Petit Futé's opinion on RED PLACE
Let's start with one of the most famous squares in the world, with its St. Basil's Cathedral, Comrade Lenin and the GUM.
Appearing in front of the eastern walls of the Kremlin, it was originally called the Trade or Fire Square, but around the 17th century it received its current name. "Krasny" has two meanings in Old Russian: red and beautiful.
This square, which can be considered the true centre of Moscow life, has been used for various military and ideological purposes over the centuries. It was first designed in a defensive and military spirit because it was necessary to leave a large empty space in order to isolate the Kremlin. Then it became a place of trade, at the crossroads of the main trade routes of Tver, Gorky and Novgorod. It was after Napoleon's visit in 1812 that this square was the object of nationalist investment. Under the USSR, its cobblestones became the showcase of communism: the construction of the Lenin Mausoleum and the Necropolis of the Kremlin Wall parades, military parades in honour of the great nation, were to make this square one of the most famous in the world. The urban legend says that 24 hours a day several snipers are watching the square, so avoid doing anything foolish in it.
If it is impossible to visit it on May 9, other occasions are very good to live an unforgettable moment. Since 2006, you can skate in winter on the most prestigious skating rink of the city decorated by GOUM. Moreover, the best students of the country are invited to celebrate their graduation every year at the end of June by listening to a live concert.
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