Map of Centre historique de la ville de Gorokhovets
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Keep your fingers crossed this one actually won't make it on the list, as it's in the middle of nowhere. Remember your torturous car ride in jam-filled main road from Moscow to Vladimir? Well, this is some 150 kms further to the east, in an extremely rural part of Russia, where, as we in Slovakia say, foxes bid you goodnight.
Ivan and I took our two Russian friends, Lena and Sveta and we finally arrived after 9 hours of riding (though, admittedly, we had some stops along the way, one of them being the Intermission Church on Nerl river, part of Vladimir WHS). Unfortunately, the whole town was a work in progress - churches were being reconstructed and the floating bridge leading to one of the monasteries on the other side of the river still wasn't assembled after the winter. It was the end of May. Still, we did what we could to make the most of this visit. We visited two out of three monasteries, the merchant houses, one of which has become a wedding ceremonies hall, another a museum. There's a tourist centre cum gift shop with lovely souvenirs and we had to drag away our friend Lena from a lecture on the properties of different puppets-talismans.
As for the reason for inscription, they state it's a "high standard of historical 17th century urban landscape". I would agree, there's a lovely mix of historical stone mansions, flamboyantly decorated wooden houses and nice townhouses. And, most importantly, no Russian "pyatietazhky", sore-looking five-story blocks of flats that sprouted during Khruschev's era and they mar any city landscape they find themselves in. So for that, yes, Gorokhovets is cute and charming, even though in a slight state of disrepair and not much of a tourist infrastructure to speak of. We looked for hotels, there's one motel off the main road on the way towards gorokhovets and that's it. There are some eating establishments in town, but that's it. If you really want to have a look, make it a detour off Vladimir. Ideally with someone who speaks Russian.