Moscow> Kremlin of Moscow
Kremlin of Moscow
Moscow has been called the “Third Rome", white-stoned, golden-domed, the
original capital. Its past both impresses and amazes, especially today when
we are candidly evaluating our his-tory and correcting our mistakes, and the
city, preserving its unique centuries-old features,is rapidly changing for the
better. It is no accident that Moscow - the capital of the RussianFederation
and one of the world’s major cities - is attracting more and more tourists.To
begin to get know this city, you have to, of course, start with the Kremlin
and Red Square.
The Kremlin is a unique place, both a protected museum district and the acting
residence of theRussian president. Even today many foreign tourists are surprised
to learn that Red Squaredid not get its name during the socialist period, but
much earlier, since the word “red” in OldRussian (“Krasny”) meant “beautiful”
or “main,” and also because of the color of the Kremlinwalls and towers. And
the square justifies its name. It is no accident that the Moscow Kremlin architectural
ensemble has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Historians and
archaeologists are still arguing about how old Moscow is. The earliest authoritativerecollection
is a reference in the Ipatyev Chronicle in April 1147 when Prince Yury Dolgorukyreceived
his friends and associates in a small town called Moscow. In 1156, the first
woodenfortifications appeared here, and in the 14th century, they were turned
into walls made ofwhite stone. It is since that time that the term “white-stoned”
became firmly establishedas a description for Moscow. When the walls were deteriorated
a century later, they werereplaced by new ones made of red brick.
At the end of the 15th century, the Kremlin wasreconstructed with the help
of Italian architects, thanks to whom came up the magnificentarchitectural ensemble
combining the traditions of Russian and Renaissance architects.The center of
the Kremlin is Cathedral Square (Sobornaya Ploshchad), which contains the Cathe-dral
of the Dormition (Uspensky Sobor), the Cathedral of the Annunciation (Blagoveschen-sky
Sobor) and the Cathedral of the Archangel (Arkhangelsky Sobor), as well as the
Palaceof Facets and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Important historical events
are associated withCathedral Square: The coronation of Russian tsars and emperors
took place in the Cathedralof the Dormition, the Cathedral of the Archangel
was used as their burial vault, and the Palace of Facets was used to receive
foreign ambassadors and hold state meetings.
Red Square’s crown jewel is the Cathedral of the Protection of the Most Holy
Theotokos on theMoat, built in the 16th century, which later became better known
as St. Basil’s Cathedral, afterthe name of the well-known holy fool, clairvoyant
and healer who collected funds to build thecathedral. Despite its chaotic-looking
To the left standsthe building of Manege accommodating the Central Exibition
Hall nowadays, to the right are the Kremlinticket offices.
It symbolizes the embodiment of the idea of theThird Rome and is the emblem
of the biblical New Jerusalem - the Kingdom of God.From the 17th to the 19th
century, many secular buildings wdhe constructed within the Kremlin’sboundaries.
During the 17th century, the Teremnoi Palace appeared, and the Kremlin towerswere
crowned with multitiered tent-roofs. The
Kremlin Arsenal and Kremlin Senate werebuilt in the 18th century, and in the
19th - the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armory.And next to the Kremlin
walls, the Alexander Gardens covered the site of a disused ancientunderground
moat.The Soviet authorities made adjustments to the ancient appearance of the
Kremlin. In 1918, theSoviet government, headed by Lenin, moved into the Kremlin:
Government officials workedand lived there with their families. Red Square took
on a new, ceremonial significance. A ne-cropolis, where for a long time political
and military leaders would be buried, appeared nextto the Kremlin walls.Since
1918, Red Square has been the main venue for parades and demonstrations. This
was wherethe parade of Nov. 7, 1941, took place, when the participants left
the square to go to thefront, and also the Victory parade of June 24, 1945.
In 1924, Lenin’s wooden mausoleumwas erected. Six years later, it was transformed
into marble. During the 1930s, many of theKremlin's cathedrals and churches
were destroyed for ideological reasons. In 1935-1937, thedouble-headed eagles
on the five Kremlin towers were replaced by five-pointed stars firstmade of
Uralian semiprecious stones and then - of ruby-red glass.
The Kremlin was not opento the general public until 1955. In 1961, the Palace
of Congresses was built next to the Trin-ity Gate — its spacious conference
hall served as the site for the sessions of the communistparty of the Soviet
Union and for international conferences and forums. Today, it is called theState
Kremlin Palace and is one of the country’s most prestigious theater and concert
venues.By the beginning of the current century, the historical magnificence
of the Grand Kremlin Palace’sinterior came back: Alexandrovsky (St. Alexander’s)
Hall and Andreyevsky (St. Andrew’s) Hallwere restored, and Georgievsky (St.
George’s) Hall, the grandest one, was completely restored.
Every hour a clock chimes in Red Square - it’s the clock on the Spasskaya,
or Savior, Tower. Inancient times, the Savior Gate was considered the most important
and holy. No one was al-lowed to go through them on horseback, and men passing
through them had to take off theirhats in front of the image of the Savior depicted
on the outside of the tower. In 2010, an eventtook place that many people considered
to be a miracle.