The Kremlin is one of the icons of the Russian capital. A magnificent set of religious buildings and palaces surrounded by a wall with several towers and which is a symbol of the Russian government. We are going to visit one of the most spectacular places in Moscow. Do you want to join us?
The Kremlinthe citadel of Moscow
doDid you know that there are almost 20 Kremlins in Russia? (5 of them World Heritage Sites)? But without a doubt, the best known is that of its capital, Moscow.
The history of this citadel (translation of “Kremlin”) begins between the 11th and 12th centuries, when the area was a Slavic settlement. From 1156 changes take place: a moat is dug and the walled fort is built.
In the 14th century, when Moscow was already the capital, a stone fortress, a new wall and a new moat were erected in the Kremlin. Besides, is chosen as the place of residence of the royal family and three temples are built: the cathedral of the Asunción, that of San Miguel and the church of Nuestro Salvador.
Shortly after, a new fortress with nine towers would be erected, and later the Kremlin became the cultural center of the city. Between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries the main monuments were erected of the citadel. Many are still preserved.
With the invasions of Russia and a great fire, many of the houses were destroyed. In 1713 the Kremlin was the temporary residence of the tsarist court and in 1776 it functioned as the Senate. New restoration works followed Napoleon’s invasion and after the October Revolution of 1917 it was closed for visits (until 1955).
During the 20th century there were restoration works and old monasteries were demolished to build the government building. In addition, cathedrals and palaces were remodeled. In the complex are the three establishments used by the President of the Russian Federation: the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Senate and the Military School.
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
– Gilbert K. Chesterton –
What to see in the Moscow Kremlin
In the vast territory of the Kremlin (about 27 hectares) most of the buildings and constructions are accessible to tourists. Cathedrals, palaces and the entire architectural ensemble will leave you amazed. On your walk, do not miss these attractions:
1. Cathedral of the Dormition or Assumption
It is one of the oldest temples in the complex, built in white stone between 1475 and 1479 by Iván III where previously there was an old temple ordered to be erected by Iván I.
The old cathedral of the city of Vladimir was used as a model and it was embellished by frescoes related to old Russia. This temple served as a pantheon for several patriarchs of the city until the year 1700.
2. Archangel Michael Cathedral
It was built between 1505 and 1508 on the remains of an old church. Its frescoes were painted between the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the place chosen to celebrate the victories of the Russian army.
It was used as a pantheon for tsars and princes. In total there are 54 graves and 46 tombstones. Among the great monarchs buried here are Ivan I, Ivan II the Glorious, Ivan III the Great, and Ivan IV the Terrible.
3. Bell Tower of Ivan the Great
It is one of the most admirable works in the entire Kremlin, sIt was built in the 16th century and unifies all the buildings regardless of the period and architectural style. The bell tower served as a model for many temples of old Russia.
It is composed of three bodies and on the third floor it houses a church. In the galleries are the bells, the largest being the one that weighs 64 tons.
4. Tsar Pushka Cannon
It was in service in 1856, weighs almost 40 tons and is 5 meters long. It is the largest caliber cannon in the world. It is believed that it was never used and was built to demonstrate Russian military might.
Next to the canyon is the Tsar Kólokol bell, the largest on the planet, commissioned by Empress Anna. It was broken in 1737, but was placed on a stand in the middle of the Kremlin.
Another unmissable place in the Kremlin is the Grand Palace and its interconnected buildingswhich can be admired from the outside or pay a good amount of money for a private visit.