I remember the days of watching Soviet military parades on the evening news. The route always went through Red Square and I grew up thinking that the square was so named because of the connection between communism and the colour red. I could not have been more wrong. In Russian, the name Red Square translates to “Beautiful Square” and the place is indeed very beautiful. The entire square has a fairy tale feel about it and is entirely majestic. It is bordered on all 4 sides by iconic Russian buildings erected during the Imperial days of the country. The building that everyone is the most familiar with is St. Basil’s Cathedral, built in 1552 by Ivan The Terrible. Its candy coloured onion domes are emblematic of Russia herself.
Directly across from St. Basil’s is the Russian State Historical Museum. It was built in the late 1800’s especially to house over 4 million state treasures ranging from fossils to fine gems and everything in between.
Beside the sate museum resides the Upper Trade Rows, better known as the GUM department complex. It is known for its glazed roofs, interior bridges, fountains and galleries. Today it houses the finest of designer stores and is very exclusive.
Finally, the last side of the square is occupied by the fort wall of the Kremlin.
In this photo you see Lenin’s tomb in the foreground, then the central nexus of the Kremlin Fort wall and finally one of the main buildings of the Kremlin in the the background. Lenin’s body is still on display and open to visitors everyday except Sunday, which is, of course, the day we were there.