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Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Vladimir is a city in Russia, located on the Klyazma River, 200 kilometers or 124 mi to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. It is the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast. The details of Vladimir are explained in world tour guides below. Vladimir was one of the medieval capitals of Russia, and two of its cathedrals are a World Heritage Site which is the famous travel destination and tourist attraction. It is served by Vladimir Semyazino Airport, and during the Cold War Vladimir was host to Dobrynskoye air base.

VladimirThe area occupied by the city of Vladimir has been inhabited by humans for approximately 25,000 years. Traditionally the founding date of Vladimir has been acknowledged as 1108, as the first mention of Vladimir in the Primary Chronicle appears under that year. This view attributes the founding of the city, and its name, to Vladimir Monomakh, who inherited the region as part of the Rostov-Suzdal principality in 1093. In 1958, the 850th anniversary of the city foundation was celebrated, with many monuments from the celebrations adorning the city squares.
In the 1990s, a new opinion developed that the city is older than this. Scholars reinterpreted certain passages in the Hypatian Codex, which mentions that the region was visited by Vladimir the Great, the father of Russian Orthodoxy, in 990, so as to move the city foundation date to that year. The defenders of the previously uncontested founding year of 1108 dispute the claims of those who support the new date, arguing that the new theory was fabricated in order to provide a reason to have a celebration in 1995.

The neighboring town of Suzdal, for instance, was mentioned in 1024, and yet its 12th century inhabitants alluded to Vladimir as a young town and treated its rulers with arrogance. In the words of a major chronicle, they said that the people of Vladimir were their kholops and scions. In the seniority conflicts of the 12th and early 13th centuries, Vladimir was repeatedly described as a young town compared to Suzdal and Rostov. The Charter of Vladimir, the basic law of the city passed in 2005, explicitly mentions 990 as the date of the city's foundation.

Scores of Russian, German, and Georgian masons worked on Vladimirs white stone cathedrals, towers, and palaces. Unlike any other northern buildings, their exterior was elaborately carved with the high relief stone sculptures. Only three of these edifices stand today: the Assumption Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Demetrios, and the Golden Gate. During Andrei's reign, a royal palace in Bogolyubovo was built, as well as the world-famous Intercession Church on the Nerl, now considered one of the jewels of ancient Russian architecture. Andrei was assassinated at his palace at Bogolyubovo in 1175.

VladimirVladimir Golden GateVladimir was besieged by the Mongol Tatar hordes under Batu Khan and finally overrun on February 8, 1238. A great fire destroyed 32 limestone buildings on the first day alone, while the grand prince and all his family perished in a church where they sought refuge from the fire. The bishop of Vladimir managed to escape. After the Mongols, Vladimir never fully recovered, and even though the most important Rus prince was styled the Grand Prince of Vladimir and was the tax-collector of the Golden Horde.

Modern Vladimir is a part of the Golden ring of ancient Russian cities and a significant tourist center. Its three chief monuments White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List. The magnificent five domed Assumption Cathedral was designed as a sepulcher of grand princes and dedicated to the holy icon Theotokos of Vladimir, which had been brought to the city by Andrew the Pious. The warrior like cathedral of St. Demetrius was built in 1194–1197 as a private chapel of Vsevolod the Big Nest in the courtyard of his palace and was consecrated to his holy patron, St. Demetrius. The Golden Gate, originally a tower over the city's main gate, was built in 1158–1164. Other incredible monuments of pre Mongol Russian architecture are scattered in the vicinity. For more information on them, see Suzdal, Yuriev Polsky, Bogolyubovo, and Kideksha.

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