The Kremlin, a massive red brick fortress, has been home to rulers for as long as Russia has existed. Every corner of its buildings, palaces, and churches has a fascinating story or legend tucked away. One such legend says that somewhere beneath the fortress lies a secret labyrinth that leads to the library of Ivan the Terrible.
The area inside the Kremlin is filled with beautiful churches. One of the oldest and most important is the Church of Assumption where the Russian Orthodox Metropolitans and Patriarchs are inaugurated and buried. The cathedral's interior is decorated with frescos by the famous artist Dionysius, including the 1660 Virgin Mary painting. Napoleon's armies pillaged the Kremlin’s cathedral, forcing the Bolsheviks to keep it closed for decades. Legend has it that when Hitler's armies approached Moscow, Stalin ordered a secret service in the cathedral to pray for rescue.
Another fantastic place inside the Kremlin is the Gem Gallery. This collection of jewels once belonged to the Russian Imperial family. It features some of the world's largest diamonds, Faberge eggs, and imperial dresses. Walking through this elaborate exhibit will make you feel a little more regal.
You will also notice the Tsar Bell, a 20-ft tall church bell, and the 16-ft long Tsar Cannon. The bell and the cannon were made during Russia’s war with the Polish-Lithuanian invaders in the 1600s. One of the bell’s massive sides is chipped, supposedly due to Peter the Great, who struck it in frustration that it did not ring out to celebrate his victory over the Swedes at Poltava.
The Kremlin sits on the world-famous Red Square, right next to Russia's most recognized symbol – the inexplicable St Basil's Cathedral. Ivan the Terrible ordered the construction of the cathedral after he conquered Kazan, the last remaining hold of Mongol invaders. Another wonder on the Red Square is the GUM Department store, a sprawling shopping wonder inside a beautiful palace. Both the Kremlin and the Red Square were deemed UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1990, linking them forever to the hearts and minds of Russia and its visitors.
Our most popular Russian Cruises dock in Moscow to allow passengers the opportunity to experience this ancient yet modern city.