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(vlədyē`mĭr), city (1989 pop. 350,000), capital of Vladimir region, W central European Russia, on the Klyazma River. A rail junction, it has industries producing machinery, chemicals, cotton textiles, and plastics. Tourism is also important. Founded in the early 12th cent. by Vladimir II of Kiev, it was (c.1157–1238) the capital of the grand duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal, which became the chief principality after the breakup of Kievan Rus. Vladimir was destroyed (1238) by the Mongols under Batu Khan, who killed the grand duke in battle. The dukes of Moscow emerged as the most powerful Russian princes, and in 1364 they acquired Vladimir; they assumed the title of grand dukes and for a time afterward had themselves crowned there. The city's landmarks include the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral (1158–61) with a museum of religious art and tombs of the early princes of Vladimir; the Demetrius Cathedral (1193–97); the Golden Gate, a city gate erected in 1164; and several monasteries built (12th–13th cent.) of white stone in the Vladimir-Suzdal style (see Russian art and architectureRussian art and architecture,
the artistic and architectural production of the geographical area of Russia. Early Christian Works

With the Christianization of Russia in the late 10th cent.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, RSFSR. Located in the central part of the Eastern European Plain on the left bank of the Kliazma River. Highway and railroad junction 190 km northeast of Moscow; connections to Moscow, Gorky, and Riazan’. Population, 234,000 (1970; 40,000 in 1926; 67,000 in 1939; 154,000 in 1959).

Vladimir was founded in 1108 by Prince Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh for the defense of Rostov-Suzdal’ Rus’ on the southeast. Shortly afterward, an important commercial and artisan settlement grew up near the fortress. In the middle of the 12th century Vladimir was a patrimonial possession of Prince Andrei Bogoliubskii, who transferred the capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal’ principality to it in 1157 and tried to make it the center of Rus’. During his reign and following it the territory of Vladimir expanded. The Vladimir-Suzdal’ school of painting arose in Vladimir and in neighboring Suzdal’ and chronicles were written in Vladimir. The economic and political influence of Vladimir was undermined in 1238 by the destructive invasions of the Mongol Tatars and their subsequent raids. In 1299, Vladimir became the residence of the Russian metropolitans; this strengthened its political importance within the Russian territories for a short time. In the 14th century Vladimir ceded its role as the all-Russian political center to Moscow. In 1719, Vladimir became administrative center of a province, in 1778 of a vicegerency, and in 17% of a larger province. The Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod railroad, which was built in 1858-62, passed through Vladimir. Before the Great October Revolution, the residents of Vladimir were officials and burghers and there was hardly any industry. Between 1838 and 1840, A. I. Herzen served his exile in Vladimir. The famous road for exiles, called the Vladimirka, passed through Vladimir. In 1880 a revolutionary youth group was formed there under the leadership of the Narodnik (Populist) writer N. N. Zlatovratskii, and in 1892, N. E. Fedoseev founded a Marxist group. In September 1893, V. I. Lenin came to Vladimir for a meeting with Fedoseev, and in April 1905 an okrug committee of the RSDLP was formed there. Soviet power was established in Vladimir on Oct. 25 (Nov. 7), 1917.

In the period of socialist construction Vladimir became a big industrial center. The major branch of industry is machine building—the Vladimir Tractor Plant, the Automatic Instrument Plant, the Electric Instrument Plant, and an electric engine plant are in the city. The chemical industry is also developing, with the production of synthetic tars, plastics, and products made from them. Other industries are the building-materials, clothing and knitted-goods, and food industries. There is a thermal power plant in the city. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of Jan. 28, 1971, Vladimir was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.

The city has architectural monuments of the Vladimir-Suzdal’ school. The fortified Golden Gate (1158-64, restored in the 17th and 18th centuries) consists of a white stone triumphal arch with a semicircular dome of tufa and above it a church (restored in 1469 by V. D. Ermolin; rebuilt in 1810). Other examples of this school are the white stone cathedrals, such as the Uspenskii Cathedral and the Cathedral of St. Dmitrii. The interior of the Uspenskii Cathedral (1158-60, restored 1185-89; a six-column, five-aisle, three-apse temple with five domes) has fragments of frescoes from the 12th and 13th centuries and frescoes from 1408 by Rublev and Daniil Chernyi in its interior; a bell tower was added to the cathedral in 1810 and the Georgii Chapel was built in 1862. The Cathedral of St. Dmitrii (1194-97) has four columns and one dome and has elaborate carved decorations on the facade. Some white stone churches from the 17th and 18th centuries are the Uspeniia Bogoroditsy Church (1649) the Nikola v Galeiakh Church (1732-35; Naryshkin style), and the Nikita Church (1762-65, in the baroque style). After 1781, Vladimir had been built up according to a regular plan with buildings in the classical style (such as administrative buildings, 1785, and marketplaces, 1787-90). During the period of Soviet power there has been construction on a large scale—residential quarters, new streets, squares, and public gardens have been built according to a general plan of reconstruction (1947 and 1965), and a monument in honor of the 850th anniversary of Vladimir was unveiled (1960, sculptor D. B. Riabichev, architect A. N. Dushkin).

Vladimir has a polytechnical institute, a pedagogical institute, a branch of an all-union correspondence finance and economics institute, and seven specialized secondary educational institutions—technicums of machine building, chemical machine building, construction, and agriculture. It also has a drama theater, a puppet theater, and the Vladimir-Suzdal’ Preserve Museum of History, Art, and Architecture.

Vladimir is the birthplace of Admiral M. P. Lazarev, the composer S. I. Taneev, the physicist A. G. Stoletov, and his brother, General N. G. Stoletov, who is the hero of the Shipka defense. The village of Orekhovo (now Sobinka Raion), which is near the city, is the birthplace of N. E. Zhukovskii, a Russian scientist and the founder of modern hydromechanics and aeromechanics.


Gorod Vladimir (1108-1958): Istoriko-ekonomicheskii ocherk. Vladmir, 1958. (Contains a bibliography.)
Ocherki istorii Vladimirskoi organizatsii KPSS. [Iaroslavl’] 1967.
Voronin, N. N. Vladimir, Bogoliubovo, Suzdal’, lur’ev-Pol’skoi: Moscow, 1967, Vladimir, Suzdal’. Moscow, 1967. (Photograph collection.)




a frigate of the Black Sea Fleet, propelled by a steam-driven paddle wheel. Built in 1848, it had a speed of about 12 knots (22 km/hr) and was equipped with the following armament: four 68-pound bomb guns, three 68-pound and two 150-mm guns, and four carronades. On Nov. 5, 1853, during the Crimean War (1853-56), the Vladimir, under the command of Lieutenant Commander G. I. Butakov, met the Turkish steam warship Pervaz-Bakhri near the Bosporus; after a three-hour battle the Turkish ship, severely damaged and with one-third of its crew lost, surrendered. This was the first battle of steamships in history. During the defense of Sevastopol’ the Vladimir lent fire support to the defenders of the fortress and transported troops. On the night of Aug. 31, 1855, it was scuttled by its crew at the Northern Side of Sevastopol’ Bay.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Saint, called the Great. ?956--1015, grand prince of Kiev (980--1015); first Christian ruler of Russia. Feast day: July 15


a city in W central Russia: capital of the principality of Vladimir until the court transferred to Moscow in 1328. Pop.: 310 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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