The wonderful Red Square in Moscow and its history

This architectural wonder is an icon of all of Russia, but above all of Moscow, the capital. Being in the most populous city in the country, Red Square has witnessed very important events, such as the coronations of former czars and the commemoration of the fall of the Nazis. Since the 1990s, it has been a World Heritage Site together with the Kazan Kremlin.

To be more exact, the square is located in the Kitay-Górod neighborhood and it has a very extensive surface that gives it a monumental appearance. Impressive, right? Well that’s not all. Legends say that, once the square was built, Ivan the Terrible asked the architects if they would be able to create something even more beautiful, and these, when they answered yes, were sent to blind.

600 years of history: Red Square

It is undoubtedly one of the most famous squares in the world, and throughout its more than 6 centuries of life has changed its name and starred in historical milestones. Nowadays it is an essential point in a visit to the great and cold Moscow.

The place where the Red Square is located, formerly, was populated by wooden buildings grouped under the walls of the Kremlin. This was where street vendors, drunks and criminals walked every moment of the day until Ivan III of Russia took it upon himself to eliminate these buildings that, although they were outside the official limits of the city, had a good chance of burning and destroying everything. .

About your adjective

After that, it was decided that the incipient square would be the place of commerce par excellence. Although stalls could not be set up, itinerant vending was allowed. Back then it was called “Torg Veliky”, which means ‘Big Market’.

When in 1612 the Poles were expelled from Moscow, Prince Dmitri Pozharsky entered the Kremlin through the square. In honor of this fact, the Kazan Cathedral was built.

From 1662 it is described with the adjective “red” (krasnaya in Russian) that, actually, it is derived from the adjective “beautiful”. The color was not a qualification for the square itself either, but rather for Saint Basil’s Cathedral, built in the 16th century very close by.

The intervention of the great characters

As early as 1680 there were no wooden structures left in and around the square. Shortly after the gates were built on the sides of the Mint and the police department. During the government of Catalina la Grande, improvements began in the square. Among the works, the stone stalls of the market (which was no longer traveling) and the paving to make it more passable stand out.

After Napoleon’s invasion changes followed and a monument was erected symbolizing patriotic awareness in war. After the demolition of the historic police building, a museum about the Russian Empire was built and new buildings began to change the facade of the square. If we add to that the illumination by electric lanterns in 1892 and the arrival of the tram in 1909, we can imagine how different it looked in relation to the passage of time.

The last century of Red Square

The events in this very important Russian square number in the hundreds, but we are going to tell you only the most outstanding. For example, at the time of the Soviet Union it was the place chosen for military parades on important dates such as May 1 or Victory Day.

At that time the Iverskaya Chapel and the Kazan Cathedral (including its gates) were demolished. so that military vehicles could circulate. He was also in the plans to tear down Saint Basil’s Cathedral, but fortunately Stalin did not accept the project.


Already in this millennium several music concerts were held (Among them stands out that of Paul McCartney, who had not been able to enter the country when he was part of the Beatles) and the typical parades with military vehicles. For this they had to close one of the passages of the Historical Museum, but luckily they did not knock down any building or door.

Currently, Red Square is the most visited place by tourists when they go to Russia. They usually complete the Red Square walk with the basilica, the Museum, the Shopping Gallery, the Lenin Mausoleum, the walls of the Kremlin (Kazan) and the effigies in honor of the heroes of the revolution. Without a doubt, a very enriching walk, but above all, spectacular. Dare to do it!

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