The city of Vyazniki is the administrative center of the Vyazniki district (Vladimir region) with a population of  37,197 people (2016). It is located in the lower reaches of the river Klyazma, 93 km east of Vladimir, on the M-7 "Volga" highway.


Vyazniki were once a settlement of the ancient city of Yaropolch-Zalessky – the border outpost of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality. Founded in 1135-1138 by the son of Vladimir Monomakh, Yaropolk Vladimirovich, the prince's fortress was located on the steep bank of the Klyazma, 7-8 km from the modern Vyazniki (now – near the village of Pirovy Gorodishchi, the shafts of the ancient Yaropolch can be seen from the viewing platform "Crown" – "Venets" in Russian).

In 1239, Yaropolch was destroyed during the invasion of Rus by the troops of Mongolian Khan Baty. The city could not fully recover as an economic and cultural center, despite a brief revival of his life in the 17th century. Gradually, from the 14th century, at the foot of the mountain, where Yaropolch rose, the trade and craft Sloboda of Vyazniki was formed and strengthened. By the middle of the 18th century, it not only outrun in its development, but, in fact, swallowed up the former palace city Yaropolch. In 1778 the district town of Vyazniki was formed.

The origin of the name of the city is interpreted in different ways. The most common, official approach explains the name massively growing in the vicinity of elms ("вязы" – Russian – "vyazy"). This is why elm depicts on the coat of arms of Vyazniki. Some researchers (in particular, AA Tits) consider a more likely explanation – the location of the city under the mountain closer to Klyazma, on a viscous place. Currently, some streets in Vyazniki are located on made ground. It is characteristic that the oral folk tradition also indicates the viscosity of the local marshy places. An ancient legend tells that once disliked by the people, the evil and unjust prince Kiy, returning from the hunt, perished in the swamp to the cries of people: "Vyazni, Kiy!"(Russian).

By the beginning of the 18th century, Vyazniki became the center of linen and canvas craft, which was stimulated by the needs of the army and navy created by Peter I. In the 19th century, these crafts developed into large-scale industrial production: in the 1870s, half of the urban population worked on 8 linen and weaving textile factories of Elizarovs, Demidovs and Senkovs. Vyazniki’s businessmen traded linen products in Moscow, Petersburg, Kiev, Odessa and other cities, and even exported it abroad. But in their hometown, in the central square, fairs were held every year in July, which were able to compete, as the old-timers believed, with Nizhny Novgorod itself.


In the 1920s, the factory "Free proletarian" was organized (since 1965 – Vyazniki Flax Factory). In 1941, a mechanical plant began to operate in Vyazniki, later it was transformed into a plant "Tekmashdetal" (now practically inactive). In the summer of 1971, the first production was made by the plant of automotive tractor lighting fixtures (OSVAR), which today grew into a large production association. In modern Vyazniki, various lines of flax production are still developing.

In the village of Mstera of the Vyazniki district, the enterprises of folk handicrafts of artistic metalworking ("Mstera Jeweler"), lacquer miniature ("Center of traditional Mstera miniature"), embroidery ("Mstera embroidery") were greatly developed.


Interesting historical and architectural monuments remained in Vyazniki: the Annunciation Monastery of the 17th century, the Trinity Church of the 18th century, the house of the manufacturer E.G. Elizarov of the 18th century (now it houses the Vyazniki Historical and Art Museum), the manor of the manufacturer S.I. Senkov of the 19th century, etc. Among the sights of Vyazniki  There is the viewing platform "Venets" ("Crown"), which offers a beautiful view of the Klyazma river.

The place of special veneration of the Inhabitants of Vyazniki is the Alley of Glory. The small town of Vyazniki gave the country 26 Heroes of the Soviet Union.

Famous people

A lot of famous people were born and worked in Vyazniki: A.I. Fatyanov (the unique Museum of the Song of the 20th century is dedicated to him); twice Hero of the Soviet Union, cosmonaut V.N. Kubasov (he was put on a bronze bust on the Alley of Glory); People's Artist of the RSFSR F.A. Modorov; Honored Artist of the RSFSR N.I. Parfenov, ets.

Author: V. Korolkova