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Moscow's Red Square, Russia - ORIGIN Magazine

Learn about some of the history surrounding Moscow's most famous location and unveil some of the false beliefs surrounding the Red Square

Words: Aleksandra Georgieva

Photography: Nikolay Vorobyev

01 December 2019

Travel to one of the largest cities in the world and the biggest metropolitan location in Europe. Take a walk down any major Moscow's street and they would all take you to the same significant for its historical value location - the worldwide famous Red Square. Now take a deep breath and take the view in.


Situated straight after the north eastern wall of Kremlin, the famous square takes a 400x150 meters area built out of cobblestone. Celebrated as the hearth of Moscow, the view uncovered at this special location completely changes at night. With the lights and vivid colours it reminds of the fiction lands described in fairy tales. 


The common belief might point to the name of the Red Square originates from the pigment of the surrounding bricks or even the red colour of the communism. It is a little-known fact that the red bricks were actually washed at certain periods of the country's history. The word 'krasnaya' that is associated with the name of the square, today means 'red', yet in old Russian the actual translation was 'beautiful'. Krasnaya ploshchad is also the name of the main squares of several ancient Russian towns including Yelets, Kiev, Suzdal and others.


History reveals Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich's intention to officially extend the name of the Red Square. It had previously been called Pozhar, meaning 'burnt out' as some of the surrounding buildings were burnt for the square to be built. It was afterwards intended as the Russian capital main marketplace.


The Red Square itself and the surrounding areas host historical monuments such as Lenin's Mausoleum, which contains the embalmed body of the Soviet Union's founder. Other significant views are places such as the Spassky tower of the Kremlin, the restored Kazan Cahedral to the east and the St. Basil's Cathedral positioned at the southern side of the square.


If you plan to visit the spectacular location that is the Red Square, NOMADSofORIGIN recommends you go in the evening when the sun sets, and all the lights illuminate the magical architecture around. However, the square is often closed due to rehearsals and celebrations, so make sure to schedule potential extra time for visiting.

To learn more about Russia, read our article on the largest country on Earth or just stay updated with NOMADSofORIGIN's ever-expanding Destinations content.



NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.



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