very beautiful.

Фрески, Суздаль

The cells in the prison were heated. It’s not the cells, It’s the mansions.

Монастырская тюрьма, Суздаль
The prison yard.

The fortress stands on a hill, like most part of the city. These are all remnants of old fortifications: ramparts, mounds and moats.


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Celebration of Maslenitsa in the city center are held near the historic merchant yard – the Gostinyi Dvor . Gostiny Dvor is in many historic Russian cities. The appointment of Gostiny Dvor has not changed over time. And here you can to taste the Russian mead too.


One of those days I visited a restaurant on the second floor.


The city has many tourists from different cities and countries. There are a lot of people for such a small town.


Children ride on a snow hill (the part of historic fortifications) and adults ride on sleighs and carriages.


I have not seen so many harnessed horses anywhere. Accurately a time machine.


The day was sunny and warm, and… snow melting away. Oh, I recognize Russia.

Улица в Суздале
No comments.

The streets of Suzdal look like some kind of village streets, and mainly consist of private wooden houses at the Russian style. This style remained in Soviet times right up to 90s, then everything became “expensive (false) euro style” (or rather squarely and tasteless). Of course, not everywhere are people paint houses and put carved platbands. It is the entourage of Suzdal..


But this house was built by my great-grandfather and he is in the photo. His house was located in Ust-Vaenga village on the North of Russia. I do not know if it is preserved now. (Photos of the mid XX century)

photo_2019-03-16_18-41-28 (2)

Finally I want to say that if you really want to feel the spirit of Russia you can go to Suzdal.

Суздаль фото
Through the embrasure

P.S. There is a good hotels and restaurants for every taste and wallet.

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