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Bogolyubovo (Боголюбово)

Image of Bogolyubovo

 

 

Location: 10 km (6 mi) Northeast of Vladimir, Vladimir Oblast   Map

 

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Transportation

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

Description of Bogolyubovo

Bogolyubovo is located 10 km (6 mi) Northeast of Vladimir in Vladimir Oblast in Russia. Its name means "God- loving" in Russian. It was found in the 12th century by Russian Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky on the hilly ridge along the old riverbed of Klyazma river. Bogolyubovo was designed as a royal suburb of Vladimir. Some of the best known religious complexes are found here including a Bogolyubovo Monastery and a Church of the Intercession on the Nerli. After Russian Revolution in 1917 many of the monasteries and churches were closed, others destroyed. Only after collapse of Soviet Union, the revival of Orthodox structure gained any money from a government. Reconstruction makes up for decades of neglect.

 

 

Geography
Bogolyubovo sits on the high bank of river Nerl, several kilometers away from its confluence with the Klyazma. The Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod railway line passes at the foot of the hill, south from the village. Behind the railway line, there is a water-meadow with the church of the Intercession on the Nerl. The old road from Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod goes through the village, parallel to the railway. Within Bogolyubovo, this road is called улица Ленина (ulitsa Lenina).

 

 

History of Bogolyubovo

Bogolyubovo was found between 1158 and 1165 as an official residence of medieval prince Andrei Bogolyubsky ("beloved by God" in Russian). The place was found on a picturesque confluence of Nerl River and Klyazma River. Local legend claim that Andrey Bogolyubsky found Bogolyubovo on a site where he had a spiritual vision in his sleep of Virgin Mary Theotokos ("God bearing" in Greek). She ordered him to construct a church and a convent. Prince Andrei spent living 17 years in Bogolyubovo until he was assassinated in 1174.

 

Shortly thereafter Bogolyubovo was besieged and captured by troops of Prince Gleb of Ryazan in 1177. In February 1238 during Mongol invasion the city was captured again by Mongol troops. They destroyed its military fortifications. Today only remains of earth mounds and ruins of white stone walls and towers remain. From that point on Bogolyubovo lost its political and military role in medieval Russia. Instead it became the center of religious and spiritual life. City monasteries grew in size and splendour. After Russian Revolution of 1917 atheist fanatics closed all monasteries and most of the churches. Only in 1992 all temples were re- opened and returned to Russian Orthodox Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Destinations in Bogolyubovo

Bogolyubovo has few sights, but most of them are essential and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List

Church of the Intercession on the Nerli

Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. This is probably the most harmonious and complete church in Russian architecture. Both the shape, the exterior decoration, and the location are perfect. The church stands in the field, on a small hill near the Nerl river, close to its confluence with the Klyazma. One has to approach the church by foot that makes the journey something like a pilgrimage. The way is very picturesque, since you can see the church in front of you and the Bogolyubovo convent behind you. In the spring, high water cuts the church off and provides a breathtaking view. To get to the church, cross the railway tracks near the Bogolyubovo train station and head south. You will find a unique, stone-paved road through the meadow, and you will likely see the church as soon as you pass through a narrow line of trees between the railway and the meadow. It takes about 15 minutes to walk (driving to the church is impossible). In the daytime, one can enter the church, but the interior is quite average and inferior to the exterior.

Bogolyubovo Monastery (Боголюбский монастырь)

Bogolyubovo convent: the convent is located in the Bogolybovo village, right on the main road. Although the convent was founded in 13th century, most of its buildings are more recent. The major reconstruction took place in 19th century and provided the present baroque–to–russian-revival style of the site. The only significant monument is the remaining part of the Prince's palace of Andrey Bogolyubsky – the so-called Staircase Tower (Лестничная башня) and the adjoining gallery from 12th century, both are now incorporated into the Church of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin (built in 18th century). You will easily recognize the old fragments due to their unusual appearance that strongly contrasts to the other buildings. These fragments are believed to trace back to 12th century and are considered as the only monument of ancient secular (and civilian) architecture in Russia. The decoration of the walls is relief and rather resembles that of St. Demetrius Cathedral in Vladimir. The church houses a small museum that shows archeological findings and a reconstruction of the ancient town of Bogolyubovo. Apart from the ancient fragments, you will find a number of more recent and bright buildings, including the Cathedral of the Bogolyubovo icon of Our Lady (1855–65, russian-revival style, the most impressive and visible building of the convent) and the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady (over the gate, built in 1841).

Cathedral of Our Lady of Bogolyubovo Monastery

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Church of Joachim and Anna (Церковь Святого Иоакима и Анны)

Church of St. Jehoiakim and St. Anna (ул. Ленина, 48) – a regular church built in the middle of 19th cenutry in classicism style. During the Soviet period, the church was partly ruined, but now it is renovated.

 

 

 


 

Transportation

Get in
The way to Bogolyubovo normally starts from Vladimir. Then you have several options:

By train
Local trains in the direction of Nizhny Novgorod (towards Kovrov, Vyazniki, or Gorokhovets). The trains run 8 times per day, and the schedule is rather inconvenient (there is a gap between 08:30 and 15:30). Generally, it is advisable to take a bus.

By bus
Bogolyubovo is connected with Vladimir by bus routes 3c, 18c, 53, 102 and 152, served by BigAvtoTrans. In Vladimir, you can find these buses on any bus stop in the historical center, e.g., near the Golden Gate or on the Cathedral square: just ask for the buses serving Bogolyubovo. Take off the bus as soon as you see a huge convent on your right-hand side. The road to the right, after the convent, goes down to the railway station.

By car
From Vladimir, head east towards Nizhny Novgorod. Bogolyubovo should be the first settlement on your way (before the old road joins the M7 highway). In Bogolyubovo, the parking space is rather limited. You can leave the car near the convent (for free) or turn right after the convent and use the toll parking near the railway station.

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

There are no commercial accommodations. However, it is usually possible to spend the night in the convent. You will not have to pay, but you will have to work for the convent instead (note that this option is relevant for Russian-speaking travellers only, others are unlikely to get to the convent at all). Most travellers stay in Vladimir that is only half an hour away and offers numerous hotels of different comfort and price.

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

In Bogolyubovo, you can find two roadside cafes only. More satisfying food is readily available in Vladimir.

Picnic (Кафе), ул. Ленина, 14а.
Pleasure (Кафе), ул. Ленина, 52.

Drink
If you want to have a drink, you can join locals buying alcohol in one of the round-the-clock shops. However, this is not recommended. The choice of bars and nightclubs is available in Vladimir.

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips

Buy
There are grocery stores along Lenina street (ulitsa Lenina) where you can buy food and a minimum of household goods. For better choice, you have to go to Vladimir. During the summer, souvenirs are sold along the road to the Church of the Intercession.

Stay safe
Despite its great history and tourist importance, Bogolyubovo is a rather unpleasant place with respect to the safety. In general, it is not recommended to stay there during the night (in fact, there is nothing to do in the evening anyway). In the daytime, Bogolybovo is visited by numerous tourist groups and should be quite safe. The only problem may come from the beggars who are very annoying and sometimes even aggressive. If you do not plan to support these people, do not hesitate to send them off.

 

 

 

 

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