We had been to Russia several times prior to this trip, but always in November or December. It had been dark and cold. Going in September (for a Davis Cup tie) was marvelous. We finally saw the sun, flowers, shimmering gold domes. It was a wonderful ten days in September of 2006.
The central square of Moscow and indeed, all of Russia, RED SQUARE used to be known as Krásnaya Plóshchaď. Krásnaya in archaic Russian meant beautiful. In today’s language it means red. Its most famous monuments are St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Kazan Cathedral, GUM department store, the State Historical Museum. The Kremlin and Red Square were together recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, due to their inextricable links to Russian history since the 13th century.
One of my favorite places near Moscow, the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius, was founded in 1345. it was renamed Zagorsk during the Communist era, returning to its original name of Sergiyev Posad in 1991. It is beautiful in the snow, even better in the sun when those golden domes sparkle. It is 75 kms (47 miles) NE of Moscow.
The existing Kremlin walls and towers were built by Italian masters over the years 1485 to 1495. The irregular triangle of the Kremlin wall encloses an area of 275,000 square metres (68 acres). Its overall length is 2,235 metres (2,444 yards), but the height ranges from 5 to 19 metres, depending on the terrain. The wall’s thickness is between 3.5 and 6.5 metres.
Established in 1856, the State Tretyakov Gallery is the foremost repository of Russian art in the world. It’s collection covers over 1,000 years of Russian art. The Treyakov was founded by merchant Pavel Tretyakov who donated his collection to the city of Moscow in 1892. The museum is so marvelous, it is worth a trip to Moscow just to spend time there.
There are many wonderful churches in Moscow, colorfully painted, little known. Treasures nonetheless. Walking around the city I saw several that I loved.
Novodevichy Cemetery, also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery,was inaugurated in 1898. It is the most famous cemetery in Moscow. It lies next to the southern wall of the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent.
The cemetery holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists. More than 27,000 are buried here.