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Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. It is the nation's largest city, with a population of over 12 million people. A description of any merit for this great city is beyond the scope of this webpage, so I have included some links for further reading at the end.

Above: Composite image of central Moscow by night

During my visit, I was fortunate enough to stay in The Rossiya Hotel adjacent to Red Square, ten years before it was closed and subsequently demolished in 2006. The Rossiya Hotel was a large five-star international hotel built from 1964 until 1967 at the order of the Soviet government. The site was originally intended to be an eighth Moscow Skyscraper (see here), but this project was cancelled and the hotel was built on the already prepared foundations. The hotel had 3,200 rooms, a post office, health club, nightclub, movie theatre, police station with jail cells and a 2500-seat state central concert hall. The building was so vast I was really excited to be staying there. In Soviet style, each corridor had it's own babushka handing out the room keys in exchange for a ticket obtained at reception - probably 70 of them around the building at any given time. The foyer at my side of the hotel had a currency exchange desk which involved standing on one leg and leaning at an angle on to the desk to avoid standing in wet concrete. Breakfast was at the opposite side of the building, which meant at least 20 minutes walking time and security comprised of men in jeans with sub machine guns. It was a pleasure to stay in. The thing is, it really was. The Rossiya Hotel was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest hotel in the World until it was surpassed in 1990 by the Excalibur in Las Vegas (and subsequently demoted further down the list by quite a few more in Sin City). I personally felt it sad that this great Soviet establishment had to be demolished because of it's modern historical facets, but I am sure something special will replace it with the admirable standards of modern Russian architecture.


Above: Views from inside the (now demolished) Rossiya Hotel, where I stayed

Above: View towards the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, one of the city's seven Stalinist skyscrapers, completed in 1952

Some of the main highlights of the city shown in my photos below include, in general order: The World Famous Saint Basil's Cathedral (The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed) which was consecrated in 1561, GUM department store (Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin - literally "main universal store") and Lenin's Mausoleum - all situated around Red Square; The Moskva River; Novodevichy Convent (established 1524); Moscow State University Main Building (again, see also about it's architecture here); The White House (The House of the Government of the Russian Federation) which was damaged during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis; Fallen Monument park; Baskin Robbins at the Rossiya Hotel; The State Historical Museum (wedged between Red Square and Manege Square); One of Moscow's many elaborate metro stations; McDonalds on Pushkinskaya Square - on January 31, 1990, A total of 30,000 Soviet citizens visited McDonald's in the first day of its work, setting a new record for the number of first day visits in the restaurant's history*. It wasn't as busy when I went; and finally, inside the walls of The Moscow Kremlin which includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers (note the famous Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell).

The Moscow Kremlin & Red Square and The Novodevichy Convent are two of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. One of the main changes that has taken place in Moscow since my visit (and is still currently under development) is the construction of Moscow International Business Center.

Some Further Reading:

  1. Wikipedia

  2. Lonely Planet

  3. 'Complete Travel Guide'

  4. A Brief History of Moscow

* Source:

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