5 sights you don’t want to miss in Moscow

Welcome to the Russian capital!
You will be amazed by the diversity of this city, rich in history, architecture, from ancien to ultra modernism. If you are coming to Moscow, here are 5 spots you really want to discover!

Putintours Moscow must see

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Surely, when we think at Moscow, the first thing that comes to our mind is the Red Square and the incredible St Basil’s cathedral which is definitely Russian capital’s symbol. St Basil’s was built in 1552, under the reign of Ivan the Terrible. This colorful cathedral was dedicated to the victory of the Russian army over the Tartars at the end of the Moscow-Kazan wars. At the beginning, it was called the “Church of the Holy Trinity” and was made of wood. Three years later, it was demolished and, on the orders of Tsar Ivan, the St. Basil’s Cathedral was built. Some sources report that the architect of the cathedral was called Postnik Yakovlev.

A Legend says that after completing the construction in 1561, Ivan the Terrible asked the architect Yakovlev if he would ever be able to build an equally beautiful object like St. Basil’s Cathedral. He answered that he could build much more beautiful and pompous buildings. As a result, the Tsar punctured his eyes so that he would never be able to build a similar beauty anywhere else. However, historians doubt the legend, as architect Yakovlev demonstrably later built other buildings, including the Kremlin in Kazan.

Zaryadye Park

Nearby St Basil’s Cathedral is located Zaryadye Park – a 10.2 hectare landscaped park. Zaryadye Park is located in the city center on the banks of the Moskva River, next to the Kremlin, the Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral on the site of the demolished Rossija Hotel. It was designed by the US architectural office Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The Zaryadye Park includes, besides the gardens where the flora of different vegetation zones of Russia is shown, several exhibition buildings. For example, the Moscow Concert Hall Zaryadye, an amphitheater, a cinema hall and a „floating bridge„. The opening of the Zaryadye Park took place on September 9, 2017, for the 870th anniversary of the founding of the city of Moscow.

Putintours Moscow must see
Putintours Moscow must see

Zaryadye Park

Nearby St Basil’s Cathedral is located Zaryadye Park – a 10.2 hectare landscaped park. Zaryadye Park is located in the city center on the banks of the Moskva River, next to the Kremlin, the Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral on the site of the demolished Rossija Hotel. It was designed by the US architectural office Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The Zaryadye Park includes, besides the gardens where the flora of different vegetation zones of Russia is shown, several exhibition buildings. For example, the Moscow Concert Hall Zaryadye, an amphitheater, a cinema hall and a „floating bridge„. The opening of the Zaryadye Park took place on September 9, 2017, for the 870th anniversary of the founding of the city of Moscow.

Put-in tours Moscow must see

Sparrow Hills

Sparrow Hills is one of the highest points in Moscow (80 meters above the river level), located on the right bank of the Moskva River. Considered as the most beautiful landscape in the Moscow metropolitan area, the hill has been a popular recreational destination for the Muscovites for centuries. From the upper viewing platform, you have a very good panoramic view of the city. The river promenade and the forest are ideal to take a walk. In winter, the ski slope operated via the Luschniki cable car also attracts winter sports fans.

Another attraction on the Sparrow Hills is the two-storey bridge over the Moskva River. Opposite on the other side of the river is the Olympic Stadium Lushniki and the valley station of the Lushniki cable car.

Moscow State University

The most prominent building on top of Sparrow’s Hills is the main building of the Moscow State University (MSU). The university was founded in 1755 by  Mikhail Lomonosov. Many Soviet and Russian personalities from politics, art and science are graduates of the Lomonosov University as Mikhail Gorbachev. At present, about 40,000 students are enrolled in one of the of the 40 faculties the university counts.
On the occasion of Moscow’s 800th anniversary in 1947, the foundation stone was laid for the construction of the modern complex of Moscow State University. The central component is a skyscraper, which represents a symbolic position as one of the so-called „Seven Sisters“ of Moscow. Built in the style of the Stalinist-classicism, the complex is a strict symmetry with the tower. The spire was demanded by Stalin himself. The tower is adorned with neo-classical decor and a number of socialist heroic sculptures. The huge dimensions of this 240 m high university building go far beyond the actual requirements. When completed in 1953, the skyscraper was the tallest building outside of North America.

Put-in tours Moscow must see
Put-in tours Moscow must see

Moscow State University

The most prominent building on top of Sparrow’s Hills is the main building of the Moscow State University (MSU). The university was founded in 1755 by  Mikhail Lomonosov. Many Soviet and Russian personalities from politics, art and science are graduates of the Lomonosov University as Mikhail Gorbachev. At present, about 40,000 students are enrolled in one of the of the 40 faculties the university counts.
On the occasion of Moscow’s 800th anniversary in 1947, the foundation stone was laid for the construction of the modern complex of Moscow State University. The central component is a skyscraper, which represents a symbolic position as one of the so-called „Seven Sisters“ of Moscow. Built in the style of the Stalinist-classicism, the complex is a strict symmetry with the tower. The spire was demanded by Stalin himself. The tower is adorned with neo-classical decor and a number of socialist heroic sculptures. The huge dimensions of this 240 m high university building go far beyond the actual requirements. When completed in 1953, the skyscraper was the tallest building outside of North America.

Put-in tours Moscow must see
Put-in tours Moscow must see

Christ the Savior Cathedral

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, one of the largest Christian Orthodox buildings in the world, has been the center of Moscow’s Russian Orthodox life since its inauguration in 1883. There, services and ceremonies were held on special occasions, such as in 1912 for the 100th anniversary of the victory over Napoleon.    
However, during the Soviet era, the fate of the Chist Savior Cathedral was changed. The state power under Josef Stalin had decided to build the monumental Palace of the Soviets on the place of the cathedral. Unlike the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, this building should not architecturally represent the old Tsarist Empire, but the new Soviet Union, reaching a record height of 415 meters in this time. After the simple removal of the cathedral proved to be too expensive, it was blown up on December 5, 1931. Its ruins then had to be cleared for over a whole year. The construction of the Palace of the Soviets, which began in the mid-1930s, did not  go beyond the completion of the foundations, because of the beginning of the Second World War against Germany and it was finally suspended. After the war, however, the project lost its original high priority and was after Stalin’s death in 1953 history. Instead, the foundations were used for the construction of the Moskva open-air swimming pool. This was completed in 1960 and offered swimming in a 13,000 m² heated pool.

With the increasing return of orthodox culture in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s during perestroika, the re-establishment of the Christ the Savior Cathedral and its reinstatement as the religious center of Russia became increasingly popular. In 1990, a citizens‘ initiative for reconstruction was formed. In 1992, on the edict of President Boris Yeltsin, a foundation was set up that raised funds for the purpose of the construction throughout the country. A short time later, the open swimming pool was demolished. On January 7, 1995, the day of Orthodox Christmas, the foundation stone was laid for the new building.

If you are in Moscow and want to discover these key sights of St. Basil’s Cathedral, Sparrow Hills, Moscow State University, Christ the Savior Cathedral and much more, jump onboard Put-in tours city tour. The best way to see and learn Moscow in style!

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Put-in tours

At Put-in tours, we put you in our classic Soviet vans to go explore Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Russian culture off the beaten path. Discover our Moscow city guided tour, visit Moscow by night, join our banya & Sergiyev Posad excursion, visit and dine in one of Moscow’s oldest monastery before you party on our famous pubcrawl! Original and atypical tours : Shoot AK47 and a bazooka after riding on a tank with our tank & bazooka excursion !

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