Pereslavl-Zalessky, Russia

According to, Pereslavl-Zalessky is located in the Yaroslavl region, 140 km northeast of Moscow, near the picturesque Lake Pleshcheyevo, the territory of which is a national park.

Pereslavl-Zalessky was founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky. He chose this place not by chance, it was located at the crossroads of trade routes. In 1220, Alexander Nevsky was born in the city. At the end of the 13th century, the son of Alexander Nevsky – Dmitry Alexandrovich Pereyaslavsky – made the city his residence, although he was the Grand Duke of Vladimir. That is, in fact, the capital of the principality for some time moved to Pereslavl-Zalessky. In 1302 the city joined the Moscow principality. In the 14th-15th centuries it was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars. During the reign of Ivan the Terrible, Pereslavl-Zaleski became a stronghold of the oprichnina, the tsar considered it as a strategic point, and ordered the construction of the Nikitsky Monastery here, which was a fortress. Despite its fortifications, the city was destroyed by the Lithuanians in the 17th century. The second birth of Pereslavl-Zalessky took place under Peter I. At that time, a “amusing” training flotilla was built on Lake Pleshcheyevo, which laid the foundation for the Russian fleet. Thanks to the flotilla, the best craftsmen began to come to the city – carpenters, blacksmiths, lumberjacks and carvers. They began to teach local people crafts. From 1688 to 1693, about 100 ships were launched in Pereslavl-Zalessky. Today Pereslavl-Zalessky, thanks to its history and architecture, has become one of the most popular cities of the Golden Ring.

In the historical part of Pereslavl-Zalessky, which, like in Moscow, is called Red Square, a part of the defensive rampart has been preserved, inside which monasteries and fortresses were built in ancient times. Now here you can see the oldest building of the masters of the Vladimir-Suzdal school – the Transfiguration Cathedral. It was founded under Yuri Dolgoruky and completed under his son Andrei Bogolyubsky in 1157. Alexander Nevsky was baptized here and his son and grandson, princes Dmitry Alexandrovich and Ivan Dmitrievich, were buried. Today, the single-dome temple has thick walls, which are made up of two rows of limestone blocks. Almost all elements of the interior decoration of the cathedral have been lost, the remains of frescoes of the 12th century are stored in the Historical Museum in Moscow, and valuable icons of the 18th century are in the Pereslavl Museum of History and Art. A monument to Alexander Nevsky was erected opposite the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral. Residents of the city, both in ancient times and now, remember and honor the great commander, who was born in Pereslavl-Zalessky.

On the southern shore of Lake Pleshcheyevo is interesting Goritsky Assumption Monastery. It was built at the beginning of the 14th century under Ivan Kalita. The final version of the ensemble of the monastery, which has survived to this day, took shape in the 17-18 centuries. The main temple of the monastery is the five-domed Assumption Cathedral. Inside, it is decorated with wall paintings, white stucco, panels and sculptures. The main attraction of the Assumption Cathedral is a gilded multi-tiered iconostasis, which was made in 1759 by Moscow carvers. Within the monastery of the Goritsky Assumption Monastery there are the Holy Gates with the gate of St. Nicholas Church (17th century), the Church of All Saints, the Theological School, a bell tower (end of the 18th century), a belfry, a refectory chamber and two wooden chapels, which were brought in the 19th century from the nearby villages of Starovo and Foninsky. Now within the walls of the monastery is located Pereslavl History and Art Museum. The museum presents about 10,000 exhibits, including books, letters, icons and paintings.

Not far from the Goritsky Monastery is the Trinity Danilov Monastery. The monastery was founded in 1508 by the future godfather of Ivan the Terrible, monk Daniel. Of greatest interest here are the Trinity Cathedral and the refectory chamber with the Church of Praise. Trinity Cathedral was built in 1532. In 1662-1668 its walls were painted by Kostroma masters Gury Nikitin and Sila Savin. The image of the Savior on the dome at the head of the temple is very beautiful.

At the entrance to the city from Moscow stands the Fedorovsky Monastery. It was founded in memory of the battle in 1304 between the troops of Prince Yuri Danilovich of Moscow and Prince Mikhail Yaroslavovich of Tver, which took place on the day of Fyodor Stratilat. The oldest building of the monastery is the Fedorovsky Cathedral. According to legend, it was erected in 1557 not far from the place where the son of Ivan the Terrible, Fedor, was born. In the 17th century, the Fedorovsky Monastery became a convent for women. Nikolsky Monastery is located between the city and Pleshcheevo Lake.. It was founded by Saint Dmitry of Prilutsky in 1348. At the end of the 17th century, the Korsun cross was brought to the St. Nicholas Monastery. According to legend, Prince Vladimir brought only 10 such crosses from Chersonesus, which contained particles of the relics of saints. Now the Korsun cross is stored in the Pereslavl Museum of History and Art. The oldest temples of the monastery are the gate Peter and Paul Church and the refectory Church of the Annunciation, which were built in the 18th century.

A little north of Pereslavl-Zalessky, on the shores of Lake Pleshcheyevo, stands the Nikitsky Monastery.. This is the oldest monastery in the city, historians believe that it appeared at the beginning of the 12th century, even before the foundation of the city itself, however, only the fact that it existed before 1186 was documented. The Nikitsky Cathedral of the monastery is the largest temple of the 16th century. It was built under Ivan the Terrible in 1564. The fame of the cathedral was brought by the Pereslavl miracle worker Nikita Stylite who served here. For his ascetic life, he was canonized as a saint, and his relics are still kept in the chapel of the Nikitsky Cathedral. In the Nikitsky Monastery there is also a healing spring of St. Nikita. Museum-estate “Botik” is interesting 3 km south of the city., which is dedicated to the history of the organization of the “amusing” flotilla of Peter I. One of the surviving Peter’s boats – “Fortuna” is stored here. It is also worth going to the village of Talitsy, where the Pereslavl Railway Museum is located. It presents samples of narrow-gauge railway equipment. Lake Pleshcheyevo¬†itselfalso interesting. This is a glacial lake that is over 30,000 years old. Its area is about 51 sq. km, depth – 25 m. At the end of the 17th century, the “amusing” training flotilla of Peter I was built on the shores of the lake. Now this is a popular place for fishing and, more recently, kite surfing and snowkiting. The lake and its surroundings are part of the Pleshcheyevo Lake National Park. The park was founded in 1988 to protect the biodiversity of this region. There are 16 species of fish in Lake Pleshcheyevo, among them the European vendace.

The park contains the archaeological site of the Kleshchinsky complex. The ancient city of Kleshchin was once located here, from which only the bulk ramparts of the 12th century and the object of worship of the pagans, the Blue Stone, have survived to this day.. This is a huge stone, weighing about 12 tons. It got its name due to the fact that after rain its gray surface turns dark blue. After the adoption of Christianity, the locals did not change their attitude towards the stone, it remained a sacred place. Today, the Blue Stone, for unclear geological reasons, goes into the ground.

Pereslavl-Zalessky, Russia

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