Kremlin and Red Square

Since the fifteenth century, the Red Square has been Moscow's heart and soul. It reflects the history and, at the same time, breathes modern life. It was called Red - "Krasnaya", in the Old Russian language it meant "beautiful"…and it`s fair.  

It is a starting point of the Moscow trip for every coming tourist. In the old days, the State Leaders gave their speeches and the Tsars executed on the square, people made feasts here. The square was always used mainly for trade, but now it also has ceremonial and historical meaning. It takes you about 15 minutes to circle this long square with the stoned ground, but you need some extra time if you want to  visit all its sights. So just look around and you`ll see …

The famous Kremlin is the official residence of the President. Moreover, it is the biggest fortress in Europe, with a grand and perfect Wall. The strict and gloomy Lenin`s Mausoleum is very close to it. It is a grave of the famous leader, founder of the USSR, the peculiar monument of the recent Soviet past and one of Moscow sights. It was being reintered more than once during the years of existence. These days the Mausoleum is still open to visitors at the opening hours, and thus attracts curious tourists and communism believers from all over the world. But you have to keep in mind that your visit in the Mausoleum will be very quick and without any cameras. 

The History Museum is also an old splendid building. It keeps a large collection of different artifacts, all about Russian history and culture. The Saint Basil`s Cathedral, a wonderful bright building with the colored domes, is probably the most famous building from Moscow worldwide- it is a symbol of Moscow, as well as the Kremlin Tower.

The Kremlin Spasskaya Tower has Russia's main clock, called the "Kuranty", the whole country sets time by it. When it`s New Year time, everybody waits for the midnight stroke on TV. For many, it`s a tradition to celebrate the New Year`s Eve in the Red Square within a crowd of cheerful people, with a lot of fun, champagne, and fireworks of course- a favorite holiday attribute. Nowadays the square looks like in a fairy-tale with its lights, big holiday fir tree and a huge ice rink. The ice rink is an annual present for the city from the department store "GUM", and is located in front of which the rink takes place.

The fascinating GUM store, oldest store in Russia, looks more like a palace than a shopping mall. Indeed, it is the monument of pseudo-Russian style architecture. It is easy to spend hours in GUM, wandering around the designer boutiques of the modern era and having a cup of coffee or glass of lemonade in a café stylized as in the soviet era times.

The Red Square is a place with welcoming atmosphere, always full of tourists and foreigners, enjoying all the Russian color, taking pictures with the street artists dressed-up as caricatured Lenin, Stalin and Nicolai II or Russian chasseurs, Cossacks and artists in the national clothing. Sweet couples walk along the old streets, next to the Kremlin or walk down to the Kremlin embankment.

But it`s much more than an open space for the annual Victory Parade held on May 9 to commemorate the Second World War victory over the Nazis.

This is also a place for all kinds of events: Russian-national festivals, as Maslenica and concerts. Such international stars as Linkin Park, Tiesto, Scorpions, Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers for the MTV, the artists of the international music fest "Live 8"and others were singing at the Red Square. The National USA Orchestra and Placido Domingo with the concert for charity also put up the performances here.

The square looks really stunning and charming; it keeps the spirit of the past and has its own energy, so even if you know nothing about the history, you can still feel the atmosphere and be impressed. But as they say,-seeing is believing...