Contrary to popular belief, Red Square gained its name not from the red of the Kremlin walls, the symbolic red of Communism or the red of the blood that was shed here, but from the old Russian word for ‘beautiful’, which now means ‘red’. It became, particularly under the Soviets and after the building of Lenin’s tomb, the ideological heart of Communist Russia.
Red Square is a popular place for tourists, domestic and foreign, and a great place to start and finish your touring. The vast cobbled expanse is flanked on all sides by the nation’s most significant and recognizable tourist attractions: the Kremlin, the iconic St Basil’s, the elegant GUM shopping arcades, the rebuilt Resurrection Gate and the National Historical Museum. Much of it is closed in the mornings but reopened to the public at 1pm. Undoubtedly the best time to see it is at night.