Moscow Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Moscow

Planning a short break to Moscow? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Moscow. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Moscow. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Gorky Park

Gorky Park was opened in 1928 and is located at Krymsky Val. The park was created by the amalgamation of the extensive gardens of the old Golitsyn Hospital and the Nezkuchny Palace and covers and area of 300 acres along the river.

Gorky Park has children’s play areas, fun fairs, various rides, an enormous Ferris wheel and the original Buran spacecraft for the kids to take part in the “Cosmic Experience”.

During the winter the footpaths flood over and freeze, which allow ice-skating around the park.

The nearest station is Park Kultury Metro Station.

For more information visit - www.moscow-landmarks.com/gorky-park.html

Novodevichy Convent and Monastery

The Novodevichy Convent and Monastery is a cluster of 16 sparkling domes and has one of the most prestigious cemeteries in Moscow, if not the world. This cemetery is the final resting place of Chekhov, Eisenstein, Kropotkin and Stanislavsky to name just a few. The remains of some of the famous people were reburied in this cemetery when their original cemeteries were destroyed under Stalin. The convent was used for noblewomen who would often retire here, but was also a prison for rebellious royals such as Peter the Great’s half-sister and first wife.

For more information go to www.russia.net/~oldrn/country/moscow_tnc.html

The Kremlin

The Kremlin is Russia’s stronghold on the political power. The Kremlin houses many churches, and most visitors are surprised to see as many as there are. This was the center of Russia’s Church as well as the State. Various invaluable icons, treasures of the Russian tsars and State regalia are stored in the Kremlin chambers and cathedrals. The Kremlin has witnessed many famous and tragic events and is the biggest museum in the world today.

Visit mlin.ru/eng/

Sandunovskiye Baths

This is a 19th century bathhouse and is one of the most famous in Moscow. There are a mixture of sauna and social club and the sexes are strictly segregated. You can spend hours moving between steam rooms and pools even have massages and twig whippings.

Cathedral of the Assumption

This is the oldest and most important church in the Kremlin, and has been the protector of the Russian Orthodoxy since the seat of the Church was transferred here from Vladimir in 1326. The coronation of the first Russian Tsar took place in the Cathedral of Assumption in 1547 and subsequently all the Emperors of Russia were crowned here. The exterior is surprisingly plain with pale limestone facades are ornamented only with brickwork vaulting, portals and a series of frescoes sheltered by gables. The interior is spacious and light. The Cathedral of the Assumption is located in the Kremlin.

For more information: www.cathedraloftheasumption.org

Club T

This French restaurant is located at 21 Krasina ul, Moscow. Club T is phenomenally expensive and is part of an antique showroom. It is a small, but intimate restaurant and attracts many Novy Russky, which are new Russians who want to spend money on good food and expensive treats. Reservations are essential and a jacket and tie is required. Major credit cards are accepted. The nearest station is the Mayakovskaya or Belorusskaya Metros.

Ivan the Great Bell Tower

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower was the tallest structure in Russia until Konstantin Ton finished the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The bell tower soars above the Kremlin to a height of 81 meters and you can see for almost 30 meters across Moscow from its highest windows. There are 329 steps and the foundation was sunk 10 meters below the surface. When Napoleon captured Moscow in 1812 he took great interest in the Ivan the Great Bell Tower because he had heard a story that the Annunciation was made of solid gold. He gave the order for the cross to be taken down but failed to find anyone willing to climb the tower. A Russian peasant finally volunteered to climb the tower and the cross could then be lowered to the ground using ropes. Requesting payment, the peasant was shot by the French leader and accused of being a traitor to his own country. During Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in 1812, he ordered that the tower be destroyed, fortunately the tower withstood the blast and only the adjacent belfry was damaged.

For extra info see www.moscowkremlin.ru/ns/english/33.html

The Bolshoi Theater

This is a world-class ballet theatre that has produced some of Russia’s most famous dancers including Rudolf Nuryev and Maya Plisetskaya. This theatre is considered to be the second largest of Europe. The theatre has various performances of operas, ballet performances and occasionally masked balls. Performances used to be presented twice a week and when the nobility came back to Moscow in the winter the operas and ballets were put on the stage more often. Today the ballet and opera performances occur nightly.

Visit www.bolshoi.ru

Red Square

The Red Square is the oldest and most historical square in Moscow and is home to some of the most famous landmarks in Moscow, which include the brightly coloured onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin Mausoleum. Ivan III ordered all the wooden buildings around the Kremlin to be destroyed and the area cleared for a market. The square was known as the Trade Square (Torgovaya) back in the 15th century. In the 16th century it was renamed to the Troitskaya (Trinity) Square after the church of Saint Trinity. It was only in the 19th century that the square became known as the Red Square. Several marks were left on the Red Square during the centuries, the 15th century saw the Kremlin’s Wall with the Spasskaya, Senatskaya and Nikolskaya towers being built, in the 16th century the Place of execution the Cathedral of Vasily were added and during the 19th century the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, the Historical museum and Upper Trade Rows and finally in the 20th century Lenin’s Mausoleum.

For more detail go to www.moscow-landmarks.com/red_square.html

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

The Cathedral was originally to have been built on Vorobyovy Mountains, however it was decided to build the Cathedral near to the Kremlin and the Red Square because the design of the cathedral would not be at odds with the design of the Kremlin. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was originally constructed because of a vow given by sovereign Alexander I who declared that if the fatherland were saved from the Gauls, he would build a temple.

The banners and keys of conquered cities were housed in the Cathedral, 640 candlesticks were built in a dome for illumination and 600 more around the lattice on choruses. The original height of the Cathedral stood at 103 meters, but on 5th December 1931 the temple was blown up and subsequently the foundation ditch was used for the construction of a swimming pool.

The pool was closed in 1994 and in January 1995 the solemn laying of the revived temple took place.

The Cathedral has an active museum with excursions and a viewing platform.

Details are at www.fact-index.com/c/ca/cathedral_of_christ_the_saviour.html

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