The Historic Town of Suzdal

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View of Suzdal’ from the Kamenka River
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. View of Suzdal’ from the Kamenka River, 1912. Digital color rendering. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsc-04449 (58)

“View of Suzdal’ from the Kamenka River” is a photo of the town of Suzdal taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii in 1912. I was drawn to this photo not only because of it’s coloring, but the town itself looks like a place I would like to visit one day. Funny enough after googling Suzdal I discovered one of their main tourist attractions is the Cathedral of the Nativity, which if I am not mistaken is the cathedral on the cover of our textbook. Seeing this made me wonder more about this town.

Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Suzdal, Russia      1         51sBcVm4wdL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Suzdal is east of Moscow and located on the Kamenka River as seen in the photograph. It is one of the oldest towns in Russia (1024) and was actually the capital of the principality in the 12th century, Moscow being one of its subordinates as it was not a very developed city yet. Over the centuries they had a pretty large decline in political importance, a lot of it having to do with the capitol being moved (Vladimir). In the 1860s merchants were attempting to get the Trans-Siberian Railway to be built through Suzdal. Unfortunately their plan failed and the railroad was built in the new capitol 20+ miles away. Today Suzdal is not the politically powerful city it was in the 1100s. It’s now one of the smallest towns in Russia with a population of less than 10,000, with its largest industry being tourism.



Regardless of how much this town had changed from the beginning, it seems to be an incredibly historic town that I definitely would like to see someday.

Source and Image Information:

This post earned a “comrades’ corner” award from the editorial team!


8 thoughts on “The Historic Town of Suzdal

  1. Good job noticing the picture on the cover of the book being the same as the church, I would have never noticed that. Interesting facts about the town, especially how it used to be more important then Moscow. For some reason, I had (rather naively) assumed Moscow had always been a large and important city for Russia. Your post points out how cities and their importance can change over time, often times in ways it can be hard to imagine.


    1. I hope you do get to visit Suzdal someday. It is a beautiful and even enchanted place. The onion domes on the cover of our book are similar to those of the Cathedral of the Nativity, but I don’t think it’s the same church. The one on our book has a gold dome among the blue. I think it is in Sergiev Posad (Zagorsk), outside Moscow.


  2. That was a very intriguing post. When I first read this post, I immediately started thinking of Constantine moving the capital to Constantinople. Was the being built to go through Suzdal solely because of the fact that it was a good distance from the capitol or where there other known factors as to why the plan failed? It makes sense as to why the train would need to run through the capitol, however. I wonder if this town is still primarily motivated on rural aspects or if this area has industrialized over the years as towns tend to do over time. Great job on showing how the purpose of cities could change throughout the years.


  3. Great post! I found it interesting that you mentioned how Suzdel is now one of the smallest towns in Russia because I think many people focus on the grandeur of Russia as a whole. In my post, one of the major things I focused on was the size of Russia and how it’s large area and population contributed to the struggle the industrial industry had in expanding and advancing. Looking more in depth into a smaller aspect of Russia, in your case, this town, gives readers the opportunity to see and learn something that maybe would not have been brought up otherwise.


  4. I really enjoyed your post! I also found it interesting how Suzdal was once the capital of Russia, since I naively thought Moscow had always been the capital. I’m curious as to what led to the decline of Suzdal? It seems as though many people worked hard to keep it economically and politically viable, but were ultimately unsuccessful. I definitely plan on looking that up!


  5. I can tell you put in a lot of effort into this this post. Your connection of the Suzdal, Cathedral of the Nativity on google and then on the front cover of our textbook was a great observation. Very interesting that Suzdal is now one of the smallest towns within Russia, when it was once so politically driven!


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