The Kremlin: Seat of Power (Part I)


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by marcopolo on September 11, 2000

Moscow was first recognized in Russian history in the year 1147. This date is credited with being the true foundation of what was to become the future capital city of the world's largest country. The present Kremlin covers 68 acres of land. To see the Kremlin is to get an idea of the existing architectural complexities of Russian monuments and the peculiarities of Russian architecture. This is especially true when one addresses the subject of the aesthetic ideal and nuances of old Russian architecture. The buildings of the Moscow Kremlin dominated the town for centuries. The advent of high rise buildings has somewhat negated this effect but the citadel of the Kremlin is still a formidable sight.

Inside the walls of the citadel's watch towers were concentrated many of the most significant of Russia's oldest churches and living quarters. Over the centuries many buildings underwent changes. The churches and dwellings of the 18th and 19th Centuries are the most well preserved.

The oldest part of the Kremlin is the Cathederal Square. It is here that you will encounter the Cathederal of the Assumption which was built by the Italian architect, Aristotal Florovanty. This church served as the main Cathederal of Russia and it was here that the Tsars of Russia were crowned and where the most important political and religious ceremonies occurred.

In front of the south facade of the church of the assumption is the Cathedral of the Annunciation. This was the church of the Tsars and was built by Russian Masters in 1487-1489. There is also the Church of the Deposition of the Robe (1484-1486) which is characterized by the refined one dome construction that was built to memorize the occasion of the transfer of the Robe of the Virgin from Palestine to Konstantinopal. This church became the home church of Russian Metropolitans. Today it houses a collection of old Russian sculptures.

In 1508 the architect, Alviza Montanyana, built the Cathederal of the Archangel Michael. This church was very important until the beginning of the 18th Century because it was here that the Tsars and Dukes of Russia were buried. This changed with the death of Peter I, as he and his heirs, were buried in the Peter and paul Fortress in the new capitol city of St. Petersburg. Every church mentioned thus far are filled with collections of monumental art and some of the most venerated of all Russian icon paintings. It is important to note that the art contained in the churches was not destroyed or stolen as was often the case in occuppied parts of Russia during the first three years of WWII. Other old pieces of art and churches were destroyed the time after the Revolution of 1918.

The Kremlin
Entrance From Red Square
Moscow, Russia, 103073
+7 095 202 4256

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