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Suzdal the first capital of the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal, is known to have existed since 1024. Vladimir, founded by Vladimir Monomakh in 1108, became the capital of the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal in the mid-12th century.

Vladimir-Suzdal formally known as the Grand Duchy of Vladimir (11571331), was one of the major principalities that succeeded Kievan Rus' in the late 12th century, centered in Vladimir. With time the principality grew into a grand duchy divided into several smaller principalities. After being conquered by the Mongol Empire, the principality became a self-governed state headed by its own nobility. A governorship of principality, however, was prescribed by a Khan declaration (jarlig) issued from the Golden Horde to a noble family of any of smaller principalities.

Vladimir-Suzdal is traditionally perceived as a cradle of the Great Russian language and nationality, and it gradually evolved into the Grand Duchy of Moscow.


Vladimir was separated from the Kiev Empire in the mid-12th century. Its Prince became Vsevolod III, the son of Yuri I Dolgoruki of Kiev (1155-1157). In 1263, after the death of Alexander Newski, Moscow separated from Vladimir under his son Daniel (1263-1303). In 1332 another personal union was established with a brief interruption between 1360 and 1362. After the death of Dimitri IV Donskoy in 1389, the two principalities were united again.


* According to Speransov, the arms with a lion and a cross dates from the time of Yuri I Dolgoruki and should therefore have been taken over by Vsevolod III. [1]

However, seals from Alexander Newski and Dimitri II show a horseman on one side and St. Andrew on the other.

Manuscripts from the 14th century would also contain images of a lion, but it is not certain that this means the lion of Vladimir. It is also possible that the lions on the throne of Ivan the Terrible and on the bow case of Tsar Michael are meant to be the lion of Vladimir.

It is quite possible that the lion of Vladimir is very old because in Galicia, Novgorod and Pskow a lion is also a symbol.

The lion with the cross appears for the first time in the Titularnike of 1672.




House of Rurik


Yuri Dolgoruky

(reign of 1125-1155

Andrey Bogolyubsky




Vsevolod III, Big Nest


Grand Prince 1195-1212


Yurii II






Yurii II Vsevolodovich


St. George with the coat of arms of the Vladimir-Suzdal princes.

The relief on the facade of St. George's Cathedral in Yuryev-Polsky (1234).


Saint George Cathedral (Russian: Георгиевский собор) in Yuryev-Polsky is one of a dozen surviving white-stone churches which were built in Vladimir-Suzdal Principality in northeastern Rus prior to the Mongol invasion. Constructed between 1230 and 1234, the cathedral was also the last of these churches to be built, completed just three years before the invasion. 


Arms: A lion rampant and a decorated bordure

Coat of arms of the Vladimir-Suzdal princes of the 11th-13th centuries: St. George with a coat of arms on the facade of St. George's Cathedral (1234). Yuryev-Polsky


Yaroslav II Vsevolodovich



The princely helmet

found on the Lipetsk field where battles took place in 1176 and 1216


Helmet of Yaroslav II Vsevolodovich, second half of the 12th - the first half of the 13th century.
Found in 1808 in the territory of the current Vladimir region. The historian A.N. Olenin (1763-1843), President of Academy of Arts, considering the location where the helmet was found, has suggested that the helmet may have been lost during the
Battle of Lipitsa in April 1216 and concluded that the helmet belonged to Yaroslav II. This was one of the first discoveries that prompted historians to study Russian antiquities. Today it is stored in the Moscow Armory.


In the Battle of Lipitsa in 1216, Yaroslav, one of the sons of Grand Prince Vsevolod of Vladimir, was routed with his forces. As he fled, it is supposed, the prince removed his helmet and hid it under a bush, where it was found by a peasant 600 years later.


The archangel Michael on the Lipetsk hlmet


On the front plate is a representation of the archangel Michael and an inscription reading:

Вьликъи архистратиже ги Михаиле помози рабу своему Феодору

Great warlord Michael, help your slave Feodor.


Yaroslav II, had the Christian name Feodor (Theodor). Hence, Olenin suggested that the helmet may have belonged to Yaroslav.




Andrew II



Alexander I Newski


Prince of Novgorod 1236-1251

and Kiev 1246-1263

Grand Prince of Vladimir 1252-1263


Prince of Novgorod and Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir, Alexander Nevsky is best known for stopping the advance of the Swedes and the Teutonic Knights into Russia. At the same time, he paid tribute to the Mongols instead of attempting to fight them off, a position that has been attacked as cowardly but which may have been simply a matter of understanding his limits.

The son of Yaroslav II Vsevolodovich, grand prince of Vladimir and foremost Russian leader, Alexander was elected prince of Novgorod (primarily a military post) in 1236. In 1239 he married Alexandra, the daughter of the Prince of Polotsk.

For some time the Novgorodians had moved into Finnish territory, which was controlled by the Swedes. To punish them for this encroachment and to bar Russia's access to the sea, the Swedes invaded Russia in 1240. Alexander scored a significant victory against them at the confluence of the Rivers Izhora and Neva, whereby he got his honorific, Nevsky. However, several months later he was expelled from Novgorod for interfering in city affairs.

Not long afterward, Pope Gregory IX began urging the Teutonic Knights to "Christianize" the Baltic region, even though there were Christians already there. In the face of this threat, Alexander was invited to return to Novgorod and, after several confrontations, he defeated the knights in a famous battle on the frozen channel between Lakes Chud and Pskov in April 1242. Alexander eventually stopped the eastward expansion of both the Swedes and Germans.

But another serious problem prevailed in the east. Mongol armies were conquering portions of Russia, which was not politically unified. Alexander's father agreed to serve the new Mongol rulers, but he died in September 1246. This left the throne of the Grand Prince vacant, and both Alexander and his younger brother Andrew appealed to Batu Khan of the Mongol Golden Horde. Batu sent them to the Great Khan, who violated Russian custom by selecting Andrew as Grand Prince, probably because Alexander was favored by Batu, who was out of favor with the Great Khan. Alexander settled for being made the prince of Kiev.

Andrew began to conspire with other Russian princes and western nations against the Mongol overlords. Alexander took the opportunity to denounce his brother to Batu's son Sartak. Sartak sent an army to depose Andrew, and Alexander was installed as Grand Prince in his place.

As Grand Prince, Alexander worked to restore Russian prosperity by building fortifications and churches and passing laws. He continued to control Novgorod through his son Vasily. This altered the tradition of rule from one based on a process of invitation to institutional sovereignty. In 1255 Novgorod expelled Vasily, and Alexander put together an army and got Vasily back on the throne.

In 1257 a rebellion broke out in Novgorod in response to an impending census and taxation. Alexander forced the city to submit, probably fearing that the Mongols would punish all of Russia for Novgorod's actions. More uprisings broke out in 1262 against the Muslim tax farmers of the Golden Horde, and Alexander succeeded in averting reprisals by journeying to Saray on the Volga and speaking to the Khan there. He also obtained an exemption for Russians from a draft.

On the way home, Alexander Nevsky died in Gorodets. After his death, Russia disintegrated into feuding principalities - but his son Daniel would found the house of Moscow, which would eventually reunite northern Russian lands. Alexander Nevsky was supported by the Russian Orthodox Church, which made him a saint in 1547.


Four seals of Alexander Newski, 13th century


On the obverse a knight on horsback (Alexander Newski.) On the reverse a saint killing a dragon (St. Theodore).


Golden ring with lion

Said to be from Kiev, 13th century

Coll. M.P. Botkina [2]


Yaroslav III




Dimitri I


Andrew III





Yurii III


Prince of Moscow 1303-1325


In the time of Yurii III the knight with the coat of arms, now called Theodore (Fjodor) Stratilates, occured once again in a manuscript made in Yaroslavl. [3]


On this leaf the tinctures of the shield are: Azure, a lion rampant Argent.


Represented is a man in byzantine armour with sword and spear. His shield Azure, a lion Argent within a decorated bordure. Crowned with a diadem and behind his head a golden disk making him an imperial official.


On his breast another disk symbolizing purity.

Around his shoulders a peacock feather cloak symbolizing the function of a byzantine exarch or catepan (Governor). This is repeated by the two peacocks sitting on trees beside him (probably symbolizing the governorate)

The lion on the shield symbolizes his rank of a nobelissimos (close relative of the emperor, subordinate only to the kaisar).


Blue 8-petalled lotus emblem on breast patch (reconstruction)


Symbolizing sacred qualities of the white or blue flower which grows undefiled out of its muddy water base.

Modern peacock feather cloak


Dimitri II



Alexander II



Alexander III



Ivan I, Kalita

*1288- 1341


Prince of Moscow 1325-1340


Ivan I Daniilovich Kalita (Ива́н I Даниилович Калита; 1 November 1288 31 March 1340 or 1341) was Grand Duke of Moscow from 1325 and Vladimir from 1332

After the death of his elder brother Yury, Ivan inherited the Principality of Moscow. Ivan participated in the struggle to get the title of Grand Duke of Vladimir which could be obtained with the approval of a khan of the Golden Horde. The main rivals of the princes of Moscow in this struggle were the princes of Tver  Mikhai (1318), Dmitry the Terrible Eyes (1326), and Alexander II (1339), all of whom obtained the title of Grand Duke of Vladimir and were deprived of it. All of them were murdered in the Golden Horde. In 1328 Ivan Kalita received the approval of khan Muhammad Ozbeg to become the Grand Duke of Vladimir with the right to collect taxes from all Russian lands.


Monomakh Cap



So called after Vladimir Monomakh, the founder of Vladimir. A theory about the cap that it is of Central Asian origin (from ethnological or cultural point of view), has led some modern scholars to view the crown as a gift from Uzbeg Khan of the Golden Horde (1313-1341) to his brother-in-law, Ivan Kalita of Moscow. Boris Uspensky (*1937-), argues that the Tatar headgear was originally used in coronation ceremonies to symbolize the Muscovite ruler's subordination to the khan. According to Sergey Solovyov (*1820-1879) "after the death of Ivan Kalita all Russian princes traveled to the Horde... and the Khan appointed the eldest son of Kalita, Simeon, the Grand Prince of Vladimir". Also Solovyov writes that the first who introduced the coronation of the Russian monarch was Ivan III in 1498. At some point in the 15th or 16th century the crown was surmounted by a cross


* Professor Kramarovsky who was specifically interested in the origin of the cap remarks that according to the technology of the headwear production the origin of the cap is either out of the Volga cities or Crimea where the school of Golden Horde filigree has developed. According to Aleksandr Andreevich Spitsyn the cap was possibly initially topped with the similar cross of the Jani Beg (1357) crown, however the German ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Sigismund von Herberstein (notorious for his Notes on Muscovite Affairs) does not support that fact.



The plates of the crown are decorated with a lotus, a symbol of purity of buddhism, also adopted by islam. It therefore could be a symbol of Uzbeg Khan, a buddhist who adopted Islam.

On the cap it symbolizes the purity of thoughts by the ruler wearing it. A lotus was also diplayed on the armour of Theodore Stratilates from about 1327.




This Xorman (Cholm) is probably the capital of Russia (Roxia)

From the Book of Knowledge (1350ca)


Arms: Argent, a crescent increscent and a decrescent adossed Or


The area of Chełm was located between early Kingdom of Poland and Kievan Rus. Both states fought for it in the 10th century, and after several conflicts, in ca. 1240 King Daniel of Galicia made Chełm the capital of an Orthodox Diocese, which resulted in quick development of the town. In that time a two-headed eagle was fixed on a tower in Chelm. Galicia. Following Mongol invasion of Rus', which weakened Ruthenian states, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a new power in Eastern Europe, occupied Chełm. In 1340, the town was annexed by Polish King Kazimierz Wielki, together with Belz, Red Ruthenia and Podolia. In that time Kiev was the main city of Rus but it was captured in 1365-70 by Algirdas of Lithuania. In 1355 the two headed eagle had already appeared in Moscow where it became the heraldic emblem of the Grand prince


Simeon the Proud

Grand Prince of Vladimir and Moscow 1340-1353


Seal of Simeon

Standing ruler


So called Testament of Simeon Ivanovich with seal


Ivan II, the Gentle

Grand Prince of Vladimir 1353-1359

Prince of Moscow 1353-1359

Seal of Ivan II, the Gentle

Shield with flower (lotus?)


Dmitri III Konstantinovich


Duke of Suzdal 1356-1383

Grand duke of Vladimir 1360-1362

Grand duke of Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod 1363-1383


After the fall of the politically significant Tver, in the middle of the 14th century, the Suzdal princes (descendants of Ivan I Kalita) entered the battle with Moscow at the Vladimir Grand Ducal territory. In 1353, Prince Konstantin the father of Dmitry (III), challenged the Hordes posession of Vladimir. The younger son of Ivan Kalita, Ivan II the Gentle, however, after his death (13 November 1359) in Moscow passed the adult princes and the son and the heir of Ivan II, Dmitri Ivanovich (Donskoj) was nine years old, (his siblings and cousins were also minors). Under these conditions, Dmitry Konstantinovich managed to defeat the Moscow boyars and in 1360 received from Khan Navrusa the title of the great principality of Vladimir and June 22, 1360 arrived in Vladimir.


The two-year reign of Dmitry Konstantinovich was hectic, because of feuds in Russia and the Horde. The Moscow government, led by Metropolitan Alexy , continued to seek recognition of the rights of Dmitry Ivanovich (= Donskoy) by successive khans in the Horde. In 1362, after another coup in the Horde, the new Khan Murid (1362-64) deprived Dmitry Konstantinovich of the reign of the Grand duchy of Vladimir and handed it over to the 12-year-old Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow. But in the same year, the title was granted to Dmitry Moskovsky by Mamai Abdallah Khan (1363/1367-1370), and Murid passed the title to Dmitry Konstantinovich. He re-sat in Vladimir, but a week later he was expelled from there by Muscovites. Later, in 1364, the son of Dmitry Konstantinovich, Vasily (1350-1403), received from Khan Aziz a grant for the reign in the Grand Duchy of Vladimir (1359-62) for his father. But he retreated from the Grand Duchy to the Grand Duke Dmitry Ivanovich, giving him his daughter Evdokia.

Since that time Vladimir has forever passed into the hands of the Moscow princes.



Then Prince Ivan Belozersky came from the horde of Tsar Amurat (Murad Khan, 1362-67) with Ambassador Ilyakoy and thirty Tatars. And Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich Suzdalsky sat on the great reign in Vladimir. [4]


Ivan Belozersky, the son of Prince Fyodor Romanovich (1380) and Theodosia, daughter of Ivan Kalita. Born in 1350.

Was an ally of Suzdal Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich , taking advantage of the infancy of the Grand Duke of Moscow Dmitry Ivanovich, he tried to occupy the throne himself, and in 1363 Prince Ivan, apparently on behalf of Dmitry Konstantinovich, went to the Horde , and brought out the last of Khan Murad label on the great reign .

But when Dmitry Ivanovich mastered Dmitry Konstantinovich, Prince Ivan took the side of the first. He went with him to Tver in 1375 and, together with his father, died on Kulikovo Field on 8 September 1380.

Prince Ivan, who spent his whole life with his father, cannot be considered a separate, independent prince of Belozersky. From a marriage with an unknown, he had the only son of Constantine .


Dimitri IV Donskoi

Prince of Moscow 1359-1389

Grand Prince of Vladimir 1363-1389


Upon his death in 1389, Dmitry was the first Grand Duke to bequeath his titles to his son Vasili I of Russia without consulting the Khan.


Seal of Dimitri IV Donskoi

Knight with spear, sword and shield


The spiritual letter (testament) of the Moscow Prince Dmitry Donskoy. It depicts Dmitry, whom historians interpreted as Dmitry Solunsky. But there is no signature of Solunsky.


On his shield a X-shaped device This is the same as the coat of arms given by the Book of Knowledge a few years earlier: Argent a crescent and a decrescent adossed Or.


This is, in a corrupted form, also on a backshield from the 16th century now in the armory museum of Moscow.





Rider with sword

The second version of the seal of the Moscow Grand Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy.

Source: gerb.bel.ru (V. Lobachev website)




Union with Moscow 1389


The lion with the cross for Vladimir appears for the first time in the Titularnike of 1672.

Titularnike 1672


The city of Vladimir was the center of Vladimir Province part of Moscow Governorate from its establishment by Peter the Great in 1708.

In 1708 Vladimir province was formed within the Moscow province .


Arms of Vladimir Province

From: Acta Eruditorum, 1708


Coat of arms for the banners of the Vladimir regiments

from the Herbovnik of Franz Santi, 1730


In 1778 an independent Vladimir province was established with a division of 14 counties.


Vladimir was separated from Moscow Governorate and made the center of a new Vladimir Viceroyalty [ru] by an ukase of Catherine the Great in 1778. This existed from 1 (12) september 1778 31 october (11 november) 1796


Time presenting the arms of Vladimir Viceroyalty


On a map of Vladimirskago Namestnicestva, 1792. The arms between two cornucopia and crowned with a ducal hat.


The Viceroy of Vladimir and his arms 1794 [5]


His official dress of a yellow vest and trousers and a red jacket. White stockins and black shoes with silver clasps.

His coat of arms: Gules, a crowned lion guardant Or, standing on a grassy ground Vert, holding a procession cross.


In 1796, Paul I's administrative reform transformed the viceroyalty into the Vladimir Governorate [ru] in the same borders.



Arms of Vladimir royally crowned

In The Manifesto on the Complete Arms of the All-Russian Empire. 1800. [6]


Vladimir Governorate, 08.12.1856


The Vladimir province of the RSFSR (at borders much smaller than the Vladimir province of the Russian Empire) was abolished 1929; most of the territory entered the Ivanovo industrial region


Parts of the governements Kostroma and the governement Vladimir were united from 20 July 1918 to 1929 into the governement Ivanovo-Vosnesensk (Иваново-Вознесенская губерния). This became the Ivanovo Oblast in 1929. On 11 March 1936 Kostroma-, Jaroslav- and Vladimir Oblasts were separated from that oblast and the territory became the oblast Ivanovo. The capital was Ivanovo.[7]


Arms of Ivanovo 1918

Design И. Н. Нефёдов.


Present Achievement of Vladimir Oblast



Office of the MVD in the Vladimir region


Emblems of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs (GUVD) in the Vladimir Region


Coat of arms

Arms: Gules a crowned lion Or, holding a procession cross

Crest: The achievement of the MVD

Motto: On a blue ribbon СЛУЖИМ РОССИИ, СЛУЖИМ ЗАКОНУ. (Service of Russia, service of the law) in golden lettering


Нагрудный знак ГУВД по Владимирской области

Breast badge

Arms The arms of the larger emblem

Crest: The achievement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD).

Motto: A blue ribbon with a golden inscription: СЛУЖИМ РОССИИ, СЛУЖИМ ЗАКОНУ (Service of Russia, service of the law).

Badge size 4630 mm







From 2012, the motto of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs СЛУЖА ЗАКОНУ - СЛУЖИМ НАРОДУ (Service to the law - service to the people) was written on the ribbon of the coat of arms and on the ribbon of the badge.



The shape of the shield indicates that the emblem is a coat of arms of a territorial body of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.

The shield of the coat of arms has the shape of the cockade on the headdresses of police officers of the early twentieth century. It denotes the continuity of generations of law enforcement advocates.

The arms are, borrowed from the coat of arms of the Region..[8]



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Hubert de Vries 2020-04-24



[1] Speransov, N.N.:Zemelnije Gerbi Rossii XII-XIX vv. Coats of Arms of Russian Principalities, XII-XIX cent. Izdatelsvo Sovjetskaja Rossija. Moskva, 1974.

[2] http://rus-historical.blogspot.com/2015/12/blog-post_17.html

[3] Yaroslavl Historical, Architectural and Art Museum Reserve, Yaroslavl, Russia Fedorov's Gospel [No. 15718] . https://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=ru&mst_id=1118

[4] http://www.akteon-elib.ru/LITsIeVOI-LIeTOPISNYI-SVOD-Russkaya-letopisnaya-istoriya-Kniga-8/#VI

[5] From: Изображение губернских, наместнических, коллежских и всех штатских мундиров.

[6] http://the.heraldry.ru/armorial/manifesm.html

[7] https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B1_%D0%98%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0 / http://www.heraldicum.ru/russia/subjects/towns/ivanovo.htm

[8] https://geraldika.ru/symbols


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