Moscow is an incredible city: you can find a piece of history around every corner, whether that be imposing state buildings, ornate churches, or even the impressive metro system.
Red Square is as magnificent as any guide book makes out: from there you can admire St Basil’s Cathedral, the glittering lights of the famous GUM department store, and the Lenin Mausoleum. The Kremlin is another iconic destination: once through the Spasskaya Tower Gates, you will come across the Armoury Chamber (containing Fabergé eggs), cathedrals and the Tsar Bell.
The ‘Seven Sisters’ are a group of skyscrapers dotted across the Moscow skyline, including the Moscow State University, which have a distinctly Soviet-look, with towering spires and both gothic and baroque architecture. The buildings were built under the instruction of Stalin who believed Moscow needed skyscrapers to compete with capital cities across the world.
Each Moscow metro stations has its own character and history, full of exquisite chandeliers, mosaics, stained glass panels, and marble columns. Ploschad Revolyutsii was apparently Stalin’s favourite; 76 bronze sculptures of soldiers, school children, and factory workers guard each column and it is considered good luck to rub the golden edges of the sculptures on your way past.
One of the many parks where you can escape the busyness of city life is Park Pobedy; constructed in honour of Russian victory in WW2, the park contains a 140-meter-high obelisk, monuments, tanks, and four beautiful memorial temples. Located down the road from the glistening park fountains is the Triumphal Arch celebrating the defeat of Napoleon’s army.
The beauty of the golden-domed churches around the city is usurped only by that of their interiors, such as the stunning ‘Church of Christ our Saviour’. In 1933, the cathedral which first stood on this spot was destroyed to make space for the Palace of Soviets, which was never built. Instead, the space was used for a huge outdoor swimming pool, later demolished to make space for the current cathedral, which was built during the late 1990s.
The to-do list for any culture, history, and arts lover in Moscow is never-ending alleys, festivals, and military parades provide the entertainment against the backdrop of this amazing city.
Written by Imogen Burgoyne.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham