Day 5: Suzdal & the Museum of Wooden Architecture
In the morning we toured Suzdal, including the Savior-Euphemius Monastery and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, the ancient churches of the trading quarter, the Suzdal kremlin, and the Historical Museum. To read a New York Times article about Suzdal, click here.
Savior’s Transfiguration Cathedral at the Savior-Euphemius Monastery
Suzdal from afar
Convent of the Intercession
We visited the Convent of the Intercession pictured below (also known as the Pokrovsky Convent) where photos are discouraged. The convent became the place of exile for disgraced tsarinas and women of nobility. The Soviets turned it into a way station for foreigners traveling the Golden Ring, an arc of old historic cities near Moscow. In the early 1980’s, they built 11 log houses on the grounds that, as you can imagine, don’t fit with the style. The nuns returned after the USSR collapsed and you can still stay in the 34 rooms of the log houses, experiencing the monastery as it once was, with the nuns carrying out their devotions, attending services, or tending the gardens and beehives.
The Museum of Wooden Architecture
The Museum of Wooden Architecture contains about 20 reconstructed wooden buildings (including a windmill) taken from the local area. It’s a miracle they never burned down. The museum tries to help you imagine what life was like for the average Russian peasant. You can actually only go inside three of the houses as well as the old wooden church. The guide explained that in some of the houses, the entire extended family lived, sleeping on benches, the floor, and above the oven.
In the afternoon we toured Vladimir, founded in 1108 by Prince Vladimir of Kiev, and located 23 miles south of Suzdal. We saw the Cathedral of the Assumption and the Cathedral of St. Demetrius. We also took a long walk to the Church of the Intercession but there were so many mosquitos that it was a huge distraction.
The Assumption Cathedral (below) dates back to the 12th century and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.