We only stayed for a night or so in Moscow awaiting our train to Leningrad, overnighting in the Academy of Science hotel. The weather was very dreary but not very cold.
Thousands of churches were destroyed under Communist rule and some of the most famous were rebuilt after the fall of Communism. When we returned in the 1990s I was trying to identify the buildings in my pictures and couldn't identify a certain church from my Soviet-era reference books. That church was Kazan Cathedral. The cathedral's restoration (1990-1993) was based on the detailed measurements and photographs of the original church Peter Baranovsky made before its destruction in 1936. I've read that they almost destroyed St. Basil's cathedral.
The Soviet Union was preparing for May Day (International Workers Day) celebrations so many buildings were draped in banners.
GUM Department Store was famous, but a disappointment to foreign shoppers. It consisted of many small shops but the selection of items was very poor. We saw a very long line at one store and asked Tanya what it might be. Oh, she said, only one thing causes a line so long -- bras from East Germany. Most foreign visitors bought most of their souvenirs in Beriozka shops, shops only for foreigners with "hard currency" because at that time the Russian ruble was not freely exchangeable.
The Moscow Kremlin is and was the seat of the national government. The existing Kremlin walls and towers were built by Italian masters over the years 1485 to 1495. The Kremlin wall encloses 68 acres. It was open to the public when we were there.
The door of the Metropol Hotel is included because of the notice on the door. Foreigners could enter and leave at will, but Russians were not allowed in without permission. How could they tell the difference? By their clothes, of course.