Moscow Kremlin

Cultural treasure of Russian capital
When you think about the Moscow Kremlin, the red battlement and green-roofed towers come to mind immediately. It makes a beautiful view, especially when you are looking from the river bank. The bright red walls are going on and on and high towers are reaching proudly into the sky; the golden domes of the ancient cathedrals and churches are peeking from behind the walls to catch rays of the sun. But was it always like that? Of course, No. In fact, our Kremlin is the Fourth Moscow Kremlin
20

Separate defensive towers
1495

The construction was finished
27.7

ha, area
The place by the crossing of the rivers and directly on the path of the several trading roots always attracted people. The history of the first settlements on the Kremlin grounds is going back to the Stone Age. But the first actual fortress there was built in the mid-twelve century. The timing of its construction coincides with the time Moscow was first declared as a town by Yurii Dolgorukiy. Back then the Kremlin was a basic wooden citadel which was five times smaller than the current one. When the Moscow princedom started to gain some influence, the Kremlin had been rebuilt with stronger oaken panels and equipped with watchtowers. But this second Kremlin couldn't last long because it was still made of wood. It was burnt by Tatars in the late 14th century soon after the Kulikovskaya Battle during the Moscow princedom's quest for independence.

The third Moscow Kremlin is known as the White-stone Kremlin as it was built with a limestone. Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy, the Kulikovskaya Battle hero, ordered to construct it instead of the easily disposable wooden one. Though the new walls seemed very strong at first, they turned out to be short-lived. The limestone began to crumble in less than a century. The time of our current red-bricked Kremlin came at last. Today the Moscow Kremlin may look authentically Russian, but in fact, Ivan the Great invited Italian architectures to build it according to the newest Rainessance ideas. Most of what the Moscow Kremlin is now was built in 15th and 16th centuries. There were many alterations and reconstructions in the later years, and the new buildings were added constantly to the ensemble, but the core of several cathedrals and palaces remained mostly intact.

The Kremlin remained the main residence for the Tsar up to the end of the 18th century, when Peter the First decided to move the capital to St. Petersburg. By the middle of the 19th century, the Kremlin mostly became a museum. The most beloved tourist attractions were the Tsar- Cannon that is too big to be able to actually fire, and the Tsar-Bell that is too big to actually ring. Needless to say, today tourists love them as much as their predecessors 200 years ago.

The Soviet years were not kind to the Moscow Kremlin. The governmental services were moved back to the Moscow Kremlin despite all protests of scientists and historians. During the anti-religion spree of the twenties and thirties almost the half of the ancient buildings in Kremlin were destroyed, for example, the jewel of the early Renaissance architecture - the Chudov monastery was blown up without second thoughts.
Moscow Kremlin today
Today the historical part of the Kremlin is opened for tourists. Unfortunately, you'll need to buy a ticket and then to suffer in a very crowded queue to actually get inside, so our Moscow Free Walking Tours don't include the visit to the Kremlin. We admire the beauty of the ancient citadel from outside during our tours. But don't hesitate to visit the Kremlin at the first opportunity. There are at least four magnificent 15th-century cathedrals inside the Kremlin: the Annunciation Cathedral, the Assumption Cathedral, the Archangel Cathedral and the Bell tower of Ivan the Great. Not only every one of these churches has its own unique architecture but also there are well-preserved ancient murals covering every inch of the walls and ceilings on the inside of the cathedrals. There are also many museums inside the Kremlin- some of them show the everyday life of Moscow citizens of the Ivan the Terrible age and the others have the collections of treasures and jewellery. Also, there are very interesting temporary expositions. When you get tired from all the museums you can walk in the nice park inside the Kremlin or walk along the Kremlin wall. There is a beautiful view on Moscow opening from the height of the Kremlin wall. Also, you can admire the view of the newly opened Zariadie Park from there.

The Kremlin is the heart of Moscow and all of the Moscow history and beauty is concentrated inside its red-bricked walls. If you want to get to know our city, you should definitely start with Kremlin!
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