Sunday, October 17, 2010

Red Square and the Kremlin

I must admit to knowing very little about Moscow before I got there. I had done quite a bit of reading about St. Petersburg and the tzars, but ran out of time before I got to Moscow.

This is one view of Red Square, with St. Basil Cathedral at my back.

The famous GUM Department store. I had thought it would be dull and gloomy, but I was so wrong. The exterior, as you can see, is beautiful and although the inside had been quite grim during Stalin and Soviet years, it is now an upscale mall.

This is the exterior of the Kremlin wall on one side of Red Square. Again I profess my ignorance. I only thought of the Kremlin as the seat of power and thought it was one building. WRONG! It is a 130 acre fortress started in the 12th century. It is surrounded by red brick walls and tightly guarded gates.

Here we are inside the Kremlin, having gone through that gate at the far end.

The Tzar's cannon, very intricate in design. Be sure to click on this picture to see the details.

I liked the juxtaposition of this modern building in the Kremlin and the old church domes behind.

The complex centers around churches and in one square in the Kremlin there was a church on every side.

The Russian president no longer lives in the Kremlin, but his motorcade takes him to work every morning. Many of the buildings are for state functions and are off limit to visitors, as was this one.

One of the most impressive buildings in the Kremlin is the Armory Museum, which holds much more than guns. Here are the elaborate golden carriages of the Tzars, the coronation crowns and robes, unbelievably beautiful jewels, throne displays and the remaining Faberge eggs exchanged by the last royal couple, and much, much more. There were even horse bridles studded with enormous diamonds. There were no pictures allowed, so you'll have to trust me when I say that it was beyond magnificent.

1 comment:

Vivien Zepf said...

All gorgeous again. Thank heavens that despite the religious repression all the churches weren't torn down! Didn't have a clue that the Kremlin was so large.