The St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square its Moscow's most famous attraction. The church was built by "Ivan the Terrible" as Intercession Cathedral in 1561. As the Chapel of St. Basil was added to the existing nine churches in 1588, the whole complex was called Saint Basil's Cathedral.
On Red Square you will find the most beautiful sights of Moscow. There is the St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin, the Historical Museum and the department store GUM. In Russian the place is called "Krasnaya Ploshchad", krasny means red and beautiful.
The GUM was the biggest department store in Europe, when it opened in 1893. The architects Alexander Pomeranzew and Vladimir Shukhov built a shopping arcade with nine intersecting streets, which are connected by bridges on the upper floors. The GUM was transformed into a shopping center in 1995.
The Castle over the Moskva River has been inhabited since the 11th century and is surrounded by a stone wall after a fire destroyed the Kremlin in 1367. Today's walls were built around 1499. Today the "Kremlin" is the seat of the russian president, but can be visited by tourists. The palace, the armory and the square of the cathedrals are the main attractions of the "Kremlin".
The Archangel Cathedral was built from 1505 by the Venetian architect Alewis Nowy. Italian style elements are the mussel reliefs under the pediment. The cathedral is the burrial site of the tzars since 1340. Ivan III was theinitiator of the new cathedral. The interior of the Archangel Michael cathedral is decorated with beautiful icons. The cathedral served as a burial site of the Russian tsars until 1712.
In the fifteenth century the tzars were crowned in the "Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary" (Uspenski sobor). "Ivan the Great" built the cathedral in 1470 by the design of the Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti. This cathedral was also the home of the metropolitans of the Orthodox Church. The frescoes in the main dome are very beautiful.
The 81 m high bell tower was the tallest building in Moscow in 1600. The octogonal tower belonged to the church of St. Ivan Climacus, hence the name "Ivan the Great". The church did not survive, but the bell tower built by Marco Bonfriazin in 1505 remained standing. In 1600 Tsar Boris Godunov built, the third floor of the tower and now "Ivan the Great" surpassed all other buildings im Moscow.
The 200-ton Tsar-bell (Zar-Kolokol) is the heaviest bell in the world. It fell from the bell tower and shattered in a fire in 1701. The fragments were melted down and poured to a new bell in 1737. The bell was still cooling in the mold, when another fire broke out. Through the cool extinguishing water, a piece of the bell broke off. So the bell now stands in front of the bell tower.
The Tsar's gun (Tsar-Puschka) stands on Ivanovskaya square north of the belfry "Ivan the Great". The 40-ton cannon was cast in 1586 by Andrei Schochokov. It's not clear if it really works, as no shot was ever fired from the 5-meter-long cannon.
The Savior Cathedral was built in 1883 in gratitude to Napoleon's retreat. In 1931, the cathedral was destroyed on Stalin's orders to build a 315 m high conference palace, which was never realized. At long last the Savior Cathedral was rebuilt in 1997 from donations.
The "White House" (Bely dom) was the seat of the Parliament of the Russian Federation. When conservative communists drove tanks in front of the building in 1991 and arrested Mikhail Gorbachev at his holiday resort at the same time, Boris Yeltsin was able to prevent the coup d'etat with his determined intervention at the "Bely dom".
As one of the seven Stalinist high-rise buildings, the "Hotel Ukraina" was built between 1950-1956. The 170-meter-high building by the architect Mordwinow is decorated with obelisks, wheat (symbol of Ukraine) and five-pointed Soviet stars. Today the the 29-storey tower, is part of the Radisson hotel group.
Lomonosov University is located on a 75 m high hill above the Moskva River. In 1953, the tallest of the seven Stalinist towers was built here. At 240 meters, the Moscow State University (MGU) is widely visible. The magnificent interiors are covered with marble and natural stone. The university is located in a large park, which also home of the Botanical Garden.
The "New Virgin Monastery" was founded in 1524 by Vasily III after the liberation of Smolensk. Most of the buildings were built in the 17th century by Sophia, the half-sister of Peter the Great. Main attraction is the "Cathedral of the Mother of Smolensk". Novodevichy is the most beautiful fortified monastery in Moscow.
Next to the monastery is the Novodevichy Cemetery, where many famous people of Russia were buried. At the entrance there is a grave list in Russian. Nikolai Rubinstein (pianist), Sergei Prokofiev (composer), Nikita Khrushchev (Soviet dictator) and other great artists and heroes of Russia are burried here.
The "All-Russian Exhibition Center" was established between 1937 and the end of the Soviet Union. Most of the buildings, however, date back to the fifties. The site was opened with an agricultural exhibition in 1939. The pavilions are a prime example of Soviet propaganda buildings. From 1958, the performance of the Russian economy was demonstrated at the "National Economic Exhibition of the USSR". Today there are shops in the historic pavilions.
The Moscow Metrosystem was opened in 1938 with the first line. The design of the stations should refer to the location and at the same time be connected to the other stations of the line by means of uniform elements. The Moscow subway is one of the most beautiful metrosystems in the world.
The "Federation Tower" is the highest skyscrapers in Europe with 374 m. In the business district around the Vystavochnaya metro station many other high-rise buildings have been built. A "high-rise cluster" has emerged, with a new skyline at the moscow river.
Welcome to Moscow
Moscow is the capital of Russia and with around 12 million inhabitants, also the largest city in the country. Most of the sights are located around the "Red Square", the heart of Moscow. Moscow is located on the river Moskva, which rises about 150 km west of the city and flows into the Oka river about 170 km southeast of the capital. The Moskva meanders through the urban area and provides exciting perspectives.
The most famous sights of Moscow include St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin and the ring of Stalinist skyscrapers. The elaborately designed metro stations are also famous.