Nativity Monastery

Monastery in Vladimir

Founded in 1192 by Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky's successor, Prince Vsevolod III, this monastery was for a while considered the heart of the Russian church; indeed, the consecrated remains of 13th-century prince Alexander Nevsky were interred here for 450 years, until Peter the Great ordered them moved to Nevsky Monastery in St Petersburg. During Soviet times the monastery building was used for government offices, but in 1992 it was reopened for its 800th anniversary and its religious functions resumed.

Although there's little of interest inside for visitors, a walking path around the monastery walls (accessed by a signed staircase outside the northeastern corner) leads to the Cathedral of St Dmitry, with views of the river along the way.