Moscow, Russia

This Moscow travel guide starts with a walking tour around the Kremlin Wall, through Red Square and into the fortified heart of Moskva. Then explore the city’s best museums, cathedral, metro stations and convent before having Russian cuisine for dinner.

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1 Early History of Moscow, Russia

Welcome to the capital city of Moscow. With an urban population of about 17 million people, Moskva (or Москва́) is the largest city in Russia and Europe. Its origin dates back to the Lyalovo culture around 4000 B.C. during the Neolithic period (end of the Stone Age). The Fatyanovo and Dyakovo cultures also lived here centuries before Christ. The Moskva River in the foreground was first used by East Slavic tribes as early as the 9th century. Then the Vyatichs and the Krivichs formed settlements during the 10th and 11th centuries. In the mid-12th century, Rurikid prince Yuri I Vladimirovich founded Moscow. By the 14th century, it grew into a prosperous city ruled by the Mongols and protected by a fortification called the Grad of Moscow. When Tatar control ended during the rule of Ivan III (1440-1505), the Grand Prince of Moscow began rebuilding the fortress into the Moscow Kremlin. This southwestern view of the famous landmark is from the Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge spanning the Moskva River. Among the prominent features are the Water Pump (Vodovzvodnaya) Tower (left) and the Annunciation ((Blagoveschenskaya) Tower along the Kremlin Wall with the Grand Kremlin Palace (middle) and the gilded onion domes at Cathedral Square.

Bolshoy Kamennyy Bridge, Bol'shoy Kamennyy Most, Moskva, 119072, Russia
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2 Vodovzvodnaya Tower on Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia

Kremlin Wall was commissioned by Ivan the Great and primarily constructed from 1485 until 1495. Its triangular shape around Moscow Kremlin measures 7,333 feet. At its extremes, the red brick walls are 62 feet high and 21 feet thick. There are 1,045 embrasures along its crenelated top. In the southwest corner of the Kremlin Wall is the Vodovzvodnaya Tower. When built in 1488, it was called the Sviblova Tower. The word Vodovzvodnaya means water lifting, so it is sometimes referred to as the Water Supplying or Water Pump Tower. The 203 foot tower was rebuilt in 1805 and again in 1819 after it was destroyed by the French. The red star was added in 1937.

Vodovzvodnaya Tower, Kremlevskaya Naberezhnaya, Moskva, 111395, Russia
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3 Southern Towers along Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia

There are 20 defensive towers encircling the Kremlin Walls. Each has a unique history and design. Most are crowned by green roofs and either a weathervane or red star. There are seven southern towers facing the Moskva River. Shown here right to left are: Peter’s Tower (Petrovskaya) at 88.5 feet, Second Nameless Tower (2nd Bezimyannie), First Nameless Tower (1st Bezimyannie) at 111.5 feet, Secret Tower (Tainitskaya) at 126 feet and Annunciation Tower (Blagoveschenskaya) at 102 feet.

Petrovskaya Tower, Kremlevskaya Naberezhnaya, Moskva, 115035, Russia
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4 Spasskaya Tower on Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia

This was the Frolovskaya Tower when it was designed by Pietro Antonio Solari and finished along the eastern wall in 1491. Now named the Spasskaya Tower, its 233 foot height has been accented with the Kremlin Clock since the 16th century. Also called the Kremlin Chimes, the four, 20 foot faces plus bells weigh about 25 tons. Spasskaya Tower is the official entrance to the Moscow Kremlin yet closed to the public. Visitor tours begin at the Kutafya Tower. But across the street is the stunning St. Basil’s Cathedral. Let’s explore it first and then the other famous landmarks at Red Square.

Spasskaya Bashnya, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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5 St. Basil’s Cathedral at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Saint Basil’s Cathedral anchoring the south end of Red Square was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1554 and finished in 1561. The iconic landmark consists of eight brick churches in perfect symmetry around the ninth tallest one. The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat is stunning with its towers, scales, arches and onion domes. Originally all white, the rainbow of colors was added in 1860. Thankfully, this former Russian Orthodox church survived attempted demolition by Napoleon in 1812 and Joseph Stalin in 1936.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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6 Iconostasis inside St. Basil’s Cathedral at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

The inner and outer galleries of St. Basil’s Cathedral are a labyrinth displaying countless religious paintings, frescos and icons created from the 14th through the 19th centuries. This ornate and gilded iconostasis is one of many you will admire during your tour of the museum. Notice the image of Mary, the Mother of God. The original holy icon, known as Our Lady of Kazan, was acquired by Russia from Constantinople during the 13th century. The sacred art was stolen in 1904 and never recovered. Yet reproductions of the Holy Protectress of Russia are often seen in Russian churches.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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7 Visual Overview of Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Moscow’s main plaza has a history almost as long as the city. Originally called Great Market (Veliky Torg), then Trinity Square (Troitskaya) and later Pozhar, it was renamed Red Square in the mid-17th century. Its Russian name Krasnaya means both red and beautiful. This view from St. Basil’s Cathedral orients you to the landmarks encircling this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the eastern Kremlin Wall (left to right) are: Senate (Senatskaya) Tower, St. Nicholas (Nikolskaya) Tower and Corner Arsenal (Uglovaya Arsenalanya) Tower. At the base of the wall is Lenin’s Mausoleum. The red building in the center is the State Historical Museum and on the right is GUM Department Store. In the foreground is the monument to Kozma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. These heroes liberated the Kremlin from the Polish-Lithuanian enemy in 1612. They were immortalized in bronze by Ivan Martos in 1818.

Monument to Minin and PozharskyRed Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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8 Lenin’s Mausoleum at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Vladimir Ilych Lenin was the leader of Bolshevik Revolution and head of state for Soviet Russia (1917 to 1924) and the Soviet Union (1922 to 1924). The Communist leader died at age 53 in 1924 after a fourth stroke and rumors of being poisoned. Within a week, his body was placed in a wooden tomb in Red Square. A marble and red granite mausoleum replacement was designed by Aleksey Shchusev and finished in 1930. From 1953 until 1961, the body of Joseph Stalin was interred next to him. Visitors can view Lenin’s embalmed body within a sarcophagus at scheduled times for free.

Lenin’s Mausoleum, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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9 GUM Department Store at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

The Upper Trading Rows were built in 1893. The 794 foot façade defines the northeast boundary of Red Square. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the retail complex was nationalized into the State Department Store. The acronym GUM was adopted for its Russian name Glávnyj Universáľnyj Magazín meaning Main Universal Store. After the Soviet Union era ended in 1991, the retail space was privatized again. Today, GUM is a luxury shopping mall with about 200 retailers beneath the dramatic steel and glass roof. Nearby on Theatre Square is TSUM, an equally impressive and expensive shopping experience filled with designer brands.

GUM Department Store, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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10 State Historical Museum in Red Square in Moscow, Russia

The State Historical Museum was founded in 1872. Located at the northwest end of Red Square, it opened in 1883 in sync with the coronation of Alexander III of Russia, nicknamed The Peacemaker. The red building’s Russian Revivalism style is credited to architect Vladimir Sherwood. The collection’s nearly five million items and 20,000 exhibits chronical Russia’s history and culture. Each of the 35 halls is devoted to a different era in the world’s biggest country beginning with the Stone Age. Although all written descriptions are in Russian, a visit is still highly recommended.

State Historical Museum, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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11 St. Nicholas Tower at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Adjacent to the State Historical Museum is St. Nicholas Tower protecting the northernmost corner of the Kremlin Wall. The 230 foot Nikolskaya Tower was designed by Pietro Antonio Solari and finished in 1492. In 1612, a militia led by Dmitry Pozharsky burst through this tower to recapture the Kremlin from the occupying Polish-Lithuanian invaders. Two hundred years later, St. Nicholas Tower was partially destroyed during the six-month Patriotic War of 1812 when Napoleon’s troops stormed Moscow. After the French army was defeated, the tower was rebuilt in 1819.

St. Nicholas Tower, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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12 Kazan Cathedral at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was dedicated to the Holy Protectress of Russia when it was consecrated in 1625 at the northeast corner of Red Square. Considered one of Moscow’s most important churches, it underwent several expansions during the next three centuries. Then Kazan Cathedral was destroyed in 1936 during an anti-religious campaign conducted from 1928 until 1941. During this timeframe, the number of Russian Orthodox churches went from 29,600 to about 500. After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the cathedral was reconstructed and opened in 1993.

Kazan Cathedral, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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13 Resurrection Gate at Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Kitai-Gorod was Moscow’s central business district during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was encircled by a wall and 13 towers built in the 1530s. Most of the walls are gone. This is the only one of six gates left standing. Resurrection Gate is the entrance to Red Square next to the State Historical Museum. It was built in 1535 and reconstructed in 1995. Also called Iberian Gate, this red brick structure with a double portal features two octagonal towers. At the base is a marker indicating this location is kilometer zero for all Russian highways.

Resurrection Gate, Red Square, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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14 Kutafya Tower Entrance to the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

After finishing your walking tour of Red Square, it is time to explore the inside of the Kremlin. The main tourist entrance is at Kutafya Tower. It overlooks Alexander Garden that was originally a moat. This bridgehead was built in 1516. Perhaps the Italian architect Aloisio da Milano was insulted when his 44 foot tower was named Kutafya. In Russian, this mean ugly woman. Plenty of operators offer private and group tours of the Kremlin. For self-guided excursions, four different packages are sold.

Vozdvizhenka St., 1/13, Moskva, 125009, Russia
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15 Grand Kremlin Palace within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Your excitement mounts as you begin your walking tour of the Moscow Kremlin – which means fortress inside a city. The citadel was commissioned by Ivan III and built on Borovitsky Hill in the late 15th century on top of the former Grad of Moscow. The 68.5 acre Kremlin complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The finest of the Moscow Kremlin’ five palaces is appropriately named the Grand Kremlin Palace. This magnificent structure replaced the estate of the Grand Princes. It was designed by managing architect Konstantin Thon and finished in 1849. Within its 410 feet length are five reception halls, nine churches, more than 700 rooms and 269,000 square feet of opulence. Once the home of tsars (Russian leaders before 1917), the Grand Kremlin Palace is now the official residence of the Russian Federation President. Private tours of select sections are available.

Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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16 Cathedral Square within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Sobornaya Ploshad is called Cathedral Square because of the three cathedrals encircling the historic Kremlin plaza. Also at this intersection are two churches, a palace and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower (1543) in the center of this photo. On the left is Cathedral of the Annunciation (1489). On the right is the Cathedral of the Archangel (1508). Since the 15th century, this square has witnessed countless coronations and funerals of Russian leaders.

Sobornaya Square, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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17 Cathedral of the Annunciation within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Cathedral of the Annunciation replaced a late-14th century church at Cathedral Square. This dazzling religious structure clad with white limestone was finished in 1489 during the reign of Ivan III, the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1462 to 1505. After Blagoveschensky Sabor was expanded by Ivan the Terrible – Tsar of All Russias from 1547 to 1584 – the edifice had nine gilded domes. This was the church for grand dukes and tsars for centuries. The former Russian Orthodox cathedral is now a museum displaying an incredible collection of sacred artwork and iconostases.

Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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18 Cathedral of the Assumption within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti created the Cathedral of the Assumption at the bequest of Ivan III of Russia after a nearly finished church collapsed. The former Russian Orthodox cathedral was dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God (the death of Blessed Virgin Mary of Theotokos) so it is also called the Cathedral of the Dormition. When it was finished in 1479, Assumption Cathedral was the mother church of the Grand Principality of Moscow. This is where Russian leaders were crowned and bishops were consecrated. The exterior fresco is only a hint at those inside created by 150 painters during the mid-17th century. Dormition Cathedral is part of the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Cathedral of the Assumption, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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19 Nativity and Deposition of the Robe Churches within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

The eleven small domes topped with crosses is the Church of the Nativity. It is the oldest of the eleven churches once inside the Kremlin; only six still stand. This church is dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary. It was sponsored by Eudoxia of Moscow after the death of her husband, Dmitry Donskoy, the Grand Duke of Moscow from 1359 to 1389. On the right is the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, built in 1486. The name refers to Timia Esthita (Virgin Mary’s robe). The Robe of the Theotokos was discovered in 473 A.D. and is believed to have protected Constantinople in the 9th century and Moscow in the mid-15th century from attacks. The relic is maintained in Zugdidi in Western Georgia. Both of these churches are managed by Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Church of the Deposition of the Robe, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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20 Ivan the Great Bell Tower within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Italy is famous for its impressive campaniles. So is not surprising Ivan III of Russia hired architect Marco Bono to design his namesake bell tower. The original Ivan the Great Bell Tower was 197 feet tall when finished in 1508 and then raised to a commanding 266 feet a century later. You can climb 329 spiral steps for a wonderful view of the landmarks surrounding Cathedral Square. However, entry tickets are hard to get unless you arrive early.

Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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21 Tulips at Taynitsky Garden within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Springtime is delightful in Moscow, especially at Taynitsky Garden inside the Kremlin. These gorgeous and fragrant tulips at the Grand Kremlin Public Garden adjacent to Cathedral Square offer a beautiful repose during your exhausting Kremlin tour. If you have time, you will also want to visit the Alexander Gardens outside the western Kremlin wall.

Taynitsky Garden, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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22 Tsar Cannon and Twelve Apostles Church within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Tsar Cannon is a bronze showpiece created in 1586 by Andrey Chokhov, a talented Muscovite caster of weapons and bells in Moscow during four decades. Measuring 17.5 feet with a 35 inch bore, the artillery is considered to be the largest bombard (Middle Ages mortar) in history. Notice the bas-relief of a lion on the carriage. In the background is the Church of the Twelve Apostles. This church and residence was commissioned by Nikon, the Patriarch of Moscow and primate of the Russian Orthodox Church from 1652 until 1666.

Tsar Cannon, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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23 Kremlin Senate and The Arsenal within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

This view from Ivanovskaya Square shows two of the most important and still active buildings within Moscow Kremlin. Consequently, they are off limits to tourists. On the right is the Kremlin Senate. After opening in 1787, it housed the legislative, judicial, and executive branches (Governing Senate) until the Russian Empire ended in 1917. Since 1998, the First Building has been the offices of the Presidential Administration of Russia including the President of the Russian Federation. On the left is the Kremlin Arsenal. Originally constructed in 1736, it was rebuilt twice: once after a 1737 fire and again after destroyed by Napoleon’s army in 1812. Today, it is occupied by the Kremlin Regiment, an elite military unit assigned to protect Moscow Kremlin and Russia’s president.

Ivanovskaya Square, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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24 Cannon along The Arsenal within Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Napoléon Bonaparte was a legendary military leader during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). His military called La Grande Armée seemed unstoppable from conquering Europe for the French Empire until the Invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoléon began with 685,000 soldiers from 13 countries. Within six months, only 93,000 of his army were still alive after the disgraced retreat. The Russians proudly exhibit over 800 captured and abandoned cannons along The Arsenal wall. Also displayed are 20 Russian cannons from the 16th and 17th centuries. Many like this one were created by master Russian casters.

The Arsenal, Troitskaya Ulitsa, Moscow Kremlin, Moskva, 103073, Russia
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25 Hotel National in Moscow, Russia

Hotel National provides five-star service for its 200 rooms. There are also 55 suites decorated with 19th century Art Nouveau furnishings and paintings. The central location on Tverskaya and Mokhovaya Streets offers excellent views of the Kremlin and Red Square. Since opening in 1903, The National has hosted an endless list of aristocrats, celebrities, dignitaries and Soviet leaders including Vladimir Lenin in room 107. The historic hotel is now part of the Luxury Collection owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

15/1 Mokhovaya Str. Bld. 1, Moskva, 125009, Russia
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26 Lubyanka Building in Moscow, Russia

Originally constructed for the All-Russia Insurance Company in 1898, the enormous Lubyanka Building was confiscated after the October Revolution in 1917 to office the feared Soviet Secret Police (Checka). It later became the KGB headquarters until the security agency dissolved in 1991. Now this centerpiece of Lubyanka Square is home to the Federal Security Service. The FSB is responsible for counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism.

Priyemnaya FSB, Building 1/3, Bolshaya Lubyanka St, Moskva, 107031, Russia
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27 Gostiny Dvor in Moscow, Russia

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Kitai-Gorod was the merchant and cultural center of Moscow. On this site from 1590 until 1665 was a major complex for merchants. In 1789, Catherine the Great commissioned architect Giacomo Quarenghi to replace it with a new marketplace. Gostiny Dvor was finished in 1805. In Russian, the name means indoor shopping center. Moscow’s Old Merchant Court now hosts cultural events and concerts plus restaurants and shops.

Ulitsa Varvarka, 3, Moskva, 109012, Russia
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28 Ilya Repin Monument in Moscow, Russia

Ilya Repin was the most celebrated Russian painter of the 19th and early 20th centuries. His realist style demonstrates rich details in his portrayals of people, historical events and religious subjects. This statue by Sculptor Matvey Manizer is located near the Tretyakov Gallery of Art in Bolotnaya Square. Also called Swamp Square, this has been the scene of frequent political events and demonstrations. The first was in 1671 when Cossack leader Stepan Razin was executed for rebelling against the Tsardom of Russia. The latest protests have occurred in the early 2000s.

Bolotnaya Square, Bolotnaya Ploshchad, Moskva,119072, Russia
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29 State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia

Pavel M. Tretyakov made his first art purchase in 1856. In 1892, six years before he died, Tretyakov bequeathed 2,000 paintings he had acquired to the nation. These events set in motion today’s finest collection of Russian paintings. State Tretyakov Gallery contains over 180,000 pieces of artwork from the 11th to the early 20th centuries representing works by most of the country’s masters and various artist styles. The museum’s main building was bought by the Tretyakov family in 1851. The historic structure received a new façade by painter Viktor Vasnetsov in 1904. Three statues have stood in front. The first was Lenin, later replaced with Stalin and, since 1980, this sculpture of Pavel Tretyakov. Notice the relief above the entrance of Saint George slaying the dragon.

Lavrushinsky Ln, 10, Moskva, 119017, Russia
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30 Fountain of the Arts in Moscow, Russia

There are about 700 fountains in Moscow. Among the most unique is the Fountains of the Arts in a square off Lavrushinsky Lane. Also called Inspiration Fountain, it was erected in 2006 in celebration of the State Tretyakov Gallery’s 150th anniversary. Inside the gilded frames are bronze reproductions of paintings by Ilya Mashkov, Victor Vasnetsov and Arkhip Kuindzhi.

Bol'shoy Tolmachevskiy Pereulok, 3с4, Moskva, 119017, Russia
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31 Incredible Metro Stations in Moscow, Russia

In most major cities, subway stations are dingy, smelly and stark. The opposite is true in Moscow. Many resemble fine art museums. The majority of the Moscow Metro stations were built from the 1930s through the 1950s during the height of the Soviet Union. They are often lit by chandeliers and faced with marble and granite. Along the walls and ceilings are impressive murals, mosaics, sculptures, bas-reliefs and bronze medallions like this one at Novokuznetskaya Station dedicated to Soviet soldiers. This metro station also has Carrara marble benches. So when you see the Moscow Metro Tour advertised, don’t snicker. It is a fascinating 90-minute excursion. A self-guided booklet is also available.

Metro Novokuznetskaya, Sadovnicheskiy Proyezd, 23, Moskva,115035, Russia
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32 Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Russia

The original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was designed by Konstantin Ton and commissioned by Nicholas I, the Emperor of Russia (1825 to 1855). After 44 years of construction, the Russian Orthodox cathedral was finished in 1883. In 1931, it was destroyed on the order of Joseph Stalin. The ruler of the Soviet Union wanted the building’s riches and to use the land for a new Palace of the Soviets. Those plans never materialized. A reproduction of the cathedral was built from 1994 through 2000. The tip of the cross atop the gilded onion dome has a height of 339 feet. This qualifies Cathedral of Christ the Saviour as the world’s tallest Orthodox Christian church.

Ulitsa Volkhonka, 15, Moskva, 119019, Russia
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33 Glazunov Gallery in Moscow, Russia

Ilya Glazunov is one of Russia’s most famous artists. During the second half of the 20th century, his paintings typically focused on historical and religious themes plus portraits of celebrities and political leaders. He was also founder of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Many of his most famous works are featured in this turquoise building called the State Art Gallery of Ilya Glazunov. Ilya Glazunov died in 2017.

Volkhonka Street 13, Moskva, 119019, Russia
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34 Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Russia

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts has a collection of over 700,000 paintings and sculptures. Most are of Western European origin ranging from masters to contemporary artists. It also exhibits an impressive array of ancient artifacts and art from Greece, Italy, Southwest Asia and Egypt. The museum was founded by Ivan Tsvetaev and named after Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin was an early 19th century poet and considered to be the father of Russian literature. The building was designed by Roman Klein, financed by glassware businessman Yury Nechaev-Maltsov and opened in 1912.

Ulitsa Volkhonka, 12, Moskva, 119019, Russia
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35 Novodevichy Convent along Moskva River in Moscow, Russia

There are 26 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Moscow including the Novodevichy Convent. Founded in 1524 by Grand Duke Vasily III, the religious complex grew during the 16th and 17th centuries into 14 Moscow Baroque (also called Naryshkin Baroque) buildings plus eight cathedrals facing the Moskva River. Buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery are many famous Russians including Nikita Khrushchev (First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 until 1964) and Boris Yeltsin (President of the Russian Federation from 1991 until 1999).

Novodevichy Convent, Novodevichy Passage, 1, Moskva, 119435, Russia
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36 Tower Silhouette at Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, Russia

Surrounding the Novodevichy Convent is a massive defensive wall resembling the Kremlin’s with 12 battle towers. The four in the corners are round like this silhouette. Also known as the Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery, it was built in the 16th century as a noble ladies cloister and for royal women forced to become nuns. After surviving two attacks, it became an orphanage, a woman’s penal colony, a museum and apartments before becoming a nunnery again in 1995.

Novodevichy Convent, Novodevichy Passage, 1, Moskva, 119435, Russia
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37 Tverskaya Street in Moscow, Russia

Tverskaya Street has been a central Moscow thoroughfare since the 12th century. During most of the Soviet Era, it was known as Gorky Street honoring Maxim Gorky, a socialist realism writer who glorified Communism. Tverskaya Street starts at the Red Square and radiates about 1.5 miles to the northwest. Along this short distance are luxury hotels, restaurants catering to an array of palates and budgets, premium retailers and exciting nightlife. Inside this building is the Carnegie Moscow Center, a think tank focused on foreign and domestic policy since 1994. It is across the street from Pushkin Square (Pushkinskaya) with a statue of Alexander Pushkin, the famous 19th century Russian writer.

Tverskaya St, 16, Moskva, 125009, Russia
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38 Five-star Cuisine at Café Pushkin in Moscow, Russia

In 1964, famous French singer Gilbert Bécaud wrote the song “Nathalie” about a Moscow tour guide. Among the lyrics was the wish to eat at Café Pushkin. The song was very popular in France. Unfortunately, the restaurant was fictitious until 1999 when Andrei Dellos opened Café Pushkin inside an ornate Baroque mansion. The ambiance is incredible with elaborate wood molding, library shelving, wall panels adorned with bas-reliefs and accented with warm lighting from sconces, antique clocks and an enormous harp. Better yet is the five-star Russian cuisine. This savory dish of beef stroganoff with Russian dumplings (pelmeni) still lingers fondly in my memory. The experience is expensive, but the price is worth feeling like an aristocrat.

Tverskoy Boulevard, 26А, Moskva, 125009, Russia
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Composite of Nine Photos Moscow, Russia

Nine photo composite of Moscow, Russia, starting in upper left: Tsar Cannon (1586) with Twelve Apostles Church (1653) in background; 16th century iconostasis of Our Lady of Kazan inside Saint Basil’s Cathedral; Tourists with guide; Saint Basil’s Cathedral (1561) at the south end of Red Square; St. Nicholas Tower (1492) along northern Kremlin Wall next to the State Historical Museum (1872) in Red Square; Towers along southern Kremlin Wall (1485 – 1495); Novodevichy Convent (founded 1524) along Moskva River; Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (original 1883, rebuilt 2000) and Soviet Union symbol of hammer and sickle on an iron gate. Most of these are UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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