The small town of Plyos on the Volga River is famous for its serene atmosphere, picturesque hilltop views, and 3-kilometer-long waterfront. Located about 370 km northwest of Moscow, it is the center of the Golden Ring and a favorite stop for Volga river cruises.
Nowadays, the town is still famous for its scenic beauty and reputation as an artists’ haven. This is due largely to the renown of Isaac Levitan, a landscape painter who captured its rustic atmosphere on canvass in the late 19th century.
The first mention of the town of Plyos was recorded in the 12th century, when local rulers erected fortifications; at the time it was a satellite community of the Vladimir-Suzdal princedom. The name is derived from the geographical term plyos, meaning a deep section of the river.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Plyos was the main river port for the region, but the railway made other communities more commercially important such as booming nearby Ivanonvo. However, the small town’s scenery attracted artists who were quick to recognize its beauty. Several resorts have recently been built in Plyos, and it is beginning to emerge as a vacation destination. The charm of the town brings it the fame of a Russian Switzerland. The town’s natural beauty attracts thousands of tourists from all over Russia and beyond.