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ATTRACTIONS

Kremlin
For centuries of its existence the Moscow Kremlin has been witness of many famous and tragic events of our history. Enemy guns rattled at its walls, celebrations and revolts took place. Now the Moscow Kremlin is one of the biggest museums of the world. State regalia of Russia, invaluable icons, treasures of Russian tsars are stored in the Kremlin chambers and cathedrals.

Spasskaya Tower is considered to be the most beautiful and most harmonious tower of the Kremlin. It was constructed by architect Pietro Antonio Solari in 1491. From time immemorial the Spasskaya gate was the main smart entrance to the Kremlin. It was especially esteemed among people and was considered to be sacred. It was forbidden to pass astride through the Spasskaya gate.

For 400 years of its existence the Emperor Cannon changed its location for several times. In 1960, following the construction of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, the Emperor Cannon have been solemnly moved to the Ivanovskaya Square to the Cathedral of Twelve Apostles, where it stands until now.

Red Square
As ancient chronicles assert, the Red Square appeared at the end of 15th century, when Ivan III ordered to ruin all wooden buildings, surrounding the Kremlin and threatening with the fire, and to allot this area for a market. That's how the first name of the square - Trade Square ("Torgovaya") appeared. However, in 16th century the Square was renamed into "Troitskaya (Trinity) Square" after the Church of Saint Trinity. Later the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed was erected at the place of St. Trinity Church.

In Russia the same object might have several names. Thus, The Red Square was officially given its modern name in 19th century, though the name was mentioned in the documents of 17th century. Different centuries left their traces:15th century gave the Kremlin's Wall with Spasskaya, Senatskaya and Nikolskaya towers; 16th - Place of execution. (Lobnoe mesto), and the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed; 19th century - the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, the building of Historical museum and Upper Trade Rows (GUM), 20th century - Lenin's Mausoleum.

Central Moscow
A visiting 19th-century French aristocrat, the Marquis de Custine, described the exterior of St Basil's Cathedral as 'a sort of irregular fruit bristling with excrescences, a cantaloupe melon with embroidered edges'. The exterior is so magical that the interior is a bit of an anticlimax. Nearby, you can still pay your respects at Lenin's tomb. Bordering Red Square, the magnificent GUM (State Department Store) was built in the 19th century to house 1000 shops. The hefty building north of Red Square is the stuff of nightmares and airport novels. It housed the KGB and the notorious Lubyanka prison.

Gorky Park
Stretching almost 3km (1.8mi) along the river, Gorky Park is full of that sometimes rare species, the happy Russian. Officially the 'Park of Culture', named after Maxim Gorky, it's the original Soviet park - part ornamental and educational, part funfair and amusement park, and a good place to escape the hubbub of the city.

Poklonnaja mountain
Poklonnaja mountain is the most significant monument constructed in honour of victory in the Great Patriotic War. Solemn opening of the Victory Memorial in Moscow was held in May, 9, 1995. In February, 23, 1958 on Poklonnaya mountain a memorable granite sign was established with the inscription: " Here there will be a monument to the Victory of Soviet people in Great Patriotic War". Trees were planted around the place, park was layed named the Victory Park. In 70-80s 194 million roubles were collected. For the whole complex a site of 135 hectares was allocated. A great work on designing, discussion and choosing the best project of the main monument to freedom began. At that time, however, the question remained unsolved as none of the projects submitted was accepted. Everything remained without changes until the general management of the construction of the Memorial was undertaken by the mayor of Moscow J.M.Luzhkov. And the construction, threatened to be broken, was completed for three years.

St. Basil's Cathedral
In 16th century a stone church of the Trinity with a small cemetery was situated on this place. The Blessed Vasily, who has dyed in August 2, 1555, considered to be foolish, was buried near this stone church. In October 2, 1552, Russian troops took Kazan - the capital of the Kazan khanate. In commemoration of this event tsar Ivan the Terrible ordered to construct 7 wooden temples on the Red Square, where in 1555-1561 a stone temple, named after the Feast of the Protective veil, was erected (the assault on Kazan began the day of the holiday of the Protective veil, after two months siege). The church, situated in the central tower, was devoted to this holiday. Four towers-churches are located on different sides of the world. The northern - in the name of St. Kiprian and Ustina; that was the day of the complete capture of Kazan. In 1786 under petition of rich investor Natalia Hruscheva the church was consecrated in the name of St. Adrian and Natalia. The southern church is consecrated in the name of Nicola Velikoretsky, that is also connected with the Kazan campaign. The western church is consecrated in the name of the Input to Jerusalem, it is connected with solemn returning of the army to Moscow. Eastern church is consecrated in the name of Trinity, that is, the church, which was before situated at the cathedral place, was transferred into it.

The Cathedral of Christ the Savoir
The temple was constructed on a vow given by sovereign Alexander I in gratitude for saving fatherland "from the Gauls invasion". The temple was supposed to be built on Vorobyovy mountains under the project of architect Vitberg. Subsequently "on intrigues against the builder" the project of a temple and a place of construction were changed. The new place was chosen not so close to the Kremlin, so that the temple was dissonant to its ensemble, but at the same time so that connection of the temple with ancient constructions of the Kremlin and the Red Square was felt.

September, 10, 1839 the solemn laying of the present temple in Russian-Byzantian style took place. It was constructed under the project of architect K.A.Ton, at the expense of treasury with attraction of people's donations. Two cemeteries and mammoth remnants were found during digging a foundation ditch. The temple was consecrated in April, 10, 1883 during the days of crowning of the emperor Nikolay I. Side - chapels were consecrated later: in June, 12 - the side-chapel of St.Nikolay Chudotvorets and in July, 8 - of St. Alexander Nevsky. K.A.Ton has created the project of a five-domed temple with big central and four angular turrets with 14 bells.

Novodevichy Convent
One of the most beautiful Moscow convents, founded at the beginning of 16th century, for 400 years the Novodevichy Convent was the witness and the participant of important historical events, connected with the names of Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Sofia and Peter I. The architectural ensemble of the convent was formed by the end of 17th century and till now remains one of the best in Russia. In the main, Smolensk Cathedral, there is a valuable wall fresco of 16th century and a magnificent carved iconostasis with icons of famous imperial masters of that time. Representatives of noble families and tsar relatives, the hero of the Patriotic war of 1812 D.V.Davydov, the writer I.I.Lazhechnikov, the historian S.M. Solovyev and others are buried on the convent territory.

The construction of the convent was a result of a large military and diplomatic victory of Russia. The founder of the convent, grand duke Vasily III, his son Ivan the Terrible, other tsars and boyars showed a great interest in the Novodevichy convent, rendering it all possible financial and legal support.

Mausoleum
The composite centre of the Red Square - the Mausoleum - is a monument-tomb, in a Mourning hall of which there is a crystal sarcophagus with V.I.Lenin's body. When it became known about his death it was decided to build a Mausoleum by the Kremlin wall. The project was carried out by architect A. Shchusev. By January 27, 1924 a temporary Mausoleum was erected. It was a cube, crowned with three-level pyramid. In spring of the same year it was replaced by another temporary Mausoleum, also wooden.

The modern stone Mausoleum was constructed in 1930, also designed by A. Shchusev. It is a grand scale building tiled with dark-red granite, porphyry and black labradorite. Red and black shades give the Mausoleum distinct and sad austerity. Over the entrance, on black labradorite the name "Lenin" is inscribed in red porphyry. At the same time at both sides of the building along the Kremlin wall guest tribunes for 10 thousand people were constructed.

Bolshoy Theatre
The foundation of Bolshoi Theatre traditionally dates back to the 6th of January of 1825, when a fine classical building with 8-columned portico crowned by the carriage of Apollon appeared in the Theatre's Square. The new theatre is considered to be the second largest of Europe after the famous "La Scala" Theatre of Milan. However, the theatrical company had already existed for a half of century. And in honor of the inauguration of the theatre this company performed "The triumph of Muses".

The company was created by a province public prosecutor Petr Vasilievich Ursov in 1772. Later the company was headed by his partner energetic and enterprising Englishman Michael Medox. Thanks to him on the abandoned ground regularly flooded by Neglinka river the new theatre was built. The second half of the 19th century is a period of national originality of Russian Art and Moscow Theatre. The creative activity of such composers and directors as Alexis Verstovsky and Alexander Varlamov contributed to the unusual raising of the theatre. They formed Russian Opera repertoire. The most favorite operas of that time were works by Michael Glinka "The Life for the Czar" and "Ruslan and Lioudmila", which could survive and win the italianomania tendency of that time. And till now traditionally every Theatre season begins one of the operas of Glinka.

State Tretyakov Gallery
State Tretyakov Gallery is the national museum of Russian fine arts of X -XX centuries. It is situated in Moscow and bears name of its founder - Moscow merchant and textile manufacturer Pavel Tretyakov.

It is situated on two territories, separated from each other by several city districts. It gives the opportunity to represent the whole history of Russian art from the ancient period to our contemporaries. Besides, the structure of the Tretyakov Gallery includes memorial museums: A. Vasnetsov's flat, V. Vasnetsov's

Museums
The Pushkin State Fine Arts Museum, in the southwest of the inner city, boasts a broad selection of European works from the Renaissance onward - mostly confiscated from private collections after the revolution. The Tretayakov Gallery, near Gorky Park, has the world's best collection of Russian icons and a fine collection of pre-revolutionary Russian art. The Central Artists' House, next to the new Tretyakov Gallery building, is one of the places you're most likely to find good contemporary art. Past shows have ranged from 19th-century sacred art to the works of Gilbert & George. There are also numerous literary museums, usually situated in the houses of famous writers, such as Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Gogol and Lermontov.

Panorama "Borodino Battle"
The museum building was constructed at the historic place. Here had once been the village of Fili (suburb of Moscow) where on September 13, 1812, in a wooden log hut belonging to a peasant (Frolov by name), the council of war was held, and the fate not only of Moscow but also of entire Russia was at stake.

Since then this house which was named "Kutuzov's hut" by people became the historical relic. In front of it one can see a bronze bust of M.I.Kutuzov. Nearby there is a building of the former museum-chapel of Kutuzov that was built in commemoration of the Centennial of the Patriotic War, as well as an obelisk marking the common grave of 300 Russian warriors. Not far from our museum, on the Kutuzov Avenue, there is the Arc of Triumph erected in 1834. It was restored next to the Poklonnaya Gora (Hill of Respectful Salutation) where Napoleon had vainly expected to be met by a deputation of the city elders, bearing the municipal keys. In 1973 a huge monument heroes of the War of 1812 was erected in front of the museum, topped with an equestrian statue of Kutuzov. So, the above mentioned monuments composed single historical-memorial complex dedicated to the glory of Rusia in battles.

Kuskovo Estate
Kuskovo Estate or Palace was created in full conformity with tastes and rules of Russian nobiliary life and art of 18 th century. It is the composite centre of the "Kuskovo" ensemble, one of the earliest samples of summer country residences of Russia.

According to a plan of the owner count Pyotr Borisovich Sheremetev, "Kuskovo" should be larger and more beautiful than manors of other grandees and must compare well with imperial residences. Construction of a manor was carried out in 30-90ss of 18th century, its territory covers an area of more than 300 hectares, including three parks - French regular, English landscape and Zaprudny, system of ponds and channels, small and big architectural - park ensembles.

Arbat
The Arbat, once the quarter of court artisans, is also a good place for a stroll, passing elegant buildings, Stalinist eyesores and a pedestrian precinct complete with buskers and souvenir-sellers.

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