Red Square is probably the most well known area of not only Moscow, but of Russia as a whole. Since the 15th century, this has been the scene of public events such as rallies, demonstrations, processions, and even executions.
A Soviet era parade on Red Square.
Lenin speaks at a rally on Red Square.
Lenin walks across Red Square.
You may notice that Red Square isn’t really red…it is paved with black and grey stones. In the Russian language, “Krasny”(“red”) also meant “beautiful”, so “Krasnaya Ploschad” can also be translated as “Beautiful Square”. The translation “Red Square” which is now used, was established in the 20th century.
Red Square is bordered by the Kremlin on one side and the GUM (“goom”) State Department Store on one side (it’s basically just a huge mall now). On one end is St. Basil’s Cathedral and on the other end is the Russian History Museum. In the middle is Lenin’s Mausoleum, where you can view Lenin’s carefully preserved body (or they claim it’s him, anyway). Lenin’s Mausoleum also served as a reviewing stand – Soviet leaders would stand atop the mausoleum during military parades.
Red Square. St. Basil’s Cathedral is on the left. The clock tower is Savior’s Tower (Spasskaya Bashnya), an entrance to the Kremlin. Lenin’s Mausoleum is to the right.
A view of the other side of Red Square. The history museum, like everything else in Russia, is under scaffolding.
Kate and myself on Red Square. The GUM Dept. Store is the white building with green roof. The large white building in the background is our hotel (Hotel Rossiya) – Awesome location.
St. Basil’s Cathedral was built in the 16th century by the order of Ivan the Terrible. Legend has it that after the cathedral was completed, Ivan the Terrible had the architects blinded so that they couldn’t build anything more beautiful in another country.
In front of St. Basil’s there is a monument with the inscription “to Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharski from Grateful Russia”. Minin and Pozharski were the leaders of the army that recaptured Moscow and the Kremlin from the Polish invaders during the Time of Troubles.
This is Savior’s (Spasskaya) Tower, the most magnificent of all the Kremlin towers. The mustard colored building behind the Kremlin wall is the Senate Building, which was designed in the 18th century as the Tsar’s Moscow Palace.