After being founded by Prince Vladimir Monomakh in the early 12th century, the city grew to become a splendid political, cultural and religious centre.
The city recovered from devastating attacks by nomadic Mongol raiders in 1238 and 1293. But its realm disintegrated into smaller principalities, with Moscow increasingly dominant. The head of the Russian Church resided here from 1300 to 1326, but then moved to Moscow. Worldly power finally shifted to Moscow around this time, too. Even so, the rulers remained nominally Grand Princes of Vladimir until the 15th century.
In the 20th century, Vladimir prospered anew on the back of textile, mechanical engineering and chemical industries.