Red Square is the central square in Moscow, sitting just northeast of the famous Kremlin. Once a marketplace, over the years it has been the sight of public ceremonies and proclamations, the occasional coronation and during Soviet times, military parades. Together with the Kremlin, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, one of the first sites in the Soviet Union to receive such designation. Today Red Square also serves as a major concert venue, with Paul McCartney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Shakira, among stars who have performed in recent years.
The main entrance to Red Square is through the Resurrection Gate, which was rebuilt in 1995 to copy the gate that was originally finished in 1680. At the center of the gateway stands a small chapel housing an icon known as the Iverian Virgin. It’s not uncommon to see crowds of people gathered around the chapel throughout the day.
Just inside the Resurrection Gate you will find the entrance to the State History Museum and Lenin’s Mausoleum, as well as the Kazan Cathedral and GUM – the State Department Store. The iconic St Basil’s Cathedral sits on the opposite end of the square. If you plan to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum, be sure to check your bag and camera at the State History Museum first, as you won’t be allowed to bring them inside.
Red Square is in the center of Moscow, most easily accessible from the Ploshchad Revolyutsii or Okhotny Ryad Metro stations. The square is occasionally is closed to the public for concerts or other large events.