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To the right of the Bolshoi Theatre there's a clear view of a large grey neo-gothic building. This is TsUM – the Centralny Universalny Magazin, which means “the Central Universal Department Store”. The name is written in huge letters on the roof. Today it is still a large Department Store.
The Central Department Store, or TsUM, was built in 1908 – an example of neo-gothic fused with style moderne. The store was nationalised under soviet rule, and reopened in 1922 as MosTorg – Moscow's biggest department store. Subsequently it was renamed TsUM – the Central Department Store.
Today's TsUM is one of the swankiest department stores in the capital, representing more than 1000 different world-famous clothing, perfume & jewellery brands. Here you will find Globus Gourmet delicatessen, a restaurant serving signature cuisine, a cigar salon, and the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Cafe & Bar. But this temple of commerce had originally opened in 1908 under the management of two astute Scotsmen.
TsUM's history began in the mid-C19th when two astute Scottish entrepreneurs – Andrew Muir and Archibald Mirrielees – opened their first enterprise in Moscow under the name “Muir & Mirrielees”. It was the first european-style department store in Moscow, closely modelled on Whiteley's in London and Bon Marché in Paris. Location, location, location – next to the Bolshoi & Maly Theatres, near Red Square, and handy for the upmarket shopping of Kuznetsky Most. “Muir & Mirrielees” was the shopping dream of the Middle Classes. The range of goods was vast, and shoppers were taken from floor-to-floor in electric lifts – an unimaginable convenience for that time. In fact everything was new, and run to European standards – goods were sold at fixed published prices, you could return or exchange unwanted items, there were end-of-range sales, and you could have your orders delivered. The owners later opened a furniture factory in Moscow, making both standard ranges and made-to-measure furniture.
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.