Gus-Khrustalny, a town of the Russian Golden ring, stands on the Gus River in the Vladimir region 39 mi (63 km) far from Vladimir. The town got the name in 1926, in connection with the specialization of its main factory producing glassware. Thus, “Gus” refers to the name of the river, on which it stands, while “Khrustalny” means “crystal”.
Gus-Khrustalny houses a Crystal Factory considered the largest Russian manufacturer of crystal and glass art. Since the factory was founded there in 1756, the town has been known for its high-quality glassware, which has been exported worldwide.
Among regular customers were noblemen and royal families of the tsars. Even the trading house of Carl Faberge was a regular customer and bought the best factory’ products. Some items created by factory’s masters are exhibits of Russian museums today. After 250 years, the workers of the factory still use the techniques passed down through the centuries: hand-blow, hand-cut, hand-paint and hand-etch.
The plant has a small shop with diverse range of glassware, which is to say quite overpriced.
To see the entire production process, take a guided tour. The tour is in Russian only, but you can just stroll and see the process. Guided tour is available on weekdays from 9.00am to 12.00pm and costs 2000 for up to 5 people.
The plant is closed from 1-26 of June each year
Website of the Crystal Factory: www.ghz.ru (Rus)
Address of the Crystal Factory: 28, Kalinina str. (Rus: ул. Калинина, 28)
Latitude: 40°40′9.072″ (40.6691869)
Longitude: 55°36′54.576″ (55.6151601)
Gus-Khrustalny boasts the world famous Glass and Crystal Museum (also known as Maltsov Crystal Museum). It is quartered in the Georgievsky Cathedral, a magnificent architectural monument of the 19 century, built in honor of St. George Victorious in pseudo Russian style by the design of L. Benua. The Cathedral is painted with frescos by Vasili Vasnetsov.
The museum preserves more than two thousand of unique exhibits, the true masterpieces of the Russian glass-blowers. Mainly the museum’s collection consists of crystal products of the legendary crystal factory. The most remarkable exhibit is the six-ton “Hymn to Glass” that consists of 361 glass items.
Opening hours of the Glass and Crystal Museum:
Open daily except Monday
Address: 2A, Kalinina str. (Rus: ул. Калинина, 2А)
Buses #4, 6, 10, 11 & 124.
Latitude: 40°39′28.385″ (40.6578849)
Longitude: 55°37′11.582″ (55.6198839)
Once you are in Gus-Khrustalny, be sure to visit the famous city market. The market’s glassware boasts a variety of forms, color spectrum, material and decor.
In the market there are articles made of glass, crystal, porcelain, earthenware, majolica, gypsum, ceramics, wood, plastic, quartz, and stone from about 60 local and foreign factories.
Here you can find traditional Russian souvenirs, items for the table decoration, as well as elegant jewelry boxes, figurines, etc.
Opening hours of the Gus-Khrustalny market:
Open daily from 6:00-13:00.
Address: 3, Rudnitskoy str. (Rus: ул. Рудницкой, 3)
Latitude: 40°40′5.422″ (40.668173)
Longitude: 55°36′41.814″ (55.6116151)
Website: www.glass-mart.ru (Rus)
How to get to Gus Khrustalny:
From Moscow: Buses depart from Shyolkovsky bus station in Moscow two times a day. Travel time is 4.5 hours
Suburban trains leave from Vladimir train station twice a day. Travel time is 1.5-2 hours.
Numerous direct buses run to Gus Krustalny from Vladimir bus station. Travel time is about 1.5 hours.
Other Vladimir attractions:
Bogolyubovo, a picturesque village located 13 km east from Vladimir with remarkable monuments of the architecture of the 12th century.
Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, the main temple of Vladimir erected in 1158.
Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin, the place with an amazing fate: for centuries, giving believers hope for the world beyond the grave, it became a place of cruel executions of the 20th century.
Golden Gate, a unique example of Russian military architecture of the 12th century and the most recognizable object of the city.
Cathedral of St Dmitry, one of the most beautiful and original cathedrals of ancient Russia.
Museum of Crystal, Lacquer Miniatures and Embroidery that occupies the stunning building of the Old Believers Trinity Church and houses a rich collection of Russian handicrafts and folk art, lacquer miniature, rock crystal and glass pieces.