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Moscow, with its 12.2 million inhabitants, is the capital and most populous city of Russia. Located on the banks of the Moskva River, Moscow is a major cultural center of Russia. At the heart of the city is the Kremlin--a home to the president and the tsarist treasures in the Armoury. To the east of the Kremlin is the Red Square, the central square of the city that’s home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the brightly-colored domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the extensive collection of the State Historical Museum.

Red Square is, possibly, the most visited attraction in the city. The cobblestone-paved streets of the square have witnessed most of the city’s—and the country’s—historical events. What used to be a market square until the 15th century is now encircled by celebrated attractions such as the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and Lenin’s Mausoleum.

Moscow, being one of the most vivid capitals in Europe, is a powerful blend of history and edginess filled with world-renowned attractions. Being around for more than 800 years, Moscow has enough sites to entertain tourists for months--from the 400-year old Kremlin and the grand architecture of St. Basil’s to the premier Gorky Park and the towering skyscrapers of the Seven Sisters.

The block of grey, red, and black granite of Lenin’s Mausoleum houses the 94-year old embalmed body of the legendary Russian communist revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin. The Mausoleum, which was then built out of wood, opened to the public in August 1924. In 1929, the acclaimed Soviet architect Aleksei Schusev was commissioned to design a more durable home for the body of the late revolutionary. Today, a long queue of people can be seen outside the Mausoleum, waiting for their turn to see the preserved body of Lenin. It is estimated that 2.5 million people visit the Mausoleum each year.

The oldest active fortress in Europe, Moscow’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kremlin offers numerous attractions. With 5 squares, 18 buildings, and 20 towers, The 2,235-meter fortress would certainly keep the visitors busy for more than a week. The Kremlin, in addition, exhibits its 20-foot Tsar bell and cannons.

The State Historical Museum, with its neo-Russian facade, was established by Ivan Zabelin and Aleksey Uvarov in 1872. Formerly occupied by the Principal Medicine Store, the State Historical Museum now holds an extensive collection that displays the history of Russia, from the Paleolithic period to the present time. It exhibits the largest coin collection of Russia, 6th-century manuscripts, and the collected artworks by the Romanov dynasty.

Glávnyj Universáĺnyj Magazín (GUM)—literally meaning Main Universal Store--was built in 1893 Alexander Pomerantsev and Vladimir Shukhov and has managed to retain its beauty more than a hundred years later. Its trapezoidal building features and glass roof certainly lures people into entering this department store which is why it has—among other reasons--become the most popular one in Russia. With over 200 upscale boutiques, various food outlets, a Soviet-style grocery store, GUM’s aesthetically pleasing architecture and a wide selection of goods make it a great attraction to both tourists and locals.

At the core of Moscow lies Arbat, a 1-kilometer street lined with cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops, monuments, and a theater. The brick-lined streets of Arbat have been in existence since the 15th century, and is, currently, filled with performers, caricaturists, and a fresh crowd of visitors daily.

Come and explore Moscow today!