We know you love fun facts about Russia and Moscow and here are some random cool facts from our Moscow tours.
Your private guide will tell you about these stories in depth, but for now just enjoy reading through the pages of history of Russia and Moscow.
Facts about Russia
- Zero kilometer is not a real zero kilometer. We discuss this in detail on our Moscow tours. The true one is Glavpochtampt (the main post office) on Tverskaya street – this is the real start of all roads in Moscow. If somebody doesn’t know – a zero kilometer is just a tourist attraction, all over Russia. Sorry if we disappointed you.
- Always pay your attention to the third icon on Iconostasis on the right side after the image of Jesus. In most cases the church is named in the honor of this holy person.
- During the parades in USSR, government leaders were sitting on the Mausoleum! Right, exactly on the monument! It was treated as connection with Lenin: he is among us. Symbolic.
- After the Revolution all government leaders stayed in National hotel for some time. In some rooms you can still see the furniture which was taken from royal palaces in St Petersburg. Almost 100 years passed, but the royal vibe is still there.
- The only building which was built by Peter the Great in Moscow is The Arsenal. The list is obviously longer in Peter’s City. But this is another story for our tour of St Petersburg.
- No one ever was executed on Lobnoe place on Red Square!!! It was just the place to communicate with citizens. The place for executions was Vasileesvky spusk, because it`s close to the river and all executed people were thrown into the Moscow river. Convenient.
- During the Time of Troubles the old foretellers described the fate of each member of the next royal family. As people at that time were extremely religious, the tsars (Romanovs) had to read and admit it before taking the throne. As people say, all predictions came true. For example, Nikolay II knew that he will be killed. But he didn`t believe this. The fate is inevitable…
- It was thanks to the patriarch Germogen (you can see his monument in Alexander garden) that Russia preserved the Orthodoxy during the Time of Troubles. Vladislav (the Polish man) wanted to become the Russian tsar develop Catholicism in Russia changing the main religion of the country. That`s why he didn`t get blessing from Germogen. Later Germogen was prisoned in Chudov Monastery and died because of famine.
- After the Victory over Napoleon Alexander wanted to leave the throne, but could not do it, because it would be considered as treason. So his death was faked, and when in some years his tomb in St Petersburg was opened, there was no body. The one versions says that he moved to Taganrog and lived there under another name. He was an old wise local and people came to him for advice. It must feel nice to come to the country’s leader for advice when you need one.
- During the Great Patriotic War, all soldiers needed to write their names, dates and places of birth on the paper and put it in a special case which had to be always with them. Most soldiers preferred not to do it, because it was a bad omen. So it was almost impossible to find their relatives, that`s why there are so many tombs to the unknown soldier. On 41 km of Leningradskoe shosse (highway) the bone of unknown soldier was found and it was decided even not to try to find his family. This unknown soldier became the symbol of all killed soldiers who were not identified. “Your name is unknown, your deeds are immortal:…
- There is one more part of Alexander garden which is hidden. The president`s helicopter platform is located there. No V.I.P. tours yet, but on your Kremlin touryour guide will show you the place from the distance.
- Most Russian churches are a copy of the Uspensky cathedral in the Kremlin. The Uspensky itself is a copy of the self-titled cathedral in Vladimir. Yes, many copies, but… What’s wrong with making copies out of masterpieces? We’ll show you some more mind-blowing copies on the Kremlin tour.
- The tiny square between Manezh, Kutafya tower and the entrance to Borovitskaya station (it`s also between two streets – Manezhnaya and Mokhovaya) also has the name! It`s called Sapozhnichenskaya square). By the way, Ivan the Terrible had set his Oprichnina court in that area. Ask your private guide about the story with Oprichnina and Ivan the Terrible.
- Never confuse Elizavetinskoe and Naryshkinskoe baroque. The first one is in St Petersburg, the second one is in Moscow. It`s hard to notice the difference at once if you are not a specialist though. But the fact that you know this fact already makes you a connoisseur.
- During the Great Patriotic War all churches and cathedrals were opened again. It was done to calm down the society, as people truly believed in God. Moreover, in 1941 Stalin (!!!) ordered to fly around Moscow with the icon of Kazanskaya Virgin. The same icon helped to win the war in 1812 and it helped again, as people believe. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
- The Manezh square was the place of debauchery in medieval times – all the taverns, public houses, pubs etc were concentrated in that place.
- During the reign of Catherine the Great Moscow suffered from plague, and the water in Moskva River was dirty so people found pure water in city fountains. One of such fountains used to be in the centre of the Lubyanskaya square.
- Central Toy Shop was Nikita Khruschev’s biggest dream. Dream big, guys and the next toy shop will be yours!
- It’s funny but Peter the Great had his Secret office exactly on the site of one of the FSB buildings. Its function was the same, as you understand.
- Lubyanka has been considered city center since the 18th century only. In 20th century there were 18 insurance companies.
- Did you know that Sibiria can be seen from Lubyanka? Don’t forget to ask your Moscow tour guide about the meaning of the phrase.
- Ex-mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov wanted to rebuild Kitai-gorod wall in the 90s, but it all ended up in a construction of a restaurant Godunov near Revolution sq metro station.
- The fire of 1812 started on Solyanka street.
- When the peace with Napoleon had been signed, Russian emperor Alexander 1 sent Napoleon black caviar. Frenchmen didn’t know what to do with it and boiled it. Ah well..
- On Pokrovsky boulevard there is a house, where 6 generations of Teleshev family lived for over 200 years. It was there where Gorky first presented his play “On the depth” and the building next to it was frequently visited by Russian composers Rakhmaninov and Shalyapin.
- The first public cemeteries appeared after the Moscow plague riot of 1771.
- Kutuzov had 2 fatal head wounds and yet survived.
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