Suzdal District

The Suzdal district is located in the north of the Vladimir region. Most of the region’s territory is located within the Vladimir Opolye, which contributes to the development of agriculture in the region. The population of the Suzdal region is 43,117 people (2018). The administrative center of the district is Suzdal with a population of  9,618 people (2018). The district was formed on April 10, 1929 as part of the Vladimir district of the Ivanovo Industrial Region. Since August 14, 1944, the Suzdal region is part of the newly formed Vladimir region. In November 2004, it was given the status of a municipal district.

Suzdal is included in the list of historical settlements of Russia, approved by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation in 2010. It is actually a museum city, included in the Golden Ring of Russia. In 2024, the 1000th anniversary of Suzdal will be celebrated. For the first time the city is mentioned in chronicles in 1024. At the turn of the 11th-12th centuries, Vladimir Monomakh rebuilt the Suzdal fortress (Kremlin) to protect against enemy raids. Under Yury Dolgoruky, Suzdal became the capital of the Rostov-Suzdal principality. Andrey Bogolyubsky moved the capital from Suzdal to Vladimir, but founded his suburban residence in Bogolyubovo (now the Suzdal district), where he was killed by the conspirators in 1174.

Suzdal land is notable for the presence of numerous mounds dated to the 11th-12th centuries, in which Scandinavian jewelry was found, probably belonged to the Varangians who had been invited by the princes for military service. This is a unique historical material about the Scandinavians in the Slavic environment.

Following Vladimir, Suzdal was looted and burned during the Mongol invasion  in February 1238.

Since the end of the 15th century, Suzdal fell under the power of Moscow. The largest monasteries of the city have turned into places of exile for representatives of the old princely and boyar families who made rich contributions and donations. In 1778, Suzdal received the status of a county town. Stone construction continued in accordance with the master plan. Gradually, Suzdal acquired the form familiar to us today.

Residents of the city were mainly engaged in vegetable gardening, garden tillage and artistic crafts (minting silver, icon painting, wood carving, patterned weaving). By the beginning of the 20th century there was practically no industrial production in Suzdal – only two tannery and one bell semi-handicraft plants.

In the middle of the 20th century, Suzdal began to develop as a tourist center. Enormous funds were allocated for the creation of tourist infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc.) outside the old part of Suzdal, the restoration of monuments and the improvement of the city. In Suzdal and Bogolyubovo there are unique monuments of white-stone architecture of the 12th century – Nativity Cathedral, Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, Staircase tower of the residence of A. Bogolyubsky in Bogolyubov-town, – included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.

The basis of economic activity in Suzdal today is made up of industries focused on the reception and service of tourists. Since 2003, the family factory "Dymov Ceramics" has been operating in Suzdal, producing various souvenir and household products from black-glazed ceramics and earthenware. Suzdal pottery traditions are carefully preserved in the company, master classes for tourists are held here.

The "Vladimir patterns" factory, which produces wooden art products, using the unique technique of wood painting, moved to Suzdal from Vladimir in 2007. Also in the city is the Suzdal Mead Factory, which produces various types of mead.

The areas of decorative and applied art and crafts, developing in the Suzdal district, are pottery, making clay toys, painting on wood, weaving, gold embroidery, embroidery, patchwork, making folk dolls, straw weaving, etc. The main organizations developing and promoting folk art, are Suzdal Center of Folk Art, Inter-settlement methodological cultural and leisure center of Bogolyubovo, rural houses of culture of the district. Creative groups working  in the cultural institutions of the region,  are the Municipal Folk Song Ensemble "Radunitsa" (Inter-settlement methodological cultural and leisure center of the village of Novoe, Suzdal District), the Exemplary Children's Folk Group "Traven" (House of Culture of Bogolyubovo) and others.

Crafts and trades
Making of white clay products coated with colored contrast glaze.
Clay toy
Based on the study of materials about the ancient craft, factory masters were able to create a unique style of modern clay toys.
Blacksmith craft
Today, blacksmithing craftsmen are rare. But nevertheless, forges that are engaged in manual forging are preserved.
Wood carving
Argunovo carving. Morden masters of wood carving.
Birch-bark wares
Since ancient times, the manufacture of birch bark products was an important folk craft in Russia, where birch was one of the common tree species.
Wood painting
Vladimir patterns is an original painting, when the paint is applied not with a brush, but with a foam rubber swab or just an artist’s finger, forming a light cloud.
Embroidery in the technique of " white satin-stitch ", "Vladimir seam".
Scrappy sewing
Today, craftswomen collect from rags and fashionable clothes, and rag dolls, and even paintings.
Russian folk costume
Women's folk costume of the Vladimir province was modest, practical chintz fabrics dominated.
Weaving of withy
In Vladimir land withy was an available material: willow thickets were abundant on the banks of the Klyazma, the Oka, etc.
Ceremonial dolls