About sight: Moscow Kremlin

The Kremlin is the main sight of Russian capital, and by its world-wide fame, it is certainly the most important sight in Russia. You should reserve nearly a whole day to look around the Kremlin, and if you want to see some other important sights surrounding the Kremlin: the Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, Vasilievsky Slope, and Alexander Park, - it will surely take you the entire day.

On both sides of the Kremlin the Moscow River is spanned by two bridges. From the bridges you can have very beautiful views of the Kremlin. The Great Moskvoretsky Bridge is on the side of Vasilievsky Slope. From this bridge you can have a magnificent view of the Kremlin's cathedrals. From the Great Stone Bridge, on the side of Znamenka Street, you can have a good view of the State Kremlin Palace. So, if you will have time and strength left, you should go to these bridges.

Essentially, Moscow Kremlin was a huge fortress, to be more exactly a walled city. It is lo-cated on the very site where Moscow was founded in 1147. The area of Kremlin is 27 hectares.

The walls of Kremlin are about 20 meters tall, and in places 6 meters wide. They are dom-inated by 20 towers. There was a wall around the Kremlin since the time of Moscow founda-tion, but today wall was built by Italian architects who came from Verona during 1485-1495. The castellation of Kremlin has the shape of swallow's tail, and is very similar to that of Verona.

Each tower of Kremlin has its own name: Spasskaya, Troitskaya, Nikolskaya, Borovits-kaya, Senatskaya, Vodovzvodnaya, Corner Arsenalnaya and even two Unnamed. Of course, Spasskaya Tower is considered to be the most beautiful tower. It is on this tower that the famous Kremlin Clock is that once timed the change of guards at the Post #1 near the Lenin's Mausoleum. Today this post was relocated to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Alexander Park. So, you should go just there to see and take snapshots of marching guards.

The Kremlin entrance is near the white Kutafya Tower in Alexander Park. Having passed the tallest tower of the Kremlin, Troitskaya Tower (80 m), you go out to the big building of glass and concrete – this is the Kremlin Congress Palace. Alas, it doesn’t add to the beauty of the Kremlin, especially, if you think about the number of old churches that they had to de-molish to build the palace in 1961. But the Communist Party of USSR needed a place for its meetings. Today there are held various theatrical performances, mainly ballet shows and concerts.

To the right of the Palace across the road you can see the yellow building of Arsenal. There is permanently based the Presidential Regiment ensuring the security of the highest state officials. It consists of about 2 000 soldiers and military equipment.

If you go along the Arsenal to the Ivanovskaya Square, you can see two wonderful sights of the Kremlin: the Tsar Cannon (40 tonnes), that never shot, and the Tsar Bell (200 tonnes), that never tolled. The cannon was made in 1586, and the bell – in 1730, but they can't be used according to their intended purposes because of their giant size.
Since ancient times Ivanovskaya Square was the main trading place in Moscow. It is just with this square that the phrases meaning «to do something (shout, dance or enjoy oneself) at the top of one's powers» are connected. Today this is very quiet and absolutely deserted square, and already no one walk and cry there. You can't go there as the Residence of the President of Russia and the buildings of Presidential Administration are located in the square.

Sobornaya Square (Cathedral Square) is the most beautiful place in the Kremlin (and in Moscow). The square was given this name because it is surrounded by ancient Russian ca-thedrals, including the main Russian cathedral – Assumption Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin.

Apart from it, there located Archangel Cathedral, John the Great Belfry, Annunciation Cathe-dral, Faceted Chamber, Patriarch's Palace.

Assumption Cathedral (1479). The moment it was built it has been the main cathedral of Russia. There were crowned high princes, tsars and emperors, conse-crated metropolitans and patriarchs. There also were held molebens before war cam-paigns and glorified victories.

Annunciation Cathedral (1484). It has always been the family chapel of Mos-cow princes and tsars. There also has been the prince's and later tsar's treasury in the cathedral.

Archangel Cathedral (1505). It was built by an Italian architect and has definite features of Venetian style. The cathedral has been the burial vault of Moscow princes, and later Russian tsars, since its foundation. And only when Russia was declared an empire in 1721, the remains of Peter I and all the following emperors were buried in Petropavlovsk Cathedral in Petersburg.

Bell Tower of Ivan the Great (1505). For a long time the bell tower has been the highest construction in Moscow, and it was forbidden to erect higher buildings. Inside the tower there is a museum for the history of Kremlin. And having visited the museum you can ascend the upper tiers of the tower and view the Kremlin and Mos-cow from once the highest building of the city which is very picturesque.

If you have time, it is desirable to visit at least one of the Kremlin museums, they are worth seeing.

Great Kremlin Palace. Now it is a ceremonial residence of the Russian Presi-dent. Its luxury is amazing, and ceremonial halls and private chambers are decorated with traditionally luxurious gilding. There is no free entrance. It is possible to get a tour over the Palace, but you'd have to apply a month earlier, and the ticket is extremely expensive – about 2 thousand dollars. During the tour over the Great Palace you can also visit Teremnoy Palace and Faceted Chamber – two palaces of 16 century with private chambers of Russian tsars.

Armoury Chamber. You can easily visit the museum. Tickets are always avail-able in the booking-offices of the Kremlin. It just there that all the main regalies of Russian tsar power are kept: the Hat of Monomakh, Scepter, Globe, emperor's crowns, thrones, coronation clothing and many other very interesting exhibits.

Diamond Fund. It is better to visit this museum the same time as the Armoury Chamber. In the Diamond Fund there is a varied collection of jewellery of 17-20 cen-turies, raw and cut diamonds and other precious stones. Special attention is attracted by the «Seven wonders of the Diamond Fund»: Orlov diamond [189 carats] (the second-largest cut diamonds), «Shakh» diamond [88.7 carats], flat portrait diamond, the world-largest cut sapphire [258 carats], the world-largest golden nugget «The Big Triangle» [36 kg], gigantic Columbian emerald, spinel [398 carats]. But the most valu-able is rightly the crown of Katherine II. It is adorned with 5000 diamonds, 75 pearls, and large spinel (ruby) weighing 398 carats.

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