Moscow, the pride of Russia, cradle of culture, with ample greens surrounding palatial buildings of outstanding architectural value, with churches that look as if they were build by archangels and angels, is also a place where fairytales come alive. To see these fairytales, is to know the city, and to embrace her beauty, with the innocence of a child. To know the true heart of Moscow is also to understand how this city embraces traditions and culture, not only those preserved with religiousness by the Muscovites, but also those brought from far, far away, from other enchanted lands. Yes, Moscow is a place of freedom, a cosmopolitan city, where you can celebrate the Holi festival with as much enthusiasm as you would celebrate it in India. You can also join the locals for yoga in the park, an yearly event held on many different locations throughout the city, and you can partake in a variety of free outdoors concerts, held by local and visiting performers from all over the world.
A magnet for tourists, the Kremlin in Izmailovo is also a beloved attraction for Muscovites and their families. There are so many interesting attractions in this ample complex: museums, restaurants, playgrounds and ball rooms, all offering different entertainment opportunities to different people. There is never a dull moment here: summers are full of music and laughter, springs and falls are welcomed with festivals and celebrations of all kinds, and winters are magic wonderlands that fascinate children and adults alike. This is where many Russian come to tie the knot, because every corner of this outstanding landmark transposes you to a different era from Russia’s tsarist past, through palatial architecture, fascinating murals of significant artistic mastery, aptly-themed spaces like the Boyarsky Hall, with its hypnotic Russian folk style interior, and the list could go on forever.
The entire city is a playground: beyond the famous Gorky Central Park, Moscow has many other places to enjoy the glorious outdoors, to share songs and laughter, to play together and to celebrate life. Valery Akopov’s beloved Sokolniki Park is one of the best places to visit to know Moscow like her residents. Families gather here to play and to share news about their lives, to share joy and to escape the bustle of the city.
Yes, this is the real Moscow: majestic and photogenic, bright and colorful, happy and free. When you get to know the city like her sons and daughters, you cannot help but fall in love with this place. These images are just a short glimpse into the real soul of Moscow, a promise of more good things to come, the whole reasoning that drives Our Russia to reach out to the locals to know their stories, and their favorite places. This is not the Russia of the travel guides, nor the Russia depicted by unfriendly Western media. This is the Russia of the people, the Russia as seen by Russians, with an open heart, beyond politics and clichés.
To know this Moscow, and Russia, is to see her through the eyes of little children.