Are you looking to explore the history of Russia through the ages? There are a number of historical monuments in Russia including the time-honored buildings, landmarks palaces, and parks where you can learn about the glorious past of Russia. The presence of these historical sites and museums will take you on a walk through Russia’s rich history. If you are willing to have in-depth historical information about Russia, we recommend that you take a wonderful guided tour to cover the major historical attractions. Also, check the opening and closing time for each so that you can organize your time. Make sure that you go through the complete list of monuments in Russia for a great trip!
List of Monuments in Russia
1. Alexander Pushkin on Ploshchad Iskusstv (Arts Square)
You will see several statues of Russia’s greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin, in St. Petersburg but one of the most beautiful of them is probably that which stands in front of the State Russian Museum on Ploshchad Iskusstv. In 1957, the monument was created by sculptor Mikhail Anikushin erected to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg. In 1958, awarded the Lenin Prize for his work, Anikushin said of his subject: “Pushkin was a man of very vivid character, straightforward in his actions and clear in his thoughts, therefore I tried to get rid of all superfluous details… I wanted the monument, the figure of Pushkin to radiate joy and sunshine”. Anikushin went on to design another statue of the poet, which stands at the end of the platform at Chernaya Rechka Metro Station.By Russian craftsmen, this monument was the first in St. Petersburg to be designed and built exclusively. This top monument in Russia was originally erected on the bank of the River Moyka not far from the Mikhailovskiy Castle but on the suggestion of Carlo Rossi in 1818 was moved to the center of the newly created Suvorovskaya Ploshchad.
Address: Iskusstv Sq., St. Petersburg Russia.
2. Minin & Pozharsky Monument
Designed by Ivan Martos, the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky is a bronze statue and in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral located on the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. This monument of Russia is a statue of the person who gathered an all-Russian volunteer army and commemorates named Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin and under the command of King Sigismund III of Poland from Moscow expelled the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles in 1612.
Address: Red Square, Moscow, Russia, 109012
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3. The Alexander Column
The Alexander Column was erected on Dvortsovaya Ploschad in 1834 by the architect Auguste Montferrand. With a height of 47.5 meters, it signified the victory of the Russian army over Napoleon and France in 1812. The Alexander Column is the tallest column in the world and is made of solid stone. It was named after both Emperor Alexander I, who defeated Napoleon, and the Pharos lighthouse in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and embodies the ultimate level of human achievement. This most beautiful monument in Russia is made of red granite processed in St Petersburg and weighs 600 tons. It is not dug firmly into the ground but is held on its weight solely by exact calculations.
Address: Palace Square, St Petersburg, Russia, 198324.
4. Saint Basil’s Cathedral
A stunning sight to behold, this former church is a symbol of the city. This monument in Russia consists of nine chapels, which are peaked with the onion-shaped, colorfully painted domes on the roof. A smaller, 10th chapel holds the crypt of the church’s namesake, Vasily (Basil) the Blessed. What makes St. Basil so unique is the architecture that looks so unusual that legend has it that the buildings were blindfolded during its construction in the 1550’s so that they couldn’t recreate anything else like it. The interiors of the chapels are covered with colorful paintings and ornate decorations that are a must-see.
Address: Red Square, Moscow, Russia, 109012
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5. Hermitage Museum
A monumental museum situated across 6 buildings on the Palace Embankment. It is one of the largest and oldest museums of art and culture in the world, with a collection of over 3 million items! The Hermitage Museum is one of Russia’s most important historical landmarks. It is home to one of the biggest collections anywhere in the world and has a long history since it was established in 1764 by Catherine the Great. The museum has several exhibitions dedicated to various styles and eras, such as the Italian Renaissance, the Italian and Spanish fine arts, the Impressionists and post-Impressionists, and so on. The museum has acquired over the years several paintings of the greatest artists ever known to man – Rembrandt, Raphael, Anthony van Dyck, Holbein, and of neoclassical, modern, and post-Impressionists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Matisse among several others. The museum’s collection is so huge that it is spread across 6 buildings on the Palace Embankment, of which 5 are always open to the public. And even then, it is only a small part of the collection that is displayed at any given time. It is an absolute must, regardless of whether art is your thing or not. The entry is free for everyone on the first Thursday of every month. On other days, foreigners have to pay more than locals.
Address: Palace Square, 2, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
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6. Worker and Kolkhoz Woman
Worker and Kolkhoz Woman represents a well-preserved example of socialist realism featuring ubiquitous Soviet imagery. Stop by the sculpture, originally designed for the Soviet pavilion at the 1937 Paris World’s Fairrising to a height of more than 25 m (82 ft). The stainless steel representing the laborers and collective farm workers of the USSR and the monument depicts a man and woman clutching their famous tools. Note that the figures are arranged so that their equipment forms the classic hammer-and-sickle symbol of the Communist Soviet government.
Address: Prospekt Mira, 123Б, Moskva, Russia, 129344
7. Monument to Catherine the Great
Located on Ostrovsky Square in St. Petersburg, the Monument to Catherine II was established in honor of Empress Catherine II in 1873. Under the decree of Alexander II, the monument was created a century later. This is evidenced by the inscription at the base of the monument: «To Empress Catherine II during the reign of Emperor Alexander II. The Monument to Catherine II is a sophisticated sculptural composition and placed on a high pedestal, made of granite of Serdobol. At the base, there are eight prominent people of her era — P. Rumyantsev, G. Potemkin, A. Suvorov, I. Betskoy, A. Bezborodko, E. Dashkova, A. Orlov, and G. Derzhavin. All figures, including twice surpassing the others in size, the statue of Catherine, are made with astonishing portrait precision. This ancient monument in Russia was directly made by sculptor M. Chizhov.
Address: Ostrovskogo square, 1, St Petersburg, Russia, 191023.
8. Central Moscow Hippodrome
This large racetrack once welcomed emperors and Russian imperials and has been in operation for almost 200 years. The current building dates to 1955 and is an impressive example of Stalinist architecture. The front of the Hippodrome is a long building which has a three-story tower topped with a horse-shaped belvedere on one end, and a colonnade on the other. This historical place in Russia has seats for over 3,500 spectators to watch horse racing during the summer and trotting races year-round.
Address: Prospekt Mira, 123Б, Moskva, Russia, 129344
9. Monument to Nicholas I
The Monument to Nicholas I is located between the Mariinsky Palace and St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, and was set in 1859 by the project of Auguste de Montferrand. After the death of the emperor, the construction of the monument started in 1856, and the monument was opened on June 25 (July 7) 1859. The monument is a 6-foot equestrian statue of Nicholas I which was built by architect P. Klodt, standing on a pedestal. The emperor is depicted in the dress uniform of the Life Guards Regiment. This famous monument in Russia is quite different from the ‘Bronze Horseman’ statue of Peter the Great in the same city, arguably with not as a dramatic pose perhaps. With its red granite plinth inset with bronze reliefs, the monument seems to reflect on the subject’s life and times rather than showing them in a heroic pose.
Address: St Isaac’s Square, 11, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000.
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Just a few kilometers away from the Red Square, you will find Kolomenskoye, a large museum-reserve full of original historic buildings, unlike some of the recreated places in Moscow. There are two wooden fortresses that are incredibly rare to find in Russia as well as a wooden church. You can go inside these buildings to see how their inhabitants lived and look at the church’s ancient frescoes. This oldest building in Russia that has continually existed at Kolomenskoye is the Ascension Church, which dates back to 1532. It is a stone church with a tall steeple built to commemorate the birth of Ivan the Terrible.
Address: Andropova Ave, 39, Moscow, Russia, 115487
11. Winter Palace
The Imperial Palace of St. Petersburg and the residence of the Tsars. Today it is the main building of the Hermitage Museum. The Winter Palace is the single most popular building in St. Petersburg. It has the richest of imperial histories and still holds all of its grandeur from its glory days. The palace design we see today was completed in the 1760s in the Russian Baroque style and is a piece of genius by the architect Bartholomeo Rastrelli. This popular monument in Russia is in the shape of a square, with a courtyard in the center. Inside, it has nearly 1500 rooms, the Hermitage collection was always housed in the Winter Palace, however today it has become the primary reason for the millions that visit the palace every day. The banquets, rooms, galleries, and the intricate architecture inside this massive palace just cannot be missed. The imperial glory of the Winter Palace was restored after the fall of the communist regime, and you have not visited St. Petersburg without visiting the Winter Palace.
Address: Palace Embankment, 32, St Petersburg, Russia.
12. Ostankino Tower
The Ostankino Tower is a TV and radio tower that is the highest freestanding building in Europe. If you’re not afraid of heights, you’ll be excited to learn that you can go up into the tower and observe Moscow from a bird’s eye view! Be sure to book your ticket in advance, as only a certain amount of people are let in at any time. The lower observation deck is about 25 stories above the ground, and is open-air, so be prepared for some wind while you’re outside! The second observation deck is enclosed, but much higher 100 stories off the ground! This level also has a glass floor that you can stand on that will make you feel like you’re flying! There is also a rotating restaurant which is a great place for a meal while peacefully watching the lights of Moscow.
Address: Akademika Koroleva St, 15, Moscow, Russia, 127427
13. Mariinsky Theatre
The Mariinsky Theatre formally opened in 1860 and is home to the internationally reputed Mariinsky Ballet, Opera, and Orchestra companies. The Mariinsky Theatre is one of Russia’s most historic opera and ballet theatres, right alongside the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. This historical landmark in Russia became St. Petersburg’s prime theatre after the structural integrity of the Bolshoi Kamenny was thought to be failing. The Opera Company of the Mariinsky has become one of the most reputed in the world, especially since Valery Gergiev took over in 1988. Setting up ties with famous opera companies around the world, the exposure of the Mariinksy has grown exponentially, and it has added many dimensions to the company. Many international opera festivals are held here, such as Stars of the White Nights festival, which hosts the premieres of the companies performances for the upcoming season. A second stage was added to Mariinsky Theatre in 2013, a 2000 seater which cost a staggering EUR 500 million!
Address: Theatre Square, 1, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000.
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14. Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich
Looking at the intricate detail in the Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, it’s hard to believe that this building is a recreation and not the original. This most popular monument in Moscow is located in Kolomenskoye, which was once a royal estate, and is one of the museum reserve’s most impressive buildings. It is a large wooden structure with green roofs and onion-shaped turrets. The original palace was built in 1667 and had a staggering 270 rooms. It was demolished in 1768, but like many Russian landmarks, it was rebuilt in the 1990s. The reconstruction was based on archaeological and historical research, and it is a realistic replica to show visitors how a royal Russian family might have lived.
Address: Andropova Ave, 39, стр. 69, Moscow, Russia, 115487
15. Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood
This historic religious monument in St Petersburg was built on the location where Alexander II was fatally wounded and is an absolute sight to behold. After initiating several reforms in Russia never taken before, Alexander II was subject to many assassination attempts. The one which succeeded was at the location of the church we see today when he was mortally wounded by a bomb thrown at him. This imposing cathedral was funded solely by the imperial family and private donors and is one of the most stunning structures in all of St. Petersburg. The architecture is unlike the Baroque and Neoclassical styles predominant throughout the buildings of that period and was actually built in classical Russian architecture. The interior and the exterior of this religious monument in Russia are so emphatically detailed with mosaics that is actually one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world. During the wars and the revolutions, the church was significantly damaged. After 3 decades of restoration, it was opened again in 1997 in all it’s historical grandeur, and today serves as a museum of mosaics and is one of St. Petersburg’s top attractions.
Address: Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186.
16. Moscow Kremlin
This fortified complex consists of buildings for many different purposes. The President’s Residence and administrative buildings are where the Russian government sits to this day, and are closed to the public. There are many other buildings in the Kremlin that are accessible to visitors, like the Armoury Chamber museum, which has over 4,000 exhibits. Visitors can also tour Cathedral Square, which has four beautiful cathedrals. There are also two former palaces at the Kremlin: the Grand Kremlin Palace and the State Kremlin Palace, which are open for tours.
Address: Moscow, Russia, 103132
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17. Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad
If you arrive in Saint Petersburg from the southern direction, the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad is the first sight you see on the way from Pulkovo airport. This unique monument in Russia commemorates the great feat of the Soviet people during the Siege and the glorious Victory in one of the most devastating wars of humankind. This popular monument consists of three main parts:“Square of the Victors”, featuring 26 bronze figures. These are Soldiers, Pilots, and Civilians who defended the city. They are looking towards the Pulkovo Heights, where the defensive lines fighting the Nazis were located.The central part is a 48-m tall granite obelisk with statues of a Soldier and a Worker placed at its pedestal. They symbolize the united effort of the armed forces and Leningrad homefront in the heroic city defense.The open-air memorial hall is surrounded by a broken ring, which signifies lifting of the Siege, and has beautifully crafted sculptures in the middle. They create a very strong emotional impression of all the pain and suffering endured by Leningrad people during that tragic time.
Address: St Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast, Russia, 196066.
18. Cathedral of Christ the Savior
This soaring white structure with gold-plated domes is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world and it dominates the city’s skyline. It appears almost identical to the original church on this site, which was finished in 1883 only to be demolished several decades later in 1931. This popular monument in Russia was supposed to be replaced by the Palace of the Soviets, which was never constructed. Instead, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was rebuilt in all its glory, and updated with modern building materials, air conditioning, and elevators. The only way to see the inside of this cathedral is on a guided tour, but the panoramic view of Moscow from an observation deck makes it even more worth visiting!
Address: Ulitsa Volkhonka, 15, Moscow, Russia, 119019
19. Monument to the Conquerors of Space
The Monument to the Conquerors of Space is a towering obelisk commemorating Russia’s accomplishments in space travel and the men and women who made them happen. This old monument in Russia is a soaring structure of titanium that curves upward much like a rocket launching into the atmosphere. At its base is a memorial poem and at the top is a rocket, giving the effect that the entire obelisk is the exhaust from a spacecraft taking off. While you’re visiting the monument, stop by the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics nearby, which will give plenty of information about Russia’s history in spaceflight.
Address: Prospekt Mira, 111, Moscow, Russia, 129223
20. Bolshoi Theater
Bolshoi Theater in Moscow is a stunning neoclassical theater that has tall arches out front beneath a carved triangular pediment. Inside, your breath will be taken away by the theater’s wraparound balconies and huge chandelier. You might even be lucky enough to catch a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet, the world’s largest ballet company that calls this beautiful monument in Russia their home.
Address: Theatre Square, 1, Moscow, Russia, 125009
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21. Peter and Paul Fortress
On May 27th , 1703 Peter and Paul Fortress was founded. This day also marks the beginning of the city’s foundation. This location was perfect for maintaining Russian ascendancy in the Baltic Sea and becoming “the window to Europe” according to Peter’s strategy. The project of the citadel was designed by the Emperor himself with the participation of J.‑G. Lambert, a French engineer. This historical building in Russia is constructed in the shape of a hexagram – six curtains link six great bastions, named after Peter`s friends.
The Fortress never took part in actual war actions, but served as the main political prison for a while, back in the XIX century. It was during the reign of Emperor Alexander I that it was first opened for visitors. The centerpiece of the Fortress is the magnificent golden-topped Peter and Paul Cathedral, which became a burial place of the Russiaovs’ dynasty. Other main sights include the prison of the Trubetskoy Bastion, the Mint, and Museum of the City’s History (“Komendantsky Dom”).Peter and Paul Fortress are included in the State Museum of History of St. Petersburg. It is one of the greatest historical museums in Russia, presenting the 300-years history, culture, and day-to-day life of the Russian Northern capital. The free ticket is provided in the ticket office that works with organized groups, located next to the Cathedral facade.
Address: St Petersburg, Russia, 197046.
22. Kazan Cathedral
When the Soviet government decided to demolish Kazan Cathedral in the 1930s, architect, and restorer P. Baranovsky smartly recorded measurements of this historical site in Russia before it was torn down. One of his former students arranged for the cathedral to be rebuilt in 1990, and the result is what we see today. They even recreated the Naryshkin Baroque design which utilizes contrasting colors like red, green, and white on the decorative arches. The Kazan Cathedral has flexible opening times and free admission, so be sure to add this church to your itinerary.
Address: Kazan Square, 2, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186.
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