Moscow Historic & Fun Facts
Moscow’s grandeur, colorful Palaces, playful Baroque facades and Museums exude the opulence of Tsarist Russia. A city renowned to be the World’s Cultural Heritage. Moscow thrills visitors with its artistry, history and majesty.
Moscow will move you and tantalize your senses, soothe your spirit and baffle your mind.
St. Petersburg just dazzles and delights.
The Kremlin and Red Square are at the heart of Moscow… wander within the walls of the ancient fortress, marvel at the overwhelming splendor of St Basil’s Cathedral. At nearly every turn in Moscow, you’ll see golden domes peeking out over the rooftops and hear church bells peeling through the streets, dotted with some 600 churches .. There are colorful hidden gems, historic fortresses and colossal cathedrals. The exteriors are adorned with stone carvings and glittering domes; interiors are packed with ancient icons, swirling incense and faithful worshippers. For more than a millennium, Orthodoxy has helped to define the Russian nation… And what is more thrilling than watching a ballerina defy gravity, leaping across the stage at the glittering Bolshoi Theatre? Or feeling the force of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, just a few blocks away from where it premiered more than a century ago? The classical performing arts in Moscow are still among the best in the world.
- Moscow is the largest city on the European continent.
- Moscow claims the biggest number of billionaires in the world. Per Forbes, there are 84 billionaires in the city.
- The Kremlin is the world’s largest medieval fortress.
- The Kremlin house the Russian Tsars’ crown jewels.
- Moscow is named after the river Moskva.
- From 1712 to 1918, St. Petersburg acted as the capital of Russia.
- Moscow subway is famous for its underground architecture: 44 out of 200 stations are listed as cultural heritage sites.
- Moscow Metro holds the world record for on-time departures and arrivals, noting that the interval between trains during rush hour is only 40 seconds.
- England and Moscow’s flags have the same figure of St. George in armor, riding a horse and slaying a dragon.
- Arbat street is one of the oldest streets in Moscow and dates back to 520 years.
- Over 6 million passengers use the Moscow metro daily. It is the 3rd busiest metro in the world.
- Moscow State University is the world’s largest university building.
- Moscow is regularly named one of the most expensive cities in the world.
- Moscow’s State Library, founded in 1862, is the biggest in Europe and the 2nd biggest in the World after the US Congress Library.
- Lenin’s corpse is preserved in a Mausoleum at the Red Square.
- Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut, is buried at the Kremlin.
- Moscow has an underground river.
- Moscow is home to the 200-tonne Tsar Bell, the largest bell in the world.
- Moscow’s Tunisian Embassy is believed to be haunted (located at 28 Malaya Nikitskaya St.)
- Moscow has 7 similar skyscrapers, collectively known as the ‘Seven Sisters’. The buildings are: 1. Hotel Ukraina, 2. Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, 3. Kudrinskaya Square Building, 4. Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel, 5. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6. Moscow State University, 7. Red Gates Administrative Building.
- Moscow’s red Kremlin used to be white (in the 18th century).
- Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory) is the only metro station in the world that is located on a bridge.
- Ploshchad Revolyutsii station houses a bronze sculptured dog. It is said that rubbing its nose brings luck.
- Some metro stations host at night cultural events or art performances. Mayakovskaya station hosted the premiere of the “Game of Thrones”.
- Moscow’s stray dogs can navigate the metro.
- Moscow dogs are not allowed to bark during the hours 11pm-7am.
- Moscovites consume 33,000 tons of food per day.
- The 1st McDonald’s opened in Pushkin Square on Jan. 31, 1990, the queue stretched for several miles. On that historic day, the restaurant served more than 30,000 people, a record that remains unbroken worldwide.
- Stoleshnikov Pereulok (Moscow) is a pedestrian street and the most expensive one in Russia. 1m2 costs + $3,000 a year to rent. (Beirut (Lebanon) rings a bell, anyone???)
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Lay of the Land
At the heart of the city, the Kremlin sits on the banks of the meandering Moscow River. Most of the other major sights are within walking distance or a short metro ride away: The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Russia’s skyscrapers of Moskva-City, a soon-to-be-completed business district.
KREMLIN (RED SQUARE)
The Kremlin’s distinctive red-brick walls and 18 towers date back to the late 15th century. Ivan the Great bell tower was the tallest structure in Moscow. The massive stars atop the five tallest towers—the smallest weighs a ton—were introduced in 1937 to replace the czarist double-headed eagle.
- Inside is a complex of cathedrals, palaces, and government offices, including that of the President, so expect tight security.
- Sights include the Patriarch’s Palace and the State Kremlin Palace, as well as the Diamond Fund and Armory museums.
- Don’t miss the Kremlin cathedrals: The czars were crowned among the beautiful frescoes of the Assumption (Uspensky) Cathedral and the tiny Church of the Deposition of the Robe (Rizopolozheniya) is especially lovely.
- For a taste of czarist spectacle, time your visit to see the cavalry-ceremony reenactment in Cathedral Square (Sobornaya Ploschad). It’s held at 12:00 noon on the first three Saturdays of the month, from late April to October.
- In summertime, buy ice cream from a vendor in the Tainitsky garden behind the cathedrals and enjoy the Rose Garden.
Russian Neoclassicism Masterpiece that features an eight-columned portico surmounted by Apollo’s chariot.
STATE PUSHKIN MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
Located directly across the street from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is one of Russia’s top museums. As part of a grand expansion plan intended to turn the neighborhood into a “museum city” within the city, the museum has moved its greatest hits—including works by Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Rodin, and Picasso—from the stately neoclassical main building to an adjacent mansion descriptively named the Gallery of Art of the Countries of Europe and America of the 19th and 20th Centuries. The museum’s third building houses the Museum of Private Collections, TRETYAKOV GALLERY.
MOSCOW, SOME SITES TO SEE
|Moscow Kremlin||The State Tretyakov Gallery||Terem Palace||Novoslobodskaya||Belorusskaya|
|Red Square||Gorky Central Park
|Moskva River||Ploschad’ Revolyutsii||Slavyansky Bulvar|
|St. Basil’s Cathedral||Arbat Street
|Moscow State University||Komsomol’skaya||Arbatskaya|
|Lenin’s Mausoleum at Red Square||State Historical Museum||Novodevichy Monastery||Prospekt Mira||Teatralnaya|
|Bolshoi Theatre||Cathedral of Christ the Saviour||Moscow Zoo and Circuses||Kievskaya||Taganskaya Station|
|Armoury Chamber||The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts||Luzhniki Stadium||Mayakovskaya||Paveletskaya Station|