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Kremlin, Moscow

Red Square
Russia 101000
Tel: 7 495 203 8604
view web site ›'s insider take:

The Kremlin's distinctive red-brick walls and 18 towers date back to the late 15th century, and for centuries its 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 President Dimitry Medvedev, so expect tight security. Sights include the Patriarch's Palace and the State Kremlin Palace, as well as the Diamond Fund and Armory museums, the latter filled with Fabergé eggs, coronation robes, and a collection of armor and weaponry. 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 pageantry, time your visit to see the cavalry-ceremony reenactment in Cathedral Square (Sobornaya Ploschad). It's held at noon on the first three Saturdays of the month, from late April to October; to get in you must buy a combined ticket to all the cathedrals (about $14) and because lines are long, it's best to arrive well before noon. In summertime, buy ice cream from a vendor in the Tainitsky garden behind the cathedrals and enjoy the rose garden.

The Kremlin is open Fridays through Wednesdays 10 am to 5 pm; the Armory is only open for guided excursions at 10 am and 12, 2:30, and 4:30 pm. Tickets to the Kremlin and the Armory can be purchased at kiosks by the Kutafyev Tower, where tourists enter the Kremlin, in Aleksandrovsky Sad, the park below it at the Kremlin wall. Ticket offices open at 9:30 am and close at 4 pm.

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