Brooding and glittering in the heart of the capital, the Kremlin (Aleksandrovsky Sad; 10am–5pm, closed Thurs; R350, student R100; w; Borovitskaya) is both the heart of historical Moscow and home to its present-day parliament, the Duma. Its founding is attributed to Prince Yuriy Dolgorukiy, who built a wooden fort here in about 1147. Look out for the Tsar Cannon, cast in 1586: one of the largest cannons ever made, this was intended to defend the Saviour Gate, but has never been fired. Close by looms the earthbound, broken Tsar Bell, the largest bell in the world, cast in 1655. Cathedral Square is the historic heart of the Kremlin, dominated by the magnificent, white Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Of the square’s four key churches, the most important is the Cathedral of the Assumption, with a spacious, light and echoing interior, walls and pillars smothered with icons and frescoes, and temporary exhibitions housed in its belfry. The Cathedral of the Archangel houses the tombs of Russia’s rulers from Grand Duke Ivan I to Tsar Ivan V, while the golden-domed Cathedral of the Annunciation (closed for renovations at time of writing) hides some of Russia’s finest icons, including works by Theophanes the Greek and Andrey Rublev.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Russia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake

Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake

Anita Isalska explores the frozen surface of the epic Lake Baikal in Russia.  During Siberian winters, the mercury drops as low as minus 35ºC (minus 31ºF)…

12 May 2015 • Anita Isalska insert_drive_file Article
Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Follow us on a whistle-stop tour of the latest travel stories, including news of a super-fast train line between Moscow and Beijing, the suitcase that heats up …

21 Oct 2014 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook