Being the most recognizable symbol of Russia in the world, the glorious Red Square is the UNESCO listed World Heritage which accepts thousands of tourists each year. No wonder that this sight is a true must-visit of any Moscow trip and every adventurous globe-trotter has a picture in front of St. Basil's Cathedral.
The Red Square is set in the very heart of Moscow, separating the Kitay Gorod commercial district from the Kremlin walls, and has a history as old as the post-Mongol fortress itself. The name "Krásnaya Plóshchaď" translates from Russian as "red", yet the word also means "beautiful". This ancient center of Russia's political power dates back to the end of the 13th century and has a long and rich history.
Originally, it was the site of a central market square established in an area cleared by decree for the defense of Kremlin on the banks of Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers. It was also a place where various festive processions were held and thus the square was considered a sacred place.
St. Basil’s Cathedral is Moscow’s most famous artistic work of architecture. Also called "Pokrovsky Cathedral" or "The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat", it is the most recognizable Russian building. This Cathedral is to the Russians what the Eiffel Tower is to the French, an honorable symbol of their past, present, and future.
The cathedral stands on the Red Square, facing the Ivory Gate Chapel. The St. Basil's Cathedral history started in 1555 by the order of Ivan IV ("Ivan the Terrible") in celebration of the defeat of Kazan, the last remaining grip of the Mongol Empire on European lands.
Today there are more than 400 icons painted between the 14th and 19th centuries by the most famous schools of Novgorod and Moscow hanging on the walls.
A narrow pathway leads you from one alter to another, passing through a wooden spiral staircase so well hidden in a wall, that it was only found during the 1970 restoration of the cathedral. Taking in the medieval aura and mystical spirituality of St. Basil’s imbues visitors with what can only be described as a quintessential Russian experience.
The Tretyakov Gallery is the main museum of Russian national art, reflecting its unique contribution to world culture. It is a hospitable museum that is known for its rich collection and variety of presented ideas. Check out the best works of Russian art from different eras and authors. On Currently the collection includes more than 180 000 pieces and is regularly updated. The Collection presents major masterpieces from the permanent exhibition.
Also visit The New Tretyakov Gallery which presents the most completed in our country permanent exhibition of the art of the 20th century in all its diversity - avant - garde, socialistic realism and art of the "austere style" and "underground" and some new art trends. Here are held not only large-scale retrospectives of great Russian artists, but also showed experimental exhibitions of young authors. A lecture - hall and a creative workshop offer a wide range of theoretical knowledge and practical trainings about the art of the 20th and early 21st century for children, students and adults.
The Bolshoi Theatre began its life as the private theatre of the Moscow proseсutor Prince Pyotr Urusov. On 28 March 1776, Empress Catherine II signed and granted the Prince the 'privilege' of organizing theatre performances, masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment for a period of ten years. It is from this date that Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre traces its history.
The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day.
On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage and it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.
The reconstruction project lasted from l July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, at the same time, it has joined the ranks of most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world.
The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.
Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square offers up one of Moscow’s most macabre attractions and perhaps the most famous “modern mummy” in the world.
Frozen in time, Vladimir Ilych Lenin’s embalmed body lays within a red granite and black labratorite step-pyramid. Here visitors may gaze on it in the dark, cool of the tomb. The sarcophagus is kept at a constant temperature of 16° C (61° F) and humidity of 80 - 90 percent. Weekly, a mild bleach is used to fight discoloring fungus and mold on Lenin’s skin, and every eighteen months the corpse undergoes a chemical bath of glycerol and potassium for thirty days while the mausoleum is closed. During this time, Lenin’s clothes are washed and carefully ironed. And every three years, Lenin receives a new suit.
Lenin can be viewed for five minutes at a time in small groups under the watchful eye of guards in every corner of the room.
The Armoury Chamber, a treasure-house, is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace's complex. It is situated in the building constructed in 1851 by architect Konstantin Ton. The museum collections were based on the precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the tsars' treasury and the Patriarch's vestry. Some of the exhibits were made in the Kremlin's workshops, others were accepted as ambassadorial gifts. The museum was named after one of the oldest Kremlin's treasury stores.
The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient state regalia, ceremonial royal clothes and coronation dresses, vestments of Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs, the most extensive collection of gold- and silverware made by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial arms and armour, carriages and horse ceremonial harness.
The State Armoury presents more than four thousand items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th - early 20th century. The highest artistic level and particular historical and cultural value of the exhibits have made the State Armoury of the Moscow Kremlin a world-wide known museum.
Today GUM lives like it once was conceived. It is ideal shopping city of Moscow that seems to live without losses and catastrophes for 120 years already. The fountain in the center of GUM was reopened and pleases visitors since 2007. This legendary construction is captured in the official chronicles of the twentieth century and in millions of private shots. They say, the sound of a shutter can be heard every three seconds here today. The legendary cinema, which went down in the history of the national movie-making, was restored. Unique illumination project was carried out on the facade. GUM-Skating rink was opened at Red Square in 2006, which at once gained the fame of the brightest ice rink of the capital.
GUM is not just a store where you can buy almost everything. It is a shopping block where there is a pharmacy, bank branch, and flower shop ... It is a monument of architecture. It is a comfortable lounge area with restaurants and cafes. It is an art gallery and venue for cultural events. It is an integral part of Russian history. It is a symbol of Moscow and it is the closest place to the Kremlin, where you can feel yourself in Europe!
Golitsynsky Pond consists of two parts: the small and the big ponds. Founded in 1954, the complex has always been one of the most romantic places in the park.
Golitsinsky pond changed its title and at the time of the Sovient Union was renamed as Pionersky. During the reconstruction of the Park, Golitsinsky Pond has received its original name.
The main attraction of the Pond is a small "Dancing island". Currently this island is abandoned, however in 1930's one of the most beautiful stages of the Park located there. On the brim there used to be the amphitheater for 700 spectators while the island served as a platform for the plays. Repertoire was quite diverse - theatre plays and ballet, opera, musical acts and other different performances. The Bolshoy Theatre artists also gave their performances here.
Boat renting is also available. The territory of the Pond is quite big so it's possible to move easily around it using the boat.
The wooden palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich with 270 rooms decorated with paintings and carvings was built in 1667 without using any fasten materials, nails or hooks. It consisted of 26 buildings connected with each other by passages and halls. The whole complex was divided into male and female parts. The male part included ceremonial chambers, chambers of the Tsar and of his sons, while the female part belonged to the Tsarina and to the Tsar’s daughters.