Reconstructed after a fire in 1856 by the architect and acoustics expert Albert Kavos, this most famous of theatres has experienced a turbulent past. The building has burnt down twice and was bombed during World War II and, at the first All Union Congress of Soviets held here in 1922, the Soviet Union was first formally recognized.
rnThere has been a theatre on the site since the days of Catherine the Great and today, with its 19th-century neoclassical portico of eight columns, the Bolshoi dominates Teatralnaya Square. Both the exterior and interior are currently a little tired, but it retains its elegance.
rnThe interior consists of lavishly ornamented chandeliers within its five-tiered auditorium of gold stucco and red velvet furnishings. Wagner conducted here, Prokoviev and Shostakovich premiered here, while Nuryev, Ulanova and Barishnikov have all danced here.
rnSimply put, a visit to Moscow is not complete without enjoying a night at this world-famous landmark, where the ballet and opera performances are still world-class. Tickets can be booked online or by calling the box office, although English speakers are few and far between.