(Locator); (Russia Tourist Map)......although founded in 1108 as a fortress for the defense of the Rostov-Suzdal Rus, actual settlement in what is now Vladimir began at the end of the 10th century. By the midle of the 12th century it had become the capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality and of northeastern Russia. Many of Vladimir's most famous and beautiful architectural monuments date from this period. White stone churches and fortifications built nearly 1000 years ago still stand. During the period of the Mongol occupation, such constructions were no longer carried out, and there is a gap in the style and architecture up until Moscow became the capital. Then building began again once the Mongols had been forced out. The Assumption Cathedral of the Princess Convent from the 16th century is the best example of this period, and a must-see for all visitors to Vladimir. Vladimir is also well known for its icons. In fact, the most famous of the icon painters of the 1500’s, Andrey Rubolyov and Danil Chorny, decorated the entire Dormation Cathedral. Vladimir is best visited in conjunction with Suzdal.