Red Square in Moscow, Russia | Russia Travel Guide

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Why Visit the Red Square

Being the most recognizable symbol of Russia in the world, the glorious Red Square is the UNESCO listed World Heritage which accepts thousands of tourists each year. No wonder that this sight is a true must-visit of any Russian trip and every adventurous globe-trotter has a picture in front of St. Basil's Cathedral.

The Red Square is set in the very heart of Moscow, separating the Kitay Gorod commercial district from the Kremlin walls, and has a history as old as the post-Mongol fortress itself. The name "Krásnaya Plóshchaď" translates from Russian as "red", yet the word also means "beautiful". This ancient center of Russia's political power dates back to the end of the 13th century and has a long and rich history.

Originally, it was the site of a central market square established in an area cleared by decree for the defense of Kremlin on the banks of Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers. It was also a place where various festive processions were held and thus the square was considered a sacred place.

Among the main landmarks standing on the Red Square are the famous colorful St. Basil's Cathedral built on the moat under the rule of Ivan IV, the highest wall of the Kremlin with the Spasskaya tower with the clock, the Lobnoye Mesto - a brick platform where many executions issued by “Ivan the Terrible” took place, the Kazan Cathedral built in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, the Mint, the Zemsky prikaz town hall, the historic shopping mall GUM, the Minin-Pozharsky monument, the red beauty - State Historical Museum and, of course, Lenin's Mausoleum.

The Red Square has served as the site of various public ceremonies and proclamations, was the former coronation place for Russian Tsars and is still used for official ceremonies and parades today.

The most important Moscow streets start from the Red Square area and extend outward to the city’s various ring roads in a spider-web of avenues, making it truly the hub of the city.