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The town of Yuriev-Polskiy is only 5 years younger than Moscow. The town was founded in 1152 by Yuri Dolgorukiy, whose name passed to the settlement. Another part of the towns name refers to vast fields (field is pole in Russian), surrounding the settlement. The town was built as an outpost of Vladimir and Suzdal Princedom for protecting its north-west borders. Yuriev-Polskiy obtained town status in 1778.

Today Yuriev-Polskiy is a district centre of Vladimir Region. The town is located on the Koloksha river, a small feeder of the Klyazma River, sixty-eight kilometers away from Vladimir. Almost 20 thousand citizens dwell in Yuriev-Polskiy today.

Yuriev-Polskiy is an agricultural town horse breeding; dairy and meat industry are also developed in the area. All buildings in the town are inside the area, surrounded by earth walls. Ancient part of the town is located between two rivers and fenced with a 2-km-long round earth wall in a good state of preservation. The earth wall was crowned by the fortress with three gates, where roads from Moscow, Vladimir and Pereslavl Zalessky brought visitors. Between 1152 and 1212 Yuriev-Polskiy was apart of Vladimir and Suzdal Princedom, and that period was notable for internal wars and numerous attacks of the Tatars.

Ancient buildings of Yuriev-Polskiy are concentrated in the earth wall ring. Most beautiful piece of architecture is Georgievsky Cathedral, built in 1230-1234. Unfortunately, original cathedral was destroyed during a fire in 15th century, but was rebuilt in 1472. Before reconstruction the cathedral was taller, and its white stony walls were covered with carved angels, saints, griffins, lions, birds and centaurs. Today Georgievsky Cathedral is a modest four-column church with 3 semicircular apsides near eastern wall and 3 forechurches from other three sides, however, it is a nice place to visit.

Other interesting architectural monuments of Yuriev-Polskiy are buildings of former Archangel Monastery, which are also located within old earth walls. Said monastery was founded by Prince Svyatoslav in the beginning of 13th century, but not a single building survived invasion of Baty-Khans hordes everything was ruined. Later the monastery was rebuilt, and in 1670 its gates were decorated with a gate church of St. John the Theologian. Said church was a remarkable piece of Moscow Baroque of the 17th century. Other wonderful archeological monuments include hip bell tower and refectory church of the Sign. The monastery hosts two more churches: Pokrovskaya and Georgievskaya churches, which are made of wood. The chambers, where the archimandrite used to take a well-earned rest, now host a local history museum. This museum tells town guests about history of Yuriev-Polskiy and its famous citizens a worth-gaining experience. Curious exposition of Russian icon-painters of 16-17 centuries, painters of Western Europe and Russia can also be found in the museum.

Tags: Golden ring     



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