Pereslavl-Zalessky’s claim to fame (official)

First, it is Prince Alexander Nevsky (1220-1263) who was born in Pereslavl-Zalessky A big hero here although his role was to reject help from the Catholic Europe and opt for the union with Mongols. See more respectable sources that my old humble opinionated me but my impression is that he was the jerk behind the fatal choice of Asia over Europe that make Russia what it is. For this historic-scale atrocity that is here viewed as an act of religious devotion he even was canonized a couple of centuries later, under Ivan the Terrible, who too is a sainthood candidate these days. I know, that does not sound credible but let me see if anything leaked out.. Here is an article by Susan B. Glassner, Editor in Chief of the Foreign Policy magazine.

Second, it is one of very few pre-mongol churches still left is in Pereslavl-Zalessky. An architectural artifact from before things went ugly.

Oh, the city was founded at the same time and by the same character as Moscow. Prince Yuri the Long Armed, called so because of his liking for grabbing what didn’t belong to him even by standards of the age when property laws meant little compared to brute force. My understanding is that by disregarding the customary system of inheriting thrones and starting wars against his relatives he precipitated a series of events that make the state fall apart and become an easy victim for Mongols. Not sure if he is on the official list of city attractions. 

Then there is that Plesheyevo Lake where Peter the First constructed his first trial fleet of 100 ships on returning from the Netherlands. Two of these are still around, one in Pereslavl-Zalessky, and another one in St. Petersburg.