Moscow

HIGHLIGHTS

Founded in the 12th century, Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation and one of the most renowned and fascinating cities in the world. It is a dynamic 21st century metropolis showcasing some of the world’s best shopping, nightlife, restaurants and culture. Moscow welcomes over four million tourists each year.

Home to over 130 nationalities and 12.3 million residents, Moscow is served by three international airports and the world’s second busiest underground system. If one hasn’t visited Moscow lately, one hasn’t visited Moscow.

The city is blessed with beautiful architecture and such renowned cultural landmarks as the Bolshoi Theatre, the Kremlin, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery, to name but a few. Moscow is also home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Kremlin and Red Square. The colourful St Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square is the symbol of both Moscow and Russia.

Moscow is surrounded by satellite towns and neighbourhoods that comprise Moscow Region. Visitors can travel by bus or train to the small Russian cities as old as Moscow, and bursting with history and charm.

TOURS:

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

The Moscow Kremlin is considered to be a symbol of the Russian statehood. The architectural ensemble “The Moscow Kremlin and the Red Square” is included into the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site incorporates the Armoury Chamber and the architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square, consisting of the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation cathedrals, the Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe, the Patriarch’s Palace with the Twelve Apostles’ Church and the ‘Ivan the Great’ Bell Tower complex, as well as the exhibition halls in the Assumption Belfry and in the One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace.

The Armoury Chamber, a treasure house, is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex. It is situated in the building constructed in 1851 by architect Konstantin Ton. The bases of the museum collections are precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the tsars’ treasury and the patriarch’s vestry. Some of the exhibits were made in the Kremlin workshops, others were accepted as ambassadorial gifts. The name of the museum derives from one of the oldest Kremlin’s treasury stores.

The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient state regalia, ceremonial royal clothes and coronation dresses, vestments of Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs, the most extensive collection of gold- and silverware made by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial arms and armour, carriages and horse ceremonial harness.

The State Armoury presents more than four thousand items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th – early 20th century. The highest artistic level and particular historical and cultural value of the exhibits have made the State Armoury of the Moscow Kremlin a world-wide known museum.

Red Square remains, as it has been for centuries, the heart and soul of Russia. Few places in the world bear the weight of history to the extent that Moscow’s central square does. From the 16th Century St. Basil’s Cathedral – one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world – to the constructivist pyramid of Lenin’s Mausoleum, Red Square is rich in symbols of Russia’s turbulent and intriguing past.

The square’s name has nothing to do with communism or with the color of many of its buildings. In fact it derives from the word ‘krasnyi’, which once meant ‘beautiful’, and has only come to mean ‘red’ in contemporary Russian. The name became official in the middle of the 17th century – previously it had been Trinity Square, due to the Trinity Cathedral, the predecessor of St. Basil’s. Popularly, it was also known as ‘Fire Square’, reflecting the number of times medieval Moscow burned. During the Mongol and Tartar invasions, it was the site of fierce fighting, and right up until the end of the 17th century cannon stood ready to defend the square.

Since Perestroika the emphasis has moved away from official pomp, and Red Square has been used increasingly for rock concerts, big classical music performances and a whole range of large-scale events from fashion shows to festivals of circus art. Moscow met the millennium here with a huge firework display and street party.

Today it’s hard to think of a place that is more beloved of Muscovites and visitors to the city. The varied beauty of the architecture and the magical atmosphere belie the square’s often brutal and bloody history, but the combination makes Red Square a truly fascinating place that you’ll want to come back to again and again.

The Cathedral was built from 1555 to 1561 by order of Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, who’s reign was the longest in Russian history. The Cathedral is a military memorial which appeared in honor of victory over the Kazan Khanate. Ten cathedral’s churches are represented interiors of the 16th–20th centuries. The walls and vaults of the temple are covered with frescoes and oil paintings with plant ornament and images of saints. The museum temporary exhibition presents rare examples of ancient Russian icon‐painting school and masterpieces of applied art. Precious donations of royalty and parishioners are located in the former sacristy. Relics of Moscow inhabitant Basil the Blessed (the contemporary of Ivan the Terrible) were buried under ground near the east wall of Protecting Veil Cathedral. In 1588 on this place was built a church, which is dedicated to St.Basil. Wall paintings and temple icons narrate the amazing miracles of the Saint.

The garden in front of the Kremlin walls is excellent to take a stroll and get down to some serious people watching as well as admire the sheer scale and immense size of the Kremlin walls and towers. The biggest essential sight of the garden is the tomb of the unknown soldier near to the entrance to Red Square. A high-kicking guard change ceremony takes place here every hour in front of the eternal flame.

Metrotour is a joint project of Moscow Metro and the Museum of Moscow, its aim is to popularize the objects of cultural heritage of the capital of Russia and the most beautiful metro in the world. There are the most beautiful stations of Moscow metro in tour program and 44 of them are objects of cultural heritage.

Excursion in the most beautiful metro in the world!

The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is one of the largest museums in Russia with over 100 000 works of art – icons, paintings, graphics and sculpture – spanning the entire history of Russian art. Its collection of Russian realism from the second half of the 19th century is the best in the country.

The Gallery collection was started by Pavel Tretyakov, the owner of a successful textile firm, and became famous from the minute it was opened to the public in 1870. After Tretyakov’s death the gallery’s collection grew rapidly, especially after the October Revolution when museum collections were privatised: art was bought, donated or “transferred” from other museums, private collections, cathedrals and monasteries. The latest part of the collection, dating from 1950 – 1990, opened recently, on 25th May 2000.

On 28 March (17 according to the old style) 1776, Catherine II granted the prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov, the “privilege” of “maintaining” theatre performances of all kinds, including masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment, for a period of ten years. And it is from this date that Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre traces its history.

The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day.

On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage and it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.

The reconstruction project lasted from l July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, at the same time, it has joined the ranks of most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world.

The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.

Christ the Saviour Cathedral (Храм Христа Спасителя) is the mother cathedra or see of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, whose current primate is His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia. The cathedral is located on the north bank of the Moskva River to the immediate southwest of the capital’s Kremlin fortress, where, inside the Dormition Cathedral (Uspenskiy Sobor) all Russian tsars and tsarinas have been crowned and anointed. Christ the Saviour is the tallest Orthodox cathedral in the world, standing at 103 metres (338 feet) above the pavement. The main sanctuary (temple) can fit over 10,000 standing worshipers.