Moscow is a city that can take many months, if not years, to get to know properly, and visitors often do not know where to start - there is so much to see! We will show you the city in a day packed with variety and wonder. In the first half of the day we will take you round the highlights of the city in our comfortable tour bus, and our guide will keep you entertained with fascinating true stories about the city’s past, present and future. We will stop for lunch in a traditional Russian restaurant, where you be able to discover the country’s rich culinary heritage. After lunch we will take you to the most historic site in Moscow: the Kremlin. We will show you around this city within a city, and you will visit the ancient Kremlin cathedrals, where generations of tsars were crowned and buried. Then you will visit one of Moscow’s oldest and most fascinating museums - the Kremlin Armory. With its unique collections from the tsarist period: historical armor and weapons, Russian and European silver and gold tableware and jewelry, ancient state regalia and ceremonial vestments, historic clothing, the carriages used by many of Russia’s tsars, and Fabergé eggs, it truly has something for everybody! Within the Armory is another great treasure house - the Kremlin Diamond fund, which contains the former Imperial treasury - the personal gem collections of Russia’s tsars - updated with more recently - discovered specimens. Here you will see the Great Imperial Crown made for Catherine the Great - which alone contains 5000 diamonds - along with other priceless cut and uncut diamonds and other precious stones, many with a fascinating history.
- Transportation (4 hours for the sightseeing tour)
- English-speaking guide for the entire programme
- Entrance fees to museums
- Guided tours according to the programme
The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin (St. Basil's Cathedral) is one of the most significant monuments of Old Russian architecture of the 16th century. The cathedral was built in 1555-1561 at the behest of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in honor of the conquest of the Kazan kingdom.
The central church is consecrated for the sake of the Protection of the Holy Virgin. Four churches are consecrated for the sake of the saints, whose memorial days occurred to be in the decisive battles for Kazan.
Other churches were consecrated for the sake of such events of the second half of the 16th century, as an appearance of a new image of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the Vyatka lands and the glorification of the Reverend Varlaam Khutynsky and Alexander Svirsky.
The Eastern Church is dedicated to the basic dogma of the Christian faith - the Holy Trinity. The Western Church of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem connects the cathedral with the image of the Heavenly City.
The Intercession Cathedral has unique wall paintings, an impressive collection of Old Russian icon painting and masterpieces of church art.
In 1918 the capital of the Soviet State was moved back to Moscow. As a result lots of government employees were moved to Moscow and settled in so-called houses of Soviets (hotels the National, the Metropol ). However, there was a lack of living space to provide all of them. It was decided to construct a huge building in the vicinity of the Kremlin to provide apartments to members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Later the house on the embankment completed in 1931 was populated by high-rank officers, writers, artists and old Bolsheviks. According to the original project the house had to be made of red bricks to match the Kremlin walls. However, due to scarcity of tangible assets it was faceted with gray concrete. 12-storey building with 505 apartments became the biggest house in Europe. All apartments had oak parquet, painting on the ceilings. There was a movie theater for 1500 spectators, a gym, a department store, a laundry, a bank, a post-and-telegraph office, a kindergarten. There were also a few cafeterias where residents might have their meal for free. One of the blocks was non-residential, it was used to wire tap other blocks. As a result many residents of this house were repressed.
The old photo shows the building of Wine and Salt Court, an old distillery and excise warehouse which used to stand on on Bersenevskaya embankment. It was called so since"bersen", an old Russian name for gooseberry, was growing here. This name was attached to this site and still preserved in the name of the embankment.
It was pitilessly demolished by Bolshevists in Stalin’s times and later restored as a replica using citizens’ funds. The Cathedral was consecrated on Transfiguration Day, 19 August 2000, as a symbol of the transformation of Moscow and Russia and the renunciation of its theomachic past.
Moscow’s cathedral of Christ the Saviour was under construction and embellishment for as long as 44 years (from 1839 to 1883). Its designer Konstantin Thon was a pioneer of the “neo-Russian” architectural style. Apart from him, the best sculptors and artists worked on the project. The ingenious Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote his 1812 Overture for the consecration ceremony, attended by veterans of the Patriotic War of 1812.
In 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was dynamited to make way for the Palace of the Soviets, a new cathedral for the new era. The era that challenged the past and the present and wanted to immortalise itself in the highest building in the world, a gigantic ziggurat palace crowned with a 100-metre statue of Lenin. Eventually, communists abandoned their utopian idea and built a swimming pool on the site (Moskva Pool) – a sign of the modest and “warm” Stagnation Period of the 1960s–1980s. Next followed the Perestroika and repentance for the crimes of the past, and the cathedral, restored in the 1990s, became a symbol of putting the historical record straight.
Right in front of the park, The Luzhniki Olympic Complex, the biggest in Russia and Europe with its impressive Luzhniki Stadium, is a place not only for sports but also for other activities, as musical and cultural ones. In 1980 the stadium became a place for The Summer Olympics; The Olympic Mishka was send to the night sky from here, with the sad song and spectators` tears. And now football fans are exited about The 2018 FIFA World Cup. As for the international musicians, there were such stars with the concerts as U2, Moby, Muse, Depeche Mode, Korn, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and many others…
The Complex can offer different services, paintball and golf, for example. You can visit the museum of Russian sport, eat in some café or stay in the hotel.
The panoramic view can show not only some magnificent buildings, but also an amount of common dwelling houses, also known as "boxes", so typical for any Russian town.
Many visitors, as well as tourists come to this place throughout the year, In addition, it has become a nice tradition for newly married couples to visit the place. You can`t leave Vorobyovy Hills without some souvenirs, thus there are many shops with the biggest possible variety of folk things, such as traditional matreshka and lapti (bast shoe).
It`s possible to take an elevator up to the hill and down. While going to the hill one can embrace oneself with an amazing view, take some photos. If you are feeling hungry while on the way to the observation deck, you pop in a really nice restaurant, which has a lovely summer terrace. If you are not up for a nice dine-out, then you will have a chance to eat at a fast food place, which are nearby as well.
Nowadays, the memorial complex on the Poklonnaya Hill is an architectural ensemble and a park area, which includes the following objects: the Obelisk of the Victory 141.8 meters (465.2 feet) high (opened in 1995), the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 with an exposition and an archive (1995), the Temple of Martyr George the Victorious (1995), the Shuhada Memorial Mosque (1997), the Memorial Synagogue and the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Holocaust (1998), the Monument to Defenders of the Russian Land (1995), the Monument to Missing Soldiers without Graves (1995), the Spirit of the Elbe Memorial Plate (1995), the Peoples Tragedy Sculptural Composition (1997), the Monument to the Spanish People Fallen in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 (2003), the Monument to Peace Keepers (2004), the Memorial in Honor of Participant Countries of Anti-Hitler Coalition (2005), 15 Memorial Stelae in Honor of Main Fronts and Naval Forces of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 (2005), the Eternal Flame (2010), the “We Were Together in Our Fight against Fascism” Monument (2010), the Monument to Heroes of World War I (2014), the Hero Cities Memorial Complex (2016), the War Roads Monument (2017), the Monument to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Liquidators (2017).
The Victory Park is a symbolic place wh ere dozens of thousands of people gather annually on May 9 to honor the memory of participants of the Great Patriotic War.
The Years of War Main Avenue includes five terraces, symbolizing five years of the war, and 1418 fountains represent the number of war days. The exposition of military equipment, engineering and fortification structures operates in the open air. Over 300 samples of heavy weapons used during the war are displayed here. There are 15 rides for young visitors in the style of the period of the Great Patriotic War: Air Fight, Victory Transport, Armored Train, Heavenly Slug and others.
The Victory Park is also a popular place to spend winter and summer holidays for Moscow citizens and guests of the capital. The sports area is located between the Alley of Partisans and the Alley of Soldiers and is open all day. It includes a multi-functional sports ground for football, volleyball and basketball, three courts, a table tennis court and a workout area with a series of pull-up bars, benches and inclusive equipment.
The Neglinnaya River, blocking the way to the Kremlin from the West, had became polluted and shallow by the 18th century, so in 1819, beneath the Resurrection Gate of China Town, it was enclosed under vaults and covered with earth. On this place in 1819 - 1823 the park was destroyed, which was called the Kremlin (from 1856 - Alexandrovsky) garden. We go into the garden from the side of the Resurrection Square through a large cast-iron gate. The park's decoration was built near the Central Arsenal Tower on an artificial hill, designed by the architect J Bove, a cove with four columns, which still exists today.
In 1913, a 20-meter obelisk was erected in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov's house in the garden, which in 1918 was converted into a monument to the great thinkers and revolutionary-socialists.
In 1967, the obelisk was moved to the south, and in its place a simple and majestic memorial ensemble "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" was built, dedicated to the heroic deeds of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. In the center of the complex is the Eternal Fire of Glory, next to the red porphyry blocks with the land of heroic cities.
In 1932, after the adoption of the plan reconstruction of the center of Moscow, work began on the construction of the complex to the Council of Labor and Defense. Architect AL Langman constructed building combines elements of strict classicism constructivism and twenties XX century. Pylons and Atyk ten-house indicate kinship with the classical architecture of the XIX century, but the original designs and the overall style typical of the period of Soviet architecture, which later would be called Stalin. Granite plinth and severe wall cladding, made of limestone, and later will form the basis of many buildings in Moscow thirties.
In 1969 the Council of Ministers of the building was built the second building, which is now called the new building of the State Duma. This sixteen-house of glass and concrete.
Now the Russian State Library stores in its holdings more than 47 million books, documents and artefacts. More than 800 thousand people visit the library annually and about 100 thousand new library tickets are issued. There are 36 reading rooms in the RSL, where more than one and a half thousand people can work at the same time. Any citizen of Russia or other state above 14 years old can become a user of the Library.
It is important for the Library not only to enlarge its collections, but also to make them as accessible as possible, paying attention to the preservation of rare and valuable editions. Digitization and placement of materials in the RSL electronic library solve these tasks. More than 90% of dissertation abstracts, early printed books, documents from the Cartographic collection and the Universal collection, and more than 80% of the Music collection are in the public domain. Access to copyrighted documents is only possible from the Library premises.
At the end of 2014 by the decision of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation the Russian State Library was appointed the operator of the National Electronic Library (NEL). NEL is a modern project aimed at free access of readers to the collections of key Russian libraries through the integrated portal and search system.
Since January 2017 the RSL started to receive electronic legal deposit copies of printed publications and dissertation theses.
The Library is developing and looking for new forms of interaction with the reader. The best and the most interesting of the RSL collections is demonstrated at exhibitions. In 2016 the Russian State Library opened the new museum space for major exhibitions Ivanovsky Hall. Each exposition is accompanied by lecture tour and excursion program. You can also have a tour to the Book Depository, Pashkov House, Book Museum and walk through the premises of the main building. On traditional events of LibraryNight, LibraryDay and Open Doors Day experts and everyone are welcome to acquaint with the work of the Library.
The Annual Public Report demonstrates in detail how the Russian State Library is changing.
The Bolshoi Theatre is one of the oldest and biggest theatres in Russia. It is also one of the most renowned opera and ballet theatres in the world. People sometimes call it shortly "The Bolshoi" and it is situated in the central part of Moscow. Originally it was an Imperial theatre.
The architect who designed the building of The Bolshoi was Joseph Bove. It was built between 1821 and 1824. Since then, the building was renovated and rebuilt several times. However, it kept its original imperial decorations. Today, it’s not simply the building of the theatre but it is also an outstanding landmark of Moscow. The neoclassical view of The Bolshoi can be seen on the Russian 100-ruble banknote.
The theatre is always associated with opera and ballet. It has been the site for many notable premiers. Among them, Rachmaninoff’s “Aleko”, Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”, Tchaikovsky’s “The Voyevoda” and “Mazeppa”. Ballet repertoire includes Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Adam’s “Giselle” and several others. Many productions are based on classical works of Russian composers. However, the works of such Italian composers as Verdi, Rossini and Puccini are also staged.
The Bolshoi is well-known throughout the world. It is frequently visited by tourists and guests of Moscow. The Bolshoi’s sibling – The Maly Theatre – situated right next to it, is also frequented by visitors from all over the globe. The Maly Theatre specializes in dramas.
The Diamond Fund exhibition was opened in 1967 on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin. It is a subdivision of the Gokhran of Russia. Treasures of the Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation represent a collection of unique nuggets of precious metals and precious stones of historical and artistic value, as well as a collection of unique jewelry and other items made of precious metals and precious stones. The collection is undoubtedly one of the most significant and largest collections in the world. It is the most famous part of the State Fund treasury.
The Diamond Fund is a unique collection with a long path of development closely associated with the history of the Russian state. It includes masterpieces of jewelry art of the 18th-20th centuries, rare gems, insignia, gold and platinum nuggets of historical, artistic, scientific and material value.
The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient state regalia, ceremonial tsar's vestments and coronation dress, vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church's hierarchs, the largest collection of gold and silverware by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial weapons and arms, carriages, horse ceremonial harness.
The State Armoury presents more than four thousands items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th - early 20th centuries. The highest artistic level and particular historical and cultural value of the exhibits have made the State Armoury of the Moscow Kremlin a world-wide known museum.
The Kremlin Armoury keeps ancient state regalia, the most valuable of which is Monomakh's Cap, the main royal cap of Russian grand dukes and tsars, a symbol of autocracy in Russia. The Monomakh's Cap was used for the coronations of Tsars (including Tsar Ivan the Terrible) for 178 years.
Judging by the Tsar Cannon's calibre of 890 mm, it was given its name as the world’s biggest cannon. The gun's tube's weight is about 40 ton, its length is 5,34 m. The cannon's surface is adorned with the cast figured friezes, vegetation ornament, memorial inscriptions and an equestrian image of Tsar Feodor Ioannovich. In 1835, the Tsar Cannon was fixed on the carriage specially cast for it at the Berdt’s factory in St. Petersburg. Four hollow decorative cannonballs were made at the same time.
The Tsar Cannon has never shot. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never used in a war.
Initially, the Tsar Cannon was fixed on Red Square near the Spasskiye Gate. In 1706, it was moved into the Kremlin, fixed at first in the Arsenal’s inner yard and then at the main gate (with another cannon). In 1835, the two cannons were staged on the new bases, specially cast on the project of A. Bryullov. In 1843, the Tsar Cannon and other old Russian cannons were placed in front of the Armoury Chamber’s old building in the opposite of the Arsenal. The captured cannons were left by the Arsenal.
In 1960, when the Palace of Congresses (now it is called the State Kremlin Palace) was under construction, the building of the Armoury Chamber (architect I. Yegotov) was dismantled. The old cannons were transferred to the Arsenal building. Later the Tsar Cannon was fixed on its present-day place. The Tsar Cannon, its base and cannonballs were renovated in the 1970s.
The bell was formed and cast in a special moulding pit at Ivanovskaya Square to the east of the 'Ivan the Great' Bell Tower.
Woodcarvers from St. Petersburg – Vasily Kobelev, Pyotr Galkin, Pyotr Kokhtev, Pyotr Serebryakov and the moulding master Pyotr Luokovnikov were commissioned to make the relief ornamentation. The name of the sculptor was discovered not long ago – it was Feodor Medvedev who got educated in Italy. Preparatory works took almost two years. At the end of 1734, the masters began the heating of metal in specially built furnaces, but soon the leakage was found out. At the same time, the fire destroyed wooden lifting constructions above the bell. The work was recommenced, but when Ivan Motorin died in August 1735, his son was entrusted with the work.
The Tsar Bell was finally cast in November 1735. However, it still remained in the moulding pit. In May 1737, a terrible fire known as Troitsky broke out and spread to the Kremlin buildings. During the fire extinguishing, cold water fell on the bell itself. Temperature difference caused its crack, and a huge piece of 11.5 ton broke off.
The repeated attempts to lift up the bell were a failure. In 1836, the work was commissioned to French architect from St. Peterburg Auguste Montferrant, who designed the lifting construction and an octal sandstone pedestal for the Tsar Bell. The first lifting was a failure; then the device was improved and the Tsar Bell was pulled out from the moulding pit at last. It remains there up till now as an example of the art of casting.
The Tsar Bell is decorated with bas-relief portraits of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich and Empress Anna Ioannovna; it is adorned both with floral ornament in the baroque style and images of saints, angels and inscriptions telling the story of the bell.