Red Square/Kremlin, Moscow
Not all of the Kremlin is open to the public. It is, after all, the functioning international capital of a superpower. You can pay some money to go to the part that is open to the public, where they have seven very nice churches you can see. To me they kind of all looked alike except for one. The crowds are kind of hard to handle. If you see one or two of the churches, that's enough, the rest is mostly more of the same. The displays of medieval insignia and heraldry in one building are very interesting.
Fondest memory: The arsenal is across from these churches and I would have liked to seen it. It is open in a limited way but I couldn't find out where to buy tickets. When I approached the building, soldiers warned me off, as they do from the other restricted areas. Really, only a small part of the complex is open to the public. Watch out for those crowds though.
Since 1990 the Kremlin and the Red Square of Moscow are a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and once again I must say: for a good reason!
Please read, what the UNESCO World Heritage committee has to say about it!
This is one of the places that even if I seen hundreds of times in photo, still surprised me once I got there, infact there is no picture nor movie that can prepare you to the incredible fusion of forms and colours carateristic of this Cathedral.
This is considered the symbol of russia and it has been built betwen 1555 and 1561 replacing an old church that was in the same point, to celebrate the occupancy of the tartar Kazan by Ivan the great the october 1st 1552.
Fondest memory: Legend says that Ivan the great made the architect blind in order to avoid him to build anything similar in the future.
The cathedral is open every day but thursday since 11 untill 17 and the cost of the ticket is 100 rubles.
Favorite thing: Since 1993, every year on April, 7 (March, 25, according to the old calendar), at the Holy Day of Annunciation to Virgin Mary Patriarch of Moscow and Whole Russia Alexiy II holds church service at the Annunciation Cathedral.
The Cremlin is Moscow's old "fortification" or "citadel. It's the place where you can see the best architecture of Russia, and the most stunning churches and monasteries.
It was founded in 1156 by Prince Yury Dolgoruky as a wooden hut on the site of Borovitsky Hill, and since then it has witnessed the coronation of many of Russia's Tsars.
Fondest memory: I like the fact that the Cremlin is not a museum but a plce where people work (and rule): Vladimir Putin has his office there. be careful not to cross the road outside the zebra crossing, or you'll be whistled at... You need to stay on the path
Visiting the Kremlin and admiring the Czar Bell – the bell that never rang. It was cast in 1735.
I was amazed by its size: 6.6 m in diameter, and its weight: 200 tonns.
This is an artistic monument decorated with portraits of the tsars and an ornament in relief. After the fire in the Kremlin the bell cracked and a piece broke off it. Then it was mounted on a pedestal and the fragment was placed on the ground at the side of it.
Next to the Czar Bell there stands another outstanding monument of Russian casting – the Czar Cannon.
It has a caliber of 890 mm and it weighs 40 tonns.
The cannon was to defend the gates of the Kremlin, but it never fired a single shot.
20 towers join the Kremlin walls, three of them round. The main tower is the Savior Tower.
Another must-see activity is visiting the Cathedral of St.Basil the Blessed erected in 1555-1561 to commemorate the Russian military glory after the victory over the Kazan Khanate.
It was built as a memorial to all the heroes who had fallen in the century-old struggle against the Tatars.
Its picturesque onion-shaped domes, fairytale-like attractive image shows that the Russian folk architecture knew nothing of cold ascetism.
This cathedral is rightly called the pearl of Russian architecture.
Fondest memory: visiting the Kremlin
Favorite thing: Few places in the world are destined to become a kind of symbol. One of them is , a symbol of great emotive power. Although the square itself is not very big (695 metres long and 130 metres wide), it impresses one by the richness and variety of its forms which merge in austere harmony. The ensemble is dominated by the Kremlin and the Lenin Mausoleum which stands by its walls. The powerful tent roofs of the Saviour and St. Nicholas towers emphasize the key position of this memorial which links the old ensemble with the present day.
I loved the changing of the guards,
it is a form of art and i think they are very fit people.
By the way, it is difficult to vieuw now, because they are doing al kinds of buidling work. You can see the changing of the guards, but vieuw them only behind a kind of fence!
Something that every tourist should go see is the Kremlin, the Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, GUM, the metro and the Lomonossov University. There is so much more to see and so many aspects of Moscow, that it really depends on the time and the way of travelling.
If you go to the Red Square, you will have 70% of the "must see places" within walking distance - and you will still need a lot of time just visiting those!
Fondest memory: Standing in front of St. Basil's Cathedral - a dream had come true!!!
Red square is usual place for different celebrations. There are parades, salutes, fireworks etc.
If you look carefully at the picture, you can notice "swarm of flyes" between two towers of Kremlin. Next shot (made in three seconds) you can see at one of my "off beaten path" - it apeared to be aviation parade - a number of MIGs and SUs jets. The whole action lasted less that 30 sec. ;-)
Everyone knows that Red Square is Red Square. I think there's no need to discuss its historical significance:)))))))
I just would like to mention that Sir Paul Maccartney rocked Moscow here in 40 years after "Beatles" were created.
It can be regarded not only as a social event , but as a political one:)
"...and also we don't wanna thank the hundred guys in the government who siad we shouldn't come here...No... NO!NO!NO! :)"
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
THE TSAR CANNON (Kremlin)
Only the most desperate patriot would call the Tsar Cannon a symbol of the power of the Russian army.
Nowadays, probably only the most desperate patriot would call the Tsar Cannon a symbol of the power of the Russian army (perhaps adding the former). The problems of the Russian army, of course, bear no relation to this outstanding monument of Russian cast-iron art and in no way diminish its artistic and historical value.
The artist who created the Tsar Cannon was called Andrei Chokhov. Not much is known about him. He started as a caster in Ivan Groznys court, and later headed the school of casting art at the Moscow Cannon Yard. Once, before casting an old bell he the royal family bestowed him with 15 arshins of expensive cloth made from 40 martens (each cost 12 roubles).
The Tsar Cannon was cast in 1586 on the order of His Majesty Fyodor Ivanovich. Its dimensions even by these days standards are incredible: length 5 metres, diameter of the barrel 120cm., calibre 890mm., and weight 39 312kg.
Andrei Chokhov had created the largest cannon on the world. It was never, however, used in battle and became a work of art. In the old days it was called the Russian shot-gun, despite the fact that Chokhov called his creation a cannon, as can be read on the inscription moulded on it. Historians have solved the mystery of the dual name in order to fire it, it was necessary to use a crusher (case-shot) like in a shot-gun and so the second name came to be.
In actual fact, the shots, beautifully set up next to the cannon, are not at all connected with it. They are ornamental and were cast a whole 250 years later in 1835 in St. Petersburg.
At the end of the 16th century the Rus overcame the tartars. In 1591 when the troops of Kaza-Girei were approaching Moscow, the Tsar Cannon was positioned at Kitai-Gorod, on Red Square by the place of execution. It was supposed to defend the main gates to the Kremlin and the crossing over the Moskva River.
Fondest memory: In 1702 Peter the First issued a decree about the construction of the Tseikhgauz a depository for weapons and trophies built on Kremlin territory and later called the Arsenal.
The Tsar Cannon was moved to the Kremlin with the help of log rollers. It was placed on a wooden gun-carriage, which was burnt in 1812, when the French army retreated from Moscow and the Arsenal was part destroyed.
A new iron carriage was acquired in 1835 for all of 1400 roubles, made by the contractor Mikhail Vasilyev.
The story does not end here. In 1843 it was moved to the Armoury and put to rest for almost 120 years. In 1960 when the Kremlin Palace was being built, the Armoury was sorted out and the cannon was returned to the Arsenal.
It was then moved to its place by the Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles on Ivanovskaya Square, where it stands today.
The historian Tromonin called the Tsar Cannon the Moscows first wonder. It is miraculous not only due to its dimensions, dark beauty, and age, but also because during the 400 or so years existence of the battle (!) cannon, it never killed one person. Now, it's truly worth admiring a weapon like that.
It was built in January 1924 to preserve Lenin's body. The name comes from the grand tomb of King Mausolus of Caria, which was built in Halicarnassus in the fourth century BC. Lenin's coffin was brought from the village of Gorki, where he died, on 23 January and placed in the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions for people to pay their last respects. The same night the architect A. Shchusev was instructed by the government to design and built a temporary mausoleum near the Kremlin walls in which the body would remain until the funeral, which was fixed for 27 January. Shchusev wandered around Red Square for a long time, and by sunset the design for a wooden mausoleum was prepared. It was in the form of a cube (the symbol of eternity) with a height of three metres. Lenin's bidy, with its face uncovered, was placed in a glass sarcophagus, and thousands of people filed past each day.
Krupskaya, Lenin's widow, and his brother and sister protested at this blasphemous from of burial, and expressed the wish that he be laid ti rest in the earth. However, Lenin's closest political allies were intent on exploiting his body for Bolshevik propaganda and to strengthen their grip on power.
Shchusev was deputed with the task of building a new mausoleum in the spring of 1924. This time it was to be a monument of the greatest magnificence.
Krasin, a member of the government, suggested that Lenin's tomb should be turned into a platform from which state leaders could address the people. This new mausoleum, in the form of stepped pyramid, which also symbolises eternity, was built in two months. In appearence it was verysimilar to the one which stands today, but it was a wooden construction. This is because at that time it was not known whether the embalming process used would preserve the body for very long.
Fondest memory: When it became apparent that the process was reliable, instructions were given for the wooden structure to be replaced by a stone mausoleum, but leaving its appearance unchanged. Shchusev proposed that the new version should be built out of granite, and it was completed in that form in 1930.
In March 1953 a sarcophagus with the body of Stalin was placed in the Mausoleum, but during the period of the Khrushchev thaw it was decided that he would be better accommodated in the Kremlin wall, where major figures of the Soviet state were buried.
The official web-site of Kremlin: http://www.kreml.ru/
The Moscow Kremlin virtual tour: http://www.moscowkremlin.ru/IE3/english/
THE MOSCOW KREMLIN: HISTORIC TOUR: http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~powellm/kremlin.html