The “Golden Ring”
The gilded domes of Russian churches and monasteries shine from afar with a magical glow. Reflecting Russian festivity and Orthodox piety, it has been compared in poetry to an Easter table. They gave their name to the »Golden Ring«, that group of old Kremlin and monastery towns in central Russia, which have outlasted the times as gems of old Russian architecture.
In the 12th century, after the decline of the old Kievan Rus, the cities were located in the core area of the formation of the Russian state in the northeast of the East Slav settlement, long before Moscow gained supremacy under the old Russian princely rule. The city of Vladimir, about 200 km east of Moscow, was the capital of the Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal from 1157 to 1238. The city’s “Golden Gate”, numerous churches and cathedrals bear witness to the past greatness and power of the former residence. Other cities such as Yaroslavl, Ryazan, Pereslavl-Zalessky or Kostroma were centers of smaller principalities before they were annexed to the Moscow Grand Duchy from the 14th century through bloody feuds, inheritances or marriage policies. This epoch is referred to by Russian historiography as the “collection of the Russian land”. Some of the cities later developed into important commercial and industrial centers or governorate capitals, such as Yaroslavl, Vladimir and Ryazan. Others became meaningless and remained quiet small towns away from the industrial core areas. Even today, among the once mighty princes and monasteries, there are picturesque cities such as Suzdal, Pereslavl-Zalessky or Pljos on the banks of the Volga.
Close to the town of Sergiev Posad is the thick-walled castle of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergi. The golden and blue domes on the numerous towers and roofs of the monastery buildings shine splendidly. A bright bells ringing a polyphonic ringing surrounds the site, founded by Sergi von Radonezh around 1340, which is not only a seminary and place of pilgrimage, but also one of the most important spiritual centers of the Russian Orthodox Church and also a national symbol. At the beginning of the 17th century, the monastery castle had withstood a siege by a Polish-Lithuanian army that lasted over a year. Thousands make pilgrimages to the place every day to honor the many relics gathered here.
The Kremlin of Rostov Veliky in the Yaroslavl region is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Russia; the bell towers of magnificent cathedrals still tower over the cityscape, which is dominated by low, brightly painted wooden houses. For a long time, painters and artists have been attracted by the magical atmosphere of these places, which, often depicted in painting, have shaped our image of old Russian cities.
Tourism: Russia has an extraordinarily rich natural, art and cultural-historical potential, some of which is only partially developed for tourism. In addition to a lack of marketing strategies, there is also a lack of sufficient tourist infrastructure. After a sharp decline at the beginning of the 1990s, the number of foreign tourists is growing again (2016: 3.3 million; mainly from Germany, China and the USA). Tourism focuses on Moscow and St. Petersburg, the old Russian cities of the Golden Ring, regions on the Black Sea coast, Lake Baikal in Siberia and parts of the Greater Caucasus (including Caucasian mineral baths, high mountain tourism) and Kamchatkas. Internationally significant tourist attractions include passenger shipping on the Volga and the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Russia’s transport network has developed unevenly due to regionally different, climatic and landscape-related factors. The European part of the country is much more densely developed than the Asian part. The railroad is the main mode of transport. Siberia and the Far East are through the Trans-Siberian Railway as well as the Baikal-Amur Mainline, which runs further northconnected with central Russia in the European part. The density of the regional road network decreases sharply from west to east. While the regional centers are connected by trunk roads, smaller towns and settlements, especially in the northern regions, can often only be reached via unpaved roads, by ship or, in winter, via frozen rivers. Some cities in the northern areas, on the northern Arctic and Pacific coasts can only be reached by ship or air. Visit barblejewelry.com for flights accommodation and movement in Russia. Inland navigation (around 102,000 km of inland waterways) is severely hampered by the long freezing of rivers; Shipping channels exist only in the European part of Russia. The most important sea ports are on the Baltic Sea Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad, on the Barents Sea Murmansk, on the White Sea Arkhangelsk, Novorossisk as well as Nachodka and Vladivostok on the Pacific. The development of air traffic was crisis-ridden after 1990; many flight connections to smaller cities and towns, especially in the northern regions, in Siberia and in the Far East, have been given up. The former monopoly company Aeroflot flies today as Aeroflot-Russian Airlines in international air traffic. There are also over 200 airlines, primarily for domestic air traffic. Oil and gas pipelines lead from the production areas to the processing centers of Russia, neighboring republics and several Central and Western European countries. The oil pipeline is of great importance for the export of fuels and for the security of the European Union’s energy supply Friendship and the natural gas pipeline from the Yamal Peninsula. In 2011, the new Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, which runs on the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian Baltic port of Vyborg to Lubmin near Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, went into operation.