Moscow is enormous and a little daunting. The city is organised in concentric circles. The outer ring road marks the city limits while most of the important sights are contained within the inner Garden Ring or the innermost Boulevard Ring. At the Bull’s-eye are the Kremlin and Red Square. The Moscow River cuts an arc through the centre of the city, with its peak touching the Kremlin.
ST. BASIL’S CATHEDRAL – Red Square. Standing magnificent at the head of Red Square is St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of Russia’s most recognisable buildings. It was built in 1561 to mark the 1552 capture of Kazan from Mongol forces. In 1860, during rebuilding, the Cathedral was painted with a more complex and integrated design, and has remained unchanged since. During restoration work in the seventies a wooden spiral staircase was discovered within one of the walls and visitors can now take this route into the central church as we did today. This cathedral is a stone warren of small, intimate chapels decorated with countless icons soaring upwards to the height of the onion domes above.
THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER AND ETERNAL FLAME
The red-granite monument within Alexander Garden contains the body of an unidentified Soviet soldier, one of those who in 1941, stopped the German attack at a village just out of Moscow.
GUM -Department Store on Red Square
State Department Store for top end traders – current building completed 1893. A magnificent building, giving a
feeling of absolute luxury. The roof contains in excess of 20,000 panes of glass. The store is open from 10:00 – 22:00 every day. We enjoyed coffee on the upper floor seated under a beach umbrella and later purchased an ice cream to enjoy as we were walking in the snow!