Moscow's Red Square

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Red Square

Top choice in Moscow

Immediately outside the Kremlin’s northeastern wall is the celebrated Red Square, the 400m-by-150m area of cobblestones that is at the very heart of Moscow. Commanding the square from the southern end is St Basil’s Cathedral. This panorama never fails to send the heart aflutter, especially at night.

Next to the cathedral, an elevated platform, known as the Place of Skulls, was used for reading out decrees and proclamations in the old ages and became the setting for Pussy Riot's anti-Putin video clip in 2011. Nearby, the Minin & Pozharsky Statue celebrates the heroes of the 1612 liberation war against the Poles.

The word krasnaya in the name means 'red' now, but in old Russian it meant 'beautiful' and Krasnaya pl lives up to this epithet. Furthermore, it evokes an incredible sense of import to stroll across the place where so much of Russian history has unfolded. Note that the square is often closed for various celebrations or their rehearsals, so allow some leeway in your schedule.

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1. Place of Skulls

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The 13m circular stone platform in front of St Basil's Cathedral is known as the Place of Skulls. Legend has it that it was the site of executions,…

2. Minin & Pozharsky Statue

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Out front of St Basil’s Cathedral is a statue of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, one a butcher and the other a prince, who together raised and led the…

3. Saviour Gate Tower

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The Kremlin’s ‘official’ exit onto Red Square is the stately red-brick Saviour Gate Tower. This gate – considered sacred – has been used for processions…

4. St Basil's Cathedral

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At the southern end of Red Square stands the icon of Russia: St Basil’s Cathedral. This crazy confusion of colours, patterns and shapes is the culmination…

5. Lenin's Mausoleum

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Although Vladimir Ilych requested that he be buried beside his mum in St Petersburg, he still lies in state at the foot of the Kremlin wall, receiving…

6. Moscow Kremlin

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The apex of Russian political power and once the centre of the Orthodox Church, the Kremlin is the kernel of not only Moscow, but of the whole country…

8. Senate


The offices of the president of Russia, the ultimate seat of power in the modern Kremlin, are in the yellow, triangular former Senate building, a fine…