The Golden Ring of Russia, today is the main and most popular tourist route around provincial cities of central European Russia. The route incorporates cities in the region historically known as Zalesye, which literally means ‘beyond the forest’ in reference to its location from Kiev - then the capital of the Rus state (Kievan Rus). Once considered a backwater of Rus it later developed into the powerful Suzdal Principality and then the Vladimir Grand Principality, which eventually eclipsed Kiev as the seat of the most senior Rus prince. Vladimir would remain the capital of Rus until it was in turn eclipsed by Moscow.
The main attractions of the cities on the route are the old buildings that have been preserved here, especially the monasteries and churches, and there are even several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to this, the cities are very provincial and located among the beautiful Russian countryside. Therefore the Golden Ring preserves a perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of Moscow, so it is definitely worth visiting at least one Golden Ring city if you are in Moscow for more than a couple of days.
It therefore takes approximately one and half hours to travel between the cities. The entire route with a visit to all the main cities such as Sergiev Posad - Rosov - Pereyaslavl-Zalessky - Yaroslavl - Kostroma - Ivanovo - Plyos - Suzdal - Vladimir is about 700km (beginning and ending in Moscow)
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