Russia Things to Do Tips by swesn
Russia Things to Do: 280 reviews and 511 photos
Treasures in Armoury
The Kremlin is the Number 1 tourist attraction in Moscow. Personally, it was the Armoury exhibition that did it for me.
This required an extra ticket and limited opening hours (during summer because of the crowd). Some people might felt it was not worth the extra ticket, or due to the limited opening hours, totally missed the opportunity to visit it.
To me, it would be an utter shame to come all the way to Moscow and the Kremlin and NOT visit the Armoury.
It is utterly opulence in abundance. The gold, silver, precious stones, diamonds crafted on chalices, bible covers, Faberge eggs, clocks, dining-wares, lamps, anything... the crystals and priceless silverware, the royal regalia, the diamond-studded thrones, the gold-plated carriages, the coronation dresses, everything... are INCREDIBLE and doubtlessly, PRICELESS. My jaws remained open the entire visit as I gaped and gaped.
After purchasing the tickets to Kremlin and the Armoury, my suggestion is to try and head to the Armoury first before you visit the Cathedrals. In summer, the Armoury is open for only 1.5 hours each session. You will want to be there when the Armoury just opens because 1.5 hours is barely enough!
You can visit the Cathedrals later as they are open longer.
Kremlin by the Moscow river
The Kremlin is the centre of the country's history and power.
Ivan the Terrible ordered his horrifying deeds from here. Moscow burnt as Napoleon watched on. Lenin led the Russians into Marxist communism. Stalin unleashed his totalitarian horrors. Gorbachev changed the country with economic and political restructuring plans that led to perestroika...
Kremlin is surrounded by a fortified wall with towers at each corner. The government buildings are naturally not opened to the public. But tourists can visit the onion-domed churches like Church of Annunciation, Church of Archangel, Church of Assumption.
Closed on THURSDAYS!!
Red Square is called Krasnaya ploshchad, in Russian. The word is derived from 'krasnyy' which originally meant 'beautiful'. But somehow, in the 20th century, the meaning was changed to 'red'. Hence, the square in English is called 'Red Square'.
It is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the St Basil's Catheral and GUM (Gosudarstvenny Universalny Magazin) meaning 'State Department Store' and Kremlin.
Architectural poetry - St Basil's Cathedral
Go to the Red Square around evening time, when the sun is setting but BEFORE the sun-rays sink below the buildings. For if you enter the square at that perfect moment, your eyes will be captivated by the cluster of orange, red and green precious gems gathered in the distance, now basking in the warm rays.
The cluster of gems is none other than St. Basil's Cathedral. Yes, certain buildings are indeed PURE POETRY. And this is one of them. When my friend Pablo and I first rested our eyes on it, we gasped. It somehow drew us towards it magically. I swear I felt the rest of the world move in slow-motion around me and that everywhere else was silent.
Resurrection Church glistens in the evening sun
The blue-yellow intricately tiled and painted multi-domed Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Khram Voskresenia Khristova) is another feast to the eyes.
It is built along Griboedova Canal between 1883-1907. Apparently, this was the spot where Alexander II was blown up. So, this church is also known as the Church of the Saviour of the Spilled Blood (Khram Spasa na Krovi).
I don't usually visit the interior of churches, especially those that ask for charges but this church is truly magnificent... on the outside.
I read that it took 24 years to build and 27 years to restore. Very lovingly built and restored, I must say. The evening sun casts a gorgeous light to it.
Lake Baikal, if I may briefly impress you with some statistics here, is the 'Pearl of Siberia' - crystal clear, drinkably pure and surrounded by mountains and little wooden cabins. It is the world's sixth largest lake and the world's deepest lake (1637m) and contains nearly one-fifth of the world's fresh water.
Admittedly, I did not spend too much time in Lake Baikal due to an oversight with my visa registration...
BUT! One can spend many days visiting the western and eastern shore of Lake Baikal, checking out national reserves, timber towns, Siberian villages and exploring the pristine, tranquil islands like Olkhon Island and surrounding steppe.
While the Hermitage is a must-see in St. Petersburg, if you are a museum person, I believe visiting the Russian Museum is worth-while as well. Here, you get to understand a little bit more of the Russian culture and history. The collection here is mainly Russian art, many are paintings about the Revolution and portraits of various people you do not know.
Hermitage Museum in the background
The Hermitage is a place where superlatives fail. The treasures held in this museum are incredibly spectacular. The collection is immense. Even without the exhibition, the architecture of the museum itself is tremendously magnificent already.
This palace is from where tsars ruled Russia for 150 years. There is the Winter Palace, the Little Hermitage, the Large Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre. This is definitely one of the most impressive museums I had ever visited.
If you hold a ISIC student card, entrance is free. GOOD FOR YOU! You can come and visit its treasures for days and days and still you will not be able to complete them. If you unfortunately have to fork out R300 each time, and like me, you cannot afford to do this many times, you just have to treasure what you can absorb for that day.
More Reviews (36)
- See All MOSCOW : ONION-DOMED CHURCHES
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