The Vladimir Region is one of the most touristic regions of Russia as the origins of modern Russia go back to when the Vladimir Region was the Suzdal-Vladimir Principality and then the Grand Principality of Vladimir - the centre of north-western Rus and the successor of Kievan Rus. For this reason, there are many historical cities in the region: Aleksandrov, Bogolyubovo, Gorokhovets, Gus-Khrustalny, Kideksha, Murom, Suzdal and Yuriev-Polsky. Eight masterpieces of white stone architecture can be found in the region and are protected by UNESCO as the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.
The regional centre of Vladimir is considered to have been the mediaeval capital of Russia before it was eventually eclipsed by Moscow. In addition, the city of Aleksandrov also briefly served as the capital when Tsar Ivan the Terrible briefly left Moscow and set up his court in the city. Suzdal is perhaps the most touristic city outside Moscow and St Petersburg and the whole city is often described as an open-air museum.