Kleshchin, the remains of the ancient Slavic gorodishche, is on the northwestern side of Lake Pleshcheevo beyond the Nikitsky Monastery. The Blue stone, the sacred thing of the ancient Slavic tribes, is at the foot of this gorodishche on the shore of Lake Pleshcheevo.
Kleshchin is on Alexandrovskaya hill earlier called the Jarilo’s bald spot, in honor of the god Jarilo the Merya tribe worshiped to. The name «Kleshchin» was first mentioned in «The Tale of Bygone Years» as the place where the Merya (the ancient Finno-Ugrian tribe) lived until it was ousted by the Slavic tribes.
According to archaeological excavations, the wooden fortifications of the 11 century, including walls and watchtowers, were quite strong. In the 12 century Grand Duke Yuri the Long-Armed moved the town onto the southern side of Lake Pleshcheevo, to the place where the river Trubezh falls into the lake, and called it Pereslavl. Now there remained only the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ on the site of the residence of Yuri the Long-Armed.
The Jarilo’s bald spot was renamed Alexandrovskaya hill only in the 16 century when the Monastery of Prince Alexander Nevsky was founded there. The church and the residence of Alexander Nevsky were built on the hill, but they were always either ruined or burnt. There remained nothing of the monastery and the other buildings on the hill.
From the top of Alexandrovskaya hill one can have a wonderful view of Lake Pleshcheevo and the Nikitsky Monastery. Although the Christianity was adopted in Russia over a thousand years ago, pagan-like folk festivities were held on the top of the hill up to the 20 century.