Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Kremlin and Red Square

The Kremlin and Red Square

Kremlin palace image courtsey:

Kremlin – a fortressed complex with most beautiful

cathedrals, Palaces and armories.

The heart of Moscow.

Kremlin is undoubtedly the heart of the biggest nation in the world Russia it is a cultural refuge of a nation that has had a long history of blood shed and sufferings under despotic emperors as well as autocratic political figures. Kremlin a fortified complex of 68 acres covered by a wall 2235 meters long and a height of 5 to 19 meters! Churches, armories and palaces all with a long and rich history of their own scramble here to find their place.

So unique!

Kremlin Palace interior image courtsey:

From the beginning of the 12th century Kremlin has been the nerve center of Russia, with a brief spell when Peter the Great shifted his capital to Peter’s burg alone Kremlin was deprived of that status. When Russia emerged as the capital of world’s communism, Kremlin had the role of managing that ideology world wide!

Peter the great image courtsey:

In its centuries old history it has witnessed numerous often horrific dramas in the corridors of power; either religious or political.

Interior Kremlin Palace image courtsey:

Despite the horrendous course of history Kremlin had to undergo its towers remain as a feast to the eye of onlookers, because they are such works of art; so unique and unparalleled.

A Phoenix.

The Grand Kremlin Palace image courtsey:

Kremlin is the official residence of the president of Russia; it was Peter Metropolitan of Rus who moved the seat from Kiev to Moscow. had been destroyed several times but it always woke up from the ashes as fresh and beautiful maiden in her teens.

Kremlin photo courtsey:

The complex existed even before it came to be known as Kremlin (former name was Grad, name Kremlin from 1331), the first to do extensive beautification and considerable extension works was Dolgorukiy in 1156. The ‘credit’ destroying Kremlin first goes to the Mongols on 1237, but got it rebuilt in 1339.

Ivan the Great.

Ivan the great image courtsey:

1462 -1505 was the golden times Ivan the Great on the helm Kremlin rose to the nerve center of whole Russia. Ivan defiantly tore off the binding agreement with Mongolia and declared it free to look after its own affairs. It was Ivan who rebuilt the unique cathedrals, and palaces and armories in the fortress. He brought skilled architects from Italy for the purpose Pierto Antonio Solari and Marco Rufo were prominent among them. Kremlin remained in this glory until Peter the Great shifted the capital to Petersburg.

Napoleon Blown apart.

Napolean Bonaparte image courtsey:

The French army under Napoleon invaded and occupied Kremlin for a period (September 2nd to October 11th). At the time of his retreat Napoleon ordered to blow up the entire structure; and Kremlin burned for three days (21 -23 October) finally a timely rain put out the fire. Several towers and valuable archives were lost in this ghastly incident. As usual this damage was also repaired under architect Osip Bave during the period of Alexander 1. Kremlin emerged in a more beautiful shape in its neo gothic style.

The Armory.

Kremlin Armory image courtsey:

It was built by Peter the Great, for the storage of weapons it gradually gained the status of a repository of the exquisite materials of the royal palace. With the retreat of Napoleon it served as an exhibition hall for the weapons captured for the Napoleon’s army (Grande Armee). The real weapons shifted to Peter’s burg had been returned to here on 1851. The armory has one of the richest holding of very valuable as well as the rarest materials on earth like the Orlov diamond that weighs 190 carats.

The State Kremlin Palace.

Kremlin Auditorium image coursey:

This is a modern building built by Khrushchev former Soviet premier in 1961. This has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 6000 and serves for the congresses of Communist Party held annually. Monumental bas relief (sculptures partly projecting out of walls) of Lenin’s face with radiation of light is a prominent work catches viewer’s attraction.

Cathedral Square.

The big public space constructed by Ivan the Great; it is the representative of the Tsarist regime. Nobilities of that time used to assemble here and high profile ceremonies like coronation etc used to be held here.

  • Cathedral of the Dominion.
  • Cathedral of the Annunciation.
  • Cathedral of the Arch-Angel.

Church of the twelve apostles image courtsey:

  • Cathedral of 12 Apostles and Church of Deposition (domestic churches).

Church of the deposition image courtsey:

Tsar Cannon and bell.

TSAR canon image courtsey:

These two are world’s most cherished possessions stored in the Kremlin, the cannon the biggest in the world (890 mm caliber) has never been used, its barrel is five meter long and the cannon weighs 40 tons! Its barrel is decorated with artworks like a fight between lion and snake.

TSAR bell image courtsey:

The bell the largest in the world weighs 200 tons! Built by Empress Anna in 1737 it fell from the cast and cracked, it could never ring as the cannon could never fire!

Ivan the Great Bell-Tower.

Ivan Bell Tower image courtsey:

The tallest structure of Russia, made of white stones with shining gilt-dome, it is recorded that its construction lasted the whole of the 16th century.

Assumption Cathedral.

Assumption Cathedral image courtsey:

Built by Ivan 1 in 1330 is the oldest of all structures and the biggest, built by the Italian architect Fioravanti from Bologna. After the construction when Fioravanti asked permission to go home the Emperor imprisoned him until death! At present it serves as the seat of Russian Orthodox Church.

The three great palaces.

These palaces are not open to visitors of which Terem palace the oldest, the Faceted Palace was built by Ivan -3. The third the Great Kremlin Palace built in the 19th century was for the residence of Nicholas 1.

Kremlin as a complex.

It is a fact that most of the remarkable constructions in the world are either of the kings (palaces, armory or forts) or of the gods (temples, church or mosques). The specialty with Kremlin is that it is a fort, a group of palaces as well as a group of cathedrals, or in other words a full-fledged city within a city. The onion-shaped spires of Kremlin stands as a wonderful spectacle even among a million structures easily identifiable for its colorful domes and looks rather crowded from a distance as if flower-buds placed in a pot and gives the an unworldly feeling to the spectators.


emka58 said...

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This was VERY informative. I have heard of the Kremlin before, but did not know anything about it. It is definately a wonder! Thanks for the interesting information.

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