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Author Topic: Russia's Golden Ring Cities - Золотое кольцо  (Read 19977 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Russia's Golden Ring Cities - Золотое кольцо
« on: October 04, 2010, 11:24:27 PM »
Золотое кольцо,'The Golden Ring' is one of the oldest Russian routes. Situated in the north-east of Moscow, it forms a circle of sorts.


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Its not uncommon for locals to declare that the 'classical' route (counter clockwise) starts in Moscow and follows ring through the towns of Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov Velikiy, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Sergiev Posad. As each town is close to each other, the 'Golden Ring' forms a ring that makes it possible to travel from town to town, making a circle that ends back at the starting point.

So, which destinations are legitimately part of the Golden Ring? As you can see from the two maps there are differences of opinion as to which cities belong, and which don't. During Soviet times, Communist officials created an official list of Ivanovo, Kostroma, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Rostov Veliki, Sergiev Posad, Suzdal, Vladimir, and Yaroslavl. Judging by Russian historians, and popularity of tours, visitors don't necessarily agree and often stops on the circle include Alexandrov, Gus-Khrustalniy, Murom, Rybinsk, and Uglich, as well as many other small towns and villages.


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The most comfortable mode of travel is by car but it is possible to use a combination of bus and train transport to tour the Golden Ring.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 11:31:21 PM »
In coming installments we'll visit each destination, town by town in order of the map and get to know the Golden Ring up close.

Offline skiingandrunning

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 07:00:01 AM »
Mendy,

It took me several trips, but I have been able to almost close the loop as I have visited Sergiyev Posad (several times), Peryaslavi-Zalessky, Rostov, Yaroslavi, Suzdal, Vadimir, and Bogolubovo.  For me visiting Russia had much to do with learning about the country and I would highly suggest visiting the Golden Ring for anyone who has similar interests as the cities are near Moscow and it provides a person with an entirely different view of Russia as the cities are struggling in comparison to Moscow (gives you a better idea of the true condition in Russia) and a whole lot of history.  I look forward to your adding to my knowledge of the cities and might add a few comments if you do not mind as my visits are still fresh in my mind.

Note: Best seen if you have your own car as I have been fortunate to have my friends from Moscow show me around.  



Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 08:17:30 AM »
Quote
For me visiting Russia had much to do with learning about the country and I would highly suggest visiting the Golden Ring for anyone who has similar interests as the cities are near Moscow and it provides a person with an entirely different view of Russia as the cities are struggling in comparison to Moscow (gives you a better idea of the true condition in Russia) and a whole lot of history.
 

So true, and so important to gain a perspective of Russia on the whole as you say, as opposed to just thinking of Russia in terms of the 3-4 largest cities.



Quote
I look forward to your adding to me knowledge of the cities and might add a few comments if you do not mind as my visits are still fresh in my mind.

Comments and personal experiences absolutely welcome!

Offline mendeleyev

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Moving counter clockwise we leave Moscow for our tour of the Golden Ring. As illustrated on this scene of Moscow's Garden Ring road, soon we'll leave modern Russia behind because as skiingandrunning mentioned in the previous post, the Golden Ring is an important way to discover the beauty of ancient Russia.


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Our first brief stop will be a town not even on most "official" Golden Ring maps. But as we travel M7 we'll quickly find ourselves in Noginsk (Ногинск), just 34 kilometers (21 mi) east of the Moscow ring road along the Klyazma River. With a population over 115,000 its certainly a town worth discovering.


Today the town primary industries include fisheries and fish canning, a large beverage facility, Bogorodsk Brewery, and and Bogorodskavtotrans, a transportation company. Noginsk is a well traveled transportation hub being the intersection of the Nizhny Novgorod highway, M7 (E22) and the Moscow Minor Ring road.

Like many towns, Noginsk has endured several name changes. It was founded in 1389 as Rogozhi, then later renamed as Bogorodsk (meaning "a City of the Mother of God") by decree of Catherine the Great in 1781. In 1930 the Soviets renamed the town in honour of Bolshevik activist Viktor Nogin. Today there is a campaign by city officials to bring the city's historical name back to Bogorodsk.

Noginsk is a popular "suburb" with business commuters and dacha owners. Travel to Moscow is primarily via the M7 Moscow-Nizhny-Novgorod highway takes 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic conditions and the time of day.


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(photo: Н. Волкова)


Like most towns along this tour, Noginsk proves that the Golden Ring is a literal treasure chest of ancient culture, churches and monasteries.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 08:55:21 AM »
Back in the 1930's this was the way to travel from Moscow to Noginsk:


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Today the transport options are much more modern and buses travel perhaps still crowded but at least less stressful with a tad more comfort. Here is the Расписание автобусов (bus schedule): http://noginsk-grad.ru/content/express_help/global.html



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Here is the Расписание электричек (electric train schedule) from Moscow's Kursk Rail station to the Noginsk station: http://noginsk-grad.ru/content/transport.html


Offline skiingandrunning

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 09:00:45 AM »
Quote
Travel to Moscow is primarily via the M7 Moscow-Nizhny-Novgorod highway takes 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic conditions and the time of day.

When talking about the M7, as Mendy mentioned it's the main road between Moscow and Nizhny-Novgorod, but the first thing you'll notice is the stop and go traffic as it'll remind you a lot more of a main Urban street than a freeway between two important cities until you are outside the Moscow region and even then it goes through instead of around all the small towns along the way.  The things that I found of interest are the number of people selling things along the road as it's very common in the villages to see a bucket of apples or other produce from the gardens being sold (we did stop and buy some).  Also, it seemed like each village specialized in selling something different as one seemed to have dozens of people selling stuffed animals and another was big bags of popcorn.  

When traveling this route you will also have an introduction to rest areas, Russian style.  What you'll see are dirt areas where you can pull off the road and a series of kiosks giving it a flea market feel (I have seen the same thing in the south Urals region) and usually a number of working girls at the far ends.  I was surprised by one such area as it seemed to specialize in camping and fishing gear which I hope had a few bargains as we almost hit two men running across the road to do a little shopping  :scared0005: .   Now if you are wondering about the toilets, well do not worry as my friend mentioned that's what the forest is used for  ;D.

Edited, exchanging bold for quotes...

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 09:30:29 AM »
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So true about the traffic...stop and go, then a stretch of open road, followed by stop and go at the next town.



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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2010, 09:42:33 AM »
Just in case readers are curious, the town of Noginsk does have girls. 


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Apparently in times of shortages they bring them in from other places by truck.  :chuckle:


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It would almost seem as if there is an exchange program of sorts...trading girls from one region in return for musical instruments, shipped to cities where there are shortages of used pianos.


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Of course these are patriotic girls who enjoy each year's Victory Day celebration and parades.


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(This post of course not serious about ladies being "shipped in" as the people of the Golden Ring region are very real and genuinely nice.)

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2010, 09:26:03 PM »
Some of the nicest photos of the Noginsk area come from the lens of talented camera professional Е.Н. Маслова. Based in the region, she certainly is a master at what she does!


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2010, 10:04:32 PM »

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(photo by Е.Н. Маслова)



If there is one constant about the cities of the Golden Ring it is the abundance of ancient churches and monasteries. This is the Theotokos of Tikhvin church in Noginsk, named after one of the most sacred Russian Icons. The famed Theotokos of Tikhvin (Tikhvinskaya) Icon was quietly smuggled to the USA during early Soviet years and returned to Russia recently by the Orthodox Church in America (itself a "daughter church" of the Russian Orthodox Church).


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2010, 10:32:08 PM »
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(Church of the Neo-martyr Konstantin)



The Noginsk Cathedral is one of this area's main attractions:


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2010, 10:36:46 PM »

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(Dormition of the Theotokos)



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(Theotokos of Saint Vladimir)

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2010, 10:45:06 PM »
The town of Noginsk is at the edge of the Moscow Oblast (administrative region) and as we leave here the next stop will be Pokrov, a town in Vladimir Oblast.

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Re: Золотое кольцо - Russia's Golden Ring Cities
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2010, 11:17:19 PM »
We can take the Electric train to Pokrov which would take us to the small train station.


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The M7 "Volga" Highway (М7 "Волга"), also known as Е22, is a common route to Pokrov.


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