The Water Supplying (Vodovzvodnaya) Tower
The tower stands at the south-west corner of the Kremlin. Built in 1488 by Anton Fryazin it had a specific importance in the Kremlin’s fortification system as it protected shallow waters near the Neglinnaya River’s mouth. The tower’s name is linked to the boyar Sviblo’s name, who was in charge of its construction.
The Vodovzvodnaya Tower had a well and a secret underground passage towards the Moskva River. In 1633, Christopher Galloway installed a water-pumping machine inside the tower to take water from the Moskva River and send it along lead-coated pipes to the Kremlin Gardens. After that, the tower was called the Vodovzvodnaya, i.e. Water-Supplying.
In 1672-1686, the tower was overbuilt with an extra stone level and a marquee. In 1770, architect Vassiliy Bazhenov suggested to dismantle the tower, but the suggestion was refused. However, it was dismantled in 1805-1806 and later reconstructed anew on the project of I. Yegotov. During the Napoleon’s invasion of 1812, the tower was blown up. Later it was rebuilt under the supervision of architect Ossip Bove.
In 1937, the Vodovzvodnaya Tower was crowned by a ruby star.
Its height without the star is 57,7 m, with the star – 61,25 m.
The Red spot of Red Square
It's the office of Mr.Putin and his predecessors:)
Actually there were times, in old communistic times, when Kremlin also functioned as an appartment for the families of political party leaders and those who related to those parties. In fact it was a big govermental dorm:) one could see their kids playing and riding their bikes around Red Square:D
These are mostly bridal couples making the obligatory visit to Lenins' tomb before making their way to the Lenin hills and climbing to the promenade before the MGU for their obligatory posed photographs and champagne, then to a restaurant for a reception with dancing, food, music etc.-----------I haven't been a party to the rest of the scene
Moscow is the city of striking contrasts
This was my Moscow page until April 2009 when I dropped it as too literary. Some Top 5 members appear to like it, however, don’t they?
The opening line is taken from a 1968 comedy – it’s still very popular, they don’t have this whole-hearted laugh these days:
An unexpected acquaintance asked me about holidays in Moscow. First thought – he must be right out of his mind. To pay money to come here while every sensible Muscovite heads in the opposite direction? Bless your heart, our brave European neighbour, his Excellency the Moscow Mayor and his Finance Commissioner will appreciate your contribution to the city budget.
If you are serious about coming, better do some homework. What makes Russia so special is its scope. If we have a talent, he is a colossal genius. If we have a fool… well…you know.
There is nothing average, or normal, or convenient about Russia. You will see magnificent cathedrals, garish streets and squares lit with radiance and wanton boutiques where you can spend a monthly salary on a chemisette (your salary, not mine, and there is quite a difference). You will meet rural folks, too, just a stone's throw from the city, they manage to survive without gas, electricity, medical assistance, public transport or money - if you can afford a horse or a helicopter to get there.
Bentleys and Porsches in numbers, all smeared with the irresistible smog and drizzle will race at a Formula 1 speed, never stopping at a 'zebra' crossing. They disappear like a mirage, and a worn jitney is what you can count on to take you to your bedroom community. God forbid you from riding it unless you have a thorough health insurance.
You may stay in a 5* hotel with a view of the Red Square for a fortune, or you may rent a room from a retired owner of municipal flat for a song, and you will be the one to sing, mind you, pensioners have not much motive to be in the mood. Forget about standard tourist-class hotels, there is nothing standard here, I told you.
If you are rich and adventurous, or better still, if you are poor and enterprising, this is your kind of a country. I know people who got prosperous and left, and there are even some who found their peace of mind and stayed.
But if you are an ordinary traveller, find a reliable travel agency to take care of you. Then everything is fine. Yes, I mean, just fine. The golden domes are shining, the snow is sparkling as the low-cost Soviet champagne, folk songs and dances catch your eye and ear and the natives are naïve and welcoming, as they should be. You will not notice a single thing of what I have been writing. And if you will, what is the problem? It is just another journey, is it not? You will soon be back to your orderly life, safe and sound.
Your Holmes is our Holmes
This gentleman received his OBE as the best Sherlock Holmes of all times. There should have been the two of them, I suppose, but Watson died in 2002. You may want to look for the series at Amazon, it's worth it, or try the site below.
Both live now in front of the British Embassy in Moscow (10 Smolenskaya nab.) since April 27, 2007 – see the 2nd photo - a attempt of a Russian sculptor to give that heavy hi-tech building a bit of the English flavour. I'll show it in a separate tip.
Kiwis like our Holmes, too. Here – the 3rd photo - is a two-dollar coin made by the «New Zealand Mint» in 2007 - 120 years of the first Holmes story.
P.S. It's exactly 30 years since they made the first film. Happy birthday!