on May 4, 2004
Rarely has there been a place that has seen so many political changes: the Red Square was there when the country was beginning to unite under the rule of the prince of Moscow, when Ivan the Terrible instituted his ‘oprichnina’. Its buildings still stood when Russia became an Empire and Moscow lost the status of the capital to St. Petersburg, and when the monarchy fell and when Russia plunged under the rule of the communists and Moscow regained its status. It was also there when the peaceful (relatively) revolution took care of the Soviet Union and Russia began to transform once again. It has seen loads of historical changes, but its main attractions remain the same.
There are still the red-brick walls of the Kremlin, the Lenin mausoleum (now closed to the public, though), the History Museum that has been closed for more than 20 years, the GUM – this shopping paradise of Moscow where you can find stuff by every designer whose items have graced the front pages, and so on. I would not advice you to go shopping there, though, as prices can be twice as high as in the European capitals or in New York., but that is part of Moscow as I know it, too.
The inimitable highlight, though, is the St. Basil’s Cathedral, built during the rule of Ivan the Terrible – it has long been a symbol of Moscow. And many original monuments, destroyed during the communist rule, where rebuilt and restored to their original glory.
Beware of one thing, though. The Red Square can be closed and you will not be able to actually walk across it. It happened during my last trip to Moscow in November, 2004.
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