St Basil’s Cathedral
Start at the Theatre Square, next to the Bolshoi Theatre. Many hotels are located around - Metropol, Ararat Hyatt, National, Marriott Aurora, 4 Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, St Regis, Savoy Hotels. Take a picture in front of the Bolshoi Theater – a classical building where famous Russian ballet is performed for over 150 years. This building is even depicted on a 100 rubles note!
Walk 500 meters, passing 4 Seasons Hotel and Manezh Square, to the gates of Alexander Garden. To the left of the gates, next to the Kremlin wall you will see the Unknown Soldier Tomb. Two soldiers always solemnly stand by its sides. With the beginning of every hour the guards change. Watch it if you will be around in a right time! Kremlin ticket office and the entrance are here, in the Garden. The Kremlin is open daily except Thursday. It is recommended to buy tickets online beforehand to avoid lines to the ticket box which can be very long and slow. You will still have to exchange your e-ticket to the paper one, but there is a separate window for that, with much shorter queue. The Kremlin is a walled piece of the city and its oldest part. The Kremlin is not only a historical sight, but is also a place where the president of the country works. Inside you can’t walk everywhere, but its biggest part is open to public. Don’t throw away your ticket! You will need it at the entrance to cathedrals.
Inside you can see and visit:
Cathedral Square with Assumption Cathedral where all Russian tzars were crowned, Archangel Michael Cathedral where most of them are buried and Annunciation Cathedral where they prayed every day.
Tsar Cannon – the cannon of the biggest caliber in the world
Tsar Bell – the heaviest bell which never rang
There are two museums in the Kremlin – Armoury Chamber and the Diamond Fund. The Armoury’s collections has precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the Tsars’ treasury house. Some of the exhibits were made in the Kremlin workshops. Others were gifts from foreign dignitaries - from England, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Persia and Turkey. You can see jewels, dresses, carriages, thrones, weapon and regalia. It is strongly recommended to buy the ickets in advance. You can do it on the Kremlin website (www.kreml.ru) and exchange them to paper tickets in the same window of the ticket office where you got your Kremlin tickets. The Diamond Fund has a stunning collection of raw diamonds, golden nuggets, other precious stones and priceless pieces of jewelry, including the Crown of the Russian Empire made for the empress Catherine the Great. You can buy tickets on the spot (500 RUB) or in the Alexander Garden ticket office.
Red Square is next to the Kremlin. You can get there through Spasskaya Tower exit.
The Red Square is a large, but cozy (400x150 meters) cobble-stoned square which used to be a market square one day and in the 20th century – a venue for military and workers parades. The main square of the country has several sights: St Basil’s Cathedral – a church with a pile of colorful domes (entrance - 1000 RUB) Lenin’s Mausoleum – an embalmed body of the Soviet Union founder is lying here (free; open Tue-Thus and Sat-Sun 10 am – 1 pm. The queuing time is over an hour) GUM Department Store – an elegant 19th century store with glass roof and a fountain.
(The Red Square is sometimes closed completely or partially for preparation for a state event or a festival).
Go behind St. Basil’s Cathedral and cross the road on the left – you will get to Zaryadye Park. It represents 4 different landscape types of Russia – forest, steppe, swamps and polar tundra. On the top of its artificial hills you can find great views of St Basil’s and the Kremlin. For good panorama go also to an observation platform sticking out above the river.
Tour of the Metro
Christ the Savior Cathedral
Start the day with a tour of the most beautiful stations of Moscow Metro. Each of its marble-faced stations has a unique design and resembles a palace room. Revolution Square, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Kievskaya are especially remarkable. Mind the rush hour: 8 to 10 in the morning, and 6 to 8 in the evening!
By metro you can easily access Tretyakov Gallery. Its main building is close to Tretyakovskaya and Novokuznetskaya stations. The Gallery has a great collection of Russian art, primarily of the 19th century. Icons section is on restoration now (August 2019). Allocate 1-2 hours for the gallery.
From the Gallery you can get on foot or by taxi to another Moscow sight – Christ the Savior Cathedral. Christ the Savior Cathedral is the main church of Russia, where the liturgy is often conducted by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church - the Patriarch. This cathedral is a monument to the Russian Victory over Napoleon in 1812 following a long-standing Russian tradition of erecting churches to express gratitude to God for a victory. The entrance is free of charge. There is a dress-code: no shorts and open shoulders. Behind the Cathedral there is a pedestrian bridge to the other side of the river with the good views of the cathedral itself, the Kremlin and a huge Peter the Great statue. Be aware of the people in costumes of emperors or donkeys offering taking pictures with them – they are scammers.
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