Church Intercession of Holy Virgin on Nerl River. Russia

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Golden Ring

Touring the Golden Ring, a string of medieval towns northeast of Moscow, is like settling into the comforting arms of Mother Russia: it's a bucolic realm of whitewashed churches with golden onion domes, rippling meadows blanketed with flowers, and samovars bubbling away in colourful gingerbread cottages. In contrast to Moscow's cosmopolitan chaos, these ancient towns are a cultural salve for the Slavic soul: you'll find the spiritual heart of the Orthodox Church here, as well as historic architecture, religious art, traditional cooking and time-honoured handicrafts. Centuries ago this was the power core of eastern Kyivan Rus, but it declined as Moscow took political centre stage. Largely untouched by Soviet industrialisation, it now attracts flocks of Russian tourists searching for a lost idyll.


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Church of the Intercession on the Nerl river, Vladimir region. Image by Laures / iStock / Getty Images

Road Trips

The Golden Ring: a road trip through the heart of Russia

May 29, 2015 • 4 min read


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