Nizhny Novgorod (461 km from Moscow)
Despite its name — translating literally to “lower new-city” — Nizhny Novgorod is an old town. Its Kremlin, which continues to house the administrative seat of the region and the city, is older than Moscow’s. Within its walls is an assorted collection of buildings that have undergone varying functions: an arsenal converted to the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, one surviving cathedral, a 19th-century military museum used as a tram depot by the Soviets, and Communist Party headquarters-turned-opera house. In the city's historical center, Soviet structures are scattered among their architectural antitheses. Although many structures were destroyed during the 20th century, the Soviet impulse to recreate the government did not overcome the tradition of the Kremlin.