Located in the heart of Moscow, the Kremlin is a stunning sight full of architecture, jewels and history. If you’re looking for history, intrigue, and stunning architecture then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for the top 10 things to see inside Moscow’s Kremlin.
One of the most iconic spots on a trip to the Kremlin is the neighbouring Red Square. Here you will be surrounded by the Kremlin towers, the imposing State Historical Museum, and the cheerful St. Basil Cathedral. Many festivals, celebrations, and events take place in this square including a large Christmas market during the holiday season. Here you will also find additional attractions including Lenin’s Mausoleum and the GUM shopping mall.
St. Basil’s Cathedral:
One of Moscow’s most legendary sites, St. Basil’s Cathedral adds character with its famous rainbow colored domes. Views of the Volga River from the balcony are exceptional as well as the inside architecture. Definitely still worth a visit, even if only from the outside!
Open everyday except Wednesday from 10:00-19:00. Admission costs 350 ruble except during services which are every Sunday where admission is free.
Located in Red Square with the Kremlin wall and Palace forming its backdrop, the Lenin Mausoleum is a must-see. Serving as the final resting place of one of Russia’s most famous socialist, this site offers insight into the period of the Russian Revolution. Thus, Lenin’s preserved body has been on display here since 1924.
The mausoleum is open on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday and free of charge.
Exquisitely designed as the home of Russia’s most powerful actors including tsars, European emperors, and today’s Putin; the Kremlin Palaces are ornate. The opulence contrasted with the typical visions of communist Russia further their fascinating appeal. Interestingly, the Grand Palace alone cost over one billion dollars to build including remodels and serves as Putin’s current residence.
Also known as the Dormition Cathedral, this cathedral is built on medieval burial grounds and served as the location for the crowning of all tsars. Steeped in history dating back to the 12th century, the cathedral has witnessed coronations, several fires, and looting during times of war. Serving as a pillar to the tests of time, this unique cathedral houses icons and frescoes in a six pillared building under five golden domes.
Visits to this cathedral and the following two cathedrals are included with a general admission ticket to the Kremlin costing 500 rubles as of October 2016.
This cathedral is most famous for its unique icons from the 14th to 19th centuries including several painted by Andrei Rublev. Furthermore, the Annunciation Cathedral served as the personal chapel of Ivan III. After several renovations it now consists of nine gilded onion domes. Interestingly, the floor beneath the alter is made of agate yellow-red jasper from Rostov Velikiy during the 16th century and may originally come from Constantinople.
Built in dedication to the Archangel Michael, this cathedral holds the tombs of some of Russia’s greatest leaders. the inside is traditional Russian Orthodox while the outside architecture has Italian Renaissance influence marked by the shell shaped ornaments and white limestone arched frames.
The Armoury is one of Moscow’s oldest museums and home to all kinds of treasures including Faberge eggs, coronation gowns, and elaborate carriages. Boasting works of art from Russian, Western European, and Eastern collections dating from the 5th to 20th century, the Armoury does not disappoint.
It is open daily except Thursdays from 10:00 – 18:00 and entry as of October 2016 costs 700 rubles. Visits are organized by session and tickets can be purchased online or at the Kremlin ticket office 45 minutes prior to session start time.
Located within the Armoury, the Diamond Fund deserves a special place on the list of things to see inside Moscow’s Kremlin. Here you will find works such as the Imperial Crown of Russia, the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible, and the Orlov Diamond. Among the diamonds and other jewels, you will also see large nuggets of gold and silver including the Great Triangle weighing in at 36.2kg of gold. It is also home to the world’s largest diamond consisting of 342.5 carats and weighing 68.5 grams. Ranked as one of the wordless greatest gem collections, the Diamond Fund is worth a visit.
Tickets can be purchased at windows #4 and #5 in the Alexander Gardens. Open everyday except Thursday from 10:00-17:00 and entry costs 500 ruble as of October 2016. Note that pictures are not allowed and security will follow you around inside.
This monument is designed to resemble a burning candle, and is located exactly at the centre of Moscow. The 81m platform provides stunning views of the city and the Kremlin from above. For several decades the tower was the largest building in Moscow as local rule forbade any building to be taller. Located at the bottom of the tower is the famous Tsar Bell. At 6.14m in height, it is the largest bell in the world and weighs an impressive 201,924kg. The bell was initially designed in 1600 and later recommissioned by Empress Anna. The Tsar bell was destroyed by fire several times and served as a chapel before finally becoming a tourist attraction.
Admission costs 250 ruble as of October 2016 and can be purchased in the ticket booths located in the Alexander Gardens. Open daily from 10:00 – 17:00 with visits organised by session consisting of about 45 minutes.