Vladimir, Susdal and Kideksha - The Cradle of Russia, Russia
The towns of Vladimir and Suzdal are located in the European part of Russia, some 200 km north east of Moscow. Together with a number of other historical Russian settlements, they make up what is known as the Golden Ring.
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By the end of the late 11th century Christianity had become well established in France and the aristocratic abbots in the Benedictine monasteries enjoyed comfortable lives. The monastic ideals of poverty and humility seemed to have been forgotten. Then a new order calling for a return to Christian ideals and a simple lifestyle appeared in Burgundy. The monks called themselves "Cistercians."