168 km from Moscow, Nearly 350,000 inhabitants (2014). In the twelfth century, the city of Vladimir played a very important role in the formation of the Russian state. It was founded at the beginning of the twelfth century by Vladimir - the one who owns the whole world - also said Vladimir Monomakh, who ruled from 1113 to 1125. Coming from Kiev, his capital, he visited his state to its borders when he discovered , while going down by boat Kliasma river, this site which seduced it by its green frame. Its pine, birch and fir forests, its numerous rivers and lakes, as well as its strategic location, decided to build a fortress. Vladimir was the last of the Kiev princes. After him, his territory was divided into forty principalities which his sons disputed with other princes, provoking troubles and fatal divisions which will facilitate, less than a century later, the foreign invasions of Germany, Sweden or Mongolia. But when he founded the city of Vladimir, his plan is consid-
saddle. In the midst of a rapprochement between the Russian and Constantinople churches, the prince wants to make Vladimir a "new Constantinople". His son, Yuri Dolgoruky, and his grandson Andrei Bogolioubski ("beloved of God"), will continue the paternal work: great projects will be undertaken, the best architects of the country and beyond the borders will be incurred. Andrey, who had traveled extensively in Europe, wanted noble materials for his churches for which he chose this white stone, similar to the tufeau of the castles of the Loire. The former Russia being apparently devoid of quarries - everything was built of wood until the end of the twelfth century - it was necessary to bring stones up the Volga from its mouth in the Caspian Sea. A considerable effort that some historians temperate by observing that two careers close to Moscow had probably already been discovered at that time. The people of Vladimir do not necessarily remember the glorious past of this ancient capital of Russia, a past recalled yet by its imposing religious buildings. Become a large industrial center in the middle of the century, marked by a Cartesian reconstruction architecture, this regional capital of almost 400 000 inhabitants has nevertheless retained some habits and some rural accents, sensitive especially when we leave the main street for its tranquil isbas to the gardens more utilitarian than aesthetic.
Even though they are currently idling, the city's industries have allowed it to develop and continue to live: agricultural machinery, electricity, plastics, automotive equipment (windshield wiper factories). Most of Vladimir's factories are located at the exit of the city towards Suzdal, including the thermal power station, located opposite the chemical factory and the car accessories factory (pressure gauges, wipers, etc.) which diffuses its products to the large automobile production units of Tolyatti and Nizhny Novgorod.It may be surprising to see the Church of St. Dimitri as the Cathedral of the Dormition as well preserved despite the outrages of the revolutionary era that have so many places of worship: Vladimir's believers claim that the entire region, and the city in particular, is placed under the irrefragable protection of the Blessed Virgin, which has left them untouched. A simpler and less glorious explanation is that Vladimir, like Suzdal, having lost their splendor over the centuries, they no longer represented, at the time of the revolution, sufficiently powerful symbols of the old regime.