The Golden Gate of Vladimir, constructed between 1158 and 1164, is the only preserved ancient Russian city gate. A museum inside focuses on the history of the Mongol invasion of Russia in the 13th century.

The Golden Gates existed in the holiest cities of Eastern Orthodoxy: Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Kiev. On making Vladimir his capital, Andrew the Pious aspired to emulate these structures, commissioning a lofty tower over the city's main gate to be erected in limestone and lined with golden plaques. According to ancient Russian chronicles, the masons were invited from Friedrich Barbarossa. The main arch used to stand 15 meters tall. The structure was topped with a barbican church dedicated to the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe and symbolizing the Theotokos's protection of Andrew's capital.

The gate survived the Mongol destruction of Vladimir in 1237. By the late 18th century, however, the structure had so deteriorated that Catherine the Great was afraid to pass through the arch for fear of its tumbling down. In 1779, she ordered detailed measurements and drawings of the monument to be executed. In 1795, after many discussions, the vaults and barbican church were demolished. Two flanking round towers were constructed in order to reinforce the structure, and artisans then reconstructed the barbican, following the drawings made in 1779.



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Founded: 1158-1164
Category: Castles and fortifications in Russia


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Roman Remains of Pollentia

Pollentia was founded by the consul Qintus Caecilius Metellus in 123 BC in the strategic location between the bays of Pollenca and Alcudia. It was the most important city in the Balearics duing the Roman period and covered an area of 15-20 hectares.

This area suffered a devastating fire in the 3rd century AD, but the city was not depopulated, since the construction of a fortification in the fifth century AD has been documented in the same forum. In the following centuries, the Pollentia site was partially or totally unpopulated, with the Christian medieval population settling down a bit further north, in the present town of Alcúdia. Excavations, since the 16th century, but especially since the beginning of the 20th century, have occurred mainly in the area of Sa Portella (a residential district), Camp d'en França (the city forum and the tabernae), and in the Roman theater.

There is also a museum, the Museu Monografic de Pollentia in the centre of Alcudia (by the church) which displays many of the objects found on the site.