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Moscow [Москва in Russian] is the capital of Russia and the starting point of our trip. With a population of over 10 million people, it is the largest city in Russia and the largest metropolitan area in Europe. It is the seventh largest city in the world.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Jerry and Naimah at St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow   St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow   St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow

St Basil's Cathedral is possibly the best known and most identifiable building landmark in Russia. Officially named "The Cathedral of the Intercession", it was commissioned by Czar Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) to commemorate the Russian victory over Kazan. Designed by architect Postnik Yakovlev, it is the base of the southern side of Red Square. The statue in the center view is of two heroes from the Time of Troubles, Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitriy Pozharskiy who raised a volunteer force to fight the Poles in 1612.
"red square" "Red Square"

Here are some detailed photos of the tents and onion domes of St Basil's. The whimsical colorations on these domes give the building a Disney-esque quality. That said, the construction for this landmark was completed in 1561.
This is my favorite and most iconic building in Russia.

Detail - St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow   Detail - St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow

GUM Department Store, Red Square, Moscow   GUM Department Store, Red Square, Moscow   Interior - GUM Department Store, Red Square, Moscow

The eastern side of Red Square is dominated by the GUM Department Store (pronounced 'goom'). The glass-roofed interiors are bright and inviting. GUM
(an acronym for Gosudarstvennyy Universalnyy Magazin) is Russia's largest
department store.
"gum department store" "GUM department store"  "red square" "Red Square"  

Here I am in Red Square in front of the GUM Department Store.
"red square" "Red Square"

Jerrold Patz In Front of GUM, Red Square, Moscow

Lenin's Mausoleum, Red Square, Moscow

The west side of Red Square is defined by the Kremlin Walls. In the middle of the western edge is Lenin's Mausoleum (Lenin's Tomb). Sadly, Lenin was not receiving visitors the days we were in Moscow.
  "lenin tomb" "Lenin Tomb"  "Lenin Mausoleum"  "red square" "Red Square"

The northern side of Red Square is dominated by the Historical Museum, housed in the 19th Century church of St John the Devine Under the Elm. Red Square is remarkably small, not at all like the massive place shown of TV. In the 2nd photo (R), I am standing in the middle of the square in front of the History of Moscow Museum.
"red square" "Red Square" 

Moscow Museum on Red Square, Moscow   Jerrold Patz On Red Square, Moscow

Matryoshka Dolls and Moscow Skyline

This is a panorama picture of the Moscow skyline fronted by a street full of souvenir shops. One of the common Russian souvenirs is the matryoshka dolls (nesting dolls) displayed here in many varieties.

The Bolshoi Theatre was being renovated. Here, you see it wrapped in an
artistic protective faade.

The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow

Traffic Jam in Moscow

Aside from its wonderful architecture, Moscow may be best remembered by its awful traffic jams. We sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams for several hours each day.

One of the few architectural items from the Soviet period, this is one of seven "Stalin" buildings, grotesque skyscrapers akin to New York's Empire State Building. This one now houses some faculty and students of Moscow State University.

Stalin Era Building Used by Moscow University

Arbat Street, Moscow   Map of Arbat Street Area, Moscow   Pushkin Statue on Arbat Street

One of the main shopping streets in Moscow is Arbat Street, a wide, pedestrian concourse sprinkled with shops and cafes. At #53 Arbat is a blue and white stucco Pushkin House Museum. Across from that is the gilded statue of Alexander Pushkin and his new bride Natalia Goncharova with Naimah sitting at her feet.

Arbat Street has many cafes including this import - Starbucks (here written in Cyrillic lettering). The familiar green logo is visible below the lettering.

Moscow Starbucks (name in Cyrillic)

Moscow Metro Map   Moscow Metro Station  Ceiling Detail - Moscow Metro Station

One of the most interesting features of Moscow was its extensive Metro (underground) transportation system. Handling some 9 million passengers a day, it is the largest and most used metro system in the world. In addition to its size, this is clearly the most beautiful metro system anywhere: each station is a virtual museum or palace with mosaics, statuary, and excessive ornamentation. In the right detail Lenin is delivering a speech to the people. Other pictures are in the montage below.
The official Metro website has a history and pictures of all of the stations.

A view of St Basil's from inside the Kremlin.

A view of St Basil's from inside the Kremlin

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Moscow   Changing the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier   Changing the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. An eternal flame is guarded by an elite squad which changes each hour. The high-stepping march must be very difficult.

There are many churches and palaces within the Kremlin walls. (L) the Cathedral of the Assumption with its golden domes, (C) a detail of some of the roof domes, and
(R) Naimah posing in a decorated doorway.

Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin, Moscow   Detail of Roofs Inside the Kremlin   Naimah in a Decorated Doorway Inside the Moscow Kremlin

Jerrold Patz at the Czar's Bell, Moscow Kremlin   Naimah at the Czar's Cannon, Moscow Kremlin

Jerrold Patz at the Czar's Bell (L). This massive 200 ton bell is the largest cast bell in the world. It fell from its tower in a great fire in 1701 and a huge piece broke off. The bell fragment weighs 11.5 tons. (R) Naimah at the Czar's Cannon. Cast in 1586, it weighs a massive 40 tons. It was never used as there was no method to load the huge
cannon balls.

We leave Moscow when we sail away from the North Terminal. (R) Leaving one of the locks along the Moscow Canal.

Leaving Moscow's North Terminal   Passing Through a Lock on the Moscow Canal

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Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.


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 tourist attraction "moscow metro" "Moscow Metro"  KGB building