You have probably already planned to visit the Red Square in Moscow, where you can see the Kremlin, the Vatican Cathedral and the GUM department store, but there is much more to Europe’s largest city with a population of 12 million people. In this blog post, I will share 10 interesting and unusual places to see in Moscow.
Izmailovo Kremlin (Кремль в Измайлово)
As the symbol of the Russian state, the Kremlin on the Red Square is one of the most famous sights in Moscow. But there is another, lesser known kremlin in the northeastern part of the city in the Izmailovo area, which is an fairytale-like cultural landscape.
Kremlin is the Russian word for citadel or fortress, and is found in many Russian cities. However, the Izmailovo Kremlin, built in 2007, is not built for protection of the city as the name suggests. It was established as a cultural center and a marketplace loosely modeled after traditional Russian architecture and fairytale depictions of ancient Russia.
24 3-ya Parkovaya ul.
Read more about the place and opening hours here: www.kremlin-izmailovo.com
Lenin’s mausoleum (Мавзолей Ленина)
Lenin’s mausoleum, located on the Red Square, is probably one of the most macabre places to see in Moscow and is perhaps the most famous “modern mummy” in the world.
In his will Vladimir Ilych Lenin asked to be buried. The Russian people however, were against burying him and the Russian government should have reportedly received over 10,000 telegrams from the mourning public who demanded that the great leader be preserved in one way or another for many generations to come.
In response to this public demand, the mausoleum was commissioned in 1929. The current mausoleum was built in 1930. Lenin’s body remained here until evacuated to Tymen, Siberia when Moscow was threatened by the Nazis. In March 1945, a Soviet operation under the code name “Object No. 1” moved Lenin’s body back from Siberia to the mausoleum in Moscow.
You enter the mauseoleum in small groups where it is not allowed to speak or take pictures inside. You have about five minutes to see Lenin with guards in every corner of the room.
Children Are the Victims of Adult Vices (Дети — жертвы пороков взрослых)
In 2001, Russian artist Mihail Chemiakin designed an unusual bronze sculpture, “Children are victims of the adult vices”, showing two children who play and are surrounded by 13 evil statues, each representing terrible things like alcohol abuse, sadism and prostitution.
10 Bolotnaya Ploshchad’
The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines (Музей советских игровых автоматов)
A lot of slot machines have their own special tokens. However, few of them have coins with a hammer and a seal from Soviet times.
The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines is an interactive museum dedicated to video games in the Soviet period, where you can see and play on vintage machines. They have more than 40 games like “Morskoi Boi” (“Sea Battle”), “Snaiper-2”, “Basketball” and “Repka”.
For 350 RUB you can play about 15 games.
12 ul. Kuznetskiy Most
Museum of Cosmonautics (Музей космонавтики)
If you are interested in space trips, the Museum of Cosmonautics is definitely one of the places to see in Moscow. The Museum of Cosmonautics opened on April 10, 1981 to mark 20 years since Yuri Gagarin travelled to space as the first man in space in 1961.
The museum celebrates the history of Russia’s achievements in space in the 20th century, with about 85,000 objects in space technology, astronomy and space travel.
просп. Мира (дублер), 111
Read more about the place and opening hours here: www.space-museum.ru
There is an amazing tunnel system that stretches under the streets of Moscow, leading to a secret fortress from the cold war, once known under the codename “Bunker-42”.
The plant was intended to function as the communications headquarters in case of a nuclear attack. As such, the building was only a shell that served as an entrance to a 7000 square meter space 60m below ground. Today, the plant is transformed into a museum dedicated to the Cold War.
11 5-y Kotelnicheskiy per.
Read more about the place and opening hours here: www.bunker42.com
The Laika Monument (Памятник Лайке)
The Russian dog Laika was the first animal to complete an orbit around the earth.
Laika was trained and sent to space on November 3, 1957. More than 50 years after this space trip, a monument was made for Laika in 2008.
Miniature Moscow (диорама Москвы)
Miniature Moscow was made in 1977 by 300 workers and is a very detailed depiction of the Soviet Union’s capital.
The lighting makes the model very realistic, as each window changes from daylight to night. Even the windows on the boats on the river change between light and dark light.
2/1 Kutuzovskiy pr.
Borodino Panorama (Музей-панорама ‘Бородинская битва’)
The terrible battle between the French and Russian forces at the battle of Borodino in 1812 is brought to life in a 360 degree masterpiece of panoramic art. It’s a huge experience and definitely one of the places to see in Moscow.
Kutuzovsky pr 38
Read more about the place and opening hours here: www.1812panorama.ru
The Soviet Dacha (Советская Дача)
“Dacha” is a type of seasonal or year-round second home, often located in the exurbs of Russian cities. This dacha outside of Moscow is made into a museum and shows Russian life in the 1950s.
In the 1980s, just before the Soviet Union was dissolved, there was a boom in the popularity of Dachas. At that time about one in three families owned a dacha where they spent weekends and had the opportunity to escape the summer heat in the big city. Now it is estimated that half of all Russian families living in big cities own a dacha.
In southern Moscow one of these homes has been transformed into a public museum. The home is filled with artifacts from the Soviet era. Visitors are served Russian tea in old metal containers. One can help prepare ‘pelmeni’ and ‘borsch soup’, and taste vegetables, fruits and herbs from the garden, which is a significant part of many dachas.
332 First Gardens
Read more about the place and opening hours here: www.visitrussdacha.com
Do you have any questions on these places to see in Moscow? Comments? Ideas for other topics/guides for my next blog post?
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