Consisting of a circuit of historic cities northeast of Moscow,
the Golden Ring (sometimes called the Golden Circle), is a popular
tourist route for holidays in Russia. The cities are popular for
their distinctive architecture (recognizable for the
uniquely-Russian onion-shaped domes and colourful ornamentation),
and their tradition of handmade craftsmanship, offering tourists a
good opportunity to buy beautiful Russian souvenirs.
The official list of towns in the Golden Ring include Ivanovo,
Kostroma, Pereslavl Zalessky, Rostov Veliky, Sergiev Posad, Suzdal,
Vladimir, and Yaroslavl. They are all spaced close enough to each
other (and to Moscow and St Petersburg) to reach on horseback
within 24 hours, making them ideal for a driving tour. The cities
are fairly similar, so it is not necessary to visit them all, and
most travelers see only four to six.
One city that should not be missed, however, is Sergiev Posad,
the centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and home to the