The small, pedestrian Patriarch’s Bridge connects the northern crescent of the city with Bolotny (Bog) Island in the Moscow River, and offers some of the best panoramas of central Moscow. It begins right behind Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the tallest (and one of the largest) Orthodox Christian church in the world, erected to commemorate Russian victory over Napoleon’s troops in 1812, blown up in the 1930s by the Soviets (in large part for the gold of its domes) and painstakingly rebuilt during the 1990s on citizen donations (read more fascinating history here).
Facing away from the Cathedral, to the left is the Moscow Kremlin in all its red-walled, golden-domed glory, as well as the imposing House on the Embankment, former residence of the Communist Party’s high-ranking officials up to Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev himself. To the right is Krasny Oktyabr (Red October), a fascinating piece of red-brick real estate that used to be a legendary confectionery factory but has recently been overtaken by art galleries, concept stores, high-tech start-ups and watering holes favored by expats and Moscow’s high-flying youth. At the end of the island is the infamous Peter the Great monument, the 8th tallest statue in the world (and the tallest outside of Asia), said to have been originally designed as a statue of Christopher Columbus whose head got remodeled after the U.S. refused to pay its exorbitant price tag.