- The Kremlin (Moscow): This red-brick fortress encloses a complex of 15th-century cathedrals that serve as Russia's best-preserved window into that era, with their gold domes and pointed arches. Surrounding them are palaces where Russia's presidents and their Soviet and czarist predecessors have reigned, from the flowered columns of the Grand Kremlin Palace to the classical triangular Senate Building.
- Palace Square (St. Petersburg): The Russian baroque Winter Palace looks across this square -- the stage for the Russian Revolution -- toward the Alexander Column (celebrating the victory over Napoleon) and the curved facade of the General Staff building. Though its parts were erected at different times, Palace Square demonstrates the ensemble architecture that gives this planned city its consistency.
- Stalin Gothic Skyscrapers (Moscow): These seven towers raised in the 1940s and 1950s soar above the capital, looking grandiose from afar and eerie up close. Two of the towers house private apartments, two house government buildings, two are hotels, and one is Moscow State University.
- Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve (Moscow): The towering tented spires of the 16th-century Church of the Ascension share this reserve with the quirky wooden house in which Peter the Great once stayed, among other architectural treasures.
- Moscow's Metro Stations (Moscow): The spotless marble and granite floors of the subway are as remarkable as the intricate artwork and regal columns that adorn the stations. Favorites include the bronze statues at Ploshchad Revolutsii, the aviation mosaics at Mayakovskaya, and any stop on the opulent Circle Line.
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