HistoryThe town's history dates back probably to 999 or 1024 and in 1125 made Suzdal the capital of the . Suzdal began to function as a capital at the time when was still a cluster of cowsheds. In 1157 moved the capital from Suzdal to Vladimir, from which time the principality was known as . Set in a fertile wheat-growing area, Suzdal remained a trade centre even after Mongol-led invasions. Eventually, it united with until both were annexed by Moscow in 1392. After a decline in political importance, the town rose in prominence as a religious center with incredible development projects funded by and in the 16th century. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, wealthy merchants paid for 30 charming churches, which still adorn the town. Thus Suzdal reached a remarkable ratio of churches to citizens: at one point, 40 churches per 400 families. In 1864, local merchants failed to coerce the government into building the through their town. Instead it went through Vladimir, away. As a result, Suzdal was bypassed not only by trains, but by the 20th century altogether. Furthermore, in 1967 Suzdal earned a federally protected status, which officially limited the development in the area. That is why the place remains largely the same as ages ago—its cute wooden cottages mingling with golden cupolas that reflect in the river Kamenka, which meanders sleepily through gentle hills and flower-filled meadows. In 1943 high ranking Nazi officers captured at the Battle of Stalingrad were imprisoned within the monastery Today, the town operates as an important tourist center, featuring many fine examples of old —most of them churches and monasteries. Although having just under ten thousand residents, Suzdal still retains a rural look with streams and meadows everywhere and chicken and livestock a common sight on the streets, some of which remain unpaved. This juxtaposition of stunning medieval architecture with its pastoral setting lends Suzdal a picturesque charm, and in the summer, artists and easels are a common sight.
Administrative and municipal statusWithin the framework of administrative divisions, Suzdal serves as the of , to which it is directly subordinated.Resolution #433 As a , the of Suzdal is incorporated within Suzdalsky Municipal District as Suzdal Urban Settlement.Law #190-OZ
TourismThe only industry in the town is tourism. Suzdal avoided the of the Soviet times and was able to preserve a great number of stunning examples of the Russian architecture of the 13th-19th century. There are 305 monuments and s in Suzdal, including 30 churches, 14 s and 5 and s. 79 of them are federally protected buildings and 167 are regionally protected. In 1992 two of the monuments (Monastery of Saint Euthymius, Saviour Monastery of St Euthymius and Suzdal Kremlin, Kremlin with Cathedral of the Nativity, Suzdal, Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral) were included in the World Heritage Site, UNESCO World Heritage List, together with six other White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, White Monuments in this region.
Monuments*The Suzdal Kremlin, Kremlin is the oldest part of Suzdal, dating from the 10th century. It is a predecessor of the Moscow Kremlin. In the 12th century it was the base of prince , who ruled the vast northeastern part of Kievan Rus', Kyivan Rus and, among many other things, founded an outpost, which is now . A ''posad'' (settlement) to the east became home to the secular population - shopkeepers and craftsmen, while the ''Kremlin (fortification), Kremlin'' (fortress) proper was the home of the prince, the archbishop, and the high clergy. Within the Kremlin, the Archbishop’s Chambers houses the ''Suzdal History Exhibition'', which includes a visit to the 18th-century Cross Hall, which was used for receptions. More exhibits are provided in the 1635 kremlin bell tower (Звонница) in the yard. *The earth Rampart (fortification), rampart of Kremlin encloses a number of houses and churches, including the Cathedral of the Nativity, Suzdal, Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral. This cathedral, with its blue Dome#Russian domes, domes spangled with gold, was constructed in 1222-1225 by Yuri II of Vladimir, Yury II on the site of an earlier church built around 1102 by Vladimir II Monomakh, Vladimir Monomakh. It was built of light tufa with limestones for details. In 1445 the cathedral collapsed and was rebuilt in 1528-1530 with the upper structure and drums being constructed of new brick. The original 13th-century door from the cathedral is now on exhibition in the Archbishop’s Chambers. *Monastery of Saint Euthymius, Saviour Monastery of St Euthymius was founded in 1352 to the north of the town centre on the high bank of the Kamenka river. It was built under the order of the Suzdal-Nizhniy Novgorod prince Konstantin. The monastery was planned as a fortress and was originally enclosed by a wooden wall, later destroyed by the Poles. Today's reddish brick walls of the Suzdal monastery were erected over four years, from 1640 to 1644. The solid fortifications have 12 towers constructed according to the artillery power which appeared at that time. When the value of the monastery as a fortress was lost, a new application was found - it became a prison. Prisoners were most brutally punished there, and the place fell into disrepute. In 1905 the prison was abolished. *Wooden Church of St. Nicholas. This church was built in Glotovo in 1766 and was moved to Suzdal in 1960 to be part of a ''Museum of Wooden Architecture & Peasant Life''. The church is elevated off the ground about a story high from when it was moved across the country. This church is made out of all wood and represents the close relationship between wood and stone architecture and how precise the Russians were while building this back in 1766. *St John the Baptist Church. This church was built in 1720, at the same time that the St. Nicholas church was built, although the difference between the types of architecture of the two churches is quite remarkable. Whereas the St. Nicholas Church is all wooden, the St. John Church is made out of white plastered walls with wooden supports. *The St Alexander Convent. This church was built in 1240 by an unknown architect. It is said that the princesses of Suzdal, Mariya and Agrippina, were buried here in the 14th century. *Intercession Convent. The convent was founded in 1364. In its center stands the cathedral of the Intercession; it was an add-on built in 1518 financed by Moscow knaz (king) Basil The Third. The interior of the cathedral has no paintings or stained glass, it is simply plain white stone walls all around. The church was and still is one of the richest convents in Russia. The convent is the home of many nuns and is also the burial vault for twenty nuns of noble birth. Connected to the white stoned wall cathedral is an art museum which can be toured. There are many paintings but none in the cathedral itself. This building is filled with arches and art created in the 16th and 17th century.
Festivals*Open Russian Festival of Animated Film is held in Suzdal in March annually since 2002, with the support of the Ministry of Culture (Russia), Russian Ministry of Culture. *''Cucumber Day Festival'' with folk music performances is celebrated by locals on the second Saturday of July, every year since 2001.
InfrastructureThere are four major hotels in Suzdal: *Nikolaevsky Posad (180 rooms) *Pushkarskaya Sloboda (291 rooms) *Heliopark (185 rooms) *GTK Suzdal (705 rooms) There are also 50 guest-houses with a total number of 700 more rooms. Thus Suzdal has developed an outstanding ratio of about 20 hotel rooms per 100 population (''comparing to 0.2 rooms for Russia in general, or 1.6 rooms for USA''). Suzdal has 13 restaurants (''with 1429 seats''), 10 cafes (''305 seats''), 11 bars and 73 souvenir shops. In 1982 Suzdal became the first Russian town to receive "Pomme d'Or, La Pomme d'Or" ''("The Golden Apple")'' - a prize for excellence in the tourism industry, awarded annually by the World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers (FIJET).
FilmMore than 60 movies were filmed in Suzdal and the vicinity. Among them: *''Andrei Rublev (film), Andrei Rublev'' (USSR, 1966) *''The Brothers Karamazov (1969 film), Bratya Karamazovy'' (USSR, 1969) *''Finist, the brave Falcon'' (USSR, 1976) *''A Hunting Accident, The Shooting Party'' (USSR, 1978) *''The Theme, Tema'' (USSR, 1979) *''The Youth of Peter the Great, Yunost Petra'' (USSR, 1980) *''Charodei'' (USSR, 1982) *''Dead Souls (1984 film), Dead Souls'' (USSR, 1984) *''Peter the Great (miniseries), Peter the Great'' (USA, 1986) *''Tsar (film), Tsar'' (Russia, 2009) According to local historian Yury Belov, in the summer of 1964 three different feature films (''The Blizzard (1964 film), Metel'', ''Balzaminov's Marriage, Zhenitba Balzaminova'' and ''Tsarskaya nevesta'') were filmed in Suzdal at the same time.
Twin townsSuzdal is twin towns and sister cities, twinned with: * Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, since 1988 * Cles, Italy, since 1991 * Oberlin, Ohio, Oberlin, United States, since 1991 * Windham, New Hampshire, Windham, United States, since 1992 * Évora, Portugal, since 2006 * Loches, France, since 2011 * Shangrao, China, since 2012
Notable people*Solomonia Saburova (1490–1542), the first wife of Grand prince Vasili III of Russia, Vasili III of Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovy, canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as ''St Sofia of Suzdal'' *Dmitry Pozharsky (1577–1642), national hero, granted the unprecedented title ''Saviour of the Motherland'' for routing the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18), Polish invasion *Eudoxia Lopukhina (1669–1698), Tsarina, the first wife of Peter the Great, banished to the Intercession Convent of Suzdal *Dmitry Ivanovich Vinogradov, Dmitry Vinogradov (1720–1758), chemist, the founder of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Saint Petersburg *Aleksei Gastev (1882–1939), Revolution of 1905, revolutionary, trade-union activist and a pioneer of scientific management in Russia *S. M. Shirokogoroff, Sergei Shirokogorov (1887–1939), founder of Russian anthropology *Vasily Blokhin (1895–1955), chief executioner of the NKVD during the Great Purge and World War II
See also* Kideksha Church, Church of Boris & Gleb—church in a nearby Kideksha village, UNESCO World Heritage Site, away
General sources* Brumfield, William (2009). ''Suzdal: Architectural Heritage in Photographs''. Moscow: Tri Kvadrata. . * *