Golden Gate

Historic Building in Vladimir

In the 1160s Andrei Bogolyubsky built five defensive gates to guard his city; only this former western entrance survives. It was later restored and expanded under Catherine the Great. Up the narrow stone staircase, a military museum displays weapons and armour from the 1200s through WWII (plus a 1970s cosmonaut suit); the centrepiece is a slightly fusty diorama of Vladimir being ravaged by Mongols in 1238, set to flashing lights and dramatic narration (English version available upon request).

Across the street is the grassy remnant of the old city wall that encircled the town in medieval times.