Sights in Central Moscow

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The territory of the Kremlin and surrounding area are considered to the very centre of Moscow.  To the north of the Kremlin is Aleksandrovsky Gardens and to the east are four squares: Manezhnaya Ploschad (Manege Square), Krasnaya Ploschad (Red Square), Ploschad Revolyutsi (Revolution Square) and Teatralnaya Ploschad (Theatre Square). If you only have a short time in the capital you should immediately head to Red Square, the most famous square not just in Moscow but also in Russia and one of the most recognisable in the world thanks to St Basil's Cathedral. This area is served by Okhotny Ryad (red line), Teatralnaya (dark green line), Ploschad Revolyutsi (dark blue line) and Aleksandrovsky Sad (light blue line) metro stations.

Around the Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin

The word kremlin is used to describe fortresses found in many Russian cities, but when you talk about the Kremlin it is the Moscow Kremlin one thinks of. The first version of the Moscow Kremlin was erected in the current location on Borovitsky Hill in 1156. This original... Read more »

Armoury Chamber

  • via Borovitskie Gates in Aleksandrovsky Gardens.
  • Aleksandrovsky Sad

The Armoury Chamber which was built just after the Grand Kremlin Palace in 1851 now serves as a treasure chamber exhibiting thousands of priceless items of various ages and origins. The Chambers comprise two floors with nine halls in total. On the first floor Halls 1 and 2... Read more »

Diamond Fund

The Kremlin's Diamond Fund is a collection of Russia's state treasures run by Gokhran - the State Precious Metals and Gems Repository of the Russian Ministry of Finance. Before 1914 the collection was housed in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, but was evacuated to the Moscow Kremlin... Read more »

Aleksandrovsky Gardens

  • next to Manezhnaya Ploschad
  • Okhotny Ryad, Aleksandrovsky Sad

The gardens next to Manezhnaya Ploschad are known as the Aleksandrovsky (Alexander) Gardens. The gardens were laid out between 1819 and 1823 by the architect Joseph Bové on the orders of Emperor Alexander I after whom they are named. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier At the start of Aleksandrovsky Gardens... Read more »

Around Red Square

Red Square

  • Red Square
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

No trip to Moscow is complete without a visit to Red Square, where both St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin stand - two of the most recognisable sights in Russia. Some people mistakenly believe the square's name has a communist connection, however it has always been known as... Read more »

St Basil's Cathedral

The most recognisable symbol of Moscow and Russia is probably St Basil's Cathedral with its brightly-coloured domes and it is often compared to a fairy-tale wedding cake. The cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 on the orders of Tsar Ivan the Terrible to commemorate Russia's conquest of... Read more »

Minin and Pozharsky Monument

  • Red Square
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

Located just outside of St Basil's Cathedral is a monument to Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitri Pozharsky. The two men were the leaders of the Second Volunteer Army which successfully liberated Moscow from Polish interventionists in 1612 during the period known as the Times of Trouble. The monument... Read more »

Lobnoe Mesto

  • Red Square
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

The raised stone platform which stands on Red Square a few metres from St Basil's Cathedral is known as Lobnoe Mesto, which literally translates as Forehead Place and is sometimes also referred to in English as the Place of the Skulls. Due to this translation, it is often... Read more »

GUM

The eastern side of Red Square is taken up by the GUM (pronounced 'goum') department store. Its name is an abbreviation of Glavny Universalny Magazin (Main Universal Shop).  The current building was built in the Russian Revival style between 1890 and 1893, consisting of three aisles and covered... Read more »

Lenin Mausoleum

  • Red Square
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Mondays, Fridays and Sundays.

Vladimir Lenin died on 21 January 1924 and despite his own wishes and the wishes of his widow, it was decided to embalm his body and put it on display on Red Square. The first wooden mausoleum was erected less than a week later and was then replaced... Read more »

Kremlin Wall Necropolis

  • Red Square
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Mondays, Fridays and Sundays.

Located behind the Lenin Mausoleum is a necropolis which serves as the final resting place for some of the most famous figures of the Soviet Union.  Immediately behind the mausoleum are 12 graves holding the bodies of Konstantin Chernenko, Semyon Budyonny, Kliment Voroshilov, Andrey Zhdanov, Mikhail Frunze, Yakov... Read more »

Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral

Located in the north-eastern corner of Red Square is the pretty Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral. There has been a church dedicated to the Our Lady of Kazan Icon here since at least 1625 and the first stone version was consecrated in 1636. This version of the cathedral... Read more »

State History Museum

  • 1 Red Square
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • http://www.shm.ru/en
  • 10:00 - 18:00 (Thursdays and Sundays: 11:00 - 20:00). Closed on Tuesdays.

Standing at the north side of Red Square is the State History Museum. The museum was founded in 1872 by an edict of Emperor Alexander II and the building which houses it was built between 1875 and 1881 in the Russian Revival style. Today the museum is the... Read more »

Around Manezhnaya Ploschad

Manezhnaya Ploschad

  • Manezhnaya Ploschad
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

Located immediately north of Red Square is Manezhnaya Ploschad (Manege Square), which got its name from the manege (riding school) located here. In the 1930s the square was redeveloped with the construction of the iconic Moskva Hotel and in 1967 the square was renamed Ploschad 50-letia Oktyabra (50th... Read more »

Resurrection Gates and Our Lady of Iveron Chapel

  • Manezhnaya Ploschad
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

Manezhnaya Ploschad is separated from Red Square by the Resurrection (Voskresenskie) Gates which were originally part of the Kitai-Gorod Walls, practically none of which survives today. The original stone version of the gates were erected in the 1530s and in 1680 two towers were added. In 1781 a... Read more »

Kilometre Zero

  • Manezhnaya Ploschad
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

Right outside the Resurrection Gates you will see on the ground a large circular bronze plaque. This plaque was established in 1995 and marks kilometre zero - the exact centre of Moscow (although all distances to the city are actually measured using the central telegraph office a few... Read more »

Moscow Archaeological Museum

The Moscow Archaeological Museum is located in a pavilion seven metres below ground next to the Hotel Moskva. It was formed in the 1990s when archaeological digs were performed here, the results of which are now on display in the museum. The main exhibit is the foundations of... Read more »

Marshal Georgy Zhukov Monument

  • Manezhnaya Ploschad
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi

Standing outside the front of the State History Museum is a statue of Marshal Georgi Zhukov. Zhukov was Marshal of the Soviet Union and one of the most famous military leaders of any country during the Second World War. This statue of him was unveiled in 1995 and... Read more »

Manege Central Exhibition Hall

  • 1 Manezhnaya Ploschad
  • Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • 10:00 - 20:00 (Thursdays 10:00 - 21:00). Closed on Mondays.

In 1817 it was decided to build a manege (riding school) to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Napoleonic War of 1812. Construction of the manege was completed in 1825 in the neoclassical style. The building was used for its original purpose only up to 1831 when it... Read more »

Around Ploschad Revolyutsi and Ulitsa Nikolskaya

Patriotic War of 1812 Museum

  • 2/3 Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • http://1812shm.ru
  • 10:00 - 18:00 (Thursdays: 11:00 - 21:00). Closed on Tuesdays.

The impressive Russian gothic redbrick building on Ploschad Revolyutsi has had several functions since its creation and has been known by many names. It was built between 1890 and 1892 and was originally used as the Moscow City Duma. In 1936 the Lenin Museum was relocated here which... Read more »

Kitai-Gorod Walls

  • Ploschad Revolyutsi
  • Ploschad Revolyutsi

The walls on the south of Ploschad Revolyutsi include some of the only surviving fragments of the Kitai-Gorod Walls which were built on the orders of Yelena Glinskaya, the mother and regent of Ivan the Terrible, between 1535 and 1538 to protect Moscow from Crimea Tatar raids. However... Read more »

Zaikonospassky Monastery

  • 7 Ulitsa Nikolskaya
  • Ploschad Revolyutsi

Moscow's most central and smallest monastery is so hidden away in a courtyard off Ulitsa Nikolskaya that most tourists don't even notice it is there. The monastery was founded in 1600 by Tsar Boris Godunov. Its name means the saviour ('spas') behind the icons ('za ikonami') as the... Read more »

Epiphany Cathedral and Brothers Lichud Monument

  • 2c4 Bogoyavlensky Pereulok
  • Ploschad Revolyutsi

In 1296 Prince Daniil of Moscow founded the Bogoyavlensky Monastery dedicated to the Epiphany ('bogoyavlenie') of Christ. Its main cathedral was the wooden Epiphany Cathedral which Ivan Kalita ordered to be replaced with a stone version in 1340. This first stone version was heavily damaged by Tatar and... Read more »

Moscow Printing Yard

  • 15c1 Ulitsa Nikolskaya
  • Ploschad Revolyutsi

The Moscow Printing Yard was the first printing press to be established in Russia. It was founded upon the orders of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. In 1564 Ivan Fyodorov and Pyotr Mstislavets issued the printing yard's first book which was entitled Apostle. In 1612 the building was heavily... Read more »

Dormition Church in Chizhevskoe Podvorye

  • 8/1c3 Ulitsa Nikolskaya
  • Ploschad Revolyutsi

Hidden out of view on Ulitsa Nikolskaya is the Dormition Church in Chizhevskoe Podvorye. It is located in the courtyard behind the buildings and to get there you need to walk down the alley before the Nikolskaya Plaza shopping centre and then turn left. The church dates from... Read more »

Around Teatralnaya Ploschad

Karl Marx Monument

  • Teatralnaya Ploschad
  • Teatralnaya

Standing in small gardens on the south side of Teatralnaya Ploschad (which could easily be mistaken for the north side of Ploschad Revolyutsi) is a statue to the founder of Communism - Karl Marx. The statue was unveiled in 1961 and has Marx carved out of a grey... Read more »

Bolshoi Theatre

One of the most famous sights in Moscow is the world-famous Bolshoi Theatre. The theatre company was founded in 1776 by Prince Pyotr Urusov and the original theatre was opened in 1780 and was known as the Petrovsky Theatre due to its location on Ulitsa Petrovka. In 1805... Read more »

Maly Theatre and Aleksandr Ostrovsky Monument

  • outside 1c1 Treatralny
  • Teatralnaya

Located outside the Maly Theatre, which means the small theatre as opposed to its grander neighbour, is a statue of the playwright Aleksandr Ostrovsky. It was unveiled in 1923 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the playwright outside the theatre famous for putting on Ostrovsky's... Read more »

Tretyakov Gates and Ivan Fyodorov Monument

  • Teatralny Proezd
  • Teatralnaya

Situated between Ulitsa Nikolskaya and Teatralny Proezd are the Tretyakov Gates and fragments of walls which were reconstructed in 2000. The original gates were built as part of the Kitai-Gorod Walls between 1534 and 1538, however these were demolished in 1934. Today the reconstructed gates are used to... Read more »