Painting the town red
The sights of Moscow
Moscow's streets are lined with the city's history, interspersed with modern amenities and sprinkled with a healthy dose of birthday cheer. At 850, Moscow has put on display all of its charms, from cathedrals to the Kremlin, from dance to the Duma. A sight-sampling:
In the Kremlin
Russia's oldest museum. Dates to the mid-1500s when it was, indeed, an armory. Converted to a museum in 1806. Contains armor, weaponry, medallions, portraits -- along with a cup supposedly once held in the hands of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow, and the Cap of Monomachus, the crown of the Russian grand princes and czars.
Bell Tower of Ivan the Great
This 81-meter gilt-domed tower was built in the 16th century. Withstood an attempt by Napoleon to blow it up in 1812.
Home of the famed Bolshoi Theater Ballet, built in the early 19th century and restored following a fire in the mid 1800s.
Cathedral of Christ the Savior
near Kropotkinskaya Metro station
Magnificent cathedral demolished in 1932 by Joseph Stalin's Communist government -- now rebuilt from the ground up.
Magnificent palace built for Catherine the Great, who died in 1796 -- the year construction was completed -- and never stayed there. Her son, Paul I, ordered it turned into a military barracks. It now houses the Armored Troops Academy.
Chekhov House and Museum
No. 8 Sadovo-Kudrinskaya Street
The unobtrusive home of Russian writer Anton Chekhov until 1890, when he left Moscow for Sakhalin Island.
near Krymsky Val Street
Moscow's most popular amusement center, with an outdoor theater, boating, ice skating and tennis.
Once the seat of the Soviet government, the Kremlin is now the seat of Russia's government. Red Square's anchor point began as a Slavic fortress atop Borovitsky Hill in the 11th century.
Russia's princes ruled from the fortress, which in 1331 was named Kremlin (Citadel). It became the center of czarist rule in the mid-1500s, with Grand Prince Ivan IV (the Terrible), until Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg in 1712.
Originally built of wood, the fortress was recreated in white stone in 1366-68, and rebuilt on a grand scale by Ivan III at the end of the 15th century. Inside the Kremlin walls are government buildings, cathedrals, and palaces, including the imperial residence, Grand Kremlin Palace.
Some of Moscow's subway stations are veritable underground palaces with their unique architectural styles and elegant decor.
A monument to Moscow's neoclassicist period, featuring the palace of Prince Dolgoruky (No. 19), the Pushkin Museum (No. 12) which was formerly the town estate of the Khrushchevs-Seleznevs, the Leo Tolstoy Museum (No. 11), and the one-time home and studio of American dancer Isadora Duncan (No. 20).
The vast, open space surrounded by the Kremlin, the Cathedral of St. Basil, GUM Department store and other Moscow landmarks -- scene of many parades and other gatherings. Created when fire destroyed much of the city's trading quarter in 1493, dubbed at the time the Pozhar, or Burnt-Out Place.
The Duma, Russia's Parliament building and site of President Boris Yeltsin's dramatic rise to power, is just west of the Kremlin.
Lenin's Mausoleum is also on Red Square, opposite the Kremlin. The embalmed body of V.I. Lenin still rests here, although since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a movement to inter the revolutionary leader has gained strength.
Cathedral of St. Basil
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