Russia Things to Do Tips by Sharrie Top 5 Page for this destination
Russia Things to Do: 277 reviews and 507 photos
The Royal Chapel
Now move on to the Kremlin. I'll write more about Kremlin after this.
In the mean time, proceed to CATHEDRAL OF THE ANNUNCIATION.
The only cathedral in the Kremlin designed & created by the Russians.
The rest of them (& there are many, you'll soon find out) were designed mostly by
Commissioned by Ivan III in 1484. (If you can get your facts straight on which Ivan they are, I salute u ;-))
This is his royal chapel.
Next to it is Ivan's palace - the Faceted Palace.
What's important & interesting is its interior.
The entire cathedral was painted with frescoes!
Icon painting is truly an art in Russia!
Somewhat similar to those from Greece!
Well, they looked similar to me :-p
Remember to check out the iconostasis (which symbolizes the boundary between the spiritual & temporal worlds).
This one is considered the finest in Russia!
Painted by Theophanes the Greek, Andrey Rublev & Prokhor Gorodetskiy.
For a little facts on what iconostasis is all about, you may want to check out the Local Custom tip.
Stalinist-Gothic Style! Now I know :-)
Like most countries, it's natural to assume the future leaders will probably be one of the many outstanding students in the University.
I said natural, not rightly ;-)
In this case, the Moscow State University.
No, we are not here to visit the future leader.
Rather this is where Sparrow Hills is.
Again, newly wed couples come here to take photos often. It offers a panoramic view of the city of Moscow.
To me, of interest is the architecture of the Moscow State University.
It's known to be Stalinist-Gothic style. Commissioned by Stalin & completed in 1953.
Wow, one of the tallest universities I've ever encountered!
Clean, clean, clean! & no fine needed!!! Amazing!
Unbelievable how clean this station is, isn't it?
One of the newest in Moscow.
Just opened I heard.
Regardless, it's ultra modern & didn't quite fit with my idea of Russia. Ok, guilty as charged ;->
That's what traveling does to you.
Wipes out all the silly thoughts/& preconceptions in your head.
Those inconsistency & those "arrogance".
I admit, sometimes the unknown sucks.
But in this case, Russia is still a superpower!!!
Remember this, reading an entire guide book doesn't give you an accurate idea of a place.
Instead, half a day trip makes everything comes alive!
& I'm speaking to myself :-p
I've been to many parts of the world.
But, never have I heard that the subway is a star attraction!
Here, in Moscow, Russia, it is one & it deserves to be visited.
Right, we are talking about subway stations!
Well, I didn't count how many but there are enough for you to pick & choose.
We visited 4, not the major ones.
But interesting nonetheless.
The Moscow subway system counts as one of the top 5 oldest in the world (after Paris', London's & NYC's).
Yet, it's probably one of the most beautiful & the cleanest of them all!
Yes, speaking of cleanliness; the few cities I visited, they are VERY clean!
I was surprised! Pleasantly surprised! :-)
Red, red, red ;-)
Other than the Kremlin, RED SQUARE (KRASNAYA PLOSHCHAD) has to be the most important place that no one in their right mind would miss!
Situated beside the Kremlin, Red Square is not quite "red". Rather, it was so called because ... oh well, it's a long story & again Ivan III has a hand in it!
This guy gave the order to burn down houses & stalls at the market (it was original a market called torg) to make way for this square. It was then known as "Fire" Square.
In 17th century, the Russian word "krasnyy" meaning "beautiful" was the name of this square.
This word later came to mean "red". It's all in the guidebook. I wouldn't know what happened in the 17th century ;-)
Ok, so it was said.
Red Square is huge! About 500 m (1600 ft) in length.
Btw, my suggestion is make sure you are not on high heels when in Russia.
Lots of grounds to cover!
Ok, as with every square, there's a specific function or occasion where events were/are held here.
In the past, it was a place for executions & announcements (to the public naturally).
Now, I guessed it's a tourist attraction ;-) & also where Lenin Mausoleum can be found.
In this aspect, it's very similar to Tiananmen Square of China! See the parallels?
Anyway, you've to walk it, ok? I also suggest it in Spring & Summer.
As for Winter, you do it at your own risk!
Some buildings around the Square are the famous St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin Mausoleum, Kazan Cathedral, Historical Museum, the Kremlin & GUM (this is what ladies will all be interested in, I guess) - the superstore of Russian branded goods! It's huge! Trust me. You won't be out of it in 2 hours or less. This will be a place where your past conceptual images of Russia will be redefined ;-)
The choir is on... how delightful!
CATHEDRAL OF THE ARCHANGEL
Remember to buy your ticket for photo-taking! & don't even attempt to try not to.
They check you constantly!
Ok, this glorious Cathedral is the last of them all. Built in 1505 by Ivan III just b4 his death.
Venetian architect: Aleviz Novyy.
Mainly used to bury princes & tsars from 1340 onwards.
Here are where the tombs of youngest son of Ivan the Terrible (Tsarevich Dmitry) & Peter II can be found.
Peter II died in 1730.
Look out for images of Archangel Michael - the protector of rulers of early Moscow.
St. Basil's - "Holy fool"
Speaking of Cathedrals, the major ones to take note are mostly found in Moscow & its surroundings.
Some of these not to be missed by anyone visiting Russia for the 1st time are:
1) ST. BASIL'S CATHEDRAL
St. Basil's looks almost like the cousin of Church on the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg.
Both with its many colored onion-shaped domes.
Yes, this one I did visit its interior.
Not cheap & you have to pay for taking photos. (Remember to buy the ticket)
If I'm not wrong, you have to pay for taking photos in all the interior of the cathedrals in Moscow!
Ok, just treat it as a contribution to maintain these cathedrals for future generations ;-)
Also known as Sobor Vasiliya Blazbennovo (if u can remember this, bravo!), St. Basil was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible.
Oh yes, his sins are tremendous & hence the many cathedrals that he built to purge his wrongdoings. (Hmmm, sounds like dejavu to me.)
No, no, don't believe everything you read on VT, lol...
Ok, according to my guidebook, he commissioned it to celbrate the capture of Kazan (a then Mongol stronghold) in 1552.
Designed by Postnik Yakovlev. (Right, one should at least known the architect!)
But the poor chap was blinded since as this terrible ruler was an incredible cruel man!
He didn't want him to design anything else more exquisite than this! Can u believe this???
Also known as Cathedral of the Intercession as Kazan was sieged on the Feast of the Intercession of the Virgin.
Commonly known as St. Basil's after the "holy fool" whose remains are interred within.
It's an interesting experience to walk through the 8 main chapels where you'd have to climb high steps to get to each of them. Do give at least an hour to explore the interiors.
2) NOVODEVICHIY CONVENT
Please refer to following tips.
3) CATHEDRAL OF THE ANNUNCIATION
Please refer to following tips.
4) CATHEDRAL OF THE ARCHANGEL
Please refer to following tips.
5) TRINITY MONASTERY OF ST. SERGIUS
Please refer to following tips.
Address: Red Square
It's truly a dog's life!
It's not a Must-See where I'm concerned.
That's because I've seen lots of performances both in China & Vegas.
& these are world-class performances.
But, if your tour is including this night-time activity, by all means enjoy yourself :-)
Or else, head for the ballet, operas & folklore shows. I think these are more meaningful. But that's just my personal view.
No, it's not a lake. But ballet!
Yes, Russian Ballet is world renowed!
Definitely high quality even if u don't see it at the Bolshoy Theatre.
Try the Bolshoy's performances if you've the chance.
I enjoyed Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. Other choices are The Nutcracker by the same composer & Giselle by Adolphe Adam.
At the Palace of Congresses in the Kremlin, the Kremlin Ballet Company performs.
KREMLIN - U have to visit this place.
If not, it's like going to Washington D.C. & never set foot in the White House!
Ok, Putin lives here. If you are lucky, you may meet him for tea?!
All Russian, present & I reckon future, lives here!
Headquarter of the Soviet Union & once the citadel of the tsars.
The very symbol of POWER.
The building of the fortress (incidentally, that's what Kremlin means) - Ivan III has a hand in it! was mostly completed in late 15th century.
Stalin had some of the structures destroyed in the 30s.
Upon his death, Kremlin was reopened to the public around 1955.
Here are some of the buildings found inside the Kremlin:
Churches & Cathedrals:
Cathedral of the Annunciation
Cathedral of the Archangel
Cathedral of the Assumption
Church of the Deposition of the Robe
Palaces & Historical Buildings:
Great Kremlin Palace
Ivan the Great Bell Tower (+ the biggest Cannon in the world!)
Palace of the Congresses
Must See - All the cathedrals, the State Armoury (I didn't have the chance at all, hate tour group!), Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Trinity Tower.
Take note that many of the palaces are not opened to the public. Well, this is Russia!
& do not walk on the unmarked roads! (They'll shoot u, hehe... with Russian ;-))
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