Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moscow Day 2 - The Kremlin

We started the day by going to the Kremlin via the Metro, as Moscow's traffic is horrendous. The Metro is extremely efficient, but challenging if you can't read the station names or destinations.

The entrance to the Kremlin

After all the press coverage of Moscow during the Soviet era, I had no idea what to expect from the Kremlin. The word kremlin means fortress. Inside the walls of the Kremlin are all kinds of buildings. There are weapons storage and museums, the Armoury and the Arsenal; a modern building built by Kruschev which is now a major concert hall with excellent acoustics.

The President has his office in this building.

Cathedral Square with 7 churches and cathedrals. All are decorated in the Russian Orthodox tradition with icons all over the walls.

The Bell Tower in Cathedral Square

The cathedral where Russian Tsars were crowned
There are other curiosities such as the Tsar's cannon, the biggest cannon that has never been fired. It weighs 40 tons. The cannon balls in front of it weigh over a ton each. The whole cannon was too big to be able to be used.

There is also the Tsar's bell, the biggest bell that has never been rung. It originated with each Tsar trying to cast a bigger bell than his predecessor. This one developed a fault in casting and was never used. A great chunk fell out of the side.

We spent about 3 hours exploring the Kremlin with our Russian guide Elena whose knowledge of Russian history was fantastic, and whose command of Enlglish was excellent.

After our tour we had a few hours to spare, had lunch, located the ugliest shopping centre toilet I have ever seen.

Jenny and Joy outside one of Moscow's less lovely amenities
 Next we had a really good look at St Basil's Cathedral, the one with all the strange chaped domes. It is a real feat of design, but the designers were blinded by the Tsar who commissioned it so they could never create another like it!

This is the end of our 2 days in Moscow. Next Novgorod, one of Russia's oldest cities, by overnight train.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos a place I would like to visit one day.


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