Grand Duke of Vladimir

Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir was built in 1158-60 and functioned as the mother church of Russia in the 13th century.

The Grand Duke of Vladimir[1] was a prince during the Kievan Rus' and after its collapse. He ruled territory approximately bounded by the Volga, Oka and Northern Dvina rivers. Its capital was Vladimir during 1157-1238. Vladimir city was founded by a Kievan prince Vladimir Monomakh in 1108 and was destroyed by a Mongol invasion in 1238. The second important city was Suzdal', also destroyed by Mongols. The Grand Duke (Velikii Kniaz, Great Prince) Yuri Dolgorukii (Yuri "Long-arms"), the seventh son of Vladimir Monomakh, began the lineage of Suzdal' and Vladimir-Suzdal' great princes. Vladimir-Suzdal' began the next consolidation of Russian lands, completed by Muscovy, which grew from within Vladimir-Suzdal.

Vladimir was founded in the 12th century. It first came into focus in 1151, when Andrei Bogolyubskiy secretly left Vyshgorod, the domain of his father in the principality of Kiev, and migrated to the newly settled land of Suzdal, where in 1157 he became grand prince of the principalities of Vladimir, Suzdal and Rostov. The principality was overrun by the Mongols under Batu Khan in 1242. He and his successors asserted suzerainty over it until 1328. During this period, Vladimir became the chief town of the Russian settlements in the basin of the Oka and it clashed with the new principality of Moscow, to which it finally succumbed in 1328. It began to decay in the 14th century.

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

Grand Dukes of Vladimir

The state of Vladimir-Suzdal (formally the Grand Duchy of Vladimir) became dominant among the various petty principalities to form from the dissolution of the Kievan Rus' state; the title of Grand Prince of Vladimir became one of the three titles (along with Kiev and Novgorod) possessed by the most important rulers among the Russian nobility. While Vladimir enjoyed hegemony for a time, it too would disintegrate into a series of petty states, the most important of which became Grand Duchy of Moscow, which itself would eventually evolve into the Tsardom of Russia.

Monarch Portrait Born-Died Relationship with Predecessor(s) Ruled from Ruled until
Saint Andrei I Bogolyubsky 1110–1174 Son of Yuri I 15 May 1157 29 June 1174
Mikhail I ?-1176 Brother of Andrei I 1174 September 1174
Yaropolk ?-after 1196 Grandson of Vladimir II 1174 15 June 1175
Mikhail I ?-1176 Brother of Andrei I 15 June 1175 20 June 1176
Vsevolod III the Big Nest 1154–1212 Brother of Andrei I and Mikhail I June 1176 15 April 1212
Yuri II 1189–1238 Son of Vsevolod III 1212 27 April 1216
Konstantin of Rostov 1186–1218 Son of Vsevolod III Spring 1216 2 February 1218
Yuri II 1189–1238 Son of Vsevolod III February 1218 4 March 1238
Yaroslav II 1191–1238 Son of Vsevolod III 1238 30 September 1246
Sviatoslav III 1196–3 February 1252 Son of Vsevolod III 1246 1248
Mikhail Khorobrit 1229–15 January 1248 Son of Yaroslav II 1248 15 January 1248
Sviatoslav III 1196– 3 February 1252 Son of Vsevolod III 1248 1249
Andrey II 1221–1264 Son of Yaroslav II December 1249 24 July 1252
Saint Alexander I Nevsky 1220–1263 Son of Yaroslav II 1252 14 November 1263
Yaroslav III 1230–1272 Son of Yaroslav II 1264 1271
Vasily of Kostroma 1241–1276 Son of Yaroslav II 1272 January 1277
Dmitry of Pereslavl 1250–1294 Son of St. Alexander 1277 1281
Andrey III 1255–1304 Son of St. Alexander 1281 December 1283
Dmitry of Pereslavl 1250–1294 Son of St. Alexander December 1283 1293
Andrey III 1255–1304 Son of St. Alexander 1293 1304
Saint Michael of Tver 1271–1318 Son of Yaroslav III Autumn 1304 22 November 1318
Yuri (III) of Moscow 1281–1325 Grandson of St. Alexander 1318 2 November 1322
Dmitry I the Terrible Eyes 1299–1326 Son of St. Michael 1322 15 September 1326
Alexander of Tver 1281–1339 Son of St. Michael 1326 1327
Alexander III ?–1331 Grandson of Andrey II 1328 1331
Ivan I of Moscow Kalita 1288–1340 Grandson of St. Alexander 1332 31 March 1340

Since 1332 the title of the Grand Princes of Vladimir passed to the Grand Dukes of Moscow.


  1. "RUSSIA, Slavic Languages, Orthodox Calendar, Russian Battleships". Retrieved 2013-07-28. The word in Russian is Knyaz which is different from the word borrowed from German for "duke", gertsog (i.e. herzog), and from Latin for "prince", prints. The problem seems to be that in modern times a brother of the Tsar was always a Velikii Knyaz and this was translated "Grand Duke" by analogy to the tradition of giving the title Duke to the brothers of the Kings of England and France. This ambiguity exists in other regional languages, where either "prince" or "duke" can also translate kníze in Czech, knez in Croatian, ksiaze in Polish, knieza in Slovakian, kunigaikshtis in Lithuanian, and voivode in Hungarian.
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