This morning you will meet your guide in your hotel lobby and enjoy a short walk to the Kremlin and through its expansive grounds. Here you will see the largest bell in the world – as well as the largest cannon. Neither was ever used due to their enormous size! Also on the grounds of the Kremlin are three very important churches and your guide will take you through all that are of interest. We suggest you don’t miss the Assumption Cathedral, where all Russian tsars were crowned.
While here your guide will take you to the famed Armory Museum, including its vast collection of Imperial Russian artwork. You will have the opportunity to see the Kremlin’s unique and intimate collection of Imperial Faberge Easter Eggs. In the Armory you will find many of the most important Imperial thrones and crowns, including the most historic, Cap of Monomachus. Note: An appointment is required for visits to the Armory Museum. Once confirmed, these are not able to be changed.
Also included in your Kremlin visit today is entry into the Diamond Vaults. You will see Catherine the Great’s scepter with its famous Orlov Diamond and one of the largest collections of diamonds and gem stones in the world!
After a break for lunch, payable locally, you can explore some of the surrounding neighborhood with your guide. In Red Square, be sure not to miss the rebuilt church and Imperial Gates at the south end of the square; they were both destroyed under Stalin and are now rebuilt in their original splendor. Your guide will also show you the stunning St. Basil’s Cathedral, an iconic symbol of Moscow. This magnificent church-museum was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and was completed in 1561. Rumor has it that Ivan had the architect blinded so he would never be able to design anything as exquisite again!
To end your day, you will want to experience the fascinating interiors of the Moscow Metro stations, ornately decorated with beautiful paintings, carvings, and chandeliers! The Moscow Metro was created as a complex of monumental structures featuring designs of the very best Soviet architects. The stations, most built between 1930 and 1960 are underground palaces, featuring exquisite frescoes, statues, mosaics and stained glass. Each station has its own special theme- our favorite is Teatralnaya.