Old but gold! Red, to be more precise, as this is about an amazing vibrant heart of Moscow, Red Square, spread out at the foot of the ancient Kremlin’s crenellated walls. This is where tourists are coming in droves, where mythic St. Basil's Cathedral beckons with its festive multi-colored domes and where historic entourage is getting under your skin…
You’ll find yourself in the epicenter of the capital’s life with its popular sightseeing, entertainment and shopping. And yet more important, you’ll find yourself in the epicenter of the country’s history. The vigor and magma of Russia's glorious past is here!
Throughout centuries, the nucleus of the city has been a magnificent stage for political drama and all most important and dramatic events in the country’s life. Red Square signifies a great sweep of history since its foundation in the 12th century by Yuri Dolgorukiy (‘Long Arms’), through Ivan IV the Terrible and Peter the Great, through Lenin and Stalin to Gorbachev and the present day.
Listen carefully and on this 400m by 150m area of cobblestone, you will hear the clash of swords of ancient warriors repelling attack of the Tatar-Mongol horde on the Kremlin fortress; formidable voice of sinister Tsar Ivan at the gate of the Savior's Tower; neighing horses of the people's militia under the command of Prince Pozharskiy and merchant Minin, national heroes whose monument stands in front of Saint Basil's; hustle and bustle of the busiest marketplace of the medieval capital; hammered step of the Red Army soldiers marching on the flagstones; crowds’ cheering on the great Victory Day of May 9, 1945; polyphony of musical instruments and young voices during the International Festival of Youth and Students...
Red Square has many tales to tell! Few world famous squares combine churches, defensive walls and towers, museums, a cemetery with a mausoleum, and a huge department store in a single space! A range of buildings of different styles and centuries — from the 15th to the 20th — coexist in a single eclectic mix, forming an amazing architectural ensemble.
By the way, Red Square got this name neither due to its red brick structures, no due to the Bolshevik (“red”) ideology, but because “krasnaya” (now being interpreted just as “red”) meant "beautiful" in the old Russian!
Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century, the iconic, ornate St Basil’s Cathedral with its magnificent colorful onion domes never fails to fascinate travellers! The gorgeous GUM store with its eye-catching façade, lavishly illuminated at night, is Moscow’s most fashionable shopping arcade. Across from the GUM sits Lenin’s Mausoleum (tomb), the Soviet prime example of symbolic monumental architecture to proclaim the universal significance of the proletarian revolution. Spectacular red brick History Museum features country’s richest collection of more than 2 million artifacts.
Nowadays, Red Square, the symbol of Russia’s distinguished historical heritage, still remains in the thick of the city’s life, hosting festivals, concerts and street parties, and turning into an amazing ice-skating rink in winter. Annual parades are held in the square on May 9 to commemorate the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945.
The square hasn’t turned into a frozen open air museum but keeps up with the pace of the modern megalopolis. It’s never a dull place to walk, and you’ll enjoy it yet more if you take a guided tour around. So you will listen to dozens of thrilling stories and learn a lot of intriguing facts. Why is the Intercession Cathedral commonly called Saint Basil’s? What was the name and destiny of a Soviet ‘martyr’ who saved the pearl of Moscow medieval architecture from demolition? Who are buried near the Kremlin wall? How were the towering structures of the Kremlin hidden from German bombers during the WWII? Why did Muscovites in the late 80s jokingly call Red Square the Sheremetievo-3 Airport’? Who banned Mexican Day of the Dead carnival to be celebrated at the Red Square in July 2018? and much more… Your feet are already missing the historical flagstones of Red Square, aren’t they?