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Kideksha is an ancient settlement, the history of which is closely related to the history of Suzdal. The settlement was founded as far back as the pre-Slavic times. Its name is a Finno-Ugric translation of Kamenka, the name of the river, which Kideksha stands on at the confluence of the Kamenka and Nerl.

The name of the settlement Kideksha first appears in the Russian historical chronicles in the thirteenth century. From the very beginning, Kideksha was one of the arts and crafts centers of the Suzdal dukedom, which was the richest in Northern Russia. In its history, Kideksha has survived, along with the Suzdal dukedom, destruction by the Tatars, the Poles, and lived through the devastations of fires and plagues. Today the village, with its unique architecture, stands as a representation of Russian history.

Points of Interest

Church of SS. Boris and Gleb
Kideksha is famous for one of the first stone churches in North-Eastern Russia. The white stone 1152 Church of SS. Boris and Gleb on the Nerl River in this quiet village 4km east of Suzdal is the oldest in the district and one of the few extant churches built for Yury Dolgoruky who had a small wooden palace here.

The palace has disappeared and the church, rebuilt many times, has lost its original vault, roof and dome and gained a 19th century porch. A few fragments of 12th century frescoes remain, including two figures on horseback, probably Boris and Gleb, sons of Vladimir of Kiev, who were killed by another son, Svyatopolk, and became the first Russian saints. Church of SS. Boris and Gleb is listed by UNESCO among the World Heritage Sites.

The church interior harbours preserved fragments of 12th century frescoes, which can be easily observed even in the scant light entering the building through narrow windows.

The Sacred Gates
Apart from the ancient Church of SS. Boris and Gleb , Kideksha boasts the warm winter St. Stephan Church (1780), built in accordance with the Suzdal tradition of constructing churches of this type.

The Sacred Gates with a peculiar figured upper part and carved decoration date back to the 12-13th cc. They were built together with a low stone fence. The hip-roofed belfry with an entrance arch belongs to the same period.

The beauty of Kideksha's churches is complemented by exquisite ancient civil structures. The center of the settlement is occupied with various old buildings standing side by side from the eleventh through the fourteenth centuries. These buildings vary in size and have roofs of different shapes and designs, which all add to the medieval architectural charm of this village.

The best view on Kideksha opens from the bank of the Nerl River or from the bridge over the river: a panorama of the whole of the medieval settlement and the entire neighbourhood of the Kamenka River can be observed from there.




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  (Vladimir Region)

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