Golden ring history.
THE GOLDEN RING OF RUSSIA
GOLDEN RING HISTORY
The Golden Ring's main towns began as outposts of the Kyivan (Kievan) Rus state and grew as people moved north as Kiev (Kiev in
Russian) declined. At the start of the 12th century, Prince Vladimir
Monomakh of Kiev founded a fort at Vladimir and gave the Rostov -
Suzdal principality in which it lay to his son
Yuri Dolgoruky. Yuri made Suzdal his capital but concentrated his energies down south, eventually winning the title of Grand Prince of
Kiev and installing himself there. He still took the precaution of fortifying the settlements of
Pereslavl-Zaiessky and Kostroma in his original territory, along with a small
western outpost called Moscow.
After Yuri died in 1157, his son and successor, Andrey Bogolyubsky, spurned the chance of establishing himself in Kiev and moved back to the more secure northern territories. Andrey based himself at Vladimir, which became the effective cap-ital of Russia in 1169 when Andrey sacked
Kiev, taking the Grand Prince title north. Under these princes and their successors, Suzdal grew rich as a commercial center and Vladimir sprouted cathedrals, monasteries and massive city walls.
Rostov, Yaroslavl and other
centuries later split off as separate principalities.
In 1237, darkness fell as the Tatars invaded Russia, sacking and burning every-thing. But having made their point, they were mostly content to rule and collect taxes through local princes, which they did for the next 250 years. The region again prospered under Andrey's nephew
Yaroslav, and his son Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod. But Moscow, given independence by Alexander Nevsky in 1252, grew in influence as an intermediary between the Tatars and the other Russian princes.
Moscow absorbed Pereslavl-Zaiessky,
Vladimir and Suzdal in the 14th century; the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church was transferred there from Vladimir in the 1320s; and by the end of the 15th century the entire region was part of
Moscow, the Moscow state.
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