No trip to Moscow is complete without taking in the impressive sighs of the Kremlin. Moscow's Kremlin is a self-contained complex with a number of beautiful churches, palaces and armories. Considered the birthplace of Russia, it serves as a notable link between the country’s past and modern history. Get up close and personal with the stunning complex with our guide below.
The beating heart of Russian history
The Russian state was formed in the Kremlin under Ivan the Great, but the building's history dates back much further than that. In the 13th and 14th centuries, stone buildings were first constructed on the current spot of the Kremlin. By the end of the 14th century these were fortified by stone walls. Peter the Great then constructed the Senate Building and Great Kremlin Palace in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Many monuments and buildings were damaged during the early 19th century through acts of barbarism, but by 1918, the Kremlin had once again become a central component of state and political life. The Kremlin has been home to the Russian president since 1991 and today is the hub of the country’s history, culture, and politics.
Psst! The Kremlin is just 4 km away when you stay at the Radisson Blu Olympiyskiy Hotel!
The Kremlin Museum consists of a complex that includes the Armoury Chamber, several churches, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower Complex, Annunciation Cathedral, and Cathedral Square. Most of these are now museums, which serve to preserve and accurately reflect the history they have witnessed. The Armoury Chamber houses everything from ceremonial vestments and gold and silver relics, to an impressive collection of Russian state regalia. The crown, scepter and orb of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich are particularly stunning. The Assumption Cathedral, Russia's state and cultural center for centuries, is renowned for its interior.
Once inside the cathedral, you can get a glimpse of religious murals known as iconostasis that date from between the 1600s and the 1900s, including a spectacular example from 1653. Praying seats for the tsars, patriarchs, and tsarinas are quite popular and can be found in front of the iconostasis. Other noteworthy sites include the Church of Laying of Our Lady's Holy Robe with its multi-tiered iconostasis from 1627, which has been almost perfectly preserved. The church also contains mural scenes depicting the Virgin Mary's life story.
The bells of the Kremlin
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower Complex helps to separate Cathedral Square and Ivanov Square. Inside you'll find the pillar of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Uspenskaya Belfry, and Filaret's Annex, which house a total of 24 bells that date from between the 16th and 17th centuries. Head to Saviour’s Tower, which has remained the Kremlin's official entrance for centuries and listen to its celebrated chimes. According to ancient legends the tower holds exceptional powers and is even said to have protected the Kremlin from enemy invasion.
As you're walking around the Kremlin it's hard not to notice the Tsar Bell, which weighs over 200 tons and stands just over 20 feet tall. The bell survived a number of disasters over the years, including a fire in 1737, which caused a large chunk to crack and fall off. Today the bell stands out for its detailed exterior, which features reliefs of the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and various Russian rulers....
Your hotel room with views over the Kremlin
With unparalleled views of the city, the Radisson Blu Olympiyskiy Hotel is a defining feature of the Moscow skyline, rising 125 meters above the urban metropolis below. The best part? No matter which room you book, all offer floor to ceiling panoramic views of Moscow's top sights, such as the Kremlin (of course!), Moscow City’s skyscrapers, Stalin’s famous Seven Sisters high risers, and the green zone in the city center.
The hotel is also located in the business district – adjacent to the Olympic sports arenas that were built for the 1980 Olympic Games. Apart from the Kremlin, within walking distance from the hotel is also the Russian Army Theatre, the world famous Nikulin Circus and the Moscow Cathedral Mosque. The Red Square is also just 4 km away. With so much to see, check out our guide to Moscow before you you!