The Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square is the focal center of the Moscow Kremlin and, in spite of its small size, may be put among the most beautiful squares in the world. It is surrounded by 7 cathedrals and 3 palaces.
The main dominating structures of the Cathedral Square are the Cathedral of Dormition, the Archangel Cathedral, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the Cathedral of Annunciation, the Hall of Facets and the Great Kremlin Palace. At a distance are the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, the Church of 12 Apostles and the Patriarch`s Palace.
Most of the cathedrals and palaces in the Cathedral Square were constructed by Italian architects in 15-16 centuries. Only the Annunciation Church, which was the tsar`s family chapel, as well as the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, were built by architects from Pskov.
The Cathedral of Dormition (Assumption Cathedral) is the main church of Russia. It is the most ancient surviving building in the capital. For several centuries the Assumption Cathedral was the main church of the Russian state. It is where the coronation of the Russian tsars and then Russian emperors was held, as well as the consecration of the Russian patriarchs, bishops and metropolitans, and it was also where the state acts were announced.
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the tallest building in the Cathedral Square. Its height is 81 meters. Considering that it is on the high Kremlin Hill, it was the tallest building in Moscow. Moreover, in the 16 century the tsar Ivan the Terrible issued the ukase forbidding to erect buildings, which are taller than the bell tower, and it was violated only in the middle of the 20 century.
The Archangel Cathedral was constructed by the Italian architect Aloisio the New in 1505. Before the start of 18 century it was the burial place of the Russian tsars, until Peter I moved it to the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The Archangel Cathedral has the pronounced architectural features of Italian palazzo.
The small Church of the Deposition of the Virgin`s Robe was built at the entrance to the Cathedral of Dormition also known as the Assumption Cathedral. It was constructed in 1484. Over it one can see the 12 domes of the Church of Twelve Apostles. It is a part of the Patriarch`s Palace rounding the Cathedral of Dormition.