Summary of The Day: Your guide will meet you when you arrive in Moscow and transfer you to the hotel to check in.
Summary of The Day: We'll start today's tour from Red Square - the heart of Moscow.
Red Square has been at the very center of Russian history since the 15th century, from Ivan the Terrible’s confession of his misdeeds to the people in 1550, to great demonstrations, executions and the great parades of the Soviet Union’s military might. Ironically, "krasny" originally meant beautiful; it came to mean "red" only in the last century! From the time of Ivan the Great, the square was used as a huge gathering place for public events, markets, fairs and festivals.
At the southern end of Red Square is the almost fairy-tale like building of St Basil’s cathedral, commissioned in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate his conquering of Kazan. Legend has it that the architect was later blinded so that he could never repeat such a building that is so traditionally Russian.
We'll next see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, or St. Savior Cathedral. It was designed by the great architect Konstantin Ton, who was also responsible for the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armoury and whose church designs pioneered the Byzantine-revival style.
Afterwards, we'll see the Novodevichy Convent, or the New Maiden Convent. It was founded in 1524 to celebrate the taking of Smolensk from Lithuania. Many noble women, including Peter the Great’s first wife and his sister took vows and spent the rest of their lives here and are buried here, in the Smolensk Cathedral.
We'll then move on to the Tretyakov Gallery, where you'll have the perfect chance to get acquainted with the best samples of the Russian art. The Tretyakov Gallery reopened in 1995 after a nine-year renovation, and houses the world’s best collection of Russian icons, as well as a fantastic collection of other pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Enjoy a tour in the halls devoted to Russian icon painting, where you will learn the painting techniques of old masters and admire medieval masterpieces and listen to fascinating stories about them.
Summary of The Day: During the morning, we'll drive to Rostov Velikiy. It will take between 2-3 hours to reach this ancient town.
We'll tour the city and visit the Finifti Museum - a unique museum that houses a great collection of miniatures on enamel.
The Kremlin of Rostov Velikiy is a landmark of this city. The cathedral and four tall Kremlin churches with their silver "blind" domes were imitated throughout the city. This is particularly evident in the Savior-on-the-Market church and the cathedral church of the Nativity convent, both dating from the 17th century and situated near the Kremlin walls.
The oldest church within the town center was consecrated to St. Isidore the Blessed in 1565. They say that Ivan the Terrible had the architect executed, because his church was so much smaller than its predecessor.
We'll next travel to Yaroslavl. Upon arrival, you will be offered lunch at a hotel restaurant.
The most well-known building in the city is the 'Spaso-Preobrazhensky' ('Transfiguration of the Savior') Cathedral of the Spassky (St Savior) Monastery. This monastery was originally founded in the 12th century and thus it, and its cathedral, are the oldest buildings in the city. The Transfiguration Cathedral itself, built in 1516, is the oldest detached building standing in the city.
You will have the evening to yourself to relax at the hotel or you can explore the city on your own.
Summary of The Day: During the morning, you may have breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
You'll then be transferred to Kostroma, which will take between 1 and 1.5 hours.
The city was first recorded in the chronicles for the year 1213, but historians believe it could have been founded by Yuriy Dolgorukiy more than half a century earlier.
Built in 1559-1565, the five-domed Epiphany Cathedral was the first stone edifice in the city; its medieval frescoes perished during a fire several years ago. The Ipatyevsky Monastery remains mostly intact, with its 16th-century walls, towers, belfry, and the 17th-century cathedral.
During the afternoon, we'll travel to Suzdal.
Suzdal occupies a special place among the other Russian cities. It has hardly changed in the last two and a half centuries.
You will visit the Kremlin, the ancient trading rows and Krestovaya Palata. You'll see many large and small churches as well as listen to the bells' concert in Spaso-Efimievsky Monastery.
Once again, you'll have the evening at your leisure.
Summary of The Day: During the morning, you will have a chance to admire the sights of ancient Suzdal.
The Suzdal Kremlin is the oldest part of the Russian city of Suzdal dating from the 10th century. Like other Russian kremlins, it was originally a fortress or citadel and was the religious and administrative center of the city. It is most notably the site of the Cathedral of the Nativity.
Together with several structures in the neighboring city of Vladimir, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Afterwards, we'll visit the Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture.
We'll see the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, which was founded in the 14th century, and grew in importance in the 16th and 17th centuries after donations by Vasili III , Ivan V and the Pozharsky family.
During the afternoon, we'll stop in Vladimir.
Unique memorials such as Cathedral of Assumption and St. Demetrius Cathedral can be found here. Assumption Cathedral has preserved world famous frescoes of Andrei Rublev. You’ll see the famous Golden Gates (1158-1164) located close to the town center and visit one of the museums on your choice: The Old Vladimir Museum or Museum of Rock Crystal.
You will be transferred back to Moscow during the late afternoon - either to the airport or to the train station.
* Prices are per person on the basis of double occupancy.|
* Tour prices are based on EUR and are converted into USD. Prices will change day to day, due to the currency exchange rates. Tours booked and paid for will be charged at the current rate at which the tour price is shown. We will not refund any price differences, should prices drop for the tour. Tours will be subject to Cancellation Fees, should any changes be made for a reservation.
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