About Moscow: numerous incredible stories are told about the city, which attracts tourists’ attention more and more every year.
And it’s not surprising at all. The names “Russia” and “Moscow” themselves are enriched with that noble power of Ancient Rus’, which is the motherland of bogatyrs and knyazes, whose exploits were famous all over the world.
Moscow values a lot its history and culture. There is a great number of things to admire and to learn.
As a special dessert for travellers, Moscow promises to provide a fabulous delight and striking mixture of feelings and emotions.
As a great plus, there are not only world-famous cultural values, art masterpieces, architectural and historical monuments, but also modern items which are equally attractive and sometimes even more original and charming.
To put it honestly, if you don’t know anything about Moscow, you haven’t seen half of the world.
It’s absolutely true. Moscow is often described as the richest spiritual capital in the world. One should visit the city at least once and make sure of it.
Moscow grows up spiritually so that you will discover that so desired harmony. But sometimes, embraced by this large city, tourists start feeling lost.
The Moscow Kremlin:
is situated in the very centre of Russia – on a lofty hill above the Moskva River. The history of Russia is reflected in every building here.
On the territory of Kremlin (that is 0.277 square km), you can see ancient cannons and bells, cathedrals and palaces, museums and the residence of the President of the Russian Federation.
High walls and loopholes indicate that this powerful and magnificent construction is also a fortress. At the same time, the Kremlin reflects the spiritual life of Russia.
The Moscow Kremlin is the national shrine, the symbol of Russia.
The architectural complex of the Kremlin includes the fortress itself with its monumental walls and towers, as well as temples and chambers, magnificent palaces and ceremonial administrative buildings. It consists of Sobornaya, Ivanovskaya, Senatskaya and Dvortsovaya squares and Spasskaya, Borovitskaya and Dvortsovaya streets.
Moscow: The Red Square:
The Red Square in Moscow is the heart of the city and its symbol. It’s the favourite place both for visitors of the capital and for Moscovites. The Square is always crowded.
But it’s not really red. The name originates from the Russian word ‘krasnaya’. ‘Krasivaya’ means ‘nice, beautiful’.
Looks like all the buildings in this area were constructed in order to justify the name.
The beautiful Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed with its nine churches, the amazing Resurrection Gate, the noble building of the State Historical Museum and surely the main department store GUM have a great historical and cultural value.
The Red Square hosts a great number of national cultural events but the biggest and the most important event for all the Russians is the Victory Day Parade.
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed:
is situated on the Red Square in Moscow and is the main temple of the capital of Russia.
That is why for most people in the world it is recognised as the main symbol of Russia like the Eiffel Tower for France or the Statue of Liberty for the USA.
The Cathedral was built in the 16th century by decree of Ivan the Terrible to honour the conquest of the Kazan’ city by Russian troops.
Nowadays the Cathedral is opened as a museum. The visitors can climb a spiral staircase and admire the icon-stands with sacred images from the 16th-19th century and look at the patterns of the inner gallery.
The walls are decorated with oil painting and wall-paintings from the 16th-19th century. There are also portrait and landscape paintings and church/ware from the era.
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed is an Orthodox shrine and a monument of incredible beauty.
The State Tretyakov Gallery:
is one of the largest museums in the world. It shows the work of art created at the period from the 10th till the 20th century. There are presented all the schools of Russian art – from icon painting to avant-garde.
The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is often called simply ‘Tretyskovka’ and is one of those sites in the capital which is visited not only by real judges of art but anyone who is even a bit interested in the cultural heritage of Russia. The Tretyakov Gallery is one of the leading cultural and educational centres in Russia. It is the largest museum of Russian art in the world.
The Bolshoi Theatre:
(the Big Theatre) is one of the leading theatre stages in the world. It is situated in the centre of Moscow on Teatralnaya Square. Most of all, it is famous for exceptional skills of its performing artists.
Talented performers of the Bolshoi Theatre – singers and ballet dancers, composers, orchestra directors and choreographers are well-known all over the world. More than 800 performances have been shown on the stage of the theatre.
Those were the first Russian operas – operas of such celebrities as Verdi and Wagner, Bellini and Donizetti, Berlioz, Ravel and other famous composers.
The world premieres of the operas of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Arensky took place here. The great composer Rachmaninov used to be an orchestra director here.
The Kremlin Armour:
is a world-famous museum. There is represented the clothes of the czar, weapons, gold and silver items, made by Russian, European and Oriental craftsmen.
The chamber got its name because it used to be a workshop for the best gunmakers. The weapons they produced were light, comfortable and had high fighting qualities.
The Kremlin Armour is a real treasury which contains valuable historical exhibits. Parts of them were made in the workshops of the Kremlin. Other parts were gifts to Russian czars from foreign ambassadors. The most beautiful and precious items are kept in the Diamond Fund, situated nearby.
Tsar Bell is one of the most famous sightseeing places in the Moscow Kremlin.
It is a 6.14 metres tall and has 6.6 metres in diameter and thickness up to 61 centimetres.
It’s situated on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin.
The present bell is the third in the family. The first one was cast in 1600, but fell down and was broken to pieces during a fire in the mid-17th century. The second bell was cast in 1655. It weighed 100 tons but was also destroyed in 1701 by the fire.
The third bell was commissioned by Empress Anna Ivanovna, niece of Peter the Great. A new ‘giant’ was much heavier and had ornaments, portraits and engravings on it. The works were almost finished in 1737 when, again during the fire, the wooden support structures were burned and the Bell fell back down into the casting pit.
Tsar Bell stayed in the pit for almost a century. Napoleon Bonaparte during his occupation of Moscow wanted to take it to Paris as a trophy. However, he failed to get the bell out because of its weight and size.
It was finally raised in 1836 and placed on a pedestal on Ivanovskaya Square. Though it has never made a sound, Tsar Bell amazes the tourists by its enormous size. It is considered to be a monument of foundry work of the 18th century.
The Manege Square is situated in the very centre of Moscow and it’s surrounded by the Kremlin and Alexander Gardens.
It has got its name from a Manege that was built nearby in 1817.
Starting from being called Novomanegenaya (New Manege), Staromanegenaya (Old Manege) and Universitetskaya (University), the place officially got its name ‘Manege Square’ in 1931.
In the last decade of the 20th century, it was marked by the construction of an enormous shopping centre “Okhotny Ryad” right under the square.
Nowadays Manege Square is one of the most popular places in Moscow, famous for its history and architecture. For a long time, it has been a place for concerts, cultural events and political gatherings.
It has been said that Manege Square is a kind of an energetic trap in the very centre of a metropolis. In past times, it was often called ‘the centre of the Universe’. It used to attract a great number of absolutely different people – from wealthy dealers and great nobles to leisured beggars.
Nowadays there is a circle with the engraving ‘Kilometre Zero’. Native Muscovites are sometimes very surprised that this place attracts much more tourists than any other sight or historical monument in the capital. But it is easy to explain: according to legends, Manege Square is full of special magic and even a usual walk here can help to remarkably improve your wealth.
In the very centre of Moscow on the Cathedral square of Kremlin there is the bell tower of St. John Climacus situated, also known as the Ivan the Great bell tower.
It unites all the ancient temples of Moscow Kremlin into one whole architectural ensemble. In 2008 the temple celebrated its 500th birthday.
The first church was built in this place in 1329 as a tower for John Climacus’s bell.
Nowadays, the bell tower includes 21 bells. The biggest – Uspenskiy, weighs 65 320 kilograms. It was cast in the 19th century and has the best sound. Almost all the bells have their own names. Only three of them are unnamed.
In the Ivan the Great bell tower there is an unusual museum of the History of the Moscow Kremlin. Here you can see the bits of the original white stone structures which started the Kremlin in the 14th century, the panorama of Moscow and other interesting exhibits.
Multimedia technologies are used to project the historical monuments of the Kremlin on the walls and vaults of the bell tower. The visitors can look at the Moscow Kremlin from the viewpoint.
In the very centre of Moscow on the Red Square, there is the old building of Upper Market Stalls situated.
It is the main and the biggest department store in Russia – GUM, an architectural monument of federal significance.
There aren’t many shops in the world that have such an interesting and rich history as GUM. As well as the Red Square, GUM is an integral part of the Russian history.
The building has three floors and a unique laced roof made of glass and metal. In the old times, there used to be more than 300 shops, a bank, a post office, a jeweller’s workshop and a hairdressing salon. It was the first shop that started to use a motto: “Customers are always right!”.
There was also a restaurant which often organised musical nights and painting shows. The place was more than just a shop. People came here to entertain themselves and have fun.
Nowadays the department store is constantly developing. It often hosts different cultural events. In winter visitors can go skating on the ice rink on the Red Square.
The fountain in the centre on the first floor is a place for meetings and dates. Some of the places have preserved their outlook from the 1950-60s. For example, Gastronome №1 (a grocery store) and Stolovaya №57 (a canteen) which has a self-service with Russian and European food.
The Peter the Great Statue in Moscow, created by the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, is the highest monument in Russia and one of the highest in the world.
It was set up on 5th September 1997 for the 850th anniversary of Moscow. Interesting is, that the monument caused even bigger massive public outcry than any election or any accident. Muscovites also had mixed feelings on the matter. Opponents of the Tsereteli’s work pointed to many contradictions and historical mistakes.
Though there is an opinion that the Peter the Great Statue is one of the ugliest monuments in the world, it is still a unique engineering construction.
The Statue is 98 metres high, the supporting frame is made of stainless steel and the monument itself is made of high-quality bronze. Some details are gold-plated. Anchor roots of the ship are also made of stainless steel and fixed so that any movement for them is absolutely impossible. To reduce the weight, the sails have a space metal frame inside.
One can say that Zurab Tsereteli has definitely fulfilled his mission. He has impressed the public, attracted a lot of attention and made people worry. This is the main task of an artist.