Trapped in the nineteenth century, Suzdal, is a small town on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia.  In the late 1800s the railroad became an important factor in modernization and a definition of moving into the twentieth century.  Cities that did not have the grace of having the train pass through essentially became forgotten.  Those that did, saw the city grow and prosper as it was opened up to trade and travel.  This small town of Suzdal, unfortunately did not convince the government in 1864 to have the would-be Trans-Siberian Railway pass through.  And so this town never modernized and was left behind in the nineteenth century. 

Luckily the town survived with a current population of 10,000 people.  Suzdal is one of the oldest towns in Russia and is a perfect example of the twelfth and thirteenth century Russian architecture.  At one time this was the most important principality in Russia; therefore, was a royal city before Moscow was the developed city center that it came to be known as.  In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries monasteries were attached to the city. Today they are the main attraction for tourist. 

The most famous monastery is the Monastery of our Savior and St. Euthymius with its attached church, Cathedral of Transfiguration.   This is the biggest monastery and depicts the strength of the church in medieval Russia.  There is a large bell tower that rings on the hour and demonstrates the craftsmanship of Russian bell-makers.  In the Cathedral of Transfiguration there are frescos in the style of the Gury Nikitin school.  The frescos reflect a typical Orthodox style.

In Suzdal the streets are lined with brightly painted, little wooden houses.  Typical Russian homes were built out of wood.  Luckily, the Russian government did not implement the Soviet idea of town planning.  For this reason the traditional architecture and buildings still stand as a tribute to the medieval Russian culture. 

This is why Suzdal has become popular: It gives a true sense of Russia.