Walks With Folks - Travel Russia Blog

The Heart of Moscow - Red Square

While visiting Moscow - there is one thing that you must see and that is the Red Square.  You can visit a variety of monuments, cathedrals, museums and commercial galleries in Red Square, each with a special meaning: the Kremlin, the Lenin Mausoleum, the Cathedrals of St. Basil and Kazan, the State Museum of Russian History, or the GUM Galleries.

Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin – this is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Moscow and Russia.  Within the walls of the Kremlin (and outside) you will find the most varied monuments, museums and buildings: the presidential and administrative government buildings, the Great Kremlin Palace, the congress palace, the main Russian museum (the Armory), as well as 4 cathedrals. Except presidential and administrative buildings, the rest are open to tourists.

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St Basil Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral is the symbol of the city, despite not being the main cathedral of Moscow, since this title corresponds to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The construction of the Cathedral was ordered by Tsar Ivan the Terrible, and took place between 1555 and 1561, to celebrate the conquest of the Kazan Khanate.

Throughout its history (in 2021 it will be its 460th anniversary), the cathedral has been on the verge of disappearing in more than one occasion, surviving fires, to Napoleon’s invasion and even to a plan of demolition on the part of Stalin’s collaborators, who considered that the cathedral hindered the army’s parades in the Red Square. We have a guided tour to St.Basil Cathedral – it is one of our most popular tours and something we highly recommend.

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GUM

GUM literally translates to “Main Universal Store” and was built in 19th century in a pseudo-Russian style instantly becoming an iconic building for Moscow. In these galleries you can take the legendary GUM Russian ice cream in one of the kiosks on the ground floor. The ice cream with a ball of chocolate, cream or other different flavors, is served on a cookie-shaped glass.
It is also a good place to eat. Thus, on the third floor it is possible to eat Russian or Italian specialties at an economical price. Also, if some language barrier problems arise, since the restaurants are buffet-style, just point your finger at the dish that looks good. There are terraces outside to eat and contemplate the impressive interior of the building of GUM galleries.



The Museum of Russian History

One of the buildings that attract tourists the most is the State Museum of Russian History, built between 1875 and 1881, according to neo-Russian style canons and inaugurated by Tsar Alexander III.
In its interior you will find prehistoric relics that occupied the territory of present-day Russia, and also invaluable works of art acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum’s collection is of the order of millions.


Lenin's Mausoleum

Lenin’s Mausoleum, where Lenin’s mummified body is still preserved, has become one of the main tourist attractions in Moscow. Lenin died in 1924 (at 53 years old), but though he had expressed his willingness to be buried in St. Petersburg, along with his mother, Stalin pushed for the decision to embalm his body. Furthermore, when Stalin died he was mummified along with Lenin, however, his body was taken out of the mausoleum a few years after his death.