Vladimir was one of the medieval capitals of Russia, and two of its famous and stunningly beautiful cathedrals are a World Heritage Site; these are the Golden Gates, Vladimir’s unofficial symbol, and the Assumption and St. Demetrius Cathedrals. The town is located in the heart of the historic Vladimir region some 180 kilometers northeast of Moscow, on the bank of the Klyazma River. It is also located on the important railway route Moscow – Nizhni Novgorod, and is also a stop along the Trans-Siberian route. Vladimir is now considered one of the major members of the Golden Ring of communities which have played a significant role in Russian history. The magnificent Assumption Cathedral is what you see first when you enter Cathedral Square. Assumption Cathedral was closed in 1927 but resumed religious services in 1944.  It has recently undergone major renovations. The Cathedral of St. Demetrius, built by Prince Vsevolod III, is also  most wonderful church in Vladimir. It is build of a light stone, with many sculptured lions, snow leopards and other exotic ornaments, quite unlike the rest of the churches here. Other interesting and colourful orthodox churches are also worth visiting.