One of the oldest Russian towns, Suzdal was founded in 1024 as a fortress town on the Kamenka River. By the beginning of the 13th century it had become the capital of Suzdal principality and a political and religious center of Russia. But unfortunately in 1238 the town was destroyed by the Mongols under the leadership of Batu Khan and never recovered its former importance. In the 15th century Suzdal passed to the grand Duchy of Moscow. The town is fabulously rich in the unique architectural monuments of the 13th-18th centuries including ancient cathedrals and monasteries, bell-towers and churches, one and two-story wooden and brick buildings. The Kremlin, the Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe, the Nativity Cathedral and the Intercession Cathedral are the most popular places of interest. Suzdal is truly a town-museum distinguished for its fidelity to ancient traditions.