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5 November 2017 / leggypeggy

Changing of the guard—the Kremlin in Moscow

Changing of the Guard, Kremlin, Russia

I think the guy on the right took our tickets to the Armoury later in the afternoon

One of the first things we did in Moscow was to book a free walking tour of the city. Now let’s get this straight. It doesn’t mean we walk all over the city and it doesn’t mean they are completely free (don’t forget to tip). These tours are designed to give you a feel for what the city has to offer, and to help you get your bearings.

We’ve done walking tours all over the globe—geez, I need to write about more of them—and Moscow’s was one of the best, even if it was freezing cold and raining most of the time.

Our guide, Elena, was first class. Her English was amazing. She also has a great sense of humour and an excellent timing for how the tour should go. (St Petersburg could learn a few things from her, but more about that in another post).

One of the highlights was seeing the changing of the guards at the Kremlin. This happens every hour, on the hour, between 8am and 8pm.

Elena told us that the guards are chosen by very specific criteria. They should be from outside Moscow (a nearby wife and kids can create distractions). Plus they should be of a similar height, weight and appearance.

The guards live at the Kremlin and do other duties, but this is the most important. Elena said the guard cubicles are heated. There’s are heat pads at the back and on the floor. I bet they aren’t very much comfort in the dead of winter when temperatures can drop as low as -30°C (or -22°F).

We watched two sessions of the changing of the guards and I have to agree that they all looked similar. That said, I’m quite sure the young man who took our tickets when we visited the Armoury later that day was the same guy who was on the right at the second changing of the guards. The rosy cheeks gave him away.

We had a short chat and I asked if he was on guard in the morning, but that was too much English for him. Sorry he didn’t understand because I’d like to think I can see beyond the view that They all look the same.

Changing of the Guard, Kremlin, Moscow


Leave a Comment
  1. Carol / Nov 5 2017 3:58 pm

    Wow…Heat pad I bet they were still freezing their gonads ..But I bet that was a sight to see I love watching the changes of the guards 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 4:16 pm

      Oh gosh you made me laugh. My dad always used to say gonads. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carol / Nov 5 2017 5:29 pm

        That is probably where I got it from my dad..makes you wonder how many names there are for them…lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian Lageose / Nov 5 2017 4:55 pm

    I could never be involved in a guard-changing ceremony with any degree of respectability. I’m too easily distracted… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. toutparmoi / Nov 5 2017 5:22 pm

    I love the uniforms.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Osyth / Nov 5 2017 7:17 pm

    I like the unabashed disregard for modern political correctness …. this is important and the aesthetics are critical so we will ensure that certain physical criteria are matched. And I doubt any one stamps his foot and says that’s not Fay-ER because he is not going to get a chance due to not having the right look.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 7:29 pm

      Not sure how much stamping of feet goes on in the background, but I still like to think I can tell them apart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth / Nov 5 2017 7:36 pm

        Of course you can …. you have far too keen an eye to believe a bunch of people can all look the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Nov 5 2017 7:21 pm

    I didn’t know this activity took place in Moscow. Of course, the changing of the guard is very famous at Buckingham Palace. It seems so Medieval to me but elegant. And boy, they seem young.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 7:30 pm

      I think Elena said most of the guards are 18 or 19. Not sure how long they have the job?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Miss A / Nov 5 2017 7:29 pm

    Must have been an interesting tour. I bet Moscow has a lot of interesting history and culture. Does all guards look slightly like Putin …? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 7:31 pm

      I didn’t think any of the guards looked like Putin. They were much more handsome.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Green Global Trek / Nov 5 2017 7:30 pm

    I hear that the President of the U.S. is instituting the changing of the Russian guards, in front the White House so this might soon be a familiar sight in Washington D.C…..


    Liked by 1 person

  8. pvcann / Nov 5 2017 8:23 pm

    wow, I would love to be there for that, fabulous uniforms and process.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. derrickjknight / Nov 5 2017 8:50 pm

    You do get around, don’t you? Do they make you walk like that?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Year I Touched My Toes / Nov 5 2017 8:58 pm

    Hi Peggy!!! Yes very handsome. That young handsome look and yes they do look amazingly similar. The walking tour sounds good. Lots of posts of your to catch up on… I’ve been lying low. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 6 2017 7:53 am

      Hi Louise!!! Nice to see you surfacing. We’ve always enjoyed walking tours and the Moscow one was excellent. The handsome young men were a bonus. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. beetleypete / Nov 5 2017 10:01 pm

    I have seen that, and it is impressive indeed. In smaller towns and cities in the former USSR, they also had youth-movement guards (Komsomol) who did a similar parade when the flag was raised and lowered each day.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. MichaelStephenWills / Nov 6 2017 1:26 am

    Did you fit in an audience with Lenin’s stuffed corpse?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. suzlearnsfrench / Nov 6 2017 5:26 am

    I’m really enjoying your trip !

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Deb / Nov 6 2017 10:39 am

    Wow that was quite impressive. Or perhaps he did understand your English but was not at liberty to say he was one of the guards!! No wonder you were cold! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 6 2017 3:26 pm

      After years of bridging the gap between Australian and American slang, I’m getting pretty good at watching a person’s face and knowing if they understand what I’m saying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deb / Nov 7 2017 11:42 am

        Quite the detective!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Lynz Real Cooking / Nov 6 2017 11:56 pm

    That is such a cool experience! The rosy cheeks every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Alison and Don / Nov 7 2017 12:01 pm

    Nice to get another installment of your trip. I amazed you’re posting so much as you go. The Changing of the Guards looks like just the kind of thing I’d love to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 7 2017 5:41 pm

      I’ve been amazed too. Internet connections have been more available on this trip than any other. Plus, I’ve been able to write posts while on the train.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. paolsoren / Nov 8 2017 9:25 pm

    I do quite like looking at good marching. They look like nice young fellas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 9 2017 9:59 pm

      If the young man I spoke to outside the Armoury is any indication, they are lovely young men.


  18. jeanleesworld / Nov 21 2017 1:58 am

    Always a fascination to watch. I can’t imagine the challenge one must undergo to receive this duty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 21 2017 5:31 am

      Good point. It must be such an honour to be chosen. Think of all the proud mums and dads. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. milliethom / Nov 25 2017 2:35 am

    Changing of the guard ceremonies are interesting and other than the one at Buckingham Palace, we’ve watched one in Santiago de Cuba that was impressive (very high leg kicks!) and a less impressive one in Valletta. These guards at the Kremlin look very smart, and I hope the heated cubicles help when they’re standing still for hours at a time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 25 2017 8:36 am

      Yes, we’ve seen guards change in various countries. One that comes to mind was in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The Kremlin guards change every hour, so they get some relief from the cold, but I wonder how effective the heaters are when the temperature is –25°C?


  20. mistermuse / Apr 4 2022 6:33 am

    The world could do with a “Changing of the guard” in Russian leadership at this point!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Changing of the guard—the Kremlin in Moscow – Site Title

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