Exploring Historic Sites Around Moscow

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 | No Comments

Director Victor Kushmaniuk returned from his scout at the State Historic Museum in Moscow, with a few travel tips for us.

Check out some historic sites and surprises in Moscow, and in the town of Alexandrova Sloboda, outside of Moscow.

ST. BASIL’S

A fantastic and unique structure, comprised of several small churches (each with its own dome) placed around the central core.

LOCATION: Outside of St. Basil’s Cathedral at the southern end of Red Square.

WHAT MAKES IT REMARKABLE?

Its breathtaking beauty…  In the foreground is a fantastic statue that embodies the patriotic verve as Moscow was being rebuilt after Napoleon’s capture (and subsequent fire) of 1812. The monument’s main theme is the meeting of the common citizen, Kuzma Minin, and the noble commander Prince, Dmitry Pozharsky, the two leaders of the Russian people’s struggle against another foreign invader in a struggle 200 years earlier in 1612.

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER – A TRIBUTE TO SOVIET LIVES LOST

A stark and purposely austere memorial to honour the millions upon millions of Red Army soldiers who perished during the Second World War.

LOCATION: Outside the Kremlin’s west wall.

WHAT MAKES IT REMARKABLE?

There is a bronze inscription on the tomb that reads “Your name is unknown, your deed is immortal”. It is a somber and moving tribute to the disproportionately heavy toll the Soviets endured during the war. Approximate estimates have the Soviets losing somewhere in the range of 10 to 15 million soldiers and an equal number of civilian losses while the Americans lost over 400,000, the British over 380,000 and Canada 45,000 (all estimates). These numbers are truly staggering.

IVAN THE TERRIBLE’S PALACE IN ALEXANDROVA SLOBODA

LOCATION: Town of Alexandrova Sloboda, 1.5 hours outside of Moscow.

WHAT MAKES IT REMARKABLE?

Alexandrova Sloboda is a mini-kremlin (fortress) that Ivan built in the mid-1500s. It actually served as Russia’s capital for a short time. Today, the complex is a historic site with several functioning churches, cathedrals and a nunnery. It’s a cool place to visit because it looks a lot like it did in the mid-16th century, and to visit you must drive out of the mega-metropolis of Moscow and see Russian countryside and small towns.