The Suzdal Kremlin is different from the strong citadels of Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod or Rostov. However, it has its cultural value and is one of the main sights of the city.
The Suzdal Kremlin is the place at the bend of the river Kamenka where the city of Suzdal was founded in the 11 century. In that time the Kamenka river was navigable and Suzdal rather quickly developed. The prince`s and bishop`s courts were within the Suzdal Kremlin. For several centuries the Suzdal Kremlin was surrounded by the wooden walls. And after a fire in the 18 century it was decided to not restore them again as there was no need in such defense fortifications.
To our days there survived the earth ramparts marking the outlines of the former walls. The moats were filled but the main gems of the Suzdal Kremlin – the Nativity (of Our Lady) Cathedral and the Bishop`s Chambers – remained intact.
The first small cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady was built in the 12 century. However, already in the next century it was dismantled and a new big cathedral was laid down. The cathedral was more than once rebuilt in the following centuries. And though it retained many architectural features of the original cathedral (13 century) the today cathedral was mainly built and painted in the 16 century.
You can visit the cathedral both a church and a museum. It has a very beautiful iconostasis. In some places at the foundation of the cathedral there remained the paintings of the 13 century. The cathedral has the necropolis of the Shuyskiy and Dolgorukiy princes.
A beautiful white building is near the cathedral. It is the Archbishop Palace. It was there that the court of the bishop or metropolitan of Suzdal was located. The ensemble of religious and residential buildings was constructed during 15-18 centuries. The Archbishop Palace and the Nativity Cathedral have common architectural features.
Today the Archbishop Palace is a museum. The museum has many curious exhibits. You should pay a special attention to the Cross Chamber, which was the place of the official receptions of the metropolitan of Suzdal. It has an area of about 340 m2, which is uncommon for the religious buildings of that period.
Not far from the Nativity Cathedral there is a beautiful wooden St. Nicholas Church, brought to Suzdal from the village of Glotovo Yuriev-Polsky district. It was built in 1766. The temple is raised on the basement and surrounded by galleries. The Church is a beautiful example of wooden architecture, when wooden churches were built without the use of iron nails.