Sights & Attractions in Moscow Environs
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Moscow Environs Sights
With some exceptions, what you'll be traveling to see are churches and monasteries—the statement-making structures that princes, metropolitans, and merchants in old Russia built to display their largesse and power. And because most civil and residential buildings until the 18th century were constructed from wood, it turns out that these religious buildings, constructed of stone, have best survived the ravages of time, invading armies, and fire. Today, many are being returned to their original, ecclesiastical purposes, but most are still museums. In either instance, neglect and funding shortages have taken their toll on preservation and restoration efforts, and at times it can be difficult to imagine these historic monuments in their original glory.
A few of the attractions of the Moscow Environs section, such as the Abramtsevo Estate Museum and Sergiev-Posad, can be combined in one visit, but most of the sights of this region will require individual day trips. The towns of the Golden Ring lie on two main routes that most visitors travel as two separate excursions—north of Moscow to Sergiev-Posad, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov, and Yaroslavl; and east of Moscow to Vladimir and Suzdal.
The easiest way to get to the towns of the Golden Ring is by train. Trains going from Moscow's Yaroslavsky train station will take you to Yaroslavl and Rostov. Trains from Moscow's Kursk train station run to Vladimir several times a day, while trains for Nizhny Novgorod always stop in Vladimir. Unless you speak some Russian you might find it easier to ask a hotel concierge to check the train schedule for you; buying the tickets at a train station is hardly ever a problem even for foreigners.
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