Bul’varnoe koltso / Boulevard ring
Would you like to walk along Boulevard Ring? Yes? Great! But if you think that starting at one point of the ring you will get the same place after making a circle you can be a little bit confuse, as the Ring is absolutely not a ring. Boulevard ring has shape of a horseshoe with both ends rest against Moskva-river. I’d prefer to move clockwise – starting on Gogolevsky boulevard and finishing on Yauzsky one. The whole trip takes not more than two hours. The only one disadvantage of the walk is that you have to cross a number of streets which cross the Ring.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The tomb of the unknown soldier is just outside the Kremlin walls and through the gates which lie next to the line to see Lenin's Tomb. The Russian soldiers who guard here stand perfectly still, like at most such memorials. There is a changing of the guard here, though I didn't actually get to see it. There is also an eternal flame for remembrance.
In the Middle Ages Moscow was...
In the Middle Ages Moscow was a typical town-fortress. In the past thick Kremlin walls and high towers proved to be among the best engineering structures in the world.
The walls of Kremlin, which you may see on the old engraving were built by the order of Ivan the 3rd, the Grand Prince of Moscow and All Russia, in 1485-1495, to replace the white-stoned walls built by the order of Prince Dmitry Donskoy. The red-brick walls were erected by Italian masters Anton Fryazin, Mark Fryazin and Pietro Antonio Solario. The towers built by the Italian masters didn't have tent roofs, instead, they were crowned by the overhanging flat roofs with special loop-holes. The towers, which look like the Kremlin ones are found there in Italy, in Ravenna region, while the specific merlons of 'Dove tail' shape are typical to the ancient Italian fortresses located in the vicinity of Vinchenza, Milan and Verona.
In the 17th century the towers got their tent roofs to become the real architectural masterpieces. Totally, the Kremlin has 20 towers. The one, which stands close to Bolshoy Kamenny Most, is called Vodovzvodnaya (Water-Drawing) Tower. In the year of 1633 a special pumping mechanism was built inside the Tower to draw water from Moskva-River for the Court, which had always been there in the Kremlin, up to the reign of Peter the Great. The next one to the right is Blagoveshchenskaya (Annunciation) Tower. This Tower, as well as some other Towers of the Kremlin, received its name from the church located close to it. The next tower, which stands close to Blagoveshchenskaya, is Tainitskaya (Secret) Tower. A secret path from the fortress and a secret chamber were located there, that was why the Tower was called Secret. Then, there are Pervaya Bezymaynnaya (First Nameless) and Vtoraya Bezymyannaya (Second Nameless) Towers; and Petrovskaya (St. Peter's) Tower, which stands close to the Church of Metropolitan Peter and the angular Beklemishevskaya Tower. The last one got its name from the estate of landlords Beklemishevs, the estate was located right in front of the Kremlin wall, across the Moskva-River.
The Red Gates in Moscow used to be a rare example of a triumphal arch built to an exuberantly baroque design.
The original gate, thought to be the first triumphal arch in Russia, was built in wood on behest of Peter the Great to commemorate his victory at Poltava in 1709. In 1753 the wooden arch was demolished and replaced with a stone one. The Arch and a neighbouring church were demolished in 1928 when the avenue they were located on, Sadovoye Koltso was widened according to Lazar Kaganovich's Moscow redevelopment plan. The square that they stood upon was still known as Krasniye Vorota (Red Gates), and in 1935 a metro station of the same name opened. In 1953 one of the famous Stalin's skyscrapers was erected on the square. The square was renamed Lermontovskaya after the Russian author Lermontov in 1962 and was renamed back to Krasniye Vorota in 1986. Some decorative elements of the gate, such as the statue of angel, are exhibited in the Moscow City Museum. Whilst the question of rebuilding the arch has been raised several times, due to the traffic congestion of the square that seems unlikely.
Money: Russian Ruble
Russia is the country of cash, so it is best to pay everything in cash.
In the last years the Russian Ruble has been relatively stable, so it is best to pay in Russian Rubles instead of other currencies. Credit Cards are accepted in a few places like hotels, restaurants or airports.
There are enough cash points all over the town; you find at least one at every metro station. Apart from that, there are plenty of exchange offices in the city centre. Their rates vary slightly.
Before exchanging money at an exchange office, I highly recommend to ask how many Rubles you really get for your currency, just to make sure that no hidden commission will be added.