GOROKHOVETZ

Gorokhovetz is an administrative centre of Gorokhovetzky district of Vladimirsky region. It is situated on the right bank of the river Klyazma, in 58 km from Dzerzhinsk and 157 km to the east from Vladimir.

In ancient times Finno-Ugric tribe Meria occupied these territories. Slavs lived upstream of the river Klyazma but gradually they came to settlements of tribe Meria. The settlement grew bigger and in the times of Andrey Bogolubsky’s reign it became a town. Gorokhovetz was a border fortress on the borderlines of  Vladimiro-Suzdalsky princedom.

The history of Gorokhovetz began in 1239. At those times Vladimirsky lands were constantly attacked by Tatars. Gorokhovetz was robbed and burnt. Those who stayed alive left the town, the history of Gorokhovetz stopped for several years. Later people came back to the bank of the river Klyazma and started building the town.

In the 15th century Gorokhovetz at first belonged to Nizhegorodsky Prince and then to Moskovsky Prince. The year of 1539 was very hard for the citizens of the town. The town was attacked by the troops of Kazan Khan. The siege of the town lasted for several days, the enemies almost broke the defence, but they couldn’t get through the protective walls. The miracle saved the town. According to the ancient legend a warrior with a redoubtable weapon in his arms suddenly appeared on the top of the mountain from nowhere. But it wasn’t a man, it was just an image, but it frightened Tatars to death and made them leave Gorokhovetzky lands in panic. After that the warrior’s image suddenly dissapeared. Since that time the mountain has been called “Puzhalova Gora” (Frightening mountain). Nowadays there is a beautiful park on the top of the mountain.

Till the 17th century all the buildings in Gorokhovetz were made of wood. The town wasn’t rich enough to build houses of natural white stone. That’s why most of the architectural monuments were destroyed.

The prosperity of Gorokhovetz began in the middle of the 17th century. A new decree was signed which allowed merchants to trade freely all over Russia. Citizens of Gorokhovetz were busy with growing grapes and flax, producing bricks and cloth. Their goods were popular and trade was rather profitable. 

A lot of rich merchants wanted to leave their names in the history of the town and the country. That’s why they gave large sums of money for building cathedrals, invited best architects, bought best stone and bricks, decorated cathedrals with fantastic carved and golden elements. Besides they built enormous mansions for their families. Some of them are still remained nowadays.

Due to the architectural ensembles of the town and the monastery Gorokhovetz was included into the list of the historical cities of Russia (it happened in 1970 when the town became a part of Golden Ring of Russia).