Sacral Sights

St. Basil's Cathedral

St. Basil's The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin, better known as St. Basil's, is probably the most recognizable landmark of the country. It was built in the 16th century by order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan. The cathedral's design has no counterpart neither in Russia, nor abroad. St. Basil's is actually a cluster of ten churches built on the same foundation. Medieval Muscovites saw it as a fine replica of the Heavenly Jerusalem. Having so fascinating exterior, the cathedral looks quite simple and unpretentious inside. Today it functions mostly as museum. In 2011 the city celebrated the 450th anniversary of the cathedral.

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9.00-17.00.


Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is the biggest Eastern Orthodox church in the world. Today it takes the place of the main stronghold of the Russian Orthodoxy. The main festivity of the cathedral is on the Christmas celebrated on January 7th when spectacular service is held by the Patriarch and attended by first faces of the state. Built in the 19th century as thanksgiving to God for saving Russia in the time of Napoleon's invasion, it was blown up by Stalin's order in 1931 and then turned into a swimming pool by Nikita Khrushchev. The reconstructed cathedral was consecrated on the Christmas day of the millenium.

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00-17.00, Monday 13.00-17.00.


Lenin's Mausoleum

Lenin's Mausoleum For over 80 years red-granite pyramid on Red Square serves as the resting place of Vladimir Lenin. After Lenin's death his body was embalmed and placed into an open sarcophagus so that the grieving public might pay last respect to the leader of the Russian Revolution. There is not only Lenin' tomb to be found near the Kremlin Wall but a whole necropolis of Soviet politicians, military leaders, cosmonauts and scientists. There are burial sites of Joseph Stalin, Georgy Zhukov, Yury Gagarin. Entrance to the Lenin's Tomb and the Necropolis is free of charge. Be ready to wait in line for 15 - 30 min; big bags and electronic devices are not allowed.

Opening Hours: daily 10.00-13.00 except Mondays and Fridays.


Novodevichy Convent

Novodevichy convent The most remarkable of Moscow nunneries was founded in the 16th century and serves as a convent to this very day. In the past it was one of the richest cloisters in Russia. Its inhabitants originated from well-to-do families and handed over all their valuables to the convent upon taking the veil. Unwanted wifes, widows and other female relatives of some Russian tsars were nuns and novitiates of the beautiful stronghold. Sofia, the elder half-sister of Peter the Great, was confined there after inspiring revolt against Peter. The main attraction of the convent are precious frescoes of the Smolensk Cathedral (opened in summer). To look at photos of Novodevichy.

Opening Hours: Wednesday - Monday 10.00-17.30 pm.


Novodevichy Cemetery

Novodevichy cemetery This well-groomed cemetery is a final resting place of the famous of the country. Among the occupants are prominent writers Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, first Russian president Boris Yeltsin and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, composer Dmitry Shostakovich and filmmaker Sergei Eisenshtein. The artfully chiselled gravestones, commissioned to the best sculptors of the day, turn the burial place into a kind of sculpture park. To look at photos of Novodevichy.

Opening Hours: daily 9.00-17.00.


Moscow Choral Synagogue

Moscow Choral Sinagogue The Moscow Choral Synagogue was opened for prayers in 1906. Nowadays it is the oldest and the biggest synagogue in Moscow. It operated throughout the Communist times though its rabbis did not escape the persecution of the authorities. In 1948 the synagogue was visited by Golda Meir, the first ambassador of Israel to the USSR, who attended Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services. Today it is the mighty religious centre of the Moscow Jewish community. Besides the grand prayer hall, it has two minor halls for Mountain Jews and Caucasian Jews, a kosher restaurant and shops, schools and kindergartens. To look at photos of Moscow Choral Synagogue.