Souvenirs from the Vladimir region. What to bring to memory?

Of course, tourists want to keep in memory a particle of those places and events that have filled their journey and presented many bright moments in life. And they must share with friends and family not only impressions of the trip, but also souvenirs. What to bring in memory of the Vladimir land?

Popular souvenirs

Naturally, the simplest and most popular souvenirs for the mass tourists will be small items – magnets, mugs, plates, key rings – with the depiction of the sights of Vladimir and other cities of the region. Of course, the images of the Golden Gate, the Assumption and St. Demetrius  cathedrals, the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, the Suzdal monasteries and churches – all the magnificent and unique historical monuments of the Vladimir land cannot be listed! – decorate even the most ordinary things, making from them quite recognizable Vladimir souvenirs. And you can also find miniature models of these architectural monuments, which will be placed directly on the palm of your hand. These souvenirs can be bought everywhere: in souvenir shops, stalls, small markets. The choice depends on the artistic taste of the producers and the tourists themselves, as well as on the size of the purse of the latter.  

In the same row of souvenirs with images of attractions are small paintings made in oil or watercolors by local artists, representing a different artistic value, which, of course, determines their price. For improvised retail outlets, artists have chosen places on the Theater Square, under the arches of the shopping center "Gallery", on pedestrian Georgievskaya street. In the regional Center for the propaganda of fine arts and in the "Chambers" there are special shops of art works. Well, those tourists who do not trust the author's pictorial vision of historical sites and places can get authorial sets of photographs, calendars, guides – for a more detailed and reliable reflection of their travels in the Vladimir region. 

Souvenirs - products of traditional folk crafts

But there are tourists for whom the standard souvenir set is not enough, and the image of the Vladimir region should be associated with the original products of traditional crafts and trades. Such souvenirs will never lose their relevance and can become beautiful and recognizable exhibits of home collections. The Mstera lacquer miniature, which is represented by a wide range of products with a wide variety of sizes and shapes: caskets, eyeglass cases, office sets, powder boxes, card holders, cigarette-cases, wall panels, brooches and much more became a world-famous brand. From thin hand-painted with fairy-tales and epic stories  the eye cannot be torn off!

Another recognizable brand is Mstera embroidery. White satin-stitch, Vladimir stitch decorate highly artistic products – smart clothes and underwear, tablecloths and other interior items. Unique products of Mstera masters can be purchased in the art salon, located in the basement of the Trinity (Red) church, as well as in other souvenir shops of Vladimir.

Very effective and affordable souvenirs, for those who love artistic woodworking, are the products of the craft factory "Vladimir Patterns". The Vladimir painting of wooden utensils is distinguished by a unique technique of tamponing and preserving the natural wood texture in the prevailing berry-fruit ornaments.

 And Kovrov clay toy, possessing a special charm, will bring great joy for lovers of clay souvenirs. A variety of everyday plots with careful study of details, brightness of colors and good humor will always allocate the Kovrov toys in any souvenir collection.

Fine souvenirs of the Vladimir region are products made of birch-bark, rooted in ancient Russian art. Modern birch-bark masterpieces of Kunov's masters – boxes, caskets, vases, candy-boxes with intricate patterns and drawings, carving, embossing, figures of people and animals. 

Icons made of birch-bark by Olga Kirina are distinguished by their elegance, the decor of precious and semiprecious stones and the finest patterns. Birch-bark works have not only a fine aesthetics, but also ease, which is important for tourists who are connected with roads and crossings. 

Lovers of arts and crafts can pick up original souvenirs in the People's Gallery of the House of Folklore, which belongs to the Vladimir Regional Center of Folk Art (Georgievskaya St., 2b.Tel .: +7 (4922) 32-38-34). Unique works of art – products from patchwork sewing – please with their colorfulness, ingenuity. After all, it's not only the usual patchwork quilts, but also fashionable clothes, tapestries, panels, paintings. Also here are many unusual items made of lace, beads, ribbons, various handmade dolls (for teapot, amulets, etc.), female bead jewelry made by Vladimir craftswomen.

Another symbol of the Vladimir land became the products of the gutny craft: fine works of art made of crystal and glass in the former Maltsov factories in the city of Gus-Khrustalny and in nearby settlements are known throughout the country. You can buy crystal dishes and decorative author's products made of colored glass and crystal at the "Gus Crystal Plant named after Maltsov" in its firm shop located in Vladimir (B. Moskovskaya str., 19, tel .: +7 (4922) 45-15-73, daily from 10.00 to 21.00) and in the art salon located in the basement of the Trinity Church.

Beautiful and practical souvenirs from the Vladimir region can be products made of non-ferrous metals, which are produced in Kolchugino. As is known, the basis of the city's economy is formed by the non-ferrous metallurgy that was historically established here. Famous cupronickel cup holders, tablewares, souvenirs made at the "Kolchugtsvetmet" plant (former copper-brass enterprise of the merchant A.G. Kolchugin, which gave birth to the city itself) can now be purchased in Vladimir, in the firm shop "Kolchugino cupronickel" (B. Moskovskaya st., 19, daily from 10 am to 9 pm). 

In Kolchugino tourists can buy such elegant and practical souvenirs, as products from natural silk and wool with hand painting in the technique of "cold batik", produced in the workshop "Silk Collection". These are clothes (dresses, blouses, tunics, etc.), accessories (scarves of different sizes, stoles, men's scarves and ties, etc.), interior items (wall panels, paintings, curtains, etc.) for tourists-esthetes. All things are produced in one copy. Masters of the "Silk Collection" actively use the well-known images of Vladimir-Suzdal monuments on stoles, scarves and other items. So, tourists simultaneously acquire both a beautiful exclusive thing and a recognizable Vladimir souvenir. A large assortment of products of the "Silk Collection" can be found in its firm store in Vladimir (B. Moskovskaya st., 5, SC "Gallery", 2nd floor). 

All variety of products of traditional crafts and trades of the Vladimir region is represented in the Cultural and Tourist Shopping Complex "Golden Gate", which is located on the M-7 "Volga", 14 km from Vladimir at the exit to Moscow.

Souvenirs on the basis of participation in master classes

Often tourists want to leave in memory of the Vladimir land not only those handicraft items that are sold in specialized stores, but create something with their own hands in unusual master classes. And here the guests of the Vladimir region have great opportunities. Artistic forging is handled by the hereditary blacksmiths Borodins. In the real smithy on pedestrian Georgievskaya street (Georgievskaya St., 3 g) they will teach everyone who wants to forge, for example, a nail, which will be the best souvenir and reminder of the received unusual experience. In the Gingerbread Museum, popular with tourists with children you can paint a gingerbread with your own hands to give it later as a souvenir to relatives and friends (Vladimir, B. Moskovskaya St., 40, tel.: +7 (900) 478-36-77). In the master class at the Suzdal factory "Dymov-Ceramics", literally in an hour you can create a special vessel on the potter's wheel, which will remind for the whole life of an amazing trip to the Vladimir region (Suzdal, Ivanovskoe, Solnechnaya st., 7, tel.: +7 (49231) 2-43-66).

Gastronomic souvenirs

Many tourists, after visiting the hospitable Vladimir land, want to prolong the pleasure and take with them gastronomic souvenirs. And here they have a great choice. If tourists come to Vladimir in the beginning-middle of July, then they must enjoy Vladimir cherry, which became almost a symbol of the city. It is believed that cherry was brought to Vladimir in the 12th century by the grand duke Andrey Bogolyubsky. Since then, this delicious berry is cultivated here, creating glory to the city. Nowadays, Vladimir cherry has become the heroine of such a colorful holiday as "Cherry Savior in the Patriarch's Garden" (Vladimir, the second Sunday in July). Fortunately, Vladimir cherry is kept well enough, and, therefore, tourists can not only regale it in Vladimir, but also bring it home and please relatives. 

In the middle of July, tourists will be able to try and bring as another gift from nature – the famous Suzdal cucumbers, which are highly valued by Russian vegetable growers. To this vegetable culture was even dedicated one-of-a-kind colorful holiday – Cucumber Day in Suzdal (the third Saturday in July). Fresh cucumbers, pickled cucumbers, even exotic jam from a cucumber can be souvenirs from this holiday.  

Suzdal's original brand claims to be a mead (medovukha). This drink has long been famous for Suzdal, where the beekeepers made mead from the excess honey, passing the secrets of its preparation from generation to generation. Suzdal mead was distinguished by a special, refined taste, prepared with the use of various spices and herbal supplements and could have a sufficiently high strength. "Suzdal Medovarny Zavod" produces medovukha, in the tasting room of which (in the Trading Rows) you can try and purchase a variety of sorts of this delicious drink. The gastronomic holiday, Medovukha-Fest, initiated by the governor of the Vladimir region, is annually held in Suzdal (in 2017 – September 9-10). You can buy mead not only in Suzdal, but also in large grocery stores, as well as in souvenir shops of Vladimir. 

An excellent gastronomic souvenir from Murom can become the famous Murom kalach. Once, this bread cooked according to a special recipe  fell to the taste of the Empress Catherine II. Since then, three kalachs appeared on the coat of arms of the city, and this special bread has become almost a symbol of Murom. And nowadays in the very center of Murom they even installed the monument of kalach heated from inside and set up a special holiday – Kalach Day (the first Saturday of August, the City Day). In Murom's "Khlebnaya Gornitsa" you can not only buy a kalach, but you can cook it yourself at the master class (Murom, Amosova St., 48, tel.: +7 (904) 955-69-58).

Many tourists like to bring from their trips confectionery as a souvenir. Travel to the Vladimir region creates special opportunities for sweet-tooths. First of all, you can bring excellent chocolate from the town of Pokrov (Petushki district), which can be called the chocolate capital not only of the Vladimir region, but almost all of Russia. After all, the chocolate factory in Pokrov, owned by the company "Kraft Foods Rus" (since April 2013 - "Mon'delis Rus"), produces almost a third of all Russian chocolate. In Pokrov, much is filled with chocolate themes: the first in Russia Museum of Chocolate, a monument to the Chocolate Fairy, an annual festival – the Day of Chocolate (last Saturday in June). In the shops of Pokrov and Vladimir, you can buy a variety of chocolate products – chocolate bars, boxes of chocolates, chocolate figurines.

The town of Pokrov is famous not only for chocolate but also for such a special confectionery product as Pokrov gingerbread. Gingerbread masters of Pokrov knew a special secret of cooking printed gingerbreads, passed down from generation to generation. Eggs are not put into the pastry for Pokrov gingerbread, but in abundance – spices, and as a stuffing boiled condensed milk with a walnut is used these days. Gingerbreads are hand painted by artists. Pokrov  gingerbreads are produced in different sizes and shapes. There are also specially wrapped souvenir gingerbreads. Delicious Pokrov gingerbread can be bought not only in Pokrov (firm store "Pokrov gingerbread", Pokrov, 103rd km of the M-7 route, round the clock, tel .: +7 (910) 098-73-94), but also in all souvenir shops, confectionery and supermarkets of Vladimir, in the Gingerbread Museum. 

So, souvenirs are one of the attributes of a tourist trip, and it is important that their choice is made not spontaneously, but taking into account the interests of the tourists themselves and on the basis of information received about the features of the souvenirs of the Vladimir region.

Author: V. Korolkova
Date: 25.08.2016