Discover The Kremlin Russia

In the centre of the capital, the majestic architectural ensemble that is the Kremlin stands at the top of Borovitski Hill. The gleaming domes of the churches and cathedrals and the elegant outline of the white stone palaces encircled by some impressive crenellated walls flanked by pointed towers, are the archetypal picture of Russia and its greatness and glory. This is the heart of Russia, the source of its centuries-old history and its artistic traditions. It is, for the Orthodox Slav world, a place almost as sacred as Mecca for Muslims, a museum-city once as mysterious and secret as the Forbidden City in Beijing. You enter through Troitskaya (Trinity) Tower on Manezhnaya (Manege) Square. To the right as you walk in stands the imposing glass and steel cube of the Kremlin State Palace built under Brezhnev, whereas to the left, the ochre façade building of the Arsenal boasts its 800 bronze canons taken from Napoleon's troops.

The most magnificent collection of palaces and churches is found around Cathedral Square. The Ivan the Great Bell Tower catches the eye right away with its beauty and height. It is Moscow's highest building, and used to be a watchtower. From the top you could see for up to 20 mi. At the foot of the Bell Tower stands the famous Tsar Bell, the largest bell in the world. It weighs 202 tons and is 6.14m high and 6.60m in diameter. The Assumption Cathedral, also known as the Dormition Cathedral, built between 1475 and 1479 is the oldest place of worship in Cathedral Square. Don't miss the magnificent interior decoration: superb wall paintings on gold backgrounds, a five tier iconostasis, gigantic chandeliers, religious objects and priceless icons. The Annunciation Cathedral houses one of the oldest iconostasis in Russia.

Located opposite the Annunciation Cathedral is the five dome Cathedral of the Archangel, necropolis of the Russian Tsars. Its frescoes illustrate the great battles of Russian history and represent the effigies of the great princes of Muscovy and the first tsars of Russia buried here. The necropolis contains 56 tombs, including that of Ivan the Terrible. Between the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Borovitski gate is the Armoury. It is the country's oldest and largest Museum of Applied and Decorative Art. Originally built as a weapon store, it became Russia's largest armoury in the middle of the 16th century. At the beginning of the 18th century, it was transformed into a treasury for the great princes and tsars and held the great valuables of the Kremlin. Now a museum, this vast building on two levels displays some 3,000 works of Russian and Western art, including a fabulous collection of weapons, gold and silverware, jewellery, decorated fabrics and embroidered garments. The Russian Treasury jewel collection spreads over two rooms. It includes diamonds, rare semi-precious stones, gold nuggets, Fabergé eggs and more. On the west side, at the edge of Cathedral Square lies the Palace of Facets, one of the oldest secular buildings in the Kremlin. The heirs to the Russian throne were proclaimed at the Palace of Facets, which was also the main banquet hall for wedding feasts and formal dinners following the crowning of the tsar.

  • The Kremlin , Russia
    The Kremlin

    Imposing crenelated walls encircle the splendid domes of the churches and cathedrals, as well as the elegant silhouettes of the palaces.

    © Alex Popov / 123RF
  • The Kremlin , Resplendent cupolas , Russia
    Resplendent cupolas

    Assumption Cathedral (Uspensky Sobor), also called Dormition Cathedral, is the oldest place of religious worship on Cathedral Square.

  • The Kremlin , Assumption Cathedral , Russia
    Assumption Cathedral

    For the Russian Orthodox world, it is a place almost as sacred as Mecca is to Muslims.

    © Irina Afonskaya / 123RF
  • The Kremlin , The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour , Russia
    The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

    The original church was destroyed under Stalin's regime. It was reconstructed at the beginning of the 21st century.

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
  • The Kremlin , The heart of Russia , Russia
    The heart of Russia

    The religious heart of the Kremlin is a gleaming succession of gilded and multi-coloured cupolas and domes which reflect brightly under the sunlight.

    © Iakov Filimonov / 123RF
  • The Kremlin , A city in the city , Russia
    A city in the city

    In the middle of the capital, the majestic architectural ensemble that is the Kremlin crowns the top of Borovitski Hill.

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Russia

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