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Vladimir (vlədyēˈmĭr) [key], city (1989 pop. 350,000), capital of Vladimir region, W central European Russia, on the Klyazma River. A rail junction, it has industries producing machinery, chemicals, cotton textiles, and plastics. Tourism is also important. Founded in the early 12th cent. by Vladimir II of Kiev, it was (c.1157–1238) the capital of the grand duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal, which became the chief principality after the breakup of Kievan Rus. Vladimir was destroyed (1238) by the Mongols under Batu Khan, who killed the grand duke in battle. The dukes of Moscow emerged as the most powerful Russian princes, and in 1364 they acquired Vladimir; they assumed the title of grand dukes and for a time afterward had themselves crowned there. The city's landmarks include the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral (1158–61) with a museum of religious art and tombs of the early princes of Vladimir; the Demetrius Cathedral (1193–97); the Golden Gate, a city gate erected in 1164; and several monasteries built (12th–13th cent.) of white stone in the Vladimir-Suzdal style (see Russian art and architecture).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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