We’ve mentioned the Golden Ring of Russia at least a handful of times now and you might be wondering what exactly it is. No, it’s not just the name of the G Adventures tour we were on, though that would be a good guess! It’s actually a scattering of old Russian towns, about 10 to be exact, northeast of Moscow that are collectively known as the Golden Ring of Russia. The ring stretches up toward the Volga River and the towns are like open-air museums of glittering onion domes and medieval fortresses serving as stone chronicles of Russia’s history.
The Golden Ring of Russia is known for its astonishing number of churches, convents, and monasteries. Hermit monks followed the example set by St. Sergius after he set up a monastery at Sergiyev Posad in 1340. The monks, seeking salvation in nature, headed north from Mosocow and built more than 150 monasteries in just 100 years.
The Russian Orthodox Church was mostly abandoned during Soviet rule, though believers have returned to religion over the last 20 years and taken up a country-wide restoration. Some of the best examples and most picturesque villages in all of Russia lay along the Golden Ring. It’s also an area that has preserved many of the artistic traditions, like painting the lacquer boxes and making the Pavlovsky Posad wool scarves that Russia is so famous for.
Though we didn’t visit all of the towns of the Golden Ring of Russia, we got a good taste of what life is like outside of hustle and bustle of cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. We enjoyed the Russian countryside, listening to concerts of bells put on by the town bell-ringer, and indulged in many of the rich traditional Russian foods. We’ll tell you more about each of the cities and villages we visited along the Golden Ring, but for now enjoy a few pictures.
Our trip to Russia was sponsored in part by G Adventures. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.