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Once More about Yuryev-Polsky
May 25, 2009 19:48

Georgievsky cathedral

In spite of its name, this town has nothing to do with Poland. “Polsky” means here “the one that lies in the fields”, in contrast with another Yuryev which is located at an 80 km distance from Kiev (Ukraine), called later Bila Tserkva (“White church”).Yuryev-Polsky is an old Russian town and the administrative center of the Yuryev-Polsky District of the Vladimir Region, Russia, located on the Koloksha River, 68 km northwest of Vladimir. It was founded by the same person whose name is associated with Moscow. Instead of Moscow, which had existed long before this man, Prince Yuri Dolgoruky invited therein another prince in 1147 (it was fixed in chronicles and then accepted as the date of its foundation), Yuryev-Polsky was really founded by him in 1152. The Prince named the town in his own favor. As it is obvious from the date, Yuryev-Polsky is one of the oldest towns in the central Russia.

The town fortress was a customary one. It had a round plane and consisted of earthworks and wooden walls. Later, in 1234, on the eve of the Batu Khan military campaign, a marvelous Georgievsky (St. George) Cathedral was built in the centre of the fortress. The building of white stone was covered with wonderful carving from top to bottom. It was the 13th century, the time of severe depression of political and national identity of the ancient Russian nation. It was not its fault: the nation and state had become very old by the 13th century. It had existed long before the 10th century. There were simply no late Roman historians to describe it. The masterpieces of art and architecture still could be created, but there were serious troubles with self-definition and consequently with defensive capacity. It became obvious during the campaign of Batu, the Great Khan of Mongols. Unlike the western knights, the Mongols had not planned to live in Russian lands, so they were not interested in demolishing churches and other objects of culture and religion. Because of that the Church of St. George has been preserved to this day , Instead of that the Mongols or Tatars sacked the city three times, in 1238, 1382, 1408. But the building, which the tourists are welcome to see is not the same as in 1234.

It was the time and not the Tatars that crashed the building down in the 15th century. The vaulting failed and the building was partly destroyed. In 1471 the cathedral was restored. The same stones were used, but the order of scenes and proportions wasn’t the same. People of the 15th century inherited the culture of the ancient Russ, but it was another nation and culture. Their culture and art spoke somewhat another language, so the meaning of the carved relieves was a great puzzle already for them not to mention scientists of nowadays. One way or another, because of their respect of and interest in the history, the church covered with mysterious characters and subjects can be seen in Yuryev-Polsky.

Later the town became a part of the Muscovy. In the early 17th century during the so-called Time of Troubles it was burned by the invaders from … Poland. But after all of that in the middle of the century the time for economical advance of Yuryev-Polsky came. It was because of the road from Suzdal to Moscow passing very close to it. In the 17th – 18th centuries some buildings of the church architecture were constructed, among them the ensemble of Michael the Archangel Monastery, a bell tower and the Znamenskaya Church.

In the previous century, in the 1920s the Yuryev-Polsky Historical-Architectural and Art Museum was founded. The museum is open for visitors daily from 9 am to 5 pm except Tuesdays and the last Friday of every month. On Mondays the museum is closed at 2.30 pm. The entrance fee is 60 rubles. The excursions offered here are about architectural monuments, historical places and folk crafts. The museum possesses collections of icons, carved white-stone relieves, wooden sculptures and armory.

All the places of interest are concentrated in the centre of the town, near the Sovetskaya Ploshtchad (Soviet Square). The town is very picturesque by itself, but when you have seen everything you wanted, you can start off from here for other cities of the Golden Ring. The road from Vladimir comes from the east, the road to Alexandrov and Moscow goes to the south-west, and the road to Pereslavl-Zalessky leaves the town in the northern direction. If you are not traveling by car you can to get to Moscow and Ivanovo by train. Unfortunately everything is not very simple with the railway transportation. Yuryev-Polsky stands on a minor railway line with a very infrequent passenger service. The railway station is located in the southern part of the town, 1.5 km away from the historical center. Despite the small number of trains, the station is open round-the clock, and the waiting room (lounge) is available. You can give a call there: +7-(49246)-22-307.

How to get to Yuryev-Polsky:

From Moscow: two long-distance trains every day (to Ivanovo and Kineshma). The trip takes 4 hours. Both trains start from Moscow in the evening and arrive at! Yuryev-Polsky in the middle of the night. Alternatively, one can use the indirect connection with a change in Alexandrov. Local trains between Moscow and Alexandrov run every hour, while there is one local train from Alexandrov to Ivanovo (in the afternoon) and two buses running between Alexandrov and Yuryev-Polsky in the morning and in the afternoon. The trip from Alexandrov takes 2 hours, the full trip from Moscow – at least five hours.

From Ivanovo: two long-distance trains to Moscow (late in the evening) and three local trains during the day. The trip takes 2 to 2.5 hours

By bus

The bus station is located next to the railway station, south from the historical center. The station is open from early morning till 5 or 6 pm. The actual schedule and the time-table can be obtained by calling: +7-(49246)-22-153, 22-373

From Moscow: 3 to 4 buses a day. In Moscow, the buses depart from the central bus station (Schelkovskaya metro station). The trip takes four hours.

From Vladimir: 5 to 6 buses a day, the trip takes about two hours.

From Alexandrov: 2 buses a day, the trip takes two hours.

From Pereslavl-Zalessky: the bus runs three times a week (normally, on weekends). The trip takes about 2 hours.

From Suzdal: no direct bus connection available. One should either travel via Vladimir or via the village Staryi Dvor. This village stands on the road from Vladimir to Yuryev-Polsky and has three daily buses to Suzdal. The whole trip takes at least three hours.

By car

From Moscow: 160 km along A103 (via Kirzhach and Kolchugino). Upon entering the town, pass three or four crossings, turn right, and cross the river (there is no road sign).

From Vladimir: 70 km along R74. Upon entering the town, you will pass under a railway bridge. Turn left on the next crossing.

From Alexandrov: 77 km (via Kolchugino).

From Ivanovo: via Suzdal or Vladimir only. There is no adequate road from Yuryev-Polsky to the Ivanovo Region.

From Pereslavl-Zalessky: 70 km along R74.

From Suzdal: 65 km via the villages Obraschiha or Staryi Dvor.

In Yuryev-Polsky there is a lot of space for free parking. Note, however, that in the daytime the central square may be crowded due to the market. Additionally, the street along the Monastery of Archangel Michael (towards the Cathedral of St. George) is closed for traffic.

There are some cafes around the central square. The meals are not something special, but essentially eatable and not expensive.


Yulia Buzykina


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