The Russian Federation’s image may be more negative than positive, but you’d be surprised to know that it’s blessed with stunning natural landscapes, historical landmarks, and world-famous monuments.
And while its Government has a reputation of being bad, the transcontinental country actually houses diverse people with vibrant, modern culture practicing century-old traditions.
Indeed, there’s beauty in Russia both in its people and cultural landmarks that are worth checking out right now.
Without further ado, here are some of the must-visit Russian landmarks.
1. St. Basil Cathedral
Located in the heart of Moscow in Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral is one of the renowned Russian landmarks. It’s known for its sophisticated and beautiful architectural forms and the tragic story surrounding its history.
This famous monument was given a UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Its electric dome is designed to resemble a bonfire — like flickering flames.
According to tales, Czar Ivan the Terrible got stunned with the beauty of the dome. With his admiration for the building, he demanded the architect’s eyes be cut out so he could not create such a beautiful piece ever again.
Now, St. Basil Cathedral is a Russian landmark that offers visitors a great panoramic view of when you visit its balcony. There you will sightsee the Moskva River while enjoying the peaceful breeze and tantalizing horizon.
2. Catherine Palace
You haven’t really visited Russia if you don’t stop by the Catherine Palace. Located in the heart of Pushkin in St. Petersburg, Catherine Palace is considered to be one of the significant gems of Russia. It draws thousands of visitors every year, and for a good reason.
The buildings’ exterior and towering statues are covered with fine ancient gold — making the experience more surreal and glimmering.
The palace was built in 1717 by Catherine of Russia. In 1752, an empress had the building demolished and replaced with a gold-plated stunner.
Fun fact: Catherine of Palace features 220 pounds of gold in the exterior and statues.
In World War II, the Germans destroyed Catherine Palace, but there were enough records to restore the palace’s glory.
3. Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum
In the pounding heart of Russia’s capital, St. Petersburg, is the famous Winter Palace that houses another gem — Hermitage Museum.
Hermitage Museum is one of the most visited spots in Russia. It is considered as one of the most popular and most beautiful architectural structures in the world.
The renowned museum houses unmissable masterpieces by famous artists. There you will be stunned with over 3 million artworks displayed in different buildings and halls. Some of the famous artworks you will see include Madonna Litta, Peacock Clock, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and Rembrandt’s Danae.
The Winter Palace was built by Peter the Great in 1708. But according to history, the present Winter Palace is not the original built by Peter as there have been four Winter Palaces. What exists today is far from the log cabin the Peter the Great built.
The Winter Palace holds a dark history. In 1905, the Bloody Sunday massacre took place in the Winter Palace. It was followed by the chaotic Russian Revolution in 1917.
4. The Kremlin and Red Square
If your friends see a photo of you in the Moscow Kremlin and its famous Red Square, they’d easily know you’ve been in beautiful Russia!
The Moscow Kremlin is referred to as one of the most beautiful places in Russia. Its history dates back to the 14th century. Standing along with the Buckingham Palace and the White House, the Kremlin has fortified complex, including four cathedrals and four palaces enclosed by a towered, solid wall.
5. The Peterhof Palace
Your visit to Russia must include a stopover to the famous Peterhof Palace. This stunning Russian landmark is located in the heart of St. Petersburg by the order of Peter I in 1721.
This captivating architectural masterpiece is now a historical museum full of structures made of red wooden floors and fine gold. The grand palace is incredibly lavish. The ornate Ceremonial Staircase is absolutely enchanting — from floor to ceiling! There’s also an abundance of fabrics and wallpapers.
Indeed, craftsmanship at its finest!
6. Kizhi Island
Kizhi Island is located in Lake Orega on the Volga River waterway. It is home to a plethora of collection of picturesque wooden churches. History has it that the island was once a lumber and mining town that served 100 villages until the residents began to abandon the island. Only a bell tower and two log churches remained, which are now considered as the best open-air museums in Russia.
Historic buildings were added to the island, but the spotlight remains to the famous Transfiguration Church that features 22 domes. It’s breathtaking!
7. Mayakovskaya Metro Station
Who would’ve thought that the beauty of Russia goes even underground? The Mayakovskaya metro station is one of the most beautiful subway stations in the entire Moscow metro system.
It’s truly a place that you must give a visit! The ceiling highlighting 34 mosaics telling us the 24 hours life on the Soviet day. The subway is even more beautified by its gleaming floors and Art Deco marble columns named after Vladimir Mayakovsky, a famous Russian poet.
8. Kul-Sharif Mosque
Located in Kazan Kremlin, the Kul-Sharif Mosque is one of the biggest and most stunning mosques in Russia. The beautiful mosque lures thousands of tourists — each takes a photo of the dramatic panoramic setting of the buildings.
Built in the 16th century, the mosque was named after a religious scholar, Kul Sharif. In 1552, Kul Sharif died along with numerous students while defending Kazan from the Russian forces.
Did you know? The Kul-Sharif mosque can accommodate 6,000 worshippers.
According to history, czar Ivan the Terrible captured the city and had the mosque burnt down together with other Muslim buildings in Kazan.
The Kul Sharif Mosque was reconstructed in 1996 and ended in 2005 — just in time to celebrate the Millenium of Kazan. The mosque was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.