Red Square: The Heart of Russia
The monument to Marshal Zhukov
Welcome to the heart of Moscow – where every square kilometer is precious because it's full of history. You're facing a tall, red building with statue of a man riding a horse in front of it. This is Manege Square. It has been filled with public shops and taverns since it was formed in 1798. It's even been nicknamed "Moscow's belly".
My name is Ekaterina and I will be your guide. If you only had one hour in Moscow to explore the history of Russia, the best thing to do is come here. This is going to be a truly exciting journey through time!
Before we go, have a look at the statue in front of you. That's the monument to Marshal Georgy Zhukov. He was one of the most famous commanders in the history of the Soviet Union. He was glorified as "The Marshall of Victory".
Under his command, The Red Army defeated the Nazi enemy. Here Zhukov is depicted at the height of his glory — he's supposed to be reviewing the Victory Parade of June 24, 1945. His horse is standing on the Nazi Eagle. This monument was originally set up here in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.
Since then the perception of the monument remains controversial, as the Marshall's horse doesn't look proportional. Apparently, the Soviet commander was an unusually tall guy, so it was quite a challenge to find him a good horse. The one he was riding at the parade was picked from hundreds of other horses that were prepared for the event. The sculptor tried to make the horse's body fit with the real size body figure of Zhukov. That might be why its body is so long and one of the legs is a bit fatter than the others.
Let's walk to the left now, to go between the two large, red-coloured buildings. The one on the right is the State Historical Museum. I'll tell you more about it in a bit.
I'll explain how VoiceMap works as we walk. It uses your location to play commentary automatically, so you can just put your phone away and focus on your surroundings. I'll give you directions to keep you on track. There might be a bit of silence now and again, but you can just keep walking and my voice will kick in at each location.