The Red Square is one the best recognized symbols of Russia. Located along the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, the Red Square is one of the most visited places in Russia and is the main venue of official celebrations and parades.
The history of the Red Square dates back to 1493 when Tsar Ivan III issued a decree to relocate the trading lots from the crammed territory of the Kremlin to an outside land plot. At first the Red Square was a market with various goods being traded on its territory. Later it became the place where Tsar decrees were announced to the public. As the busiest place in Moscow the Red Square also attracted a lot of criminals in the old days.
Some of the best known Russian rioters were executed on the Red Square, including members of the Strelets Revolt which took place during the early reign of Peter the Great. The Red Square gradually gained significance as the people's forum where important political issues were debated by the Russian Boyars, high-ranking officials and rich merchants. Other events such as coronations and important religious processions took place on the Red Square as well.
The name "Red Square" dates back to the 17th century when several beautiful houses were built around its perimeter. A number of bridges connected the Square with the Kremlin which was surrounded by a moat in those days. By the end of the 17th century the Square became truly "Red" which meant "Beautiful" in the old Russian language. All subsequent reconstructions and new developments on the Red Square were intended to substantiate this name.
Nowadays, the Red Square is the main square of Moscow and entire Russia with many official celebrations and parades taking place on its territory. Every New Year's Eve a huge crowd gathers on the Red Square to listen to the televised welcome by the Russian President and New Year celebrations continue to the nearby pubs and restaurants.