The name of the Kremlin actually means fortress. It became the centre for the Russian government in 1918 followingthe Russian Revolution. The eagles that used to adorn the towers were replaced with the red stars of the communists.
The Kremlin was originally built in the 1150's. This picture is of the western wall in Alexandrovsky Garden. In the foreground is the Eternal Flame which is a tribute to those who died between 1941 and 1945 for Russia.
As I was not able to tour the Kremlin myself I have found a link where you can experience a virtual tour inside the Kremlin.
The Kremlin. The beginning of Moscow, and the center of its political life. The Kremlin palaces and chambers are keeping the state regalia, invaluable icons and treasures of the tsars.
In the Kremlin you will see cathedrals, palaces and churches, the Armory, the Diamond Fund, where the treasures of the nation, collected during many centuries, are stored and exibited.
Most popular places inside Kremlin are The Cathedral Square, with its four cathedrals and Ivan's Belfry, Tsar-Pushka (cannon) and Tsar-Kolokol (bell), as well as Patriarch's Chambers, Armoury and the Diamond Fund. Those places are open for tourists and you can visit them with almost no problem.
What you will hardly visit, however, is the Great Kremlin Palace, Palace of the Facets, and Terem Palace. You will see these buildings from outside. You also see them often on TV from inside: they are where our President works, and where the most important domestic and international events take place. There are no tours there, just small groups upon special agreement with the President's administration, and I was lucky to be invited there for such a private tour. I should say, I have never seen anything like this before. Visit the website for more infomation and some pictures, which, unfortunatly, do not convey all the beauty, luxury, magnificence and splendour of the halls and galleries. In the left side of the picture you see Terem Palace, not even visible from outside, the most ancient building, where Peter the Great grew up, the most beautiful place in the world I've ever seen.
It’s a world-famous museum and depository of unique cultural relics, one of the oldest museums in Russia.
The Armory contains the world's largest collection of gold- and silverware from the 4th to 20th centuries. The Armory boasts a fine collection of metals, weapons and ceremonial horse attire, old royal regalia, coronation dresses, jewelry, etc. The jewelry display includes the famous examples of Faberge eggs and other pieces produces by the talented masters of Peter Carl Faberge firm.
If you go further where separate entrance to diamond fund you will find a marvelous and tremendous collections of jewelry and diamonds.
Some tourist confuse two things - Red Square and The Kremlin. Kremlin is a territiry behind the Red Square wall and it is hidden from the easy view. The enter to the Kremlin is limited and it's open only during the day time. The Kremlin territiry includes Catherdral square with four marvelous cathedrals, Kremlin Palace of Congresses, The Armory, The Arcenal, Great Kremlin Palace, Chambers and Ivan the Great Bell-Tower. Be ready to spend a half of a day there, it's better if you come there in the morning cause the place strats to be crowded with tourists and groups just after 11 am. I would recommend you to buy a tour with a guide who will lead you throught all places at the Kremlin territory and the stories the guide tells during the excursion are really interesting. I used to follow one group of tourists just for a few minutes when I was in the Armory and it was really something! Guides are usually waiting near the ticket office untill they collect a group of a few more people. They speak good english, german, italian and french but of course you should ask in advance which languge the guide can speak. When the group is completed (basically 5-7 people) the guide collects money and you go with a group fee. If you have a big backpack or some lagguage you will be requested to leave it in a lagguage room near the ticket office, you are not allowed to get into the Kremlin territory carrying something big.
This huge fortress has always been the center of power in Russia. It includes several buildings and yards, a few beautiful churches and cathedrals and some government buildings.
It is also the geographical center of the city, as many radial avenues start here.
The section of the wall, which faces the Red Square, starts from SPASSKAYA (SAVIOUR) TOWER. The 70 m (230 ft) high tower is the most magnificent of the Kremlin towers, the very symbol and emblem of Moscow. The tower was built in 1491 by the Italian architect PietroAntonio Solari and has been the principal entrance to the Kremlin. The tower was given its name in 1658, when an icon of Christ was set up over the entrance. Before the October Revolution, men were required to take their hats off when passing through the gate. The first clock was set into the tower in the 16th century. In the 17th century, it was replaced by a chiming clock, made by the English master Christopher Halloway. Subsequently, the clock's mechanism has been changed repeatedly. The Kremlin chimes that adorn the tower today were made in 1851-1852 by the brothers N. and P. Butenop. This is a gigantic mechanism - about 25 tons weight, the diameter of each of four clock-faces equals to 6.12 m. Until the October Revolution the carillon played the tsar’s anthem, and between 1917 and 1941 it played the "International". The clock now only strikes the hours. The ruby star was installed in 1937.
The beautiful and ancient ensemble of the Moscow's Kremlin stands high on the hill towering over the left bank of Moskva-River. The Kremlin has always been perceived as a symbol of power of the Russian state, the national idea expressed in stone. The story says that Moscow stands on seven hills. In the Middle Ages Moscow was a typical town-fortress. In the past thick Kremlin walls and high towers proved to be among the best engineering structures in the world. The walls of Kremlin were built by the order of Ivan the 3rd, the Grand Prince of Moscow and All Russia, in 1485-1495, to replace the white-stoned walls built by the order of Prince Dmitry Donskoy. The red-brick walls were erected by Italian masters Anton Fryazin, Mark Fryazin and Pietro Antonio Solario.
Totally, the Kremlin wall has 20 towers. In the 17th century the towers got their tent roofs to become the real architectural masterpieces. VODOVZVODNAYA (WATER-DRAWING) TOWER is one of the famous towers of the Kremlin wall. In the year of 1633 a special pumping mechanism was built inside the Tower to draw water from Moskva-River for the Court, which had always been there in the Kremlin, up to the reign of Peter the Great.
Everybody will tell you to see the Kremlin I suppose. And why not. Only make sure you pay the right fee. Our guide tried to make some extra income by charging us three times the actual fee. It's better to go as an individual anyway, as guided tours have a tendency to follow time schedules. And you don't want to rush this place, believe me.
(I made a Travelogue about the Kremlin that you might want to look at.)
At the Armory they have many of the royal family carriages. This one is a 15th century used by Catherine the Great.
Moscow has so much to see but you should not leave without going to the Armory. Here are the stores of Russian antiquities that are vast and varied. Just of the ones I can remember, cutlery, religious icons, royal gowns, suits of armor, crowns, carriages, and on and on and on.
Cremlin is something unforgettable. First of all it is good to see the great contrast just after getting behind the gates of Cremlin. There stands extremely ugly 'work of art' from the communism times, called The Congress Palace. This is something totally destroying the harmony of that place. But worth seeing and worth thinking about the canons of the beauty. Everything except palace is just beautiful,
The Kremlin. Inside the high walls is the governemental centre of the largest country in the world (3/8 of the world's surface is called Russia!). This town inside the city used to be the old Moskva and is full of monuments. Especially the weaponschambre is worth a visit, besides the amazing interiors of the churches.
Furthermore there is too much to see in Moskva that can be done in a week. Museums that have huge intresting collections and a city that is practically a little country on it's own. For a first impression walks through the centre are well recommended.