56°46′35″N 38°50′22″E / 56.77639°N 38.83944°E / 56.77639; 38.83944

The site of the Kleshchin citadel

Kleshchin (Клещин) was a Meryan[1] (and later Slavic) town on the eastern shore of Lake Pleshcheyevo in Zalesye. It is thought that the lake owes its name to the derelict town: the opening lines of the Primary Chronicle refer to the lake as Kleshchino (or Kleshcheyevo).[2] In 1152, Grand Duke George I of Vladimir had Kleshchin transferred 4500 meters to the south, renaming it Pereslavl-Beyond-the-Woods.

The site of old Kleshchin occupies about two hectares near Gorodishchi [ru] ("former town"), a village that succeeded the deserted town. Ivan the Terrible presented it to the nearby Nikitsky Monastery in 1562. The site is fortified with a system of earthworks - about 3 meters (9.8 ft) high - that used to support a wooden palisade with four gate towers.

The so-called Bald Hill in the vicinity of Gorodishchi is believed to have housed a pagan sanctuary from which the sacred Blue Stone of the Meryans was overthrown and broken to pieces. This boulder is a popular tourist attraction.[3]

See also



  1. ^ Aleksey Uvarov. Меряне и их быт по курганным раскопкам // Труды 1 Археологического съезда. — М., 1869. — Т. 1. — С. 231.
  2. ^ "ПЛЕЩЕЕВО ОЗЕРО • Большая российская энциклопедия - электронная версия".
  3. ^ "Синий камень".