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For communicating - Alexander (engl, rus)
 +7 (985) 690-95-16

The Kremlin

In the centre of the modern metropolis is a huge medieval fortress — the Moscow Kremlin. I have never seen such a building anywhere else. However, the strangest thing is not even that the fortress is perfectly preserved to this day but that inside it the current head of the Russian state still controls the country.

At first glance, this is something strange. If the government is hidden from the people behind the high walls, then this position alienates the ruler from the people. Nevertheless, on the other hand, Russia has many enemies, those who might wish to destroy the supreme commander. From the point of view of security, staying behind high walls is justified. Moreover, the head of state is simply logical and conveniently located in the very centre of the capital.

I do not know whether it is correct. At the same time, I believe that Russia is the only state in the world where the supreme power still rules the country through the walls of the medieval fortress located in the very centre of the modern metropolis. It should be noted that those who think that the Russian president lives in the Kremlin are mistaken. In the Kremlin, he only works, as he prefers to live on the outskirts of the city surrounded by the beauty of Russian nature.

At the same time, the Kremlin is a huge museum; anyone can buy a ticket there and get acquainted with the heart of Russia. Sasha took me to the Kremlin in the first days of our stay in Russia.

The Kremlin is amazing. Russian churches are so beautiful that they make you feel like you are in a fairy tale. There are many temples in the Kremlin. In my opinion, the most delightful is the Cathedral of the Annunciation built in the 15th and completed in the 16th century by Russian craftsmen and architects.

We looked at the Cathedral of the Annunciation first from the bottom and then — from the top, from Ivan the Great Bell Tower. It seemed impossible to create such a fascinating building. I wanted to shout “bravo!” to Russian masters. My eyes were moist from the beauty of the temples. In Russia, I often burst into tears when something shocked me with its beauty.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation strikes more from the outside, while inside the most magnificent temple is the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin; in the past, it was the main temple in Russia. The Assumption Cathedral is the oldest surviving building in Moscow today, as its construction was completed in 1479.

In other ancient cities of Russia, much more ancient buildings (than in the capital) have been preserved. This is largely due to the fact that the rise of Moscow occurred only in the 15th century. Prior to that, the main cities of Russia were such cities as Kiev, Vladimir, and Novgorod.

More recently, in the first half of the 20th century, even more ancient temples remained in the Kremlin. However, the era of communism led to more destruction than all the raids and enemy gains over the centuries-old history of Russia. Most of the churches in Russia were destroyed by the Communists. The same horrible fate befell most of the ancient buildings of the Kremlin. It is a miracle that many of the Kremlin’s churches have survived at all, since the Communists hated Christianity and destroyed relics.

For me, it was a revelation to learn that the Assumption Cathedral was built under the guidance of Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti. The knowledge and talent of this Italian master brought a lot of new in classical Russian architecture, created a feeling of lightness in huge and heavy structures enhancing their strength.

In the Middle Ages, the saints of the Moscow church were buried in the Assumption Cathedral. Later, Russian tsars were crowned in the Assumption Cathedral. The first who ascended the throne here was the famous Ivan the Terrible. And even when at the beginning of the 18th century Peter the Great transferred the capital of the Russian Empire from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, they continued to crown Russian sovereigns in the Assumption Cathedral in Moscow.

In the Assumption Cathedral, my attention was drawn to the painting of the columns; they brought me memories from my childhood. In Indian Bangalore, my dad — a Brahmin — often took me to church services. On religious holidays, adults painted sacred signs — mandalas — at the entrance to the house. Now I saw the same mandalas on the pillars of the Assumption Cathedral in Moscow.

I was so impressed that I asked Sasha to photograph the patterns on the temple walls in order to get a better look at them at home. I cannot imagine how the mandalas from ancient India moved to the pillars of the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin. However, I was very excited!

The third place in terms of beauty in my ranking was occupied by the Cathedral of the Archangel of the Kremlin. As well as the Assumption one, the Cathedral of the Archangel was built by an Italian architect. During the construction, the Italian Aloisio the New used many architectural motives of the architecture of northern Italy of that time. The Cathedral of the Archangel has analogues in the architecture of Venice, in particular in the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. The temple in the Moscow Kremlin is related to the temple in Venice — I can’t believe it!

Inside the Cathedral of the Archangel was not as interesting for me as it was outside. The Cathedral of the Archangel is the place of the tomb of the Russian monarchs; there are 54 burials in it. For me, to put it mildly, it is not too pleasant to walk around cemeteries, even if it is the tomb of tsars in a beautiful temple. Therefore, I hurried to quickly get out of the Cathedral of the Archangel necropolis.

It was much more attractive to climb Ivan the Great Bell Tower. The church-bell tower was built at the beginning of the 16th century by the Italian architect Bon Fryazin. Throughout the 16th century, a complex of churches with a bell tower was completed by outstanding masters, among who was Italian Petrok Maly (also known as Petrok Maly Fryazin) and later — the Englishman John Thaler and Russian Fyodor Kon.

After Napoleon’s army captured Moscow in 1812, the Kremlin was set on fire and blew up, the restoration of the church-Ivan the Great Bell Tower was carried out by Swiss architect Domenico Gilardi according to a project by Ivan Egotov and Italian Luigi Rusca.

Later, I learned that the Kremlin was built by many other Italian masters. At the end of the 15th century, the Palace of the Facets was built by the Italian architects Marco Ruffo (also known as Marco Fryazin) and Pietro Antonio Solari. The Terem Palace was built according to the designs of the Italian Aloisio the New. The world-famous walls and towers of the Moscow Kremlin were also created by Italian architects.

Travellers from northern Italy may be surprised to find similarities between the Kremlin in Moscow, the Castello Scaliger in Verona, and the Sforza Castle in Milan. For me, this was the best proof that Russia has never been closed to the world, even in the eerie middle ages it readily accepted the best of what European culture created.

In the Middle Ages, Ivan the Great Bell Tower was the tallest building not only in Moscow but throughout the Russian Empire. And not only in the Middle Ages. Even in the 20th century, until 1952, Ivan the Great Bell Tower was the tallest building in Russia.

It was very interesting to climb to such a height. Sure, there is no elevator in the old building. I had to climb with my feet. It was a real climb; we were a little out of breath. However, the view, which opened to us from the upper bell tower of the temple, fascinated us.

We saw all the temples of the Kremlin and Moscow from above. It was a breathtaking sight! So much beauty, so much greatness!.. I was in a state of euphoria, as in moments of ultimate happiness. Sasha asked the guide to take some memorable pictures for us on our camera. I will remember it for the rest of my life.


© Traveling To Russia - 2024

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