The Golden Gates are an outstanding monument of the Old Russian architecture. They were built in 1164 under prince of Vladimir, Andrey Bogolyubsky (Andrew the Pious).
At his time there were five city gates in Vladimir - Golden, Silver, Copper Gates as well as Irina's and Volga's Gates. However, the Golden Gates are currently the only preserved ones.
Along with their defensive function, the gates were also a triumphal entry to the richest part of the city where princes and boyars lived. The gates were called Golden because of the decoration with gilt copper sheets, which glittered in the sunlight brightly and boggled the imagination of the locals.
Unfortunately, the Golden Gates have not preserved their original appearance - time, frequent devastating fires, and enemies' invasions all played a part in changing the aspect of the gates considerably. Now the Golden Gates are such as they appeared after the restoration in late 18th cen. - early 19th cen.