Escorted Rail Tours to Suzdal
A religious centre of significance for a thousand years
Set in a valley close to Vladimir, Suzdal takes its name from the 'sudrdala' or 'southern valley' in which it developed. Little is known of the city before 1024, when it began its meteoric rise to prominence as a centre of worship. At one point, there was approximately one church for every ten families in the city! As more churches were built the city was enclosed with protective walls.
Despite some unrest in the area during the medieval era, many of the buildings managed to avoid any serious damage, and are still standing today. As a result, the city is one of the most complete examples of such architecture in all of Russia. One of the more famous buildings in Suzdal is the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, which was founded in the 14th century. After a number of sizeable donations by local dignitaries, the monastery began to grow in both size and importance in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The monastery is also known for containing a prison, built in 1764, which originally housed religious dissidents. The prison continued in use during the Soviet period, and among its better known prisoners was Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, who was held here for a time after his surrender at Stalingrad. The prison now houses a museum about the monastery's military history.