Bogolybovo. Trip to Golden ring. Golden ring tour. Excursion. Bogolybovo.
THE GOLDEN RING OF RUSSIA
When Andrey Bogolyubsky was returning north from Kiev in the late 1150s, his horses - so the story goes - stopped where Bogolyubovo now stands, 11km east of Vladimir, and wouldn't go another step. This is supposedly why Andrey
made nearby Vladimir, and not his father's old base of Suzdal, his capital, and why the icon of the Mother of God that he was bearing became so closely tied to Vladimir's, and ultimately Russia's, fortunes.
Whatever the legends, Andrey built a stone fortified palace that dates from 1158 - 65 at this strategic spot near the meeting of the Neri and Klyazma rivers. Nearby, in 1165, he built possibly the most perfect of
all old Russian buildings, the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl.
A tower and arch from Andrey Bogolyubsky's palace survive amid a dilapidated but reopened 18th century monastery by the Vladimir-Nizhny Novgorod road in the middle of Bogolyubovo. The dominant buildings today are the monastery's 1841
bell tower beside the road, and its 1866 Assumption Cathedral (Uspensky sobor). Just east of the cathedral, Andrey's arch and tower - on whose stairs, according to a chronicle, Andrey was assassinated by
hostile boyars - adjoin each other, and the arch abuts the 18th century Church of the Virgin's Nativity
SIGHTS OF INTEREST
- CHURCH OF THE INTERCESSION ON THE NERL. To reach this famous little church
(Tserkov Pokrova na Nerii), go back about 200m towards Vladimir from the monastery-palace complex and then turn into ulitsa Frunze that winds downhill and under a railway bridge. Under the bridge, take the path to
the left along the side of a small wood. The church appears across the meadows, about 1.25km from the bridge.
Its beauty lies in its simple but perfect proportions, a brilliantly chosen waterside site and sparing use of delicate carving. If it looks a mite top-heavy, it's because the original helmet dome was replaced by a
cushion dome in 1803.
Legend has it that Andrey had the church built in memory of his favorite son, Izyaslav, who was killed in battle against the Bulgars. As with the Cathedral of St Dmitry in Vladimir, King David sits at the top of
three facades, the birds and beasts entranced by his music. The interior has more carving, including 20 pairs of lions.
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