LEISURE Newsletter, October 2018

Amid plains, lakes and marshes of vast country are scattered these old Russian towns. Known collectively as the Golden Ring of Russia, they actually form a circle which extends from Moscow towards the north-east. Each of these towns played an important part in the history of the Russian State, both in its early period, when the Russian lands and principalities were being united under the sway of Moscow, and later, when the independence of the country was at stake. While the architectural monuments of these towns are the stone chronicles of the country’s history, it is also an area which has preserved many old artistic traditions particularly the painting of the beautiful lacquer boxes for which Russia is so famous. Life here is completely different from the big cities and for an opportunity to see true Russia, this is a tour worth taking

Sincerely,
Helen Isaeva


The Golden Ring of Russia: Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Rostov the Great

Suzdal For those visitors who come to Moscow we will be happy to offer 2 day tour to Suzdal -Vladimir (230 km - 3,5 hr drive one way). Those who would like to explore the region in depthare very welcome for 5-6 day tour on Golden ring. Suzdal is one of the most beautiful ancient cities of Russia, possessing more than 50 examples of church and secular architecture dating from the mid-12th to the mid-18th century.

The highlight of a visit is the Kremlin which contains several streets of houses, some churches, the beautiful Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, with its blue / gold domes and sumptuous frescoes. Of interest is the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius – Suzdal’s biggest monastery, which was founded in 1352.

Vladimir Vladimir was founded by Vladimir Monomakh, Grand prince of Kiev, in 1108 as a fort in the Rostov-Suzdal principality. The city witnessed its heyday in the 12th century during the reign of Prince Andrey Bogolubsky, who strengthened its defences and welcomed architects, icon-painters, jewellers. The most significant building made during his reign is the Assumption cathedral. The oldest murals in it date from 1161. In 1408 it was frescoed anew by the greatest of old Russian painters Andrei Rubliov.

KostromaKostroma, originated in the 12 century, is situated on the left bank of the river Volga. The city is known as the “cradle of the Romanov dynasty”. In 1613 an All Russia Council for the election of the new Russian Tsar met in Moscow. On the 14th of March that year the whole council, headed by boyar Fyodor Sheremetyev, came to the Ipatiyevsky monastery in Kostroma, where the young boyar, Mikhail Romanov, had come with his mother, a nun, called Marfa, from their family estate.
YaroslavlYaroslavl is an ancient town located 260 kilometres northwest of Moscow, the most metropolitan of the Golden Ring towns. The town of the Golden Ring, Yaroslavl has many old churches with beautiful icons and traditional Russian decoration.
Today Yaroslavl is a regional centre, an important railway junction and a river port. The population of the city is about 680,000 people. The city has many industries, five educational institutions, three theatres, the Philharmonic Society and many museums.
Rostov VelikyRostov Veliky (Rostov the Great) was first mentioned in chronicles in 862. It is a sleepy old town with some magnificent buildings next to a lake. The focal point of the town is Kremlin. Its churches are good examples of Russian 17th century architecture. The 4-domed belfry (1620) of Assumption cathedral is 32 m long and 17 m high. It has four arched openings and its 15 bells, audible 15 km away, play 4 tunes. Famous composers Stasov, Mussorgski, Berlioz came to listen to the chimes.

For those travellers who would like some more activities apart from the sightseeing we are pleased to offer: visit to local familty and home made dinner, different master classes - matryoshka painting, enamel painting, church bell ringing concert, private choir singing in the monaster, private boat ride and alot more!

1 Day in one of the most beautiful Golden Ring cities – Sergiev Posad

Sergiev Posad In the morning drive to Sergiev Posad (Zagorsk) – 70 km/1,5 hrs drive.

Enjoy the tour of the city, visit to Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, which is one of the most important architectural and historical monuments of medieval Russia and also a centre of Russian Orthodoxy today. The monastery, which is operating now, is known by its unique architectural ensemble that was taking shape in a course of centuries. Trinity cathedral is famous for frescoes and icons executed by great masters of the past Andrey Rublov and Daniil Cherny. There are Dukhovskaya church, Assumption cathedral, Refectory and St. Sergius church on the territory of Lavra. The Tzar's Palace built in the 17th century houses nowadays Theological College and Ecclesiastical Academy.
Local restaurant – Russian yard Lunch at a local restaurant – Russian yard or Horse Yard.

Both restaurants are located in the center of the city, very close to the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. The guests will be served with 3 courses fixed menu of traditional Russian food with either tea or coffee included.
Local restaurant – Russian yard Visit to toy factory, matreshka painting master-class.

Just south of Trinity Sergius lavra there is an elegantly crumbling red brick building on the hilltop which is a famous toy factory. Sergiev Posad has a long history of toy-making — the matryoshka was invented here — and today there are still two functioning toy factories and a special school to train toy craftsmen in the region. Have a tour around the museum, particularly the second floor, and stop by the gift shop near the entrance to pick up a few very affordable handmade wooden toys for friends. After finding out the history of matryoshka have a splendid opportunity to make such a doll with your own hands and colour it up to your personal wish. Take this souvenir with you!

Local restaurant – Russian yard At around 5 pm Drive back to Moscow.


Moscow - Rostov - Yaroslavl - Kostroma - Suzdal - Vladimir - Moscow, 5 days / 4 nights tour

DAY 1. Arrival to Moscow
Meeting with ES guide, transfer to the hotel, check in

DAY 2. Full day sightseeing/Rostov, Yaroslavl
Breakfast at the hotel
Meeting with the guide at the hotel lobby. Transfer to Rostov Velikiy. Observation tour around Rostov Velikiy with visiting Finifti Museum, Kremlin (architecture). Transfer to Yaroslavl. City tour around the city with visiting Spassky Monastery, Ilya the Prophet Church, Park complex

DAY 3. Full day sightseeing/Kostroma, Suzdal
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Kostroma. City tour around Kostroma with visiting Ipatiev Monastery (territory) Trinity Cathedral (interior). Transfer to Suzdal

DAY 4. Full day sightseeing/Suzdal, Vladimir and transfer back to Moscow
Breakfast at the hotel
City tour around Suzdal with visiting the Museum of Wooden Culture, Kremlin (its architecture), Krestovaya Palata (interior)
Visiting St. Ephimius Monastery (listening to bells’ singing). Transfer to Vladimir. City tour around Vladimir with visiting Assumption/Dmitievsky Cathedral of the 12th century, Golden Gates (architecture). Departure transfer back to Moscow

DAY 5. Full day sightseeing/departure
Breakfast at the hotel
City tour with Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Christ the Saviour Church Kremlin tour (territory and cathedrals, Armoury Chamber. Transfer to the airport for international flight.

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