First mentioned in chronicle at 1108, Vladimir was regarded by the inhabitants of the Medieval Russia as young town in comparison to the older urban centres of Rostov and Suzdal. Yet this city was to become the glorious and majestic new capital of pre-Mongolian Russia reaching its peak just before the country was utterly devastated by the invading hordes.
The Primary Chronicle attributes the founding of the city, and its name, to Vladimir Monomakh, the great king of Kiev Rus\'. The grandson of Monomakh, Andrei Bogolyubsky, decided to move the capital of Russian state from Kiev to his favorite Eastern Russia and have chosen Vladimir for this purpose. Scores of Russian and foreign masons worked on Vladimir\'s white stone cathedrals, towers, and palaces. During this time Vladimir enjoyed immense growth and prosperity, and Andrei himself oversaw the building of the mighty Golden Gates and the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption, both still standing today. Medieval Russia was entering her Golden Age.
Vladimir was besieged by the Mongol hordes under Batu Khan and finally overrun on February 8, 1238. The whole king\'s family have perished in the Assumtion Cathedral which was set ablaze. After the Mongols, Vladimir never fully recovered, and even though the most important Russian princes referred to themselves as the Grand Prince of Vladimir. From 1299 to 1325, the city was seat of the metropolitans of Kiev and All Rus, until Metropolitan Peter moved the see to Moscow. For a few centuries the rulers of Moscow where crowned in Vladimir – such was the former glory of the city. Remains of the hero and saint prince Alexander Nevsky were kept in the ancient Nativity abbey of Vladimir until 1703, when Peter the Great had them transferred to the Monastery of Aleksandr Nevsky in St. Petersburg.
Modern Vladimir is a part of the Golden ring of the ancient Russian cities and a significant tourist center. Its three chief monuments, Golden Gates, Assumption Cathedral and St. Demetrius Cathedral inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.