Rostov the Great is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring. It is located 200 kilometers from Moscow along Yaroslavl highway. Apart from Rostov, the following cities are along Yaroslavl highway: Sergiyev Posad and Pereslavl-Zalessky (nearer Moscow than Rostov), as well as Yaroslavl and Kostroma (farther from Moscow).
The first records of Rostov the Great date back to 862. So, it is one of the oldest Russian cities. In 991 its inhabitants were baptized and one of the first episcopates was established there. Assumption cathedral was also laid down that year.
Before 13 century Rostov had a big political influence, but then it became a small provincial town of Yaroslavl province. However, Rostov preserved its religious influence up to 18 century. It had the greatest religious influence in the middle of 17 century, when Iona Sysoyevich was the metropolitan of Rostov. It was by his order that the Rostov Kremlin was built. Now it is the main and the most beautiful sight of the city.
The church specifics of Rostov the Great created an especially beautiful ensemble of the Kremlin. Unlike the Kremlins of Nizhniy Novgorod and Kazan, the Rostov Kremlin had few administrative buildings but many churches. In the period of its prosperity the lands of Rostov episcopate spread far beyond Yaroslavl province, up to Veliky Ustyug.
Besides the Kremlin, you should visit Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery (Savior Monastery of St. Jacob), as well as St. Abraham Monastery, which was established in 11 century. You may also have a boat ride on Lake Nero or stroll on the streets of Old Town.