Brooding and glittering in the heart of the capital, the Kremlin (Aleksandrovsky Sad; 10am–5pm, closed Thurs; R350, student R100; w www.kreml.ru; 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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Russia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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 95ºF)…

12 May 2015 • Anita Isalska insert_drive_file Article
20 places to get utterly lost

20 places to get utterly lost

Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea It’s strange to think that at the heart of one of the most densely populated places on the planet, just a stone’s…

23 Oct 2014 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
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

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month