The Kremlin and Kitay-Gorod, Moscow

The Kremlin and Kitay-gorod, together with the squares adjacent to them, are the oldest part of the city, where the most famous monuments of the center of Moscow, including the Kremlin and Red Square, are located.

Kitai-Gorod and the Kremlin are bounded from the south by the river, and from all other sides by a ring of streets, which begins at the Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge, includes Mokhovaya Street, Okhotny Ryad, Teatralny Proyezd, Novaya and Staraya Squares, and Kitaygorodsky Proyezd. This also includes the squares overlooking this ring, despite the fact that their outer sides formally belong to other districts: Borovitskaya, Manezhnaya, Teatralnaya, Lubyanskaya and Slavyanskaya. Until recently, the area was completely uninhabited, and even the Kitay-Gorod municipal district was abolished at one time, since its population was zero. Since then, developers have managed to break into the block between Red and Lubyanskaya squares and reconstruct something for elite housing, but until now Kitay-Gorod is predominantly an office district, in which entire blocks have been given over to ministries and departments.

The main attractions of the territory are the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square. They are included in the World Heritage List. However, Kitay-Gorod is by no means limited to this for the traveler. Zaryadye, the territory on the southern side of Varvarka Street, is built up with churches of the 16th-18th centuries. A significant part of them was demolished in the 1950s, but what remains is a first-class ensemble of ancient Russian architecture, which, however, was badly damaged by the construction site behind it. Along Nikolskaya Street and in the squares, there are architectural monuments from a wide variety of eras, including the Bolshoi Theatre, the Manege and the Pashkov House - Moscow's most famous examples of classicism - and the Metropol Hotel, an outstanding monument of Art Nouveau. Well, in general, Kitay-Gorod, although located in the very center of Moscow, is rather poorly known to travelers, and you can find completely unexpected things there, for example, a gas station and a car wash two hundred meters from Red Square.


There are a lot of interesting things in the Kremlin and its immediate surroundings. Together with museums, you can devote several days to this area. If you have little time, look around the Kremlin (and, if possible, of course, inside, and not just outside), then walk along Varvarka, where there are many old churches, and return to the Kremlin, skirting Kitai-Gorod from the north: this is how you will see Lubyanka , Bolshoi Theatre, Manezhnaya Square, Pashkov House - a whole range of traditional Moscow sights. Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral will also be on your way, and it does not need advertising.



1 Moscow Kremlin. ☎ +7 (495) 697-03-49. 10:00–17:00 except Thu, in summer until 18:00. The most famous symbol of Moscow and historically its center. The Kremlin is the residence of the President of Russia, so most of the territory is closed to the public, but the most interesting - Cathedral Square and museums - are open to the public. The Kremlin is surrounded by a wall with 20 towers. The best views of it are across the Moscow River from Sofiyskaya Embankment or from Bolshoy Kamenny and Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridges.
The entrance to the Kremlin for the public is only through the Kutafya Tower from Manezhnaya Street, there are also ticket offices that open at 9:30. Exit - either back through the Kutafya Tower, or to Red Square through the side door next to the Spassky Gates. There is a free left-luggage office next to the cash desks, where you need to take large things. Those who go to the Diamond Fund and the Armory are let through the Borovitskaya Tower. Usually you can go further from there, to the Cathedral Square, but this is in a sense an unofficial entrance.
You can’t just get into the Kremlin, you need to buy a ticket, which costs 500 rubles. With this ticket, you can see all the cathedrals and the Patriarchal Palace, as well as walk around the territory in the part that is open to visitors. Tickets to the Armory do not mean anything other than the museum itself. If you want to go deep into the territory of the Kremlin, you will have to buy the same single ticket. Tickets can be purchased online. In summer and on weekends, get ready for queues, it is better to come to the opening of the box office or focus on the afternoon, when there are fewer tourists.

2 Cathedral of the Assumption (Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kremlin)  (on the northwestern side of Cathedral Square). The white-stone temple is located on the Cathedral Square. This is the compositional center of the Kremlin and the largest of the three Kremlin cathedrals. It was built in 1479 by the Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti and thus is the oldest surviving building in Moscow. The Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir served as a model for the cathedral. The Assumption Cathedral was the cathedral of Moscow (and before Peter - the entire Muscovite state): in particular, all the Moscow tsars were crowned here, starting with Ivan the Terrible. Moscow metropolitans were buried in the cathedral, and after the introduction of the patriarchate, patriarchs. The cathedral has the status of a museum, although on some special occasions services are held in it. Frescoes of 1642-1643 have been preserved. and a huge (69 icons) iconostasis of 1653-1654. The frescoes were made by a team of icon painters under the command of Ivan Paisein, later recorded and cleaned, but not yet completely. The main four-tiered iconostasis was made on behalf of Patriarch Nikon by a large number of icon painters brought to Moscow. Who was the coordinator of the work is unknown, presumably Vasily Ilyin. In the lowest fifth tier of the iconostasis, in the local row, there are the most ancient icons of the cathedral of the 11th-15th centuries, many of which were taken from Novgorod, Vladimir and other Russian cities. There are also ancient icons in two other iconostasis near the southern and northern walls.

3 Cathedral of the Annunciation (on the southwestern side of Cathedral Square. Entrance through the eastern stairs). It was built in 1489 by Pskov craftsmen on the white-stone basement of the cathedral at the end of the 14th century, and then it was restored with significant changes in the middle of the 16th century after a fire. The cathedral is much smaller than the neighboring Assumption Cathedral and is much more complex in architecture. The Annunciation Cathedral actually served as the house church of the Moscow prince, and its rector was the prince's confessor. The murals were made in 1508 and are partially preserved. The most important thing in the cathedral is the iconostasis, which remained from the previous cathedral and became a model for the distribution of icons for all later iconostases. Part of the icons of the festive row of the iconostasis (the Annunciation, the Nativity of Christ, the Presentation of Christ, the Baptism, the Resurrection of Lazarus, the Transfiguration and the Entrance to Jerusalem) are attributed to Andrei Rublev, and in any case were made by contemporaries of Andrei Rublev and Theophan the Greek.

4 Cathedral of Archangel  (on the southeast side of Cathedral Square). The cathedral was built in 1505-1508 under the direction of the Italian architect Aleviz Novy. Of the three cathedrals, it contains the most elements associated with the Italian Renaissance. Inside, the paintings of 1652-66, made by the icon painters of the Armory Chamber (Fyodor Zubov and others), have been preserved. The iconostasis contains icons from 1679-1681 (except for a few older icons of the lower tier). The icon of the Archangel Michael (to the right of the royal doors) was made in 1399. The cathedral contains the burials of all Moscow princes and tsars, from Ivan Kalita to Ivan V, including Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan III, Ivan the Terrible and Alexei Mikhailovich.

5 Patriarch's Palace and the Church of the Twelve Apostles (on the north side of the Cathedral Square). The church and the adjoining three-story chambers were built in 1653-1656 by Antip Konstantinov and Bazhen Ogurtsov. The chambers were the residence of the Moscow patriarch, and the church was the home church of the patriarchs. The first Moscow patriarch who lived here was Nikon. On the first floor of the chambers there were utility rooms, on the second floor there was, in fact, the patriarch, and on the third there were representative rooms. Thus, the Holy Council met in the Cross Chamber. Currently, the second floor houses an exposition about Russian culture of the 17th century. The most interesting thing in the church is the iconostasis of the late 17th - early 18th centuries, as well as an exhibition of icons, among which are the works of Simon Ushakov and Fyodor Zubov, two of the most famous Moscow masters of the late 17th century.

6 Ivan the Great Bell Tower (Church of John of the Ladder)   (on the eastern side of Cathedral Square). From May to September, visiting by sessions: 10:15, 11:30, 13:45, 15:00, 16:00. Tickets go on sale about an hour before the start of the session, which is designed for a group of no more than 10 people, so the chances of buying a ticket to the bell tower on weekdays are much higher. 250 rub. The Church of St. John of the Ladder was built on Cathedral Square in 1505-1508 by the Italian architect Bon Fryazin on the site of the dismantled one. In 1505, Ivan III died, and therefore the bell tower is known as the bell tower of Ivan the Great. In the Russian architectural tradition, free-standing bell towers were not built (belfries were built, sometimes separately, sometimes integrated with the church), and the idea to build a separate bell tower came from Italy. Until the construction of the Menshikov Tower (the Church of the Archangel Gabriel) in 1701, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower remained the tallest building in Moscow. In 1539, the Nativity Church was added from the north to the bell tower, which turned into a three-span belfry by the end of the 17th century. In 1600, by order of Boris Godunov, the third tier of the bell tower was built on, at the same time a church inscription appeared under the dome. In 1624, Filaret's annex with a hip bell, erected by Bazhen Ogurtsov, appeared. In 1812, the French blew up the entire complex, but the pillar of the bell tower survived - it was saved by walls reaching five meters thick at the base. Inside the bell tower there is an exposition on the history of the Kremlin, including fragments of ancient white stone churches, a commemorative plaque with an inscription about the construction of the Frolovskaya (Spasskaya) tower and a bell. The tour involves climbing a steep staircase to a mound located at a height of 25 meters, at the level of the domes of the Kremlin cathedrals. It offers a view of the Cathedral Square, the passage to the eastern half of the abyss is closed. Photos and videos are allowed.

7 Church of the Deposition of the Robe (between the Assumption Cathedral and the Palace of Facets). The first Church of the Deposition of the Robe was built in the Metropolitan's court in 1451 in memory of the deliverance of Moscow from the invasion of the Tatars. In 1484-1485, a small stone church was erected in the same place, which until the middle of the 17th century served as the home church of metropolitans and patriarchs. The church was built by Pskov masters, which can be seen both in its composition and in the architectural decoration, which is a mixture of early Moscow and Pskov traditions. All interior decoration - painting, iconostasis and church utensils - belongs to the same period, to the 17th century. The walls were painted in 1644 with frescoes depicting scenes from the earthly life of the Mother of God and the Gospel. The iconostasis was created in 1627 by an artel of icon painters headed by Nazariy Istomin, and the royal doors belong to the end of the 16th century. Inside the church there is a small exposition of unique monuments of wooden carving of the 15th-19th centuries, made by the best carvers of Moscow, Novgorod, Rostov the Great and the Russian North.

8 Tsar Cannon  (near the Patriarchal Palace). The cannon was cast in bronze by Andrey Chokhov in 1586. This is the largest caliber gun in the world - 890 mm, and its weight is 40 tons. Although it was cast to defend the Kremlin's Spassky Gates, the cannon was never used in combat and never fired. Decorative cannonballs stacked near the cannon were cast in the 19th century and are not directly related to it.

9 Tsar Bell   (next to Ivan the Great Bell Tower). The bell weighing about 200 tons was cast in 1733-1735 by Ivan Motorin and his son Mikhail. The bell is significantly larger than all other known bells. In 1737, during the processing of the bell after casting, a fire broke out, as a result of which a large piece fell off the bell. Thus, the bell never worked as intended, and until 1836 it lay in the casting pit at all, and no one knew what to do with it. Then it was raised from the pit and, together with the chipped piece, was placed on a pedestal built by the architect Auguste Montferrand.

10 Great Kremlin Palace. The ensemble of the Grand Kremlin Palace, located on the southern line of the Kremlin Hill, includes a new palace of the 19th century and several more ancient buildings of the 15th-17th centuries. The new front palace with the main facade looking at the Kremlin embankment was built in 1838-1849 under the direction of Konstantin Ton. Despite the three rows of windows, the inside of the building has two floors, just located on the top floor are magnificent double-height ceremonial halls. The external decoration of the Grand Palace uses the motifs of the Terem Palace (1635-1636), which was built into the complex during the works of the 19th century. The Golden Tsaritsyna Chamber (XVI century) is also part of the palace, with its eastern facade overlooking the Cathedral Square next to the Rizopolozhenskaya Church. In 1636, the Verkhnespassky Cathedral was erected above the Tsaritsyna Chamber - an eleven-domed complex of house churches at the Terem Palace, often called the Terem Churches. Now the Grand Kremlin Palace serves as the presidential residence and is used for ceremonial functions. The Moscow Kremlin website reports that "tours are conducted on request from organizations," but no one knows how it works, or if it works at all. You can try to get to one of the official events held in the palace or, say, just become the president of the Russian Federation.

11 Faceted Palace. The oldest civil building in Moscow, part of the architectural complex of the Grand Kremlin Palace. It was built by the decree of Ivan III by the Italians Marco Ruffo and Pietro Antonio Solari, and got its name for the very spectacular design of the eastern facade with faceted “diamond” rustication in the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. At the end of the 17th century, the windows of the chamber were hewn and decorated with white stone architraves with columns intertwined with vines. The main hall of the chamber recently opened to the public is covered with high cross vaults resting on a central tetrahedral pillar. The first painting of the walls of the hall appeared at the end of the 16th century, but due to repeated fires in the 1660s, it was resumed by Simon Ushakov, who also compiled a detailed inventory of the plots and deciphered the inscriptions. Under Peter I, the walls were whitewashed and covered with crimson velvet with double-headed eagles, and the hall retained this appearance until the end of the 19th century, when the painting was restored in accordance with the description of S. Ushakov. Within the walls of the chamber, which has long been the main front reception hall of the Grand Duke's palace, many festivities and events that have gone down in history took place.

12 Terem Palace. The palace was built in 1635-1636 and is remarkable for its terem completion. Not only is it inaccessible for visiting, but you can’t even get close to it, since it is actually built into the Grand Kremlin Palace. The Terem is visible from some points outside the Kremlin: for example, from Mokhovaya Street.

13 Senate. The palace was built in 1776-1787 according to the design of Matvey Kazakov in the style of classicism. The name is due to the fact that the palace was originally built for two departments of the Governing Senate, which just before that were transferred from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Subsequently, the palace housed everything - for example, the Moscow Architectural School. After 1917, the Soviet government was located here, and, in particular, Lenin lived in the building. Until 1994, Lenin's office functioned as a museum, and then it was closed and, together with all the furnishings, moved to Gorki, where it is now. The palace became the residence of the President of the Russian Federation, there is no access for visitors.

14 Amusement Palace. Another inaccessible and difficult to observe object, visible in parts from the territory of the Kremlin, from the Alexander Garden or from Borovitskaya Square. The amusing palace was built in 1652 for the boyar I. D. Miloslavsky. At first, the building served as residential chambers, but under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich it was rebuilt and began to be used for theatrical performances and other entertainment spectacles. Actually, hence the name of the palace. In the upper tower-like tier of the building there is a three-domed house church of the Praise of the Virgin, and the turret above the refectory was once used both as a bell tower and as a watchtower. During the restoration of 1874-1875, a balcony and a white-stone portal with carved ornaments were added to the palace. Now it houses the services of the Commandant's Office of the Moscow Kremlin.

15 Arsenal (Tseuchgauz). The huge square-shaped building was originally built at the beginning of the 18th century by a group of architects led by Mikhail Choglokov and was used as a military warehouse. The Arsenal was badly damaged in the fire of Moscow in 1737 and was restored only in 1786-1796 by Matvey Kazakov. Then in 1812, during the retreat, the French blew up part of the building, but it was restored again. Now the commandant's office of the Kremlin and the barracks of the Kremlin regiment are located inside.

16 Tainitsky Garden (Big Kremlin Square). Located along the southern wall of the Kremlin, next to the Taynitskaya Tower, hence the name. In 2013, a helipad was built in the park (without the consent of UNESCO).


Kremlin wall

According to the chroniclers, the first wooden fortifications around the Moscow Kremlin appeared in the middle of the 12th century. They covered an area much smaller than the territory of the current Kremlin, and existed until the fire of 1331. They were replaced by the powerful oak walls of Ivana Kalita, which stood from 1340 to 1367, after which the grandson of Kalita, Dmitry Donskoy, built impressive white stone fortifications from walls and towers instead, significantly increasing the area of ​​the fortress. This fortress faithfully served the city for more than 100 years, forever went down in history under the stable expression "Moscow white stone", but by the end of the 15th century it had become significantly dilapidated.

The red brick wall, in places including the white stone walls of the previous fortress, was built in 1485-1516 by Italian architects, to whom the Kremlin owes some elements of Renaissance architecture, and even direct borrowings. You will find one of the Kremlin towers in the Sforza castle in Milan, while the characteristic battlements of the Kremlin wall were copied from the Castelvecchio castle in Verona. The wall completely encircles the Kremlin and has the shape of an irregular triangle: one side of the triangle is along the river, the other is along Red Square, the third is along Mokhovaya Street and Alexander Garden. In ancient times, the fortress also had water protection: the Kremlin Hill was washed by two rivers - the Moscow and the Neglinnaya (in the first quarter of the 19th century it was enclosed in a pipe), and a moat more than 30 meters wide was dug from the side of Red Square. The thickness of the walls varies from 3.5 to 6.5 meters, their height in some places reaches 19 meters.

There are 19 towers in the wall, the twentieth is the Kutafya tower, which does not stand in a triangle, but is connected by a section of the wall with the Trinity Tower. Three towers in the corners of the triangle (Beklemishevskaya, Vodovzvodnaya and Angular Arsenalnaya) have a circular section, Kutafya is oval, the rest are square. In the 17th century, when the fortress was no longer used for its intended purpose, the towers had graceful hipped tops. On five towers (Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, Troitskaya, Borovitskaya and Vodovzvodnaya), red ruby stars have been preserved from Soviet times. The most famous of the towers is Spasskaya, as it overlooks Red Square and is located next to Lenin's mausoleum. In addition, it has chimes that strike every quarter of an hour. The Nikolskaya Tower is the only one built in the pseudo-Gothic style.

Below - more about the most notable towers of the Kremlin, starting from the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge counterclockwise. Unfortunately, the walls and towers are completely closed to the public.

17 Beklemishevskaya Tower (Moskvoretskaya). Corner south-east tower with a round section 46 meters high. It was built in 1488 according to the project of Marco Ruffo (Mark Fryazin) at the junction of the Moskva River with a moat that protected the wall from Red Square. By the way, this is the only tower built by Mark Ruffo without the participation of colleagues. The name of the tower comes from the name of the boyar I.N. Beklemishev, whose yard was located nearby. Beklemishev was in power during the time of Ivan III, but fell out of favor with his son Vasily III and was executed in 1525. After the execution of the boyar, both the yard and the tower became the traditional place where disgraced boyars were kept. The tower was built to protect the crossing over the Moskva River and has a number of military devices, including three tiers of loopholes and a combat platform with machicols (mounted loopholes) in the upper tier. The octagonal tent was added in 1680, but this is one of the few major alterations that befell the tower.

18 Konstantin-Eleninskaya tower (Timofeevskaya). It was built in 1490 by Pietro Antonio Solari on the site of the Timofeevsky Gates of the white stone fortress. According to legend, it was through this gate that Dmitry Donskoy went to the Battle of Kulikovo. The second name of the tower appeared in the 17th century after the construction of the Church of Constantine and Helena nearby, dismantled in 1928. The tower has a square section and was intended to cover the entrances to the pier and protect the streets of Veliky Posad. The inner part of the tower consists of two tiers, the lower of which used to be a passage, and an intra-wall staircase leads to the upper platform with machicolations.

19 Spasskaya Tower/ Spasskaya Tower (Frolovskaya). The Frolovskaya tower with the same-named passage gate - namely, that was their original name - was built in 1491 by Pietro Antonio Solari. This was reported by commemorative inscriptions in Latin and Russian, made on white stone slabs standing in front of the entrance gate. A copy of the memorial plaque with the text in Latin can now be seen above the Spassky Gates, the original plaque is now on display in the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. The first name went to the tower from the Frolovskaya archer of the white stone fortress, and it, in turn, was named from the unpreserved church of Frol and Lavr on Myasnitskaya Street, where the road led through the gate. In 1658, in honor of the icon of the Savior of Smolensk, written above them from the side of Red Square, the gates became Spassky. The tower also inherited the same name. Being the main entrance to the Kremlin, the gate tower has seen many historical events: coronations, religious processions and the beginning of military campaigns. An elegant multi-tiered superstructure appeared on the Spasskaya Tower in 1625, and in the middle of the 17th century a two-headed eagle was hoisted on it, which stayed there until the appearance of ruby stars in 1935. The clock on the tower has existed since at least the 16th century, and already from the 17th century it had bells and “played music”, but it often broke down, and until the middle of the 18th century it was changed at least four times. The modern clock with chimes, occupying the top three tiers of the tower, was installed in 1852. During this time, they were restored several times, their dial and mechanism were changed, and besides, they were “trained” several times in different melodies - not always successfully. Now the chimes every six hours, starting from midnight, play a fragment of the country's anthem, and in the middle between the anthem, a couple of musical phrases from Glinka's opera A Life for the Tsar sound.
A little south of the Spasskaya Tower, on the wall, there is a small turret, erected at the end of the 17th century on the site of an ancient wooden tower from which, according to legend, Tsar Ivan the Terrible watched Red Square. For this, she received the name Tsarskaya.

20 Nikolskaya tower. This tower with an elegant pseudo-Gothic top has a difficult fate. It appeared in 1491 and, like many others, was built by Pietro Antonio Solari. The tower always had a passage gate, and in ancient times there was a drawbridge across the moat in front of it. Its name comes either from the icon of St. Nicholas of Mozhaisky hanging over the gate, or from the Nikolsky Greek monastery, located on Nikolskaya Street, which rested directly against the tower. After a fire in 1737, the tower was restored with baroque decor, and at the very beginning of the 19th century it was rebuilt in pseudo-Gothic style by architects A. I. Ruska and A. N. Bakarev. In 1812, the tower was blown up by the French, but by 1819 it was restored again, now according to the project of the architect O. I. Bove with the participation of A. N. Bakarev. The appearance of the tower was somewhat modified, adding a Gothic decor and painting it white. And the tower received its modern look and color during restoration after the shelling that fell on it in October 1917.

21 Trinity Tower. The Trinity Tower, which was called the Epiphany in those days, was built in 1495-1499 by Aleviz the Old (Aloysio da Caresano). Having changed its name several times, in 1658 the tower became Troitskaya, having received this name from the nearby courtyard of the Trinity Monastery. In 1516, a bridge across the Neglinka was built in front of the tower, connecting it with the Kutafya Tower, and it is this bridge that now serves as the main entrance to the Kremlin. In 1585, chimes were installed on the tower, which stood until the fire of 1812. After the appearance of the tented superstructure at the end of the 17th century, it became the highest in the Kremlin; now its height, together with the star from the side of the Alexander Garden, is about 80 meters.

22 Kutafya tower. The only surviving bridge tower of the Kremlin was built in 1516 by Aleviz the Old at the same time as the bridge leading to the Trinity Tower. He also built other towers and walls of the fortress from the Neglinka side. Until the 17th century, the tower was surrounded on all sides by water and served as a serious obstacle to the attackers. Once the tower was covered with a vault, but in the 18th century it was dismantled. The origin of the name is not completely clear and is associated with one of two words: kut - corner, shelter and kutafya - a full clumsy woman.

23 Borovitskaya tower. The Borovitskaya Tower crowns the main Borovitsky Gates, through which government corteges and visitors to the Armory enter the Kremlin. It was built by Pietro Antonio Solari in 1490 on the site of the 1461 tower of the same name. The ancient forest, which once covered these places, gave its name not only to the tower, but also to several ancient churches standing nearby. The Borovitskaya tower has an unusual pyramidal shape, formed by several decreasing quadrangles, crowned with an octagon with a hipped top. This entire superstructure was erected at the end of the 17th century instead of the wooden tent that crowned the solari quadrangle. Pseudo-Gothic decor appeared on the tower in the 18th century, but in the 19th century it was practically destroyed and restored only during the restoration of the 1970s.

24 Vodovzvodnaya tower (Sviblova). The corner tower with a circular section before the construction of the hipped superstructure of the 17th century was perhaps the most beautiful in the Kremlin. The tower was built by Antonio Gilardi in 1488, one of the first structures that protected the approaches from the Moskva River. A lot of innovations were applied in the design of this tower: in Russian fortress architecture arcature belts, machicols and dovetails were not used before. The first name - Sviblova - was given to the tower by the name of the owners of the courtyard adjoining it. In 1633, a water-lifting machine by Christopher Galoway was installed in the tower, which gave its modern name. This device, which became the first water pipe in Moscow, supplied water to the Sytny and Kormovaya palaces, and later to the Kremlin gardens. In 1812, the tower was blown up by the French, but already in 1819 it was restored under the leadership of O.I. Beauvais.

25 Taynitskaya tower. The construction of a new fortress began on the south side, which was often attacked by enemies. Here, in 1485, the first fortress tower appeared, built by Antonio Gilardi (Anton Fryazin). So the Tainitskaya Tower is the oldest tower of the Moscow Kremlin. A well was dug under it and a secret passage was laid to the Moscow River, so that in the event of a siege, the defenders would not be left without water - hence the name. Until the 18th century, the tower had a passage gate with a retractable archer (barbican) and a lifting mechanism, but during the construction of the Grand Kremlin Palace, together with three neighboring towers, it was dismantled and later restored with a gate, but without an archer. The gate, however, was laid down in the 1930s, at the same time the well was filled up.


Alexander Garden

The Alexander Gardens was laid out in 1820-1823 on the site of the Neglinnaya River, hidden in a pipe. It was created according to the project of O. I. Bove and initially consisted of three Kremlin gardens: the Upper one - between the Corner Arsenal and Troitskaya towers, the Middle one - between the Troitskaya and Borovitskaya towers and the Lower one - from the Borovitskaya tower to the Kremlin embankment. After 1856, the gardens were renamed Alexander Gardens in honor of the Emperor Alexander I, who founded them, but over time the singular name stuck. The main sights of the garden, including the magnificent cast-iron gate with eagles, made according to the drawings of Eugene Pascal, are located in the former Upper Garden. In the Middle Garden, almost at the Borovitskaya Tower, several centuries-old oaks have been preserved, and the entrance to the Lower Garden is generally closed to the general public.

26  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The memorial ensemble near the walls of the Kremlin was founded in December 1966 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the defeat of German troops near Moscow. The opening of the memorial, designed by architects D. I. Burdin, V. A. Klimov, Yu. R. Rabaev and sculptor N. V. Tomsky, took place on May 8, 1967. Since December 1997, one of the most significant monuments of the country has been post No. 1; until 1993, this role was performed by the mausoleum of V.I. Lenin. The changing of the guard of honor, consisting of the Presidential Regiment, takes place every hour and is worth a look. To the right of the star with the Eternal Flame is a granite alley of hero cities.

27  Grotto "Ruins". The monument was erected simultaneously in honor of the victory over Napoleon's army and as a sign of the revival of Moscow after the fire of 1812. Was created by O.I. Beauvais in 1841 in the form of a decorative cave formed by the arch of the grotto, based on stone columns going deep into the ground. The wings of the grotto are picturesquely lined with fragments of Moscow buildings destroyed by the French. A low observation deck was made above the grotto, and in the good old days an orchestra played near the grotto.


Red Square

Moscow Red Square (Beautiful Square to be precise) is the same symbol of Moscow as the Kremlin. From the west, it is bounded by the Kremlin wall, near which Lenin's mausoleum stands, from the south it overlooks the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, and from the other two sides it is surrounded by various historical buildings, some of which, however, were destroyed in Soviet times for the passage of heavy military equipment and restored only in recent years. There are always a lot of police on the square, they are always building or dismantling some kind of temporary structures: in winter, for example, there is a skating rink. Don't do anything that attracts attention and could be mistaken for a demonstration: this is fraught with unpleasant consequences. You can take pictures without restrictions. The nearest metro stations are   Okhotny Ryad,   Teatralnaya and   Revolution Square.

28   Pokrovskiy Sobor (Holy Virgin Protection) or St. Basil Cathedral (Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, on the Moat)  , Red Square, 2. ☎ +7 (495) 698-33-04. 11:00–18:00, closes one hour earlier in winter, the first Wednesday of the month is a sanitary day. 500 rub. Probably the most recognizable and most famous building in Moscow in the world. The cathedral was built from 1555 to 1561 under the personal supervision of Ivan the Terrible in honor of the capture of Kazan (which took place in 1552 on the day of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, hence the name); while the cathedral was originally Trinity. Barma and Postnik are traditionally considered architects, but nothing is known for certain about this. If Postnik Yakovlev is really mentioned as the Pskov architect who built the Annunciation Cathedral of the Kazan Kremlin, then nothing is known about Barma at all - it is even unclear whether this is the same person as Postnik or another. One way or another, something absolutely incredible turned out, which had no analogues in Russian architecture of that time, and even later all at least somewhat similar buildings are copies of the cathedral in one form or another.
The cathedral was made of a rare material for that time - brick. The absence of a clearly defined facade creates the illusion of an unsystematic heap of volumes, but, looking closer, it is easy to find that the building basically has a strict geometric plan: around the central pillar with a tent strictly along diagonal axes, eight pillar-like aisles are set, the different heights of which, together with differently decorated picturesque domes and creates this effect. By the way, the architecture of the temple has something in common with two almost contemporary buildings: the central volume is close to the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye, and the design of the aisles resembles the Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist in Dyakovo.
In 1552 he died, and in 1588 he was canonized and buried in a separate church attached to the cathedral, the Moscow holy fool Vasily the Blessed, hence his second name. Inside, murals of the 16th-18th centuries, as well as icons, have been preserved. Currently, the cathedral functions as a branch of the Historical Museum. It is interesting to go inside, wander along the narrow stairs and corridors and once again feel the complex structure of this incredible structure.

29  Monument to Minin and Pozharsky  (in front of St. Basil's Cathedral). The first sculptural monument in Moscow is dedicated to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Mikhailovich Pozharsky, the leaders of the second people's militia, who were driven out by the Polish interventionists and thus ended the Time of Troubles. Built in 1818 from brass and copper, sculptor Ivan Martos. Money for the monument was collected by all-Russian subscription. Nearby is Lobnoye Mesto — a 13-meter stone platform, in its modern form, built by Matvey Kazakov in 1786 in white stone in the same forms as the brick one that stood before. The original Execution Ground was built in the first half of the 16th century, used for public speeches (in particular, Ivan the Terrible) and, more famously, public executions. Once both the monument and the Execution Ground stood in the center of Red Square, but then they were moved to St. Basil's Cathedral.

30 Lenin's Mausoleum (near the Senate Tower). Tue–Thursday, Sat, Sun 10:00–13:00. For free. The existing building of the mausoleum is the third in a row. It was built according to the project of the famous Russian and Soviet architect A. V. Shchusev in 1929-1930. For the cladding of the reinforced concrete building, reminiscent of Babylonian ziggurats, granite was used with marble, labrador and porphyry trim. Inside, in the funeral hall, there is a glass sarcophagus with the body of V. I. Lenin. The place has ceased to be a cult place, but due to limited opening hours, queues line up here, as in Soviet times. Large items will most likely be asked to be left in a storage room. Then you will slowly walk past the sarcophagus and exit from the back of the mausoleum to the Kremlin wall. The interest of this tour is partly in seeing the mausoleum up close, and also looking at Red Square from an unusual angle.

31 Necropolis near the Kremlin wall. Tue–Thursday, Sat, Sun 10:00–13:00. From 1917 to 1984, statesmen, leaders of the international communist movement and just famous people were buried near the Kremlin wall and in the wall itself. It all started with the mass graves of those killed in the armed uprising of 1917. The first to be buried in a separate grave was Sverdlov, the last was Chernenko. The set of those buried near the Kremlin wall is not entirely trivial and includes such people as Stalin, Brezhnev, Chkalov, Gagarin, Gorky, Zhukov and Clara Zetkin, in total about one and a half hundred burials. Entrance through the mausoleum.

32 State Department Store (GUM). ☎ +7 (495) 788-4343. 10:00–22:00. Former Upper Trading Rows. Built in 1889-1894 according to the project of Alexander Pomerantsev and engineer Vladimir Shukhov. They are interesting not only in appearance, but also, like all Shukhov's projects, in a rather non-trivial internal arrangement: for example, a vaulted glass ceiling. The building is huge, only the length of its facade is 242 m. After numerous resales, the store returned to its original name GUM, but G now means "Main". On three floors and three lines stretching along the entire building, there are dozens of boutiques, an elite deli and a lot of cafes, including a couple of inexpensive eateries (see Food). In the center of the passage there is a fountain, which is no longer surprising to anyone, but at the beginning of the 20th century, and even in Soviet times, it was a curiosity, one of the traditional meeting places: “in GUM by the fountain.” In order to entertain visitors and tourists, GUM has recently opened a historical toilet (2nd line from Nikolskaya, 1st floor), where for 84 rubles (2014) you can visit a spacious restroom decorated with gold, granite and marble. How all this is historical - the creators do not specify.

33 Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (Kazan Cathedral), st. Nikolskaya, 3. The original Kazan Cathedral on this site was built in the 1610s or 1620s, immediately after the end of the Time of Troubles. The cathedral was wooden and burned down in 1632. By 1636, a new one was built in its place, with rich external decoration. The icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which is now in the Elokhov Cathedral, was kept in the cathedral, and the well-known archpriest Avvakum was its rector at one time. In 1936, during the preparation of Red Square for military parades, the cathedral was demolished. It was restored in 1990-1993, and, unlike most recent Moscow “reconstructions”, drawings, measurements and photographs of Pyotr Baranovsky of the 1920s were used here, so we can assume that the cathedral, although a remake, is as close as possible to original.

34  Iberian Gate and Chapel aka Resurrection Gate, 1A Voskresenskiye Vorota Ave. Double (two towers, each with an arch) passage gates are located between the buildings of the City Duma and the Historical Museum. Originally built in 1535, demolished in 1931 to allow passage of heavy equipment during parades. In 1994-1995. the gate, as well as the Iverskaya chapel attached to them (1791, demolished in 1929) were restored. Like the Kazan Cathedral, this is a remake of good quality: one of the six gates of the Kitai-Gorod wall, built in the 16th century and surrounding the entire territory of Kitay-Gorod, and the only ones that have survived.

The building of the State Historical Museum closes the square.

Lobnoye Mesto



The name Kitai-Gorod refers to the trading quarter adjoining the Kremlin from the northeast. Scientists argue about the origin of the name. The official version from the information plate says that the name comes from whales - tied bundles of brushwood, of which the first defensive structure around the settlement consisted. Another version is connected with the Turkic word katai - city, fortress, or with the Italian citta - citadel, fortification. In any case, the name has nothing to do with China.
In 1535-1538, a red-brick fortress wall was built around the settlement, it was built by the Italian architect Petrok Maly. It started from the current Corner Arsenal Tower and covered the territory bounded by Teatralnaya Proyezd, Staraya and Novaya Squares and Kitaigorodskiy Proyezd, ending on the banks of the Moskva River at the Beklemishevskaya Tower of the Kremlin. At first, the fortress had 12 towers, seven of which were travel towers. Later, part of the gates were laid, and in the 19th century several break gates appeared, the last of them, in 1871, was the gate to Tretyakovskiy passage. Oddly enough, by the 1930s, the Kitaigorodskaya wall, the towers, and most of the gates were preserved, but then the Stalinist reconstruction of Moscow happened, and by 1934 almost all the fortifications were destroyed. There is nothing left of the 16th century: a small section of the wall on Revolution Square with the “Kremlin” battlements of 1821 and the end at the round Bird Tower next to Tretyakovskiy passage, a fragment of the wall restored in the 1970s along Kitaigorodskiy passage - it quite accurately reproduces the ancient wall, and the accidentally preserved foundation of the Varvarskaya Tower, which, together with a memorial plaque, can be seen at the exit from the underpass at the corner of Varvarka and Kitaygorodsky proezd. All other towers and gates observed today were restored at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century.
The main thoroughfares of Kitay-gorod are Varvarka, Ilyinskaya and Nikolskaya streets - each of them had its own face in ancient times. In the 19th century, the former intimacy of buildings almost disappeared and many buildings in the Art Nouveau style appeared along the main thoroughfares. The Soviet era made its contribution to the design of the area, adding a number of gray faceless buildings and destroying many architectural monuments. Now Kitay-gorod is a mixture of buildings from different eras, some of which are ruins bashfully covered with canvases. But pleasant surprises are also possible here: in narrow alleys and even in doorways, you can come across genuine treasures.



The area between Varvarka and the river is called so due to the fact that historically it was separated from the Kremlin by rows of shops (standing on Moskvoretskaya Street). The nearest metro station is Kitay-Gorod.

36 The Church of the Conception of the Righteous Anna, in the Corner (second quarter of the 16th century), Moskvoretskaya Embankment, 3. One of the oldest Moscow posad churches finally got out from behind the fences around the former Rossiya Hotel and took its rightful place in the center of the new Zaryadye park. In ancient times, the church stood at the corner tower of the Kitaigorod wall, for which it received the second part of its name - in the Corner. The one-domed pillarless stone temple was built in the second quarter of the 16th century on the site of an even more ancient wooden one. The façades of the quadrangle are divided by blades, typical for their time, and end with three-bladed arches, separated from the main wall by a runner's belt. The southern and northern aisles, as well as the two-tier porch, which enriched the composition of the church, appeared in the 17th century. The temple was often visited by members of the Romanov royal family, who donated considerable funds for its maintenance and reconstruction.

37 Church of the Great Martyr Barbara on Varvarka (1796-1804) st. Varvarka, 2. The Church of St. Barbara has stood on this site since at least the 14th century, and it was she who gave the name to Varvarka Street. The modern building was built in the classicist style by architect Rodion Kazakov. This is one of the few surviving works of his. The bell tower was added in the 19th century. The church itself has a cruciform shape, with a round dome. Porticos of six columns each were made on the north and south sides. The church is not so interesting compared to its neighbors, but it is a good and not quite ordinary example of classicism, so do not neglect it.

38  Old English Court (XV-beginning of the XVII century), st. Varvarka, 4a. ☎ +7 (925) 888 70 23. Tue–Wed and Sun 10:00–18:00, Thu 11:00–21:00, Fri–Sat 10:00–20:00. Permanent exhibition 200 rubles, temporary - 100 rubles. This is a rather rare thing - a civil building built in the 15th century. In 1553, Ivan the Terrible, who was then interested in trade with England, handed over the chambers to the British, and they served as a diplomatic and trade mission. After the English Moscow Company bought another house in Moscow in 1636, these chambers began to be called the Old English Court. In 1649, relations deteriorated, all the British were expelled from Moscow, and the chambers were confiscated in favor of the treasury. They were owned by private individuals, and during the Soviet era a library was located here. In the 1970s, restoration was carried out and the chambers, as far as possible, were returned to their original appearance, and in 1994 the Old English Court Museum was opened here, where the atmosphere of the embassy period was recreated.

39 Church of St. Maximus the Confessor (1696-1699), st. Varvarka, 4. The church was built in the name of the first Moscow holy fool Maxim the Blessed, who lived in the 15th century. It is not known when the first church in the name of the saint appeared, but the fact is considered to be reliably established that already in 1568 the stone church of Maximus the Confessor already existed. In 1676, it burned down, was renewed at the end of the 17th century, and after another fire in 1737, which destroyed almost half of the center of Moscow, it was restored in a baroque style uncharacteristic of Kitay-Gorod. During the invasion of the French, the church suffered little and services did not stop there. A two-tiered bell tower with a spire - and today it noticeably lopsided - was built in 1829 in the Empire style, replacing an older belfry. The church was seriously restored in 1965.

The former Znamensky Monastery, among the buildings of which the most interesting are:
40 Palace of the Romanov Boyars (XVI century. During 2018 closed for repair and restoration work), st. Varvarka, 10. Thu–Mon 10:00–18:00, Wed 11:00–19:00, the first Monday of the month is a sanitary day. 400 rub. XVI-XVII centuries The chambers are the only building that has come down to us from the once vast estate of the Romanov boyars, who gave rise to the dynasty of Russian tsars. The estate already existed at the end of the 15th century, although the surviving three-story chambers appeared a little later. Their oldest part is a white-stone vaulted cellar. Most of its masonry was made at the beginning of the 16th century, and in some places it was replenished during the restoration of 1857-58, carried out according to the project of F.F. Richter. During this restoration, the porch and the upper part of the chambers were restored in the form of a wooden tower. At the same time, the interior decoration was recreated, tiled stoves were installed, and the walls were upholstered with expensive brocade. Now the building houses a museum where you can see authentic household items of the 17th-18th centuries.
41 Church of the Icon of the Mother of God "The Sign", st. Varvarka, 8 a. Back in the 16th century, on the territory of the estate of the Romanov boyars there was a house church in honor of the family icon of the Mother of God "The Sign". Here, around 1630, the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Mikhail Fedorovich, founded the Znamensky Monastery. The five-domed cathedral that has come down to us was built in 1684 by Kostroma residents Fyodor Grigoriev and Grigory Anisimov. It combines the upper cold Znamensky temple and the lower warm church of St. Sergius of Radonezh. The church surprises not only with its exterior decoration typical of the 17th century, but also with a staircase located from the west, ascending to a high-set porch. The interior design changed significantly at the end of the 18th century, but from that time only the decoration in the altar apse of the second tier and fragments of painting have come down to us.
On the territory of the monastery, the Fraternal Corps of the late 17th century and the bell tower, built in 1827 during restoration work after the war of 1812, have also been preserved.


Church of the Great Martyr George the Victorious on the Pskov Hill, st. Varvarka, 12. The first mention of the church dates back to 1462, and the name Pskovskaya Gora appeared at the beginning of the 16th century, when a settlement of the Pskov nobility arose nearby, transported to Moscow by Vasily III after the loss of independence by Pskov. Since the restoration of the 1960s, the coloring indicates the time of creation of different parts of the temple. The oldest part of the building is highlighted in red and white - a high basement on the foundation of the middle of the 13th century, above which rises the five-domed church of 1657. Details of rich decor highlighted in white are made of hand-hewn shaped bricks. After the French invasion, the church was restored and at that time a refectory painted in light colors, a porch and a two-tiered bell tower were added to it - all of them are made in the pseudo-Gothic style. Inside the church, murals of the 17th-18th centuries have been preserved.
Zaryadye Park. The park is open around the clock and seven days a week, the pavilions are Mon 14:00–20:00, Tue–Sun 10:00–20:00. Entrance to the park is free, to the pavilions - with tickets. In 2014-2017, a natural landscape park appeared in the very center of Moscow. It was created by a consortium led by the New York architectural bureau Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the site of a wasteland that arose after the demolition in 2006 of the Rossiya Hotel, which for some time held the title of the largest in the world. The opening of the park caused great excitement among Muscovites and guests of the capital, but so far its plantings are too young to appreciate the idea of the authors of the project. However, the attraction turned out to be very exotic, and even without visiting various pavilions, you can find something to do for a couple of hours: walk along the Soaring Bridge, climb to the top of the landscape hill, admire St. Basil's Cathedral and views of the Kremlin through the "forest", walk along the churches that appear in an unusual perspective Zaryadye.


Around Ilyinka street

Ilyinka, leading from Red Square to Ilyinsky Gate Square (separating Old and New Squares,    Kitai-Gorod), traditionally had a trade and financial focus. There were guest yards, countless trading shops, taverns, and part of the land belonged to the monastery courtyards. In the 19th century, the buildings of the stock exchange, banks and tenement houses were built on the street, which finally turned the street into the business center of the city. And aside from the main highways, in small lanes, several less pretentious, but very remarkable buildings have been preserved.

46 Church of the Trinity in Nikitinki, Nikitnikov lane, 3. The church was built either in 1631-1634, or in 1653 (there are two different versions) by order of the merchant Grigory Nikitnikov (hence the name of the area) by no one knows. Nevertheless, this church became the standard of the new Moscow style, and hundreds of similar ones now stand all over Russia, and many thousands have not survived to this day. The church is completely recognizable - five-domed, with many kokoshniks, a gallery and an attached hipped bell tower. All external walls of the church are richly decorated with carvings. Inside are frescoes by the masters of the Armory, including Simon Ushakov and Iosif Vladimirov. The mode of visiting the church is unknown, the museum of Simon Ushakov, which was previously located in it, is closed. Unfortunately, the urban environment in which the church stood was gradually destroyed in the 20th century, and now it is surrounded by ugly buildings of various departments. Ipatievskiy Lane, leading to the church from Varvarka Street, is closed on weekends and then access is possible from Nikitnikov Lane during the opening hours of the Presidential Administration located on Staraya Square.

47 Chambers of Simon Ushakov (XVII century), Ipatievskiy per., 12 building 1. A two-story residential building of the middle of the 17th century (that is, one of the oldest civil buildings in Moscow), which belonged to the icon painter Simon Ushakov. There are stone decorations in the Moscow baroque style on the windows, although the most interesting are on the side walls, where you can only look through the fence, and simpler windows overlook the lane. The building belongs to Rosstroy, there is no access behind the fence. Under the same number 12, building 3 are the chambers of the Borovsky Compound, also from the middle of the 17th century, which used to be in Nikolsky Lane.

48 Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker "Red Ringing", Nikolsky lane, 9 a. The church retains its name from 1561 ("Red" means "beautiful" in it), but the building that has survived to this day was built in 1858. The result was a building rectangular in plan with three cupolas in the pseudo-Russian style. A high three-story bell tower was attached to the church, which was once visible from afar, but now the church, like almost everything in the area, is surrounded by tall and uninteresting buildings, and access to it is possible only on a working day, when the gates are open for visiting ministries and departments.

49 New Gostiny Dvor, Rybny per., 3 (It occupies the quarter between Ilyinka and Varvarka, following from Red Square behind the Old Gostiny Dvor). The three-storey building was built in the 1830s in the style of classicism. Pay attention to the bas-reliefs along the walls.

50  Old Gostiny Dvor, st. Ilyinka, 4 (It occupies a quarter between Ilyinka and Varvarka). The territory along the northern side of Varvarka has always been used for trade. Trading rows have stood here almost since the 14th century. The modern building of the Old Gostiny Dvor was built from the 1790s to 1805 according to the project of Giacomo Quarenghi - who, however, did not come to Moscow and did not follow the construction, and Moscow architects treated the project quite freely. It turned out a two-story building in the style of classicism with columns and other attributes. In the 1990s, the building was mutilated by Luzhkov's reconstruction, but the side overlooking Varvarka did not suffer much.

51 Church of the Prophet Elijah at the Novgorod Compound (Church of the Prophet Elijah in Teply Ryady, XVI-XVII), st. Ilyinka, 3/8. The church was built from 1519 to 1521, in the 1820s a bell tower was added to it, but in 1864 the church was substantially rebuilt, only the upper one remained from the upper and lower, and besides, it was integrated into the Warm Trading complex built at the same time. Ryadov, the first heated commercial building in Moscow. From 1996 to 2008, the rows were demolished (only two fragments remained, overlooking Bogoyavlensky Lane), but you still can’t see the church from the outside, only the onion. The church itself is open and functioning. In the courtyard near the church, there is, among other things, a gas station and a car wash, which, apparently, by a wide margin is a record for the distance from the Kremlin and for the irrational use of insanely expensive land in the city center.

52 Former Trinity courtyard, st. Ilyinka, 5. The courtyard of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery was located on the corner of Ilyinka and the current Birzhevaya Square since 1535. It included the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, demolished in 1787, rented rooms, shops and a tavern. By the end of the 18th century, all these buildings were pretty dilapidated and were rebuilt, and in 1874 the architect P.P. Skomoroshenko built a new five-story apartment building, which at that time became the tallest civil building in Moscow. The ground floor was intended for trading shops, and above were rented offices. The tavern was also preserved, having moved to the basement, and its successor, a cafe-restaurant, remained there until 2000. In Soviet times, the building was used by various offices, and now it belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

53 Exchange building (1873-1875) st. Ilyinka, 6. The first Neo-Renaissance stock exchange building was built in 1839 according to the project of M. Bykovsky on the site of a spontaneous exchange of Moscow merchants near the old Gostiny Dvor. When the old building became cramped, land was bought in the neighborhood and in 1875 a new two-story building was erected with a classical main facade, decorated, among other things, with a sculptural image of the patron saint of trade, Mercury. The building was built by the architect A.S. Kaminsky, who designed the side facade in the style of the previous building. The third floor was added in 1925. Now it houses the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

54 Temple of Cosmas and Damian in Old Pani, 4 Staropansky Lane. Nevertheless, on the whole, it retains an unusual old Russian appearance, with two cupolas on a narrow drum and rich decorations.


Around Nikolskaya street

Nikolskaya goes from Red Square (  Revolution Square,   Teatralnaya) to Lubyanskaya (  Lubyanka) and at the same time runs along the oldest buildings in Moscow. It is named after the monastery of St. Nicholas the Old, which disappeared without a trace, which stood in the area of ​​house 11. Now the street has been converted into a pedestrian one and, with the exception of the even side of the street almost completely curtained for reconstruction, looks like European walking areas.

55 Mint, st. Nikolskaya, 5/1 building 1. One of the oldest industrial buildings in Moscow. This is historically the second mint in Moscow, it worked as intended from 1697 to 1797. The oldest building of the courtyard (Red Mint) dates back to 1697 and divides the courtyard into outer and inner. In the 1730s, a new building was built, the so-called House of Provincial Government, overlooking Red Square. The building was then rebuilt several times, in particular, under Catherine under the project of Matvey Kazakov.

56 Zaikonospassky Monastery, st. Nikolskaya, 7-9. The monastery was founded in the 17th century. For some time in the 17th century, the poet Simeon of Polotsk was its rector. Since 1685, the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, the first institution of higher education in Moscow, has been located here. The most significant building of the monastery, the Spassky Cathedral, was built in 1660-61 and was later rebuilt in the Baroque style. The bell tower, which is about the same height as the cathedral, was restored in the 1990s.

57 Cathedral of the Epiphany, Bogoyavlensky lane, 2. The monastery was founded in the 13th century and was badly damaged by a fire in 1686. The lower church of the temple is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan and was built in 1624. The upper one was built after the fire, from 1692 to 1696, in the Naryshkin baroque style, which is characterized by rich outdoor decorations. In 1747, a chapel of St. George was added from the north. In addition to the cathedral, two buildings have been preserved in the monastery (abbot's and fraternal).

58 Printing Yard, st. Nikolskaya, 15. The oldest industrial complex in the center of Moscow traces its history back to the printing house of Ivan Fedorov, located on this site in 1563. Already at the beginning of the 17th century, the printing house with a complex of wooden buildings was separated from the street by a fence with wooden gates, on which the coat of arms of the Printing House was carved - a lion with a unicorn. In the middle of the 17th century, the Printing Yard was rebuilt in stone, turning into one of the most majestic public buildings in the city. The current building was erected in 1811-1815 for the Synodal Printing House according to the project of the architects A.N. thread. In the inner part of the courtyard (it is accessible only to students and teachers of the Russian State University for the Humanities located in the building), the "teremok" has been preserved - chambers made by N.A. Artleben in 1872-1875 in the forms of the 17th century.

59 Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Chizhevsky Compound, st. Nikolskaya, 8/1. A small church in the style of the Naryshkin baroque was built in 1691 instead of the chapel of the Assumption at the unpreserved Myrrh-Bearing Church - the place where the books of the Printing House were consecrated. Until the middle of the 19th century, the building standing in the back of the courtyard was clearly visible from Nikolskaya Street. Later, it was hidden by the three-story house of the Chizhevsky Compound, placed along the street line. The church stands on a high vaulted basement; ancient paintings have been preserved on the walls of the octagon in the interior.


Around the Kremlin

There are several squares around the Kremlin, but it is unlikely that you will inspect them consistently. It is more likely that you will come across them when leaving the subway or heading to other areas of the center. With the exception of the Old and New Squares located inside Kitai-Gorod, all these squares are fragments of a continuous line of footholds built around the Kremlin in the 15th-16th centuries for defense and fire-fighting purposes. Of course, nothing has survived from those times, and even the layout of the squares has undergone many changes. Most of the buildings that have survived here appeared after the fire of 1812, but there are also buildings of the 18th century.

Borovitskaya area
Library named after Lenin,   Alexander Garden,   Borovitskaya.

Actually, the square in its present form arose only in the 1930s when the entrances to the new Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge under construction at that time were organized. The square was laid out on the site of the old passage and part of the building to the south of it, and it received its name from the Borovitsky Gates and the tower located nearby. On the square is one of the entrances to the Alexander Garden.

60 Pashkov House (Old building of the Russian State Library), st. Mokhovaya, 3/5 st. One of the best monuments of Russian classicism, usually attributed to Vasily Bazhenov, although there is no documentary evidence that the project belongs to Bazhenov. The house was built in 1784-1786 for the officer Pyotr Pashkov, and in 1839 it was sold to Moscow University. Since 1921, the building has housed a library. The best view of Pashkov's house from the Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge. The building itself consists of a central house and two outbuildings. Once there was a garden in front of the house, but as a result of the expansion of Mokhovaya Street, Pashkov's house ended up on a hillside above Borovitskaya Square. The staircase from the entrance down the hillside was built already in Soviet times. Noteworthy is the second facade of the building from the side of Starovagankovsky Lane, in which the St. Nicholas Church built in the 18th century in Stary Vagankovo is located, known at least since the 16th century.

Manezhnaya Square
Library named after Lenin,   Okhotny Ryad,   Teatralnaya,   Arbatskaya,   Alexander Garden.

The layout of the square, close to the modern one, arose in the 1930s, when the dense buildings surrounding the Manezh building were demolished in connection with the construction of the metro. At the same time, the square acquired the name Manezhnaya, although for 23 years of the Soviet period it was known as the square of the 50th anniversary of October. In the 1990s, a large Okhotny Ryad shopping complex was built under the square, and a cascade of fountains appeared in the Alexander Garden, as well as harmless sculptures of birds and animals, popularly called "tsereteliks" due to the fact that the author of the reconstruction project was sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. It is interesting that two fountains, "Four Seasons" (depicts 4 horses) and "Veil" (located behind the horses), are also known as "Washing the Horses".

61  Manege , Manezhnaya sq. 1. It was built in 1817 on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the victory of Russia in the Patriotic War of 1812 according to the project of A. A. Betancourt, and in 1824-1825 the facades were finished in the Empire style by Osip Bove. The building was badly damaged by a fire in 2004 and was rebuilt according to the project of the architect P. Yu. Andreev, with a complete change in the interiors and some exterior details.

62 The old building of Moscow State University on Mokhovaya, st. Mokhovaya, 11. The building was built in 1776-1793 according to the project of M. F. Kazakov for the Moscow University founded in 1755. After a fire in 1812, it was restored in the Empire style by the Swiss Domenico Gilardi. Now the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University and the university museum are located here. To his left, at the corner of Bolshaya Nikitskaya and Mokhovaya streets, stands the Church of the Martyr Tatiana, consecrated in 1837, and even to the left, the building of the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University.

63 Hotel National, st. Mokhovaya, 15/1. The building of the hotel, opened in 1903, is designed in eclectic style with modern elements. It was conceived as a world-class hotel and was equipped with elevators, telephones, baths and water closets. After the revolution, the hotel housed part of the government. The panel on an industrial theme, installed on the corner of the building, was made in 1932.

64 Moscow Hotel. The current building was built in 2008 on the site of the demolished hotel of the 1930s, made with the participation of A.V. Shchusev. The appearance of the new hotel is as close as possible to the Shchusev solution. The true reasons for the demolition and construction of another, but exactly the same, building are still a mystery. Opinions are expressed that the reason was money laundering. The demolition of the Moskva Hotel, along with Voentorg and Manezh, is considered one of the heaviest losses that Moscow architecture suffered in the 2000s.

65 House of Unions (building of the noble assembly), st. Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 1. Public building in the style of classicism, built in Okhotny Ryad for the Moscow noble assembly by M. F. Kazakov no later than 1775. In Soviet times, it was renamed the House of the Unions.


 Theater Square and Revolution Square

Okhotny Ryad,   Teatralnaya,   Revolution Square

The square in its present form arose after the fire of Moscow in 1812, when everything burned out here, and the entire area had to be redesigned. At first it was called Petrovskaya, but after the construction of the Bolshoi and Maly theaters in the 1820s, it received the name Teatralnaya. From 1919 to 1991 it was called (like the Teatralnaya metro station) Sverdlov Square. Revolution Square also appeared at the beginning of the 19th century and was called Resurrection Square after the corresponding gates of Kitay-Gorod. Renamed in 1919.

It is not surprising that there are three theaters on Theater Square at once - the Bolshoi, the Maly and the Academic Youth. All of them occupy historical buildings, and the Bolshoi Theater is, without exaggeration, one of the symbols of Moscow.

66 Hotel Metropol, Teatralny proezd 2. One of the first Moscow buildings in the Art Nouveau style was built in 1899-1905. The main author of the project was V.F. Walcot, although many famous artists and architects of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries took part in the design of the hotel. The central ceramic panel "Princess Dream" is made according to the sketches of M. Vrubel and is perhaps the most famous in Moscow. And in the design of the interiors, sketches by V.M. Vasnetsov and K.A. Korovin.
67 Monument to Karl Marx. The monument was supposed to be erected back in the 1920s, but for some reason, hands reached it only in the 1960s. The granite sculpture of Lev Kerbel, installed in 1961 and depicting the upper half of Marx's torso on a pedestal in the form of a parallelepiped, was included in all textbooks as one of the best examples of socialist realism art, and in urban folklore, noting the outward resemblance of the pedestal to a refrigerator.
68  Central department store (TSUM) , st. Petrovka, 2. The former store "Muir and Maryliz", was built in 1908-1910 in the European Gothic style with elements of Art Nouveau. The famous architect R. I. Klein worked on the project.


Lubyanka Square


This is one of the oldest Moscow squares. It has been known since 1480, when Prince Ivan III of Moscow, having captured Novgorod and destroyed the Novgorod Republic, moved a large number of Novgorodians to Moscow and settled them in this area. The name comes from Lubyanitsa, a district of Novgorod. Until the 1970s, pre-revolutionary buildings were almost entirely preserved on Lubyanskaya Square (the exception is the Detsky Mir store built in the 1950s), but almost everything was demolished either in the 1970s or in the 1990s. From 1926 to 1990 it was called Dzerzhinsky Square (metro, respectively - Dzerzhinskaya).

69  Children's world. The building was built in 1957 according to the project of A.N. Dushkin on the site of the Lubyansky passage, parts of which were included in the new building. The three-story Atrium was considered the center and the best part of the Soviet version of the department store. In 2008-1015, the building underwent a major renovation that changed its interior layout. The store is not fully operational yet, many departments are still waiting to open. But there are various gaming devices and catering points located on the top floor. From the top floor you can get to the "Museum of Childhood", and on the roof of the building there is an observation deck with views of Lubyanka Square and Kitay-Gorod, the price of an entrance ticket is 70 rubles. (2021)
70 Solovetsky stone, Lubyanka Square. The monument to the victims of Soviet repressions was erected in 1990 opposite the building of the former NKVD, from where the orders to arrest people came from. The granite stone for the monument was brought from the village of Solovetsky, where the Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp and the Solovetsky Prison were located in the Solovetsky Monastery in 1923-1939. The square in front of the Solovetsky stone is often used to express political protest.
71 The building of the Rossiya Insurance Company. It was built in 1897 by an insurance company and was rented out for housing and offices. In 1918, the tenants were expelled, and the Cheka moved into the building. It is infamous for the fact that after 1918 and to this day secret services were stationed here - the NKVD, the KGB, and now the FSB. From 1920 to 1941, the building housed an internal security prison, from which few people came out alive (however, most of the employees in the building were also shot in the 1930s). In front of the building, in the center of the square, there was once a monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, demolished in 1991. Offers to put it back are coming in all the time, so it is very likely that he may soon return to the pedestal. In 1991, the FSB department was moved to a neighboring building, but the building itself remained under the jurisdiction of the FSB. The building after the war was reconstructed according to the project of Alexei Shchusev.
72  Monument to the pioneer printer Ivan Fedorov  (Beginning of Teatralny proezd). Sculptor Sergey Volnukhin, architect Ivan Mashkov. The monument was erected in 1909, funds for it were collected by subscription, opened in 1870. Initially, the monument stood near the wall of Kitay-Gorod, not far from the building of the Printing Yard, and the Yard itself, respectively, at the place where Fedorov worked. In addition, there were many bookstores on Nikolskaya, and in Soviet times one store was right next to the monument. However, the monument was moved twice, first in connection with the reconstruction of Teatralny Proezd, then, already in the 1990s, due to the construction of a shopping complex, as a result of which the first printer now stands not near a bookstore, but next to car dealerships selling expensive foreign cars, clearly demonstrating the role of education and culture in modern Russia.


Old and New Squares

Subway: Lubyanka    Kitay-gorod

In fact, these are not squares, but streets. New Square connects Lubyanskaya Square and Ilyinskiye Gate Square (the place where it intersects with Ilyinka and Maroseyka), and Old Square is its continuation, connecting Ilyinskiye Gate Square and Varvarsky Gate. They have been known in their present form since the beginning of the 19th century, and, which is rare, they were not renamed in Soviet times - as a result of which the name "Old Square" became associated with the building of the Central Committee of the CPSU located on it.

The ensemble of New Square is dominated by the huge building of the Polytechnic Museum.

73 Trading House of the Moscow Merchant Society, New Square 6/5/2. The building was built in 1911 according to the project of F.O. Shekhtel and made in the style of rational modern. It reveals the features of later styles - constructivism and formalism. The building was built to rent office space. The houses between this building and the Church of St. John the Theologian also belonged to the Moscow merchant society and were built in the 1880s and 1900s.
74 Church of St. John the Evangelist under the Elm, New Square, 12. The wooden church on the site of the current Empire church has been known since the end of the 15th century, and it was to her that the name “under the elm” came from a mighty tree growing nearby. The first stone building was built in 1658, and the current church was erected in 1837 in a single ensemble with a low bell tower of the 1840s and two clergy houses. The church was built according to the project of S. P. Obitaev and L. P. Carloni and is devoid of convex altar apses, replaced by a powerful six-columned portico in order to preserve the building line of New Square, which was narrow at that time. The vaulted rooms of the basement used to house a "warm church" and, unlike the upper floors, they avoided serious alterations.
75 Profitable house of merchants Koznovs, Novaya Ploshchad 14/13. The huge eclectic building is actually older than all its neighbors and was originally built in the 18th century, but then rebuilt so many times (the last time in 1900, architect Olgerd Piotrovich) that it is absolutely impossible to notice its age.
76 Northern Insurance Company, st. Ilyinka 21, 23. Two buildings of the former Northern Insurance Company, eastern and western, are located at the corner of Novaya Square and Ilyinka Street. The building was built in the 1900s before the demolition of the Kitaygorod wall and had a very modest design of the western facade facing the wall, now facing New Square. The western building with a clock tower and the eastern one with a powerful neoclassical rotunda were successfully inscribed in the environment, which has undergone significant changes since then, and were distinguished by innovative architecture. Before the revolution, the building was used as an office, and in 1918 it was chosen by the new government. At various times, it housed the government, the Commissariat for Foreign Trade and all sorts of committees, including the Party Control Committee. Now here is the reception of the administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

77 Monument to the heroes of Plevna. The monument, designed by architect Vladimir Sherwood, is dedicated to the memory of Russian grenadiers who died in the battle near Plevna in 1877 during the Russian-Turkish war. The monument was opened in 1887, on the tenth anniversary of the event, and is made in the form of an octagonal chapel, decorated on four sides with high reliefs on the theme that the Russians are good and the Turks are bad.

78 Profitable house of the Moscow merchant bank, Staraya Ploshchad, 2/14. The house on the corner of Staraya Square and Ilyinka was built in the 1830s according to the design of Beauvais, and in 1894 another floor was added according to the design of Boris Freidenberg, known for his works in pseudo-Russian style. It turned out to be a good example of eclecticism.

79 Titov Trading House, Staraya Ploshchad, 4. The house was built in 1912-1915 by the architect Vladimirov Sherwood in the Art Nouveau style. The building itself is not bad, and well-placed, but it is known mainly not for its architectural merits, but as a part of history - in Soviet times, the Central Committee of the CPSU (and, accordingly, the office of the general secretary) was located here, and now the administration of the President of the Russian Federation has taken its place . The neighboring building (house 6) is the former trading house of Armand, the same Sherwood.

80 Boyarsky Dvor, Staraya Ploshchad, 8. The former building of the Boyarsky Dvor Hotel, built in 1901-1903 according to the design of Fyodor Shekhtel, is the most architecturally interesting building on Staraya Ploshchad. The huge five-story house includes many easily recognizable Art Nouveau elements, such as windows with semicircular endings and an add-on on the top floor. Apparently, the building does not have the status of a cultural monument, and in Moscow this means that anything can happen to it at any moment. Inside is the same presidential administration, so you won’t be able to go in and see the interiors (and just get close).


Slavyanskaya Square and Barbarian Gates

Kitay gorod

The former Varvarskaya Square has existed since the 1820s. From 1924 to 1990, like the metro, it was called Nogin Square, and then it was renamed Varvarsky Gate Square. The very gates of Kitay-Gorod, which stood in the alignment of Varvarka, were demolished long before that. In 1992, for some reason, the square was divided into two (they are not physically separated in any way), renaming the eastern part, from which Solyanka Street begins, into Slavyanskaya Square.

81 Monument to Cyril and Methodius. Made by modern architect Yu.P. Grigoriev and sculptor V.M. Klykov, opened in May 1992. He became famous for a funny curiosity, noticeable, however, only to connoisseurs of the Old Slavonic language: the inscription on the pedestal contains as many as five spelling errors, two of which fall on the word Russia.

82 Church of All Saints on Kulishki, Slavyanskaya Square, 2 (Right at the metro exit). The first wooden church on this site was built during the time of Dmitry Donskoy. It is from its location outside the then city that the expressions "in the middle of nowhere" and later "in the middle of nowhere" come from. The modern building in the Moscow baroque style was built in 1687-1689. The result was a two-story richly decorated building with one dome, an octagonal bell tower was attached nearby. Now the Moscow courtyard of the Alexandria Patriarchate is located in the church.


What to do


1  The Armory. 700 rub. The Treasury Museum of the Kremlin, one of the oldest museums in the country. Its history dates back to the 14th century from the treasury of the great Moscow princes. In the 16th century, the Armory was not only a repository, but also a workshop that produced ceremonial and military weapons, and painters who painted the Kremlin cathedrals and royal mansions worked alongside the gunsmiths. The modern building of the Armory was built in 1851 according to the design of Konstantin Ton specifically for the museum. The design of the facade of the building echoes another creation of Ton, the Grand Kremlin Palace. The museum occupies two floors and contains the former treasures of the treasury, including historically significant items such as Monomakh's cap (an eastern work of the late 13th-early 14th century) or the throne of Ivan the Terrible, as well as a lot of works of decorative and applied art from Russia, Europe and Oriental countries of the XII-XIX centuries.
The visit is possible only with a guided tour, and most of the time is reserved for organized groups. Only four sessions are left for individual visitors (10:00, 12:00, 14:30, 16:30), tickets for which are best ordered in advance via the Internet and picked up at the box office no later than 45 minutes before the appointed time. After that, tickets go on sale through the box office, but there are often not enough of them for everyone. The passage to the Armory is through the Borovitskaya tower. The ticket price includes an audio guide. Inside the Armory there is another ticket office unknown to the general public: there you can try to get a ticket, bypassing the queues, which will be especially convenient for those who have already walked around the Kremlin and came to the Armory from the side of Cathedral Square.

2  State Diamond Fund (in the same place as the Armory). ☎ +7 (495) 629-20-36. Ticket office: 09:00–16:30 except Thu, break 12:00 - 13:00. 500 rub. The exhibition belongs to the Gokhran and shows the most famous gems, mostly also coming from the treasury. The entrance to the Diamond Fund is through the Borovitskaya Tower, the ticket office at the entrance to the building. Visit only with a guided tour. Groups drive every 20 minutes, but there are a lot of organized tours, so waiting times are unpredictable for individual visitors. There is no pre-sale of tickets.

3 State Historical Museum, Red Square, 1. ☎ +7 (495) 692-40-19. 10:00–18:00 except Tue; Fri–Sat 10:00–21:00. 400 rub. National Historical Museum of Russia. The exposition tells, and in great detail, about the history of Russia until the beginning of the 20th century. Although only a small part of the museum's collections is on display, the exposition is still very rich, and it is unrealistic to examine it in detail in a day, choose topics that interest you. The museum building was built in 1875-1881 according to the project of architects Vladimir Sherwood and Alexander Popov in pseudo-Russian style to fit into the Red Square ensemble.

4 Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 (Building of the City Duma). 10:00–18:00 except Tue; Fri–Sat 10:00–21:00. 350 rub. Part of the Historical Museum dedicated to the war of 1812 and opened in 1812 in the building of the former City Duma. The building in the pseudo-Russian style was built in 1890-1892 according to the project of Dmitry Chichagov specifically so that it was in harmony with the building of the Historical Museum that was already standing next to it.

5 Polytechnic Museum (Closed for renovation, presumably until 2025), Novaya Ploschad, 3/4. ☎ +7 (495) 730-5438. It was founded to accommodate the exhibits of the Polytechnic Exhibition, held in Moscow in 1872 on the occasion of the bicentenary of Peter I. The construction of the museum buildings was carried out in three stages. In 1875–1877, according to the project of I.A. Monighetti N.A. Shokhin built the central volume of the building, in 1896 the same Shokhin added a two-story volume from the south, and in 1903–1907 engineer G.I. Makaev built the northern wing. The multi-temporal volumes that form a single ensemble serve as a clear illustration of different periods of the "Russian style". Inside the building there are well-organized spaces for the exhibition, contrasting with the external pseudo-Russian design. Many famous poets and scientists performed in the Large Auditorium of the museum at different times. Among them are Mayakovsky, Yesenin, Zabolotsky, Okudzhava, Mechnikov, Vavilov, Bor and many others.



6  Moscow Bolshoi Theatre, Teatralnaya sq. 1. The theater building was built in 1820-1824 by the architect O. I. Bove using the project of A. A. Mikhailov. The monumental building with a powerful eight-column portico and a copper quadriga of Apollo above the pediment (sculptor P. K. Klodt) is an outstanding monument of the Russian Empire style. After a fire in 1853, the theater was rebuilt by the architect A.K. Kavos. In the 20th century, the building was periodically repaired, the interior design changed, in particular, in the 1950s, the stage of the theater was decorated with a chic "golden" curtain, which has survived to this day in a slightly modified form. After a large-scale reconstruction in the 2000s, which caused a lot of controversy between officials and members of the public, the usual musical performances for the theater are staged on two stages - historical and new. Getting into the country's most famous theater is easy: tickets go to the theater box office (easiest to find at metro stations in the city center), but tickets can be quite expensive, although on the theater's website they start at an incredible 100 rubles. The price of a ticket depends heavily on the performance (chic ballet performances are always more expensive than opera performances), and the place in the hall, and the price of tickets for fashionable premiere shows can be completely prohibitive. By the way, the best acoustics in the historic hall are in the seats in the first tier, and the worst in the first six rows of the stalls and benoir. The New Stage has its own trouble: almost half of the stage is not visible from the side seats on the balcony, so choose seats closer to the center and better in the first row. Shortly before the performance, unsold reservations can be purchased at the box office of the theater and, of course, the "services" of speculators are always available. In addition, there is an electronic ticketing system.
7  Maly Theatre. In 1818, when the project for the arrangement of Theater Square appeared, the land where the theater now stands was bought by the merchant Vasily Vargin and built a house there. In 1824, he sold the house to the Administration of the Imperial Theatres, the architect Alexander Elkinsky, according to the project of Osip Bove, rebuilt the building into a theater, which was opened there and later became known as the Maly Theater. In the late 1830s, Konstantin Ton significantly enlarged the building, which took on a more or less modern look. Now it is a fairly typical monument of Russian classicism. As of 2014, the building is being reconstructed, and everything goes to the fact that only an authentic appearance will remain of it.
8 Russian Academic Youth Theatre, Theater Square 2. The building was built in 1821 by the architect Fyodor Shestakov and is a monument of classicism architecture. Since 1898, it has been occupied by various theaters, while since 1936 the current owner, who for most of its history was known as the Central Children's Theater. Initially, the building was known as the Poltoratsky house and was rebuilt twice, once in 1869 (the mezzanine was rebuilt as an auditorium, after which, in fact, it became possible to use it as a theater), then in the 1900s according to the Klein project. There are many performances based on children's books in the theater's repertoire, but there are also completely adult performances.



In winter, a skating rink is traditionally flooded on Red Square. Good ice is prepared anew for each hour and a half session (they start every 2 hours: the first at 10:00, the last at 22:00). On weekends, few people ride confidently: 40-50% are children under 10 years old, and 30% of adults cannot confidently ride even in a circle. 10-15 people are constantly moving against the flow, and the administration does not fight it. There is a pathos audience, but it is invisible. The locker room at the beginning and end of the session is overcrowded.



No one lives in Kitai-Gorod, so there are no shops there either. On Nikolskaya near Lubyanskaya Square you will find a couple of shopping centers with indecently expensive boutiques, there is no point in going there. GUM performs more of a museum and entertainment function, although if you suddenly need a pen or a map of the city, you can buy them there, and at a not very large markup.

1 Grocery store No. 1, GUM, 3rd line, 1st floor (at night, entrance from Vetoshny Lane). around the clock. Like the rest of GUM, this deli is more like a museum: beautifully laid out cheeses and arranged bottles create such a wonderful composition that it would be at least unreasonable to destroy it with your purchase. The assortment and price level are reminiscent of the ABC of Taste: you can find any kind of elite products or something quite ordinary, but at a high price.
2 Okhotny Ryad shopping complex, under Manezhnaya Square. 10:00–22:00. Opened in 1997, the underground shopping complex was the first institution of this type in Moscow and at first was among the city's attractions: on the dome sticking out in the middle of Manezhnaya Square, a map of the world is drawn, which from below, from underground, looks much more interesting than outside. Now the shopping center does not seem like a curiosity, but a senseless heap of boutiques. However, on its lower floor there is a large and inexpensive food court, which has no analogues on the surface.

Two tiny grocery stores were accidentally preserved in the yards. They have a small selection, prices are above average:
3  Mini-market, st. Nikolskaya, 9 (gateway leading to Nikolskaya street from Theater Square). 8:30–23:00.
4  Products, trans. Vetoshny, 5/4 (corner from Nikolskaya, behind GUM). Mon–Fri 8:00–22:00, Sat–Sun 9:00–22:00.



The area around the Kremlin and Kitay-Gorod is not the best place to eat. The price level here is average in Moscow, but the total number of establishments is small, and in the Kremlin, of course, there are none at all. The easiest way to find something is on Nikolskaya Street or already in neighboring areas.

1  Cafe "Monastyrskaya pastries", st. Varvarka, 8B (fraternal building next to the chambers of the Romanovs). 11:00–20:00. Pies: 35 rubles, soup: 70 rubles. Something like the refectory of the Znamensky Monastery. The atmosphere here is absolutely not metropolitan, and the prices are moderate.
2  Dining room No. 57 (GUM, 3rd line, 3rd floor). ☎ +7 (495) 620-31-29. 10:00–22:00. Hot dishes: about 200 rubles. This is the ideal Soviet dining room - not what it was, but what it should have been. Dishes from a book about tasty and healthy food, beautiful design and quite affordable prices. The dining room is fully adapted for foreigners, which is curious in itself: where else can you find out how “egg with mayonnaise” and “potato zrazy” are translated into English? There is also a Soviet soda machine and fruit drinks poured from large cones. Those who wish can take inexpensive cakes or beer at the bar - of course, Zhigulevskoye. On the same 3rd floor of GUM there is a cafe "Festivalnoe", where food is just as inexpensive, although less colorful. The cafe is divided into sections with names like "Pancake", "Italy", "Asia": each has its own distribution and its own assortment.
You can eat relatively inexpensively in the food court of the Okhotny Ryad shopping center near Manezhnaya Square - in addition to establishments like Burger King and Crumb Potatoes, there are a couple of quite ordinary canteens with reasonable prices.

Average cost
3 Varenichnaya № 1, st. Nikolskaya, 11-13. 10:00–24:00. A chain cafe that actively exploits Soviet motives and offers traditional food from the Book of Tasty and Healthy Food. A portion of dumplings or dumplings costs 150-200 rubles, hot dishes: from 300 rubles. There are cheap breakfasts.
4 Cafe "Soroka", st. Nikolskaya, 17, building 2. 9:00–23:00. Hot: from 300 rubles. An inconspicuous cafe of Georgian cuisine, where you can have a relatively inexpensive meal like chakhokhbili, and chebureks for 80 rubles and beer for 130 rubles will easily compete with the famous Moscow wine glasses. In the evenings, the cafe hosts themed meetings, stand-ups and other cultural events.
5 Korchma "Taras Bulba", st. Mokhovaya, 8, building 1. ☎ +7 (985) 644-85-44. around the clock. The closest place to the entrance to the Kremlin where you can eat, and eat heartily and tastefully, in the best traditions of Ukrainian cuisine. The style can be described as lubok, if, of course, this concept is generally applicable to the Ukrainian tradition. Waiters in pantaloons and embroidered shirts, towels on the walls, and somewhere in the back of the hall there is a Russian, it is also a Ukrainian oven. Friendship of Peoples.
6  Vysota 5642 restaurant  , Bolshoy Cherkassky per. 5/7 (Kitay-gorod). ☎ +7 (495) 624-93-21. Sun–Thursday 11:00–24:00, Fri–Sat 11:00–1:00. Hot dishes: 400-600 rubles. The restaurant is either Adyghe or Circassian, and for those who do not understand this - generalized Caucasian cuisine. The name refers to the height of Elbrus, a cook from Nalchik works in the kitchen. Visitors mostly praise.
7  Special Buffet No. 1 (Soviet diner), Bolshoy Cherkassky per. 15 (Kitay-gorod). ☎ +7 (499) 579-81-85. around the clock. Hot dishes: 300-400 rubles. From the American diner here is the interior, and from the Soviet canteen - everything else, including the quality of service. In the menu of dumplings, khachapuri, cutlets and sausages, Leonid Ilyich smiles from the walls: in general, it's funny, but not very cheap and not always tasty. Judging by the reviews, foreigners like it, Muscovites are not so optimistic.

8 Restaurant Mandarin combustible, Maly Cherkassky per. 2. 12:00–24:00, Fri and Sat until 6:00. Snacks: 250–500 rubles, hot dishes are more expensive (2014). Styled after the pre-war Shanghai, the dark bar offers Pan-Asian cuisine, a huge selection of teas, as well as all kinds of alcoholic drinks and cocktails based on them. The main hall is complemented by a special tea room with a piano, where sometimes there is live music. Cheaper than other Moscow establishments of its kind, but if you don't need atmosphere and a tea list, you can eat somewhere else for much less money. Visitors praise.
9 "Godunov" restaurant, Teatralnaya sq. 5, bldg. 1. ☎ +7 (495) 698-44-80. 12:00–24:00. Hot dishes: from 1000 rubles (2014). Lubok designed for foreigners, which begins with a painted door portal and continues with even more elaborate halls, which hardly had any historical analogues. A full range of Russian cuisine with the same sterlet and bear meat. Visitors agree that even in Moscow, traditional dishes can be found at lower prices.

Coffee houses
There are several standard Coffee Houses and Chocolates in the area, you won’t miss them, but there are other options:

10 Krispy Kreme Donuts, st. Nikolskaya, 4/5. 8:00–23:00. Donut: 90 rubles, tea-coffee: 150-200 rubles. The cafe is practically on Red Square, belongs to a little-known network in Russia specializing in baking American-style donuts. Despite plastic trays and self-service, it's quite cozy here. Spacious room filled with the aroma of coffee. WiFi.


Night life

1  Romanov bar, st. Nikolskaya, 19. Sun–Wed 12:00–24:00, Thu–Sat 12:00–6:00. Whether it's a basement bar or a restaurant, decorated magnificently, but not without its own style, albeit understood in a very peculiar way: you will surely remember the embossed coffered ceiling in the spirit of the best Moscow metro stations. Large cocktail card, karaoke on weekends. The opinions of visitors are contradictory.



There is no affordable housing in Kitay-Gorod. There are four large hotels in the entire area - Metropol, National, Four Seasons (a replica of the demolished Moscow hotel) and St. Regis”, which have nothing to do with budget accommodation.

Average cost
1 Seven Hills Lubyanka Hotel, Bolshoi Cherkassky per. 4, building 1. ☎ +7 (495) 739-04-49, +7 (968) 931-66-46. Double room: from 5000 rubles. A mini-hotel converted from an ordinary apartment is suitable for those who still want to live in the very center of Moscow for not very big money. It seems that all the basic things are there, amenities in the room and even breakfast is served in the room (for lack of another place to eat), however, guests unanimously complain about cramped rooms, noise and lack of air conditioning. From the windows of the hotel you will see the informal Kitay-gorod: a gloomy courtyard with garages and eternal construction. WiFi.
2 Veliy Hotel, st. Mokhovaya, 10. ☎ 35 51 +7 (495) 241 35 51. Double room: from 6000 rubles. The only hotel of its kind overlooking the Kremlin. Guests complain about poor breakfast and hearing. There are air conditioners, there is no elevator. WiFi.

3  Metropol. ☎ +7 (499) 501-78-40. From 10,000 rubles for a double room, when booking with an advance payment, you can get a 20-25% discount. Five-star hotel, decorated in modern style. Furniture and furnishings, if not from the beginning of the 20th century, then at least represent a successful stylization, and you can definitely see antiques in the corridors. Breakfast is served in the restaurant with a luxurious stained-glass roof.
4  National.☎ +7 (495) 258-70-00. From 17,000 rubles for a double room, when booking with an advance payment, you can get a discount. Another historical five-star hotel, but this time in a classic style: for those who like mirrors in heavy gilded frames and massive chandeliers.
5 Four Seasons. From 36,000 rubles. Opened in October 2014, all the same scheme - pretentious and very expensive.
6 Hotel «St. Regis", Nikolskaya, 12 (right next to the Lubyanka metro station). ☎ +7 (495) 967-77-76. From 20,000 rubles for a double room. Expensive chain hotel, formerly owned by Kempinski. 210 rooms. The apartment house of Orlov-Davydov with shops reconstructed beyond recognition (1869-1870, architect Robert Goedicke).



You can easily find Wi-Fi in cafes and restaurants, but it’s just not available on the street in Kitay-Gorod, and even more so in the Kremlin.

Post office, st. Nikolskaya, 7. Mon–Fri 8:00–20:00, Sat 9:00–18:00, Sun 9:00–14:00.