As I walked across the cold cobblestones, I realized that the Red Square of Moscow had been on my bucket list for decades. The onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral and the walls of the Kremlin are well-known sights to most people and often featured in movies, not to mention their historical significance as symbols of Russia.

It was not without irony I noticed that the tomb of Lenin is located next to the ultra-capitalistic luxury store GUM. Down in the tomb I saw the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin, which has been on display since his death in 1924, but it rather felt like visiting a heavily guarded section of Madame Tussauds.

Red Square, Moscow Church and state on the Red Square.

We briefly passed the tombs of Stalin and the rest in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Stalin’s embalmed body once shared a spot next to Lenin but was removed during the “Khrushchev Thaw” in 1961. The star on top of the Spasskaja tower shines an eerie red light, keeping track of people like the eye of Sauron.

I remembered the old photo where David Bowie and Iggy Pop posed on the square in 1976 and located the exact spot.

Assumption Cathedral in Kremlin, Moscow Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin.

The mission of next morning was to get into the Kremlin, the walled area where an invitation was akin to receiving a death sentence decades ago. The hill of Borovitskij has been a settlement for two millennia and the first fortification was constructed there in the 12th century. The fortress of Moscow has endured fires, sacking from the Golden Horde and plundering from Napoleon’s army. The cathedral square boosts no less than three different cathedrals, where the onion domes glisters like gold in the morning sun.

I escaped from the cold daylight down into subterranean tunnels, where impressive artifacts are on display in the halls. I especially liked the beautiful Fabergé eggs, but I didn’t dare to do the switch pulled off by James Bond during the first scenes in the movie “Octopussy” from 1983.

All we need to do now is to find that invisible Depeche Mode bar.


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