Moscow will move you, tantalise your senses, soothe your spirit and boggle your mind. The sprawling metropolis of over 13 million people is the capital of the world’s biggest country and it thrills with its artistry, history and majesty.
Moscow has been on my must do list for a long time and my recent visit didn’t disappoint – in fact I was very impressed. From the unique architecture to a wealth of history and culture, this city is one that every fervent traveller has to do in their lifetime. Moscow tips its hat to a Soviet past, while putting its own stamp on European living. Parts of the city will have you travelling back in time, whilst it continues to be the centre of politics, influence and incredible experiences.
Moscow boasts imposing Soviet architecture, the most billionaires in Europe, the continent’s tallest structure and stylish local women. Remains of the Soviet state are scattered all around the city, numerous monuments remember fallen heroes and victorious battles.
The iconic Red Square sits perfectly at Moscow’s very core. Formerly a market square and parade station where Soviet Leaders could flex their military muscles, the square is where you’ll find many of the city’s most recognisable and significant relics including the walls of the Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, GUM shopping centre, the State History Museum and the mausoleum of Lenin.
Beautiful Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its colourful fusion of onion domes and spire, is unique to Russian architecture. This ornately designed cathedral was erected by Ivan IV as a memorial to the victory over Tartar Kazan in 1552. Inside the extravagantly colourful cathedral is a more modest interior with small chapels and maze-like corridors.
Within the walls of the Kremlin lie the Assumption Cathedral, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the Tsar-kolokol (world’s largest bell), many impressive religious and political buildings and the magnificent Armoury Museum. The museum houses an opulent collection of Faberge Eggs as well as royal thrones, crowns and carriages.
I saw the beautiful Bolshoi Theatre, the ‘Seven Sisters’ built by Stalin, Moscow University, marvelled at the view over the city from Sparrow Hills, imagined what went on inside the KGB building and gazed at the unimaginative grey communist constructed apartment blocks.
The Moscow metro is legendary and some of the stations are among the most beautiful in the world. They all have a fascinating history and interesting story. I expected the stations to be beautiful but I wasn’t expecting them to be so amazing and fascinating!
While for millions of locals it is just their everyday routine on the way to work but for me visiting the metro was a treat and one of the highlights of the fascinating capital of Russia.
Many of the stations were built in grand Soviet style with the use of marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers. Stalin was determined to build the best public transport system in the world, it is not the oldest but I think it may be the most lavish!