When I took on the blog full-time in September of 2018, I let my series about visiting Russia in September of 2017 fall by the wayside. I was overwhelmed at the time, and it was more than I could handle. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve been meaning to get back to the series and finish what I started. There is still a lot of Russia left to see and I hope you’ll travel along the route with me to have a look at some of the incredible sights. Viking runs their Russian cruises in both directions. I think Jane and I were lucky to go from Moscow to St. Petersburg instead of the other direction because St. Petersburg is gorgeous. It’s much prettier than Moscow for some very good reasons that I’ll explain when we get there. If we’d gone in the other direction we might have found Moscow lacking. Today, I’m going to go backwards a bit and show you the map of our voyage. I’ll be posting a more detailed map with each segment that we traverse, but this is a good overview of where we’re going.
So far, we’ve left the Moscow Canal and are on our way to Uglich via the Volga River.
Uglich is one of Russia’s Golden Ring cities. What is a Golden Ring City?
The Golden Ring of Russia (Russian: Золото́е кольцо́ Росси́и) is a vast area in which old Russian cities are located in a ring-like arrangement and a well-known theme-route. The cities are located northeast of Moscow and were the north-eastern part of the ancient Rus’. The Golden Ring of Russia formerly comprised the region known as Zalesye. The idea of the route and the term were created in 1967 by Soviet historian and essayist Yuri Bychkov, who published in the newspaper Sovetskaya Kultura in November–December 1967 a series of essays on the cities under the heading “Golden Ring”. Bychkov was one of the founders of the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Monuments of History and Culture (Vserossiiskoe obshchestvo okhrany pamiatnikov istorii i kul’tury; VOOPIK).
These ancient towns, which also played a significant role in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church, preserve the memory of the most important and significant events in Russian history. The towns have been called “open-air museums” and feature unique monuments of Russian architecture of the 12th–18th centuries, including kremlins, monasteries, cathedrals, and churches. These towns are among the most picturesque in Russia and prominently feature Russia’s onion domes. – Wikipedia
Why “Ring?” According to the ship’s Viking Daily paper, the Muscovites were obsessed with Rings and when Soviet tourist bosses were looking for new attractions that were accessible from Moscow they drew a loop beginning and ending in Moscow, and called it the Golden Ring.
Ueglich is the first of the Golden Ring cities that we’ll be visiting, and when next we meet on the Viking river ship Ingvar we’ll take a walking tour around the place. In the meantime, if you’d like to reacquaint yourself with the tour to date here is the link to the previous post – Sailing into Uglich. I’ve gone back and added links to each previous post so that you can find your way back to the beginning.
Marcus Ranum says
Back when St Petersburg was Leningrad there were amazing feats of courage and resistance. And cold weather. Does the city still show signs of the war or is it all repaired now?
I mention this because you describe it as beautiful and I see something very different. But your memories are real! That must have been a great trip!
Marcus -- I hear Western Russia is full of war-related monuments and museums. That probably includes a few building ruins and foxholes that have been preserved, but I’d assume overall the city has been rebuilt more than once in the last 75 years.
Marcus Ranum says
Europe is a war museum.
This is the podcast I was remembering; it made me cry: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csvtvv