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The final building on Mokhovaya's odd-numbered side, with the large windows on the ground floor, is the celebrated Hotel Nationale. One flank of the hotel looks onto Tverskaya Street, while the other looks towards the Kremlin. Look up, and you'll see a mosaic panel at the top illustrating the theme of industrialisation – you can see it better from the other side of the street.
The renowned Hotel Nationale has stood on the corner of Mokhovaya and Tverskaya streets for just over a century. From the outset it was planned as a world-class hotel, and when opened in 1903 it astounded the public with its technical innovations. The building is styled in the classical mold with elements of style moderne. The interiors feature majolica and stucco panel-work, elegant mosaic tile floors, a lobby of stained glass and different kinds of marble – more a museum than a hotel! Turn-of-the-century Moscow was amazed by the electric lifts, elegant bathrooms, telephones in all rooms, and built-in ventilation system.
The building's owners intended the hotel to appeal to visiting dignitaries. It's imperial style, luxurious interiors and Russian flavour attracted foreign celebrities. The Nationale's guests at different times have included Winston Churchill, HG Wells, Henri Barbusse, and Jacques Chirac.
Each guestroom has its own individual look, and some are graced by original period artworks and furniture of the former Royal Family. Many of the rooms are furnished with antiques. In many ways the Nationale has always been a hotel-museum. Even Heads Of State have been lost for words during their stay. French President Jacques Chirac, when entering his own Room 101, famously said ‘What – do they let people actually stay here?’
The Nationale is part of the world-class chain of luxury hotels “Le Meridien”. It's even the choice of Royalty. In the 1990s the hotel was both; rebuilt and restored simultaneously, and every last detail of its turn-of-the-century interior features was restored. Today the Hotel Nationale is not only a five-star hotel, but also a historical and cultural monument of national significance.
Moscow is the capital of the ancient and modern Russian state. It has been playing crucial role for centuries. Here you can face all episodes of rich and gorgeous Russian history.
The city is full of historical buildings, monuments, cathedrals, museums and parks. It started many centuries ago from the Kremlin – medieval city-fortress overlooking the Moskva River. Now it is not only the government seat but open air museum. Behind the tall red brick walls palaces, cathedrals and museums are hidden. You can get there through one of the gates and walk along the streets that saw Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Peter the Great and all other Romanovs, and the Soviet leaders.
You can visit all the cathedrals on Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square, climb Ivan the Great Bell Tower, take photos of the Tzar Bell and Tzar Cannon, see state regalia, ceremonial vestments and gold and silver relics in the world-known treasury-house – the Armoury Chamber. To say more, the Kremlin and its vicinities are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
We would like to advise you not to concentrate on the Kremlin only. Now you can get out of the Kremlin through the Spasskiye Gate and find yourself on Red Square – the main square of the country where Victory Day parades take place. In winter there is a skating rink with some kind of souvenir bazar. Red Square is famous for being the part of so called Kitai-Gorod – the second ring of fortified walls. Here you will see the beautiful fairy-tale St. Basil’s Cathedral. It is open for tourists and it’s worth visiting. Other places that pay tourists’ attention are GUM (the main center for shopaholics), Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State History Museum and the small Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady. If you go along Nikolskaya Street, you will get to Lubyanka Square with the imposing buildings of former KGB and the biggest in Russia Children's World Department Store.
If you decide to go through the Resurrection Gate you will find yourself on Manezhnaya (Manege) Square at the entrance to the Alexander Garden. It’s a large pedestrian open space and a nice place to walk and relax near the fountains. Underground Trade Centre ”Okhotny Ryad” or “the Hunter’s Row” is a paradise for shopping. You can continue your walk towards Arbat or Tverskaya Street. There are also fine buildings to visit and to take pictures of: The Shilov Art Gallery, hotels “Moskva”, “Nationale”, Pashkov's House, The Former House of the Moscow State Duma etc.
If you decide to turn round Georgy Zhukov’s horse monument you’ll occur on Revolution Square where you can visit the Museum of Patriotic War of 1812. From there it’s very easy to get to Teatralnaya or “Theatre” Square limited by the Metropol Hotel, The Bolshoi and the Maly Theatres. In the center you will find a beautiful fountain by Vitali.
All these sites and even more you will be able to visit and explore with knowledgeable audio excursion with offline map from Your Audio Guide “Attractions around the Kremlin”. You will find Moscow very pleasant for spending holidays.