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Our next Golden Ring city is Yaroslavl, founded by Vladimir the Great of Kiev (980 – 1015) to protect his realm’s Northeastern flank. Vladimir brought Christianity to his kingdom, baptized in return for permission to marry the Byzantine emperor’s sister. He was an early descendent of the Swedish Vikings who invaded in the 9th century, and were called the Rus – (reds) – after the color of their hair. Thus, Russia.
Today’s Yaroslavl boasts a city center of 17th to 19th century buildings constructed by wealthy merchants, each determined to outdo the other. Our first visit is to the art museum, formerly the governor’s palace. We’re treated to a charming dance performanceIMG_1321
The glory of Yaroslavl is its churches and the treasures they hold. Breathtaking icons, tier upon tier,IMG_1335 rising to the roof of the Church of Elijah the Prophet.
The Russian Orthodox Church does not allow musical instruments to be used in its services – only the human voice. Haunting. Who needs instruments? The last scene in this video shows a painting of the Romanovs, the Russian royal family killed during the revolution, now revered as saints and martyrs by the Russian church. img_1337