Golden Gate in Vladimir is a unique example of Russian military architecture of the 12th century. It was erected in 1164 as a part of the defensive wall encircling the ancient Vladimir. The gate was crowned with the tiny Church of the Deposition of the Robe. Along with the Golden Gate there was several other gates, but the Golden Gates were the main entrance to the city.
The gate was seriously damaged when the Mongols seized the town in 1238 and later, at the beginning of the 17th century, it was again damaged during the Polish invasion. The Golden Gate was repaired at the end of the 17 century when the most of town’s fortifications were being restored. During the reconstructions the earth ramparts adjoined the gate on either side were removed.
The Golden Gate in Vladimir served as the main entrance to the ancient city leading from the Kiev road into the Vladimir’s main street and the residence of princes. Russian rulers, foreign ambassadors and warriors returned from military campaigns used to enter the city through this gate.
Nowadays, the gate no longer marks the entrance to Vladimir, but rather its center, as well as it no longer fulfills the role of the fortification. Today, the gate church houses the museum dedicated to the military history of Vladimir.
The Golden Gate in Vladimir is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage monument.
The Golden Gate offers a nice view over the city. The museum has a remarkable diorama; don’t hesitate to ask the museum staff to switch it on.