Moscow's Top Ten
|Whether you are in Moscow for a week or a year or more, there are many sights that you should not miss. In words and pictures, John Bonar picks the top ten 'must see' for all visitors to the capital.|
1 Red Square, St. Basill`s Cathedral and GUM
Red Square, probably the most world's most famous address is bordered by Lenin's tomb outside the Kremlin Walls, St Basil's Cathedral with its famous multicoloured domes and GUM the famous Soviet era department store.
2 Kremlin, Armoury Museum
The entrance to the apex of Russian political power and the former centre of the Orthodox Church is not made from Red Square, but from Kutafaya Tower halfway along Alexandrovsky Gardens. (Metro: Alexandrovsky Sad, Borovitskaya or Biblioteka imeni Lenina). The Armoury, which requires a separate ticket, is best reached from another entrance at the southern Borovitskaya Gate. The 9-room Armoury Museum is in the 700-room Great Kremlin Palace, the official residence of the Russian president. The Armoury displays an opulent collection amassed over centuries by the state and church, including thrones and coronation dresses of the Russian royal family.
3 Tretyakov Gallery
Lavrushniy Pereulok, 10 (Metro: Tretyakovskaya) contains the world's best collection of Russian icons and a not-to-be missed collection of pre-revolutionary Russian Art.
4 Stary Arbat
Old Arbat Street, or simply Arbat, (Metro: Smolenskaya or Arbatskaya) is a colourful pedestrian-only, meandering, pre-revolutionary street crowded with pavement cafes, street performers and souvenir stalls selling the ubiquitous Matroushka nesting dolls, fur hats and t-shirts.
5 Novodevichy Convent
A cluster of sparkling domes behind red turreted walls near the Moscow River, this World Heritage Site contains the tombs of a host of Russian noteables, writers, generals from the Napoleonic War and leading educators. Keep your eyes open for the discarded canon from the war of 1812.
6 Gagarin Statue
Gagarin Square, Leninski Prospekt (Metro: Leninski Prospekt). The 1 3 metre tall statue of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space (1961), sits atop a 30 metre tall column, both of which are made from pure titanium, an exotic metal widely used in the aerospace industry.
7 Victory Park (Metro: Park Pobedi)
This splendid park has memorials, a museum and an avenue lined with fountains commemorating the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi axis powers from 1941 - 1 945 (known in the rest of the world as World War II). It's used by skateboarders and roller-bladers, has many small cafes and a children's funfair. It's a great day out.
8 Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
Volkhonko Street 12 (Metro Kropotkinskaya) is famous for its collection of Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings, and also a Catholic selection of European works, from the Renaissance onwards.
9 State History Museum, Red Square
1 Red Square (Metro: Okhotny Riad), with an enormous collection covering the whole Russian empire it is being thoroughly renovated and more galleries are opened every few months.
10 Christ the Saviour Cathedral
Volkhonko Street 15 (Metro: Kropotkinskaya) rebuilt on the orders of Moscow Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, on the site of the original which was destroyed on Stalin's orders. Fantastic and peaceful surroundings, detailed statues and frescoes make this a 'must see'.