Moscow


Introduction 

Russia’s capital is experiencing a burst of creative energy. Factories and warehouses are now edgy art galleries. Foodies flock to a variety of bars, and night owls enjoy a dynamic nightlife. Moscow’s history cannot be ignored, and it has always been a haven for history buffs, with the red-brick towers of the Kremlin occupying the founding site of Moscow and the churches and monuments remembering fallen heroes and victorious

 

 

 

Major Sightseeing/Attractions

City-tour

If you want to explore Moscow, you should start from the very center, which is Red Square and, of course, visit all places nearby such as Kremlin and its main Spasskaya tower with the huge clock in the middle; St.Bazil`s Cathedral which was built the 16th century to commemorate the victory of Russia over Kazan khanate; the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky, the leaders of the home guards, that was constructed in 1818 on the project of sculptor I. Martos; the G.U.M department store covering most of the east side of the Square, opposite the Kremlin which really isn`t a department store, but rather a mall with hundreds of separate shops.
Among other Moscow “must be seen” places there are: Gorky Park, which is an amusement park with rides; Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, that possesses a collection of European art second in Russia to only St.Petersburg`s Hermitage; former KGB headquarters building where in its basements thousands of prisoners were tortured and executed; the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which Stalin`s regime demolished in 1931 along with countless other churches and monuments; the new monument of Peter the Great; observation platform of Sparrow (Lenin) Hills, the highest point in Moscow and Moscow State University which is located in this area; Victory Park and Poklonnaya Hill with World War II Memorial, this tiny hill is where Napoleon stood and “bowed” toward Moscow after his troops captured it, one of the attractions here is a big clock of grass and flowers; the Sofia Embankment of the Moskva river; the Bolshoy Stone Bridge; Kutuzov Avenue; White House.

Basil`s Cathedral

11:00-17:00 seven days a week
General: St. Basil`s Cathedral is also called the Stone Flower of Red Square. Its clerical name is the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Mother of God at the Moat.

Located: Moscow’s Red Square
Built: Mid-16th century
Structure: The cathedral has nine individual churches; each crowned by a unique tower implying deep religious symbolism – an architectural representation of ‘New Jerusalem’ – the Heavenly Kingdom described in the Book of Revelation of St. John the Divine.
Historical facts: The cathedral was built by the decree of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan Khanate, part of the Golden Horde. Several times St. Basil’s faced destruction, first by Napoleon and the last time in Stalin’s era.
Legend Says: The Cathedral’s architects Barma and Postnik Yakoviev were blinded so they could never construct a building of the same beauty.

Novodevichy Convent (territory&cathedral) 10.00-17.30, day off Tuesday

General: One of the emblems of Moscow, in olden days this religious centre acted also as a fort and as a retirement home for royal and noble women. These women brought their wealth with them and thus made Novodevichy the richest convent in Moscow. Today it functions as a convent and a museum
Located: The Khamovniki district, bank of the Moskva River.
Built: The convent was founded in 1514 to commemorate the liberation of the city of Smolensk from the Lithuanians. The construction was completed by the 18th century.
Structure: The 5-domed Smolensky Cathedral (1525), the fortified walls and crenellated towers (end of the 17th century), the refectory, the gateway churches, the Irminskiye and Lopukhinskiye Chambers, and the cells (all in the 1680s), the bell tower (between 1689 and 1690) and the cemetery.
Historical Facts: Novodevichy functioned as a convent till 1922, later it held the ‘Museum of Womens’ Emancipation’. In 1926, it was re-opened as a museum to Novodevichy`s history. Since the 1940s, it has been a centre of Orthodox activity.
Legend Says: The icon of the Hodegetria of Smolensk in the Smolensky Cathedral was painted by St. Luke himself and for centuries was said to protect the Russian Army

Tretyakov Gallery 10.00-18.00 on Tuesday, Wednesday,Saturday, Sunday; 10.00 – 21.00 on Thursday, Friday; day off Monday

General: The State Tretyakov Gallery is the national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the greatest museums in the world.
Opened: The Tretyakov first opened as a private museum in 1874.
Located: The Tretyakov has three separate buildings; main building at Lavrushinskiy side street, and second at Krymskiy Val.
Museum Collections: The Tretyakov consists entirely of Russian art by Russian artists. Founded in 1856, today it is comprised of more than 130,000 icons, paintings, sculptures and graphics ranging from the 11th to the early 20th century (at Lavrushinskiy side street).
A major museum housing a collection of Russian art that traces the development of Russian culture from the 11th through the 20th centuries: Russian icons and Byzantine mosaics, canvases by portraitists of the 18th-19th centuries, landscapes and historical canvases of the mıd 19th-early 20th centuries, sculptures, drawings, painting and graphics from the early 20th century, displayed in 60 rooms covering about 9,000 square m. and enhanced with skylight. After being renovated in 1995, Tretyakov Gallery is the most exhilarating museum in Moscow. There are about 47,000 Russian works by world-renowned Russian masters like Nikitın, Rokotov, Kiprensky, Brullov, Ivanov, Vrubel, Levitan and others

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts 10:00 -19:00, on Thursday 10:00-21:00, day off Monday

Located: The Pushkin Museum is in the old part of Moscow, near the Kremlin, on Volkhonka Street.
Established: The museum was established in the late 19th century using pieces from the collections of the Cabinet of Fine Arts and Antiquities in the Moscow University.
Built: The museum building was constructed in the early 20th century by the architect R.I. Klein.
Structure: Main Collection, Personal Collections, Academic Museum and the Richter’s Apartment and Museum
Museum collections: Today, the museum comprises about 5,000 paintings, 350,000 drawings and engravings, 100,000 coins and medals, as well as, numerous sculptures, manuscripts and other art objects. The permanent exhibition includes three main sections: the classics of Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Italy and the Northern Black Sea Coast; famous medieval and renaissance sculptures and works of Western European painting and sculpture dating back from the Middle Ages to the present time.

Kolomenskoye-Residence of the tsars 08.00- 22.00, day off Monday

Structures: The white stone Ascension Church (built in 1530, acknowledeged by UNESCO in the World Heritage list), the five-domed Church of St John the Baptist (1547), the five-domed Kazanskaya church (1662), the Geogrievskaya bell tower (16th century), a water tower (17th century), the Royal Yard (the historical core of the collection) surrounded by a wooden and stone fence with two gates and a number of service buildings. Kolomenskoye also holds the museum of architecture represented by the gateway of the Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery (1693), a wooden tower (17th century), house of Peter the Great (1702) and other buildings. In the Golosov Ravine, one can see a family of springs called “Kadochka” (the tub) and 2 huge earth-settled stones which were used for pagan cult worship.
Things to See: Russian medieval stone and wooden architecture, cathedrals, palaces etc., exhibitions of ancient Russian arts, e.g. icons, coins, ancient books, household articles and so on.
Museum Collections: Icons, ethnographic items, glazed ceramic tiles, coins, gilded woodcuttings, rare books and manuscripts, metals, fabric and leather items and graphics.

Kremlin territory 10:00-16:30, day off Thursday

Located: The Kremlin is in the heart of Moscow on the Borovitskiy hill above the Moscow River.
Built: The current Kremlin contains structures from the 14th-20th centuries.
Structures: Cathedral Square, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Senatskaya Tower, Troitskaya Tower, Spasskaya Tower, BorovitskayaTower and The Grand Kremlin Palace
Museum Complex: The Armoury, the Assumption Cathedral, Cathedral of Archangel Michael, Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, Patriarch’s Palace and the Church of the Twelve Apostles, Ivan the Great Bell-Tower and the collection of artillery arms and bells.
Note: In 1990, the architectural structures of the Moscow Kremlin and its treasures, Red Square and Aleksandrovskiy Sad (the Alexandrov Gardens) were included into the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The Kremlin is the heart of Russia and synonymous with its history, government and power. The Kremlin is Buckingham Palace, the White House, the Elysee Palace, at once the Vatican, Versailles and the Parthenon. It is a unique complex of architectural monuments surrounded by ancient red brick walls crowned with 21 towers. The center of the Kremlin is the Cathedrals Square with the Cathedral of Assumption, where royal weddings, coronation ceremonies and receptions for foreign ambassadors used to take place. The Cathedral of Annunciation and the Cathedral of Archangel Mikhail are located next to it. Some other examples of Russian architecture are: Palace of Facets, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, the bell Tower of Ivan the Great and the Spasskaya (Savoir) Tower, the Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon.
A Russian saying goes, “The Kremlin is not a city, but a whole world,” and you will get a chance to feel yourself in the middle of that “whole world.”

The Armory Chamber 10:00-17:15, day off Thursday

General: The Armory Chamber, a treasure-house, is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace complex.
Built: The building was begun in 1851 by the architect Konstantin Ton.
Museum Collections: The museum displays precious items preserved in the tsars’ treasury and the Patriarch’s vestry, including exhibits made in the Kremlin’s workshops as well as ambassadorial gifts. Among other things one can find: ancient state regalia, ceremonial tsar’s vestments and coronation dress, vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church’s hierarchs, the largest collection of gold and silverware by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial weapons and arms, carriages and ceremonial horse harnesses.

Boat Trip along the Moskva-River (May-Sep)

The narrated boat trip along the Moscow River gives quite a different idea of the city we are accustomed to. A boat will take you through the historical center of Moscow enabling you to look at the city from a unique perspective. The itinerary takes you by the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, The Big Stone Bridge, The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, The Variety Theatre, the ‘Krasny Oktiabr’ confectionary, the monument to Peter the Great, The Crimean Bridge, Central Park, Sparrow Hills, the ‘Louzhniki’ sports center and other Moscow points of interest. Trips along the Moscow River are available from May till September.

Metro tour and Arbat

Metro
General: The Moscow Metro is generally acknowledged to be the most beautiful public underground transport system in the world. It is a real subterranean city with palaces decorated with marble, bronze, granite and gilt, as well as having modern stations.
Opened: The first two lines (11.2 km) were opened on May 15th, 1934.
Remarkable Facts: Spread: 793.7 km (only 276.1 km are used for traffic)
Number of stations: 170

Cruising speed: 41 km per hour

Deepest station: ‘Victory Park’ (84m deep)
Average trip distance of one passenger: 10.8 km per day
  1. The first historical records of Arbat relate to the year of 1493, the street was mentioned in an account of a major city fire. In the 19th century Arbat turned to be a favorite neighborhood for Moscow`s nobility and creative intelligentsia, it was believed to number one noble for every seven ordinary residents. Over the years the street has developed into one of the most popular places in Moscow, you may meet here dancers, street artists, Krishna supporters, get into multiple smart clothes and souvenir shops, cafes, cultural centers, etc.

Sergiev Posad (ex-Zagorsk, 70 km)

This monastery is one of Russian’s most important spiritual and historical landmarks, founded in the 14th century by Serguies of Radonzh. Tens of thousands made a pilgrimage here every year in spite of the Revolution and they continue to do so. Although the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church has been moved to Moscow’s St. Daniel Monastery, the Holy Trinity still represents the essence of Russian Orthodoxy and houses its seminary. Among the greatest treasures is the stone Trinity Cathedral, built in 1423. Its interior is crowned by icons painted by Old Masters – Andrei Rublev and Daniel Chorny. When Rublev was a monk in that monastery he painted for the church his famous Trinity icon, which is on display now in the Tretyakov Gallery. A copy replaced the church original in the Soviet time. In the monastery you will be given a special tour of the grounds conducted by a priest or monk. It is also possible to visit the Theological Academy Icons Museum guided by a seminarist.

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