Posted Feb 8, 2014, 7:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
hkskyline's 2013 in MOSCOW
Moscow's subway system is famous for its beautiful subway stations. It made sense that this was my first attraction in the city.
The Ukraine is the old Soviet Union's breadbasket and this station celebrated the harvest.
Long escalators connect the platforms with the surface world. You can barely make out the top end.
Mid-afternoon was probably a poor timing choice to visit the stations.
Thanks to long summer nights, the sky was still a little bright late into the night. This historic building has been turned into a 5-star hotel.
There are 7 of these Soviet-style grand buildings dotted across Moscow.
Christ the Saviour Cathedral is a large church that dominates the historic Moscow skyline. It was built such for good reason - as a monument to Russia's victory over Napoleon. However, the original construction was razed by Stalin, only to be rebuilt in 1994.
No wonder the details look so new!
The Arbat pedestrian street is quite nice but I got there a bit too early.
The most interesting part is the farmer's market - the only place open on that street besides the cafes.
Victory Park was built to commemorate the 27 million Soviets that died in World War II.
Interestingly, this park is also home to all of synagogue, mosque, and Orthodox church.
These soldiers are practicing for an event. The red flags set against the blue sky are an interesting sight.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a huge imposing building that reflects the old Soviet style architecture.
This old rickety bus is yet another interesting sight that I cannot easily find outside the old Soviet bloc.
Moscow State University offers a panoramic view of modern and historic Moscow.
A new financial district is rising west of the historic centre. There's plenty of construction so stay tuned!
The buildings near the Kremlin look imposing, and a little intimidating even.
Strangely, a huge department store fronts this prime open space at the heart of Russia's political centre.
St. Basil's date from the 16th century and features a very unique array of colourful "onion domes". Thanks to Tetris, I had high expectations of seeing this church in person. But the real thing seemed so small and insignificant. It didn't help a parking lot sat next to it.
It is possible to venture into the Kremlin for a visit. However, visitors need to stay within the visible line boundary. Beyond the restrictions, there was plenty of history to admire. The Assumption Cathedral saw inaugurations and coronoations for some 600 years.
The gold and the paintings are exquisite.
Today, these walls cannot prevent spies from getting through with their satellites and bugging equipment.
Faberge eggs are a popular but expensive souvenir from Russia. The hand-painted ones are stunning while cheaper "made in China" alternatives are available for the budget tourist.
The All-Russian Exhibition Center was originally used to showcase Soviet national achievements when it opened in 1939 and consisted of many pavilions for industries and republics. Today, the site is more like a carnival, with the buildings converted into recreational use, shops, or warehouses.
Plane spotting is great at the airport, with many little-known airlines and interesting models.