Tuesday 25 October 2016

Russia: Moscow Kremlin

A tour around Moscow would certainly be incomplete without visiting Russia's oldest, largest and most famous fortress. Moscow Kremlin which is located right in the heart of Moscow city is a 15th century fortified complex that houses some of  Russia's best architectural masterpieces. This fortress which was once the residence of Russian Tzars and the USSR communist leaders is now the administrative office and official residence of the President of Russia. Though the palaces and government buildings can only be viewed from the outside, many edifices and much of the Kremlin ground are open to the public. Filled with splendor and steeped in history, Moscow Kremlin is one place that will surely leave its visitors awed and mesmerized.
The highlights of a Kremlin tour are its heritage cathedrals, churches, palaces, squares, armory and towers which are all enclosed within Kremlin's formidable red bricked walls.

The Entrance
There are two entrances into the kremlin ground. We went through the main entrance which is through Kutafya Tower and then through the gate of Trinity Tower.
This is the scene before entering the towers. The buildings on the right were former barracks for court attendants.
Kutafya Tower is the only surviving tower built outside the Kremlin wall. It was built in 1516 to defend the bridges into Kremlin ground.
After passing the security at Kutafya Tower, we had to walk along Troitsky Bridge which leads to Trinity Tower.
Standing at 80 meters high, Trinity Tower is the tallest among all the Kremlin's towers.

Cathedral Square
We made our way to Cathedral Square where a spectacular ensemble of the most magnificent buildings of the Kremlin ground is located.
During the 15th century, the streets of Kremlin converge at this square.  This is also the place where coronation and funeral procession of Tzars  and religious processions were once held.
The Assumption Cathedral also known as Dormition Cathedral is the oldest and most famous church in Moscow Kremlin. Completed in 1479, this cathedral was used for coronation of Tsars, royal weddings and as a burial place for former heads of Russian churches.
The doorways and doors of Assumption Cathedral are really ornate. Seen here is one of its doors.
Annunciation Cathedral was completed in 1489. It was the private church of the Tsar's family but is now a museum.
The golden dome and cupolas of Annunciation Cathedral look grand and majestic indeed.
The door and doorway to Annunciation Cathedral looks very historic! By the way Moscow Kremlin has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
Archangel Cathedral was completed in 1508. It houses 46 tombs of Russian rulers.
The interior of Archangel Cathedral is covered with religious icons.
Assumption Belfry (on the left) and Ivan The Great Bell Tower (on the right): 
The belfry is a 4-tier tower completed in 1543 to hold the 64 tonne Resurrection Bell.
Ivan The Great Bell Tower with a height of more than 80 metres was built next to it in 1624. This tower was once the tallest building in the whole of Russia and it remained so for many centuries.
Church Of The Deposition Of The Robe is the smaller building in the middle which appears grossly overshadowed by the two larger buildings in front.This modest structure was the private chapel of the religious dignitaries. Today it houses a fascinating collection of wooden figures and carvings.
Palace of Facets was a banquet hall where secular parties and gatherings were held by the 16th and 17th century Tsars. Today it is restricted to Government officials and visiting bigwigs only.
Stairways beside Palace Of Facets
Patriarch's Palace was completed in 1655. This palace houses the five-domed Church of the Twelve Apostles.
On display in the kremlin ground is the world's largest bell. Tsar Bell which weighs more than 200 tons was never rung as one piece fell off during its construction.
Another exhibit not to be missed is Tsar Canon. Weighing about 40 tons, this is more a symbolic monument than a war weapon as it could not fire.
Walking around Cathedral Square was like walking back in time. It was an awesome experience to be here.

Other Amazing Buildings
Terem Palace with 11 very eye-catching cupolas is another attractive building within the Kremlin Ground. It was the first residence of the Tsars in the 17th century. These fabulous buildings are a display of Russian architecture at its finest!
Among all the domes and cupolas on Kremlin ground, these are my favourites!
Poteshny Palace housed the first Russian theatre and later became Stalin's resting place.
Armory Museum (building in yellow) is one of Russia's oldest museums. Built in 1511, this museum houses more than 4000 priceless treasures from the 4th to the 20th centuries. Many exhibits showcase the zenith of Tsar civilization.
Among items most impressive inside Armory Museum are the luxurious carriages of the royal families, Tsars' vestment and coronation dresses. 
 Senate Palace is currently the official residence of the President of Russia.
Senate Palace was completed in 1787 and can only be viewed from outside.
Grand Kremlin Palace is the largest building in the Kremlin ground. Completed in 1849, this palace has 700 rooms.
Kremlin State Palace (on the left) is one of the few modern building within Kremlin ground. It was completed in 1961.
Kremlin State Palace

Towers And The Kremlin Territory
Kremlin is surrounded by more than 2200 meters of high wall which was constructed between 1485 and 1516.
Along the perimeter of the walls are 20 towers of differing designs and heights. Some are round and some are square. Spasskaya Tower is the only one with a clock.
Many towers have a ruby red star on top.

The Kremlin ground spans over 68 acres of land and is prominent from a big part  of Moscow city. 
Moscow Kremlin seen from outside the fortress wall.

Statue of Tsar Alexander I

That was the end of our Kremlin tour!

Click To See Other Related Posts:
1. A Trip To Russia - Introductory Post
2. Russia: A Day Out At Sergiyev Posad
3. My Russian Dining Experience
4. Russian Souvenirs

5.  Cathedral Of Christ The Saviour
6. Moscow Hard Rock Cafe And Old Arbat Street
7. Russia: Moscow Metro
8.  Moscow Kremlin
9. Sparrow Hill And Victory Park
10. Museum Of Cosmonautics And Ostankino Tower
11. Red Square (Krasnaya Ploshchard)
12. Saint Basil's Cathedral
13. GUM Department Store
14. Milan Hotel Review
15. What I Like About Moscow

16. From Moscow To St Petersburg On Sapsan High Speed Train
17. Winter Palace/ State Hermitage Museum
18. St Isaac's Cathedral And Some Nearby Attractions
19. Seeing St Petersburg From Its Rivers
20. St Petersburg Most Gorgeous Building
21.St Petersburg's Peter And Paul Fortress
22.A Traditional Village , A Modern City
23. A Visit To 2 Summer Palaces

24. Smolninskaya Hotel


Unknown said...

Wow, very nice blog. Kremlin is regarded as the great symbol of Russia. Saying would not be wrong that it adds value to the prestige of Russia. A few days ago I had visited Kremlin with my family. Luckily Happy Moscow Tours was with us. I am waiting for your next blog so keep posting like this.

Lily... said...

Agree with you Sofiya, Kremlin is a great place!

Lily... said...

TQ for saying so.

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