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routes Vladimir Oblast

The City under the Holy Virgin Protection

7 holy places • 2 days
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• The Vladimir-Suzdal museum-reserve   • Vladimir   • Suzdal   • cultural route   • route   • Russia
The route was developed by the specialists of The Vladimir-Suzdal state historical, architectural and art museum-reserve.

Contents

The Golden Gate of Vladimir (1164)
Bolshaya Moskovskaya St, 1а, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000

Vladimir’s Cathedral Square is the central ancient square in the town
Cathedral Square, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000

The Assumption Cathedral
Vladimir, Bolshaya Moskovskaya St, 56, 600000

The Cathedral of St. Demetrius
Bolshaya Moskovskaya St, 1а, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000

The Museum Center “Palaty”
Bolshaya Moskovskaya St, 1а, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000

“The exposition of an Icon”
The Holy Bogolyubsky Women's Convent Bogolyubovo village, Vladimir Oblast, 601270

The Holy Bogolyubsky Women's Convent
Bogolyubovo village, Vladimir Oblast, 601270

Church of the Intercession on the Nerl (1165)
Vokzalnaya St., 10, Bogolyubovo, Vladimir Oblast, 601270

The primary unique feature that makes Vladimir stand out among many other Russian cities is its name. The city bears the name of its founder the saint prince Vladimir (Svyatoslavich) co-equal with the Apostles. The essence of the Christianity consists of the doctrine of salvation of the immortal human soul. For this purpose the heart of every person should be penetrated by the Gospel. 

At the beginning of the evangelical movement, the essential mission of preaching the Gospel was undertaken by the apostles. Later a number of saints, who gained recognition by converting people to Christianity, were bestowed with the title of the co-equal with the Apostles. As the saints, titled as the co-equal with the Apostles, are considered Constantine the Great, Roman emperor and his mother Helena, Saint Patrick of Ireland, Saint Nina from Georgia and some others. In Russia as co-equal with the Apostles glorified Vladimir the Great the Holy, who christianized the Russian people in 988.

The foundation of Vladimir by the Great Prince in 990 is linked with the spread of Christianity throughout all Russian lands. The city Vladimir initially was the pillar of Christianity for pagans. Vladimir could be the first city founded by Prince Vladimir after his conversion in Christianity.

Vladimir was built in the image and likeness of “The Earthly and Heavenly Jerusalem”. Jerusalem and Constantinople as well as Kiev had the Golden Gates. For this reason the main entrance to Vladimir might be initially intended to represent the continuation of ancient traditions firmly connected Vladimir with the Holy Land and Jerusalem, as well as to present the city as a successor to Kiev and Constantinople. Being manifested in the image of “The Earthly Jerusalem”, the major city of all cities, “The Heavenly Jerusalem” has always been and remains the archetype of the Christian cities. This idea applies to Vladimir as well. The high hills, spread over the areas outside the city wall of Vladimir, give the visitors an insight into the biblical topography and toponymy. The Golden Gates in Vladimir were reminiscent of the ones in Jerusalem, The Monastery of Ascension located to the southwest of the Golden Gates  bore a resemblance to the Mount of Olives, which is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. The Spassky hill behind the Golden Gate resembles Mount Tabor, the site of the transfiguration of Jesus. The road, which since the XII century had led from the Golden Gate, resembles the road to Bethany, the place of the St. Lazarus tomb.

Moreover, Vladimir was built under the protection of the Blessed Mother. According to the legend, the first church erected by Vladimir the Great was devoted to the Dormition of the Theotokos. Since the beginning of times, Dormition Cathedrals have served to protect the historic legacy of towns. The first church in Vladimir had paved the way for the veneration of Vladimir Mother of God as the patron of all the earth. 

Andrey Bogolyubsky, the successor of Vladimir the Great, had always considered himself and his land to be under the protection of the Holy Mother (Theotokos), the merciful patroness of all christians. He had every reason for that. It was the Holy Mother who showed him the way from Kiev to Vladimir in the middle of the XII century. Moreover, her miraculous spirit blessed Grand prince Andrei and accompanied him on his way. 

All the cathedrals built by Andrey Bogolyubsky were devoted to the Holy Mother. He erected the majestic white-stone Cathedral of the Assumption on the site of the decayed wooden cathedral, which had been built by Vladimir the Great. In his Palace-temple complex Andrei Bogolyubsky had built the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The complex of the white-stoned Golden Gates is culminated with the Church of the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe. The Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God, built on the banks of the Nerl River was conceptually more important for Andrey Bogolyubsky. The special attitude of the Holy Mother to the Grand Prince Vladimir is highlighted by the very first Russian cathedral, dedicated to the Feast of the Intercession.

In Russia the miraculous icon of the Holy Mother, which accompanied Grand Prince Vladimir on his life path, was granted the name of “Vladimir Icon”. The tale “On the miracles of the Vladimir Holy Icon of the Mother of God” appeared under the Grand Prince` guidance and was one of the masterpieces of ancient Russian literature.

Another unique monument kept in Vladimir is the Bogolyubov Icon of the Mother of God. It was painted in the middle of the XII century at the request of Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky. The first work of Russian iconography conveys the image of the Holy Virgin just as she appeared to Prince in his vision. The Bogolyubov Icon of the Mother of God has been glorified by countless miracles, particularly by the role of the intercessor from such terrible pestilence as epidemics.  Owning to the assiduity of museographers and restorers, the image of the ancient icon has been revived and preserved almost intact. The displaying conditions being provided, the image could be brought before the eyes of the audience.

Owing to the endeavors made by Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky under the protection of the Mother of God, a new political center of Rus was created, the cornerstone of the future Great Empire. 

Founded by the co-equal with the Apostles Prince, the city Vladimir has always served as the greatest defender of Christianity and brought salvation to Christians. Vladimir is often called a God-saved city. For over a thousand years, it has been eternally kept under the protection of the Mother of God.

The start of the route should be prefaced by the introduction about Vladimir and the Vladimir-Suzdal principality, about its place in history of the Ancient Russia and Vladimir`s pretention to becoming “The third Rome”. According to the legend, in 990 the co-equal with the Apostles Prince Vladimir founded the city on bank of the Klyazma River and, “yclept it by his forename Vladimir” (The Hypatian Codex). Fleeing away from the pagan people, Saint Theodore the first Bishop of Rostov and Suzdal came to Vladimir in the end of the X century.

For a variety of reasons, cities and kingdoms were destroyed: under the conquerors` onslaught, because of the human`s Fall, the governors` political ambitions … Jerusalem and Rome, both fell. (Elder Philotheus (or Filofei) considered the Church division to be the final fall of Rome). Constantinople was hight New Rome, but it did not retain its primacy. Russia was ready to accept the great Christian mission and become the "third Rome", but Kiev was not destined to fulfill this either...

Owing to Andrei Bogolyubsky, the son of Yuri Dolgoruky, a descendant of the emperors of Byzantium, however, the pretention of Vladimir city to becoming the “third Rome” could well have embodied. “I want to renew this city as a metropolis. May this city be a great reign and head of all,” says Prince Andrei about Vladimir (Nikon Chronicle, 1160). It was necessary for the city to obtain the Metropolis status. In his bid to become “The Third Rome” Vladimir came up against numerous obstacles. However, at the end of the 13th - beginning of the 14th centuries, the city actually performed this function: Metropolitan Maxim moved the metropolitan see from Kiev to Vladimir.

Later, Moscow became the political center, with Vladimir losing its political prominence. On the other hand, Vladimir was spared from the bustle of the metropolitan city avoiding the matters which often became the reason of kingdom`s downfall. It was still considered to be the religious centre of Old Russia as well as the city "chosen by the Mother of God."

Holy places

STOP 1The Golden Gate of Vladimir (1164)

Jerusalem, Constantinople and Kiev were the cities which had the golden Gates. For this reason the main entrance to Vladimir might be initially intended to represent the continuation of ancient traditions firmly connected Vladimir with the Holy Land and Jerusalem, as well as to present the city as a successor to Kiev and Constantinople.

Being manifested in the image of “The Earthly Jerusalem”, the major city of all cities, “The Heavenly Jerusalem” has always been and remains the archetype of the Christian cities. This idea applies to Vladimir as well.

The high hills, spread over the areas outside the city wall of Vladimir, give the visitors an insight into the biblical topography and toponymics. The Golden Gates in Vladimir were reminiscent of the ones in Jerusalem, The Monastery of Ascension located to the southwest of the Golden Gates  bore a resemblance to the Mount of Olives, which is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. The Spassky hill behind the Golden Gate resembles Mount Tabor, the site of the transfiguration of Jesus. The road, which since the XII century had led from the Golden Gate, resembles the road to Bethany, the place of the St. Lazarus tomb.

The name of the Golden Gate obtains the profound significance. Gold in Christian culture symbolizes the light of heavenly world, purity, immortality, celibacy. For this reason, the fine gold can signify Virgin Mary. Gold is the symbol of the regal dignity

The Church of the Deposition of the Robe of the Holy Virgin (the beginning of the XIX century) is erected on the upper platform. The Church built in honor of the feast of the Placing of the Robe indicates that the city keeps The Virgin Maria under guard, serving as her Temple. The garments of the Holy Virgin were assigned the role of the city`s protector. Moreover, being devoted to the Deposition of the Robe of the Holy Virgin the gateway church continued the Constantinople and Kiev`s tradition of veneration of the Holy Virgin and her relics -  the Cincture and  the Robe.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site

The unique monument of the Russian military defence architecrural works of the XII century. The front gate leads to Ancient Vladimir. It is considered to be the main tower in the fortification buildings erected around the ancient cityThe Golden Gate was built at the request of prince Andrey Bogolyubsky.

Address Bolshaya Moskovskaya St, 1а, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000

Schedule 10:00-17:00

Источник: Портал Ever Travel

STOP 2Vladimir’s Cathedral Square is the central ancient square in the town

The ancient part of Vladimir, the former territory of the kremlin. The monuments to Grand Prince Vladimir and to the Saint Theodore are located in Pushkin Park near the Assumption Cathedral. In the shadow of these monuments, the Christian mission became the deal of the utmost importance not only in these regions but in the whole country. 

Address Cathedral Square, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000

Schedule within 24 hours

STOP 3The Assumption Cathedral

1)     Painting art of the XII-XIX century, including the frescoes paintings of Andrei Rublev, the greatest medieval Russian painter.

2)     The composition «The Last Judgment» 1408 (Andrei Rublev). The theme of this artwork traces its origin to Christian art in catacombs. In medieval times this theme in Europe attained the same popularity as in Orthodox world. Rublev interpreted it differently.   The Russian art critic, Viktor Nikitich Lazarev said “the masters who worked in the Assumption Cathedral managed to convey the scenes  of «The Last Judgment» an enlightened character”.

3)   Iconostasis made in the Elizabethan baroque style (the second part of the XVIII century), under the influence of the art of Western Europe.

4)  The local tier of iconstand, including the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God (the list of the Mother of God`s images highly revered in Ancient Russia) and the Holy Great Martyr Catherine. The cathedral iconostasis comprises the icons of the St. Duchess Olga, Prophet Elijah, St. Boris and Gleb. It represents the most ancient necropolis in Russia

5)  The major sacred things of the Cathedral are the Bogolyubskaya and Maksimovskiya icons of the Mother of God Vladimir, the relics of the holy princes of Vladimir Andrei Bogolyubsky, Georgy Vsevolodovich and Gleb Andreevich

 

STOP 4The Cathedral of St. Demetrius

Reliefs depicting the Saints of the undivided Church:

1) Dmitry Solunsky

2) Theodore Stratelates

3) George of Cappadocia (The Conqueror)

4) Eustathius Placidas

5) Mercury of Caesarea

6) Boris and Gleb

7) Evangelists Matthew and Mark

8) Apostles Peter and Paul

9) Bible's Sacred Kings David and Solomon

10) Prophet Daniel

The relief depicting Deisis:

1) The icons depicting Dmitry Solunsky. The copies of the original icons of the XII century.

2) The reliquary, which might have kept the relics, conected with the St. Dmitry. The copy of the original of the XI century.

3) Seal of Grand prince Vsevolod III with two-sided image of St. Dmitri and the St. George, copy from the original of the XII century.

4) The frescoes of the XII century, made by Russian and Byzantine masters. Such artworks as "The Last Judgment", "The Bosom of Abraham", "The Procession of the Righteous to Paradise".

The UNESCO World Heritage Site

The white-stone Cathedral of  the XII century was built on the site of the Vladimir kremlin by Vsevolod The Big Nest.

The exterior of the Cathedral retains the features of the Romanesque architecture. The Temple is considered as еthe reliquary of The Great Martyr Demetreus of Thessaloniki (Dimitri Solunsky) who was revered as the protector of the princely family and the elite.

Photo: site of the State Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-reserve

STOP 5The Museum Center “Palaty”

The former governmental building situated between the St. Demetrius and Assumption  Cathedrals built in the 2nd half of the XVIII century at Catherine the Great`s  request. The building housed the offices of the provincial administration. In the end of the XX century, the building was transferred to the Vladimir and Suzdal Museum–reserve. Today it houses the museum depository, restoration workshops, the expositions complex and exhibition halls, Children's Museum Center.

1) Maksimovskiya icon of the Mother of God Vladimir is said to have been painted in 1229 at the request of Metropolitan of Kiev, Maxim. It reveals the legend about the vision of The Virgin Mother to Maxim, with her handing him the omophorion as a sign of  heavenly authorization for the transfer of the metropolitan see from Kiev to Vladimir.

2) Andrei Rublev. “Vladimir Mother of God” (XV c.). The iconographic image of the Virgin Mother, holding the child is one of the main ways of depicting the Virgin Mother in Russian icon-painting. This iconographic type traces its origin to the turn of X century.

3) The icon "Our Lady of Eleusa of Kikk" (1675) by Simon Ushakov, whose  artworks reflect fascination with the Western art the influence of which in the Ancient Russia was quite profound in the XVII century.

The frescoes copies from the Assumption Cathedral (XII c.) and The Holy Assumption Knyaginin convent (XVI c.) provide an insight into this art form existed in the Ancient Russia from XII till XVII centuries. The copies are made by professional restorers with the colossal fidelity to the original materials.

1) The figures of the Prophets

The paintings of Andrei Rublev and Daniel Black:

2) The fragment of the composition “Descent of the Holy Spirit”

3) Saint Zosima

4) Byzantine Empress Helena with her son, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.

Address Bolshaya Moskovskaya St, 1а, Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast, 600000
vladmuseum.ru/ru/geografiya-muzeya/vladimir/muzeynyy-tsentr-palaty/

Schedule 09:00-17:00

“The exposition of an Icon”

The Bogolyubskaya icon of the Mother of God was written by the anonymous painter in the third quarter of the XII century at the request of the Andrey Bogolyubsky. It was located in the main temple of the monastery, founded by Bogolyubsky.  After the closure of the monastery in the XX century, it was kept in different churches of the Vladimir city. In 1918 the icon was researched, opened and preserved by the restorers of the Commission for the Preservation and Restoration of Monuments ancient painting in Russia. In 2009 it was for the complete renovation in the restoration workshops of the State Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-reserve.

Almost hundreds years later, the detailed study and evaluation of the icon`s state was managed on the base of the in-depth advanced research and with the appliance of the complex methodological development - 3D scanning and computed tomography. As a result, the unique icon of the XII century underwent the complete scientific restoration, by the virtue of which its emergency condition were improved Moreover, it allowed to discover the artworks of authorship of the XII century.

Transfer to Bogolyubovo village (about 10 km from Vladimir’s Cathedral Square)

Prince Andrei, the son of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky, decided the center of Ancient Russian statehood from Kiev into the lands interior to the native northeastern regions far from the southern borders. Acting against his father`s will, Andrei headed his squad from Kiev to the Suzdal lands. His way to the northeast is steeped in legends, one of which is attributed to the miraculous icon of the Mother of God, the protector of the Vladimir land Thereafter, the icon was called the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God and transferred in the Assumption Cathedral, erected in Vladimir especially for the icon.  There is the legend that the Mother of God appeared before the Prince and ordered him to found the city and monastery. For this reason, Andrei founded his residence in this region, which was called Bogolubov city or meaning a place beloved by God. The Prince himself was nicknamed Bogolyubov. Since the reign of Andrey Yuryevich, Vladimir had been considered the capital of the northeastern part of Ancient Russia with the principality being called Vladimir-Suzdal

The Bogolyubskaya icon of the Mother of God

The icon of the XII century is considered as the ancient work of the Rassian painting art, the rarest church sanctuary, a unique monument of Russian art, a national masterpiece. It is one of the most ancient Russian icons, the earliest monument in the collection of the State Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve.

Photo: tonkosti.ru

STOP 7The Holy Bogolyubsky Women's Convent

The white-stone palace with the church of the Nativity, the fortress with artificial mound and stone walls were built in Bogolyubov between 1158 and 1165. Today, the active convent is located on the site of the former prince's palace, the territory of which has preserved the fragments of the illustrious buildings erected by Andrei Bogolyubov.

1) Church of the Nativity of the virgin (the central building in Bogolyubovo city). 1746- 1751гг. The cultural layer of the XII century was discovered between 1746 and 1751)

2) The only monument of public architecture preserved from pre-Mongolian times is considered to be the arched transition with a spiral staircase and a rampant concave. A vivid example of Romanesque architecture is the triple window with two columns in the middle quite uncommon in the established construction practice. Such windows are fairly typical for Italian palazzo. However, Russian white-stone architecture has only one example of the triple windows, the construction of which reflects the influence of Western European masters.

Andrei Bogolyubov was killed in his residency as a result of the conspiracy of the boyar Kuchkovitchy, who strongly opposed the autocratic power of the prince. The tower with the spiral staircase and adjacent gallery were the witnesses of this tragedy.

Ciborium is the rare architectural construction for Ancient Russia of the XII century. The open chapel was built in the XVII century in the site of the holy tabernacle of the XII century – the ciborium (according to the legend, the place of the Virgin Mother`s appearance to Prince Andrei). Inside the ciborium the white-stone cup with the carved christcross stays. The legend has it that Prince Andrei used this cup to endow the builders of the palace with awards.

 

The Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God. (1746-1751).

The UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Address Bogolyubovo village, Vladimir Oblast, 601270
sv-bogolubovo.ru/

Schedule 06:00-19:00

STOP 8Church of the Intercession on the Nerl (1165)

The temple was built in honor of the victory in the campaign on the Volga Bulgaria (in 1164), in memory of the prince's son Izyaslav, who died from wounds. It was consecrated in honor of the new Feast of the Intercession of the Mother of God, established by Andrei. The Feast attained the deep meaning attributed to the protection and guidance of the Virgin Mother, provided to the Prince and Vladimir lands. The holiday traces its origin to the Epiphany of the Mother of God in the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae in Constantinople to the Saints Andrew the Fool of Christ (or Andrew of Constantinople) and Epiphanius during the religious worship. The Mother of God spread Her robe over all the people in the world and prayed for them.

According to “The Lives of Andrei Bogolyubsky”, the church was built in recording short period of time: “complete this church in one summer” (1165).

The construction of the church at the confluence of rivers Nerl and Klyazma provided control over Volga trade route, which connected Vladimir-Suzdal principle with other lands.

The church is one of the most majestic and diminutive white-stone temples in the Vladimir-Suzdal principle. The builders of the church aspired to convey the impression of lightness, gracefulness, feminine elegance and weightlessness of proportions.

The temple is garnished with a magnificent white stone carving, inherent in Vladimir-Suzdal architecture.

The Church of the Intercession is the only temple among all the buildings erected during the Andrei Bogolyubsky` reign, the original carved decor remained meticulously intact. In the central semicircular zakomar of all three facades there are reliefs that reveal the same composition: the king David, sitting on the throne, surrounded by paired lions and doves.

The foundations of the white-stone galleries which surrounded the temple on the three sides were discovered during the excavations by N. Voronin in 1954-1955. In its southwestern corner in the thickened wall there was the staircase leading to the choir of the church. In all the likelihood the galleries were open arcades with the wooden ceilings and opened terrace around it.

Nearly nine centuries have passed since Prince Andrei transferred the miraculous icon of the Mother of God to Vladimir land, and this image has become one of the most important and revered in Russian Orthodoxy. Another icon, Our Lady of Bogolyubskaya, inextricably linked with culture and the history of the Vladimir land. The icon was not only reserved to these days, but presented in an entirely new way. In the 21st century, you cannot help but wonder that it hardly had been an accident, or a coincidence. For centuries, Vladimir has maintained its identity and spiritual continuity

 

Address Vokzalnaya St., 10, Bogolyubovo, Vladimir Oblast, 601270
www.eparh33.ru/

Schedule 10:00-16:00

See also

HOLY PLACES, HOLY PEOPLE SAINTS BEFORE THE EAST-WEST SCHISM

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