Address: Red Square, Moscow
Nearest Metro: Ploschad Revolyutsii
Red Square occupies more than 18 Acres (7.5 Hectares) beneath the Kremlin walls in the center of Moscow making it the largest square in the city. The square is located steps away from several metro stations: Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad Revolyutsii and Teatralnaya.
Red Square is a central tourist point that has an easy access to several other historic attractions like Aleksandrov Garden, Nikolskaya Street and Manezh square.
Red Square Buildings and Attractions
Eastern Side of Red Square
The famous GUM department store is located along the eastern side of the square. The façade of the historic building features numerous details typical for the Pseudo-Russian architecture.
Southern and Northern Sides of Red Square
State Historical Museum is located on the southern side facing St. Basil’s Cathedral on the northern side of the square.
There are 2 attractions you’ll find near St. Basil’s Cathedral: “Lobnoe Mesto” and Monument to Minin and Pozharsky.
“Lobnoe Mesto” is a 42 Feet (about 13 meters) long ancient stone platform. It was used as the main city tribune to announce important taxes, execution and law decrees issued by the Tsar to the general public.
Minin and Pozharsky monument opened to the public in 1818 is the only statue located on Red Square. The bronze statue depicts two Russian national heroes – Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky that have managed to free Moscow from the Polish and Lithuanian army in 1612.
Western Side of Red Square
Western side of Red Square is bordered with one of the Kremlin walls that has 4 towers: Spasskaya Tower (Savior Tower), Nikolskaya Tower, Senatskaya Tower and The Tsar's Tower. Lenin’s mausoleum and the famous necropolis are also located here.
Lenin’s Mausoleum is open to the general public and it’s free of charge. The mausoleum’s schedule is revised annually, so make sure to get the most recent one.
In 2019 Lenin’s Mausoleum is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 till 13:00. It is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
|Tuesday||10:00 - 13:00||Free|
|Wednesday||10:00 - 13:00||Free|
|Thursday||10:00 - 13:00||Free|
|Saturday||10:00 - 13:00||Free|
|Sunday||10:00 - 13:00||Free|
During summer the number of tourists that want to visit Mausoleum drastically increases, so prepare to stand in a line. Tourists are required to pass through the metal detectors at the entrance.
No bottled water, mobile phones, cameras, or any other electronic devices are allowed inside.
You can use mausoleum’s storage to place your valuables while you explore the Leader of the Revolution lying in a glass sarcophagus.
Red Square: 10 Interesting Facts
Here are 10 interesting facts about the Red Square you probably didn’t know.
- Russia’s main clock is located on top of the famous Savior Tower that faces Red Square. The clock is more than 300 years old that makes it one of the oldest in the world. The main clock mechanism weights about 55,000 Pounds (25 tons) and includes thousands of parts. The 10 Ft high (about 3 meters) clock uses its 70 Pound balance wheel to make the displayed time more accurate.
You can see the clock in the background during Russia’s president annual New Year speech addressed to the nation every year.
- Starting 1918 Red Square has become the main site to hold parades and public meetings. It hosted the well-known military parade in 1941. After the parade all soldiers were taken directly to the war zone to fight Nazi army. The next famous parade took place in 1945 to celebrate World War 2 victory and welcome the survived soldiers back.
Today there are two military parades that take place on Red Square every year. The first one celebrates World War 2 Victory Day on the 9th of May. The second one is held on the 7th of November to celebrate the original historic military parade of 1941.
Other events that regularly take place on Red Square are book festival called “Krasnaya Ploshad” and military bands festival called “Spasskaya Bashnya”.
- Starting 2006 Red Square hosts the most popular skating rink in Moscow visited by almost 5,000 people daily. The 30,000 square feet (2,800 square meters) skating rink is constructed every December.
- There are 550 people (including Lenin) buried at the necropolis beneath the Kremlin walls adjacent to the Red Square. The wall crypts hold urns with cremated remains of communist leaders deceased mostly during 1920 – 1930s. Some famous personalities buried here include Joseph Stalin and Felix Dzerzhinsky.
- Stalin’s body was also kept at the mausoleum from 1953 – 1961.
- In May of 1987 a young German pilot used his sports plane to fly from Helsinki to Moscow. He has managed to overpass USSR’s air defense system, cross the Soviet border and land on the Red Square. Investigation that followed the incident discovered a number of issues that made it possible:
- New radar equipment that was part of the country’s air defense system wasn’t properly setup.
- There were multiple problems with internal military communication.
After landing the pilot parked his plane close to St. Basils Cathedral. He has managed to give dozens of autographs to the shocked public before getting arrested.
- “Red Heat” featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first American movie that was granted official permit to film on the Red Square. The permit allowed to use only one camera. Arnold Schwarzenegger spent 24 hours in Moscow filming the famous movie scene.
- The mausoleum was originally built on the Red Square in 1924 to keep Lenin’s body. They used wood as the primary construction material. In 1924 the original building was demolished to construct the new one using stone and marble. During the mausoleum’s reconstruction the area along Kremlin walls was planted with fir-trees and the Red Square was covered with the paving stone.
- Red Square and Kremlin have been included in UNESCO’s world historic heritage sites list in 1990.
- Red Square was called “Pozhar” (“Fire”) before the 19th century. It was named “Pozhar” after a severe fire that took place in 1493 and destroyed most of the buildings located there.