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Author Topic: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin  (Read 45233 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2009, 11:43:28 PM »
Манежная площадь is how we'll put those together so as we know how to say where we're going...lets go.

The Manezh Plaza is a large pedestrian open space at the very centre of Moscow. We now see the Hotel Moskva to the east, the State Historical Museum and the Alexander Garden to the south, the Moscow Manege to the west, and the 18th-century Moscow centre headquarters of the Moscow State University to the north.

Its not a small area but it is easily manageable. Just so you know where we're headed...





 :chuckle: Okay, not just for McDonalds, but as you can see this is a very popular destination. Manezh Plaza forms a vital part of downtown Moscow, connecting Red Square which sprawls behind the Iberian Gate. Manezh Plaza is served by several metro stations including Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad Revolyutsii and Teatralnaya.







Below: We are on the plaza itself and on top of the Manezh Square Shopping Mall that is several stories deep underneath with shopping. During the 1990s Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov had the square closed to traffic and substantially renovated. The centrepiece of the renovated square is a modern trade centre, with four underground stories and parking lot capped with rotating glass cupola.






That large building center-left from this view is the Russian State Duma (parliment).

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2009, 12:39:18 AM »
From the Plaza looking out to Moscow we see the Psychology department of the Moscow State University (right). The primary campus of MGU (Moscow State U) is no longer downtown and we'll visit there later. Those two buildings ahead are part of the original campus when the University was first founded. On the left is the University Orthodox chapel of Saint Tatiana, the patron saint of students.










Manezh Plaza has become a mecca for the youth of Moscow. While the underground shopping center is already somewhat passé ever since the creation of newer, larger malls and centre's, the long fountain that is the Neglinka, and the cafés and restaurants that line it (including the McDonald's), serve as an evening meeting point for thousands.




Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2009, 01:01:59 AM »
Amazing to think that underneath is a 4 story shopping mall! And underneath that is a buried river.





After the Neglinnaya River was encapsulated in an underground pipe, they decided to turn the former riverbed into a public park. It was laid out in 1819-1823 to a design by Osip Bove and named after the reigning emperor. The park comprises three separate gardens, which stretch along the western Kremlin wall for 865 meters.









This area is Охотный ряд (Hunting Row) and you might recognize that name as a station on the Sokolnicheskaya Line of the Moscow Metro. But its original name is this narrow strip along the plaza between the gardens and the streets. It's literally a river on top of an underground river. Okhotny Ryad is located in what was originally the upper Neglinnaya River, a part of the Moscow River.






Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2009, 01:28:37 AM »
The Manezh, formally the Imperial Stables, is just steps away from the Kremlin and Red Square. Before the Revolution it was where Imperial Army’s mounted guards quartered their horses while protecting Royal families.

A few years ago the stables burned down and were rebuilt into what is one of Moscow’s major exhibition halls.










The plaza is capped with a rotating glass cupola, which forms a world clock of the Northern hemisphere with major cities marked and a scheme of lights below each panel to show the progression of the hour.



















Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2009, 01:42:39 AM »
Here are some views of the underground Okhotnyi Ryad shopping plaza. It has cafes too. Note the McDonalds on the top level in the first photo. That is the same McDonalds also accessible on the plaza outside by the fountains.














Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2009, 01:59:33 AM »
Alexander Garden occupies all the length of the western Kremlin wall in front of the Moscow Manezh and the plaza areas.


Below: That is called the Arsenal Tower and the Arsenal building behind it is inside the Kremlin territory.





The park's most prominent feature is the outlying Kutafya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin. Walking south along the garden's path takes you to a double bastion lined by a stone bridge on nine pillars, including the white, outer Kutafya Tower,and the massive Troitskaya Tower near the wall.


ila_rendered


Kremlin tower Kutafya and Troitskaya Towers: The Kutafya Tower (Кутафья башня) is an outlying barbican tower of the Moscow Kremlin. It was built in the early 16th century to protect the bridge over the Neglinnaya River leading to the Troitskaya Tower.










It occupies all the length of the western Kremlin wall in front of the Moscow Manege. In May 1967 the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was built in the Alexadrovsky Gardens. The tomb is a popular stopping place for wedding parties to take photos and place flowers in honour of the unknown soldiers.

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2009, 02:16:24 AM »
Coming up soon: Those towers along the Kremlin walls are not random--each represents important events in Russian history and each built in different time periods.

How many are there, and do you know any of their names?


Quiz: There are ____ towers along the Kremlin Walls?

a) 10

b) 14

c) 20

d) 24


Next, can you name two of the towers which are specifically part of the Alexandr Garden district?

1-

2-


Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2009, 06:29:41 PM »
Манежная площадь Manezhnaya Plaza

Late autumn view of Aleksandrovsky (Alexander) Park and several important landmarks:


ila_rendered


As you can see from the red brick tower, Red Square and the Kremlin area is to the immediate left. Front left is the garden area and front right of us is the Okhotnyi Ryad water fountains. Underneath/right of us is the Okhotnyi Ryad underground shopping mall and under the shopping mall is the diverted/buried Neglinnaya River.

That yellow building to the upper right is the Manezh Hall, the former horse stable which burned and has been rebuilt into a much larger exhibition hall. To the right (unseen) on the Manezh Plaza are the shops, more of the park area, and the glass dome cupolas.




Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2009, 06:52:34 PM »
Views of Manezh Plaza and Alexander Gardens in winter:














Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2009, 09:37:14 PM »
Did you remember to bring your Зонтик?


ila_rendered


With rain coming our way you're going to need it.

Зонтик = umbrella  "zone-tick"

The Moscow weather girl on TV says we're headed into several days of rain. Cold rain at that.

Saying this word correctly is a snap, and you've just added yet another word to your ever expanding vocabulary!

Hint: Bring one for snow too. The snow is very wet usually and being that you'll be out in the weather a lot because of public transportation an umbrella for snow is a smart idea!

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2009, 11:08:15 PM »
Since we're right across the Manezh Plaza from the Russian Federation Duma (parliment) several RUA tour members have requested close ups of the building.

Here ya are:





Here is a side view. It's actually quite large.






Here's your sign:


государственная дума = The State Duma



Finally, before we leave Manezh Plaza, did you recognize the monument on top of the glass dome map?

That is the the Saint George Monument. Saint George the dragon slayer is the patron Saint of the city of Moscow.



Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2009, 11:25:14 PM »
Okay, we've seen Manezhnaya Plaza, the State Duma and the Alexander Gardens. Oh, the underground shopping too.

Now we must decide on how to approach Red Square and the Kremlin. That's not tricky at all, we just need to decide on where to enter. Sometimes an entry point is blocked and you're left with only one option. Other times Red Square is closed altogether, such as when important foreign dignitaries are visiting the Kremlin, etc. Naturally there are times when more than one point of entry is possible, so we'll see what happens.

Please be careful when crossing the street from the Duma building back to the Manezh Plaza and on to Red Square. Traffic can be hectic this time of day!


(Sounds of screeching brakes, honking horns and drivers shouting at the RUA tour party.)




Yep, it's easy to get distracted around here!  :laugh:

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2009, 11:06:57 PM »
We'll make our way from Manezh  Plaza over to Red Square. How on earth it got the name of Red Square among Westerners is beyond me. We've already discussed that it's not square, and received the name in ancient times when the old walls were painted white. That is easy to explain as it means "beautiful" and not the term "red."

The second word of Кра́сная пло́щадь, literally means plaza, the пло́щадь "ploshard" being kind of a more than obvious clue. However the name has stuck over the years so that is what we'll call it on this tour--Red Square.

Red Square is that familiar bricked expanse in the heart of Moscow is located just outside the Kremlin, along its Eastern wall. It's really grey, since the red brick walls are part of the Kremlin terriotory. Red Square is what separates the Kremlin from Chinatown, known in Russian as Китай-город (Kitay-gorod), one of Moscow's first old merchant shopping areas.

When you and I think of Red Square we probably recall scenes of May Day parades, from the years when the Soviet Military displayed its might, respectfully passing before the Soviet leadership atop Lenin's tomb. But Red Square's history stretches back way before the Communist Soviet Union, back to the days of Czarist Russia.

In the late 15th Century, people came to this square, called Torg, or marketsquare, to purchase food, livestock, or other wares. By the late16th Century, it was renamed Trinity Square, and served as the main entrance to the Kremlin. It wasn't until 1650 that it received the name Krasnaya Ploschad, krasnaya meaning both beautiful and red. The Red Square of today is more than 500,000 square feet of open land.


ila_rendered


Above left: That massive bright building on the left was the central Lenin Museum for many years. It has also served, and was the very first, city hall for the city of Moscow. Today many pro-Communist party protest rally's begin at the steps of this symbolic structure.

Both these building complexes are on Revolution Square.

Above right: The famous State Historical Museum of Russia (Государственный Исторический музей).

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2009, 12:23:33 AM »
There are several ways to enter Red Square, from several directions. As we come off of Manezh Plaza and onto Revolution Square, one of the more obvious approaches is this one, to the immediate right of the Historical Museum, bordered by the Kremlin corner arsenal tower (unseen here) to our right.






It is a front/right (north) entrance between the Historical Museum and the "Corner Arsenal" Tower of the Kremlin Wall and were we walking from the Alexandr Gardens area it would look like this.







ila_rendered



Above: State Historical Museum.

Rather than enter here immediately we'll take a little time to get to know the Plaza first. There is so much history just steps outside of Red Square!

Offline Jared2151

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« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2009, 07:57:58 AM »

Mendy,

   Once again you've put together a great thread.  I have to ask, did you personally take the pictures that you use?

Keep up the excellent work - J

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2009, 01:21:59 PM »
Thank you Jared. Not all photos are mine, some are from various Moscow or Russian government public sites. Some from the camera of Mrs Mendeleyeva (who is a much better photographer than myself).


By the way, we'll use another entrance to Red Square which is just steps away, but if we were to use this water tower entrance, here is how that might look on a fine summer day:





For those keeping the previous trivia question in mind, there are a total of 20 Kremlin wall towers, each with it's own history and timeline. The tower immediately ahead of us on the Eastern Kremlin wall is the Nikolskaya Tower (Никольская башня). It looks over Red Square. The tower was named for the former Nikolaevsky Greek Monastery which used to sit near the tower site.

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2009, 01:25:07 PM »
The above photo of the Nikolskaya Tower is a side view upon entering Red Square. Here is a view facing the tower. Not all towers serve as entrances from Red Square to the Kremlin territory, but this one does.







My favourite entrance onto Red Square is thru the Resurrection Gates, sometimes mistakenly called the Iberian Gates (because of the Iberian Chapel) which is the next entrance beyond this one. It is to the immediate left of the Historical Museum, between the State Museum and the Lenin Museum.

But before we enter Red Square we'll explore more of this immediate area, Revolution Plaza.

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2009, 07:01:30 AM »
The State Historical Museum is that imposing building which sits between the two main entrances to Red Square.





The museum was opened in 1894, to mark the coronation of Aleksander III, and was the result of a 20-year-long project to consolidate various archaeological and anthropological collections into a single museum to tell the story of the history of Russia.

The building, which prompts mixed aesthetic reactions, is undeniably impressive. A mass of jagged towers and cornices, it is a typical example of Russian Revivalism, the Eastern equivalent of the Neo-Gothic movement. It was built by architect Vladimir Sherwood (whose father was an English engineer, hence the very un-Russian surname) on the site of the old Pharmacy Building, which was the original home of the Moscow University.





The museum holds a supremely rich collection of artifacts that tell the history of the Russian lands from the Paleolithic period to the present day. Each hall of the museum is designed to correspond to the era from which the exhibits are taken. The wide variety of the ancient cultures that developed on the territory of modern Russia is well represented, with highlights including Scythian gold figures, funerary masks from the Altai and the Turmanskiy Sarcophagus, a unique mixture of Hellenic architecture and Chinese decoration.

Later displays focus on the history of Russia's rulers, with a number of historical paintings, court costumes, thrones and Carlo Rastrelli's silver death mask of Peter the Great. Many of the museum's halls are still closed for restoration work, but the museum is still well worth visiting, and makes for an excellent introduction to the history of Russia. Unfortunately, the exhibits are not labeled in English, although there are English-language guide books and videos available in the lobby.

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2009, 07:13:31 AM »
The building until recently contained a restaurant, Red Square No. 1, and the Red Square Jazz Cafe. One can choose to either see those as evidences of unchecked commercialism, or as a tribute to the inn that used to stand here, and was frequented by Peter the Great.







Opening hours: Daily from 11.00 to 19.00, closed on Tuesdays.
Address: 1, Red Square, Moscow, 103012, Russia
Telephone:  +7 (495) 292-40-19 
Nearby Metro stations: Okhotny Ryad, Plaza Revolution, Teatralnaya Plaza

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2009, 07:40:31 AM »
As you can see the sign, this is "State Historical Museum, Entrance 1."






Naturally you'll need a ticket to tour the museum.






Museum website: http://www.shm.ru/

Today the collection of the Museum that has considerably enlarged in the course of the 20th century treasures archeological finds, manuscripts and black-letter books, old Russian icons, Russian and foreign arming, works of smith craft, jewelry, glass and ceramics, national clothes, collection of old furniture from the private estates and many more. Private belongings of Russian monarchs Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and the last members of the Romanov family are especially popular with the visitors.

The Museum collection of fine arts that numbers over 500,000 items is quite impressive. It includes portraits of outstanding Russian and foreign politicians, landscapes of different regions of Russia, water-colors, drawings and lithographs. It is noteworthy that the Museum features not only the works of the celebrated masters but also paintings by unknown talented artists.

The permanent exhibition is designed so that each of the halls is devoted to certain period of history. The rich interior decor corresponds with the time and style of the exhibits placed there. Frescos, moldings, carvings and other decorations create the unique atmosphere of the past.

In size it is the largest museum in Russia.

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2009, 08:32:38 AM »
Before we move to the Lenin Museum to the immediate left we should find out about that impressive statue of the man on a horse at the State Historical Museum entry.

That is Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov (Гео́ргий Константи́нович Жу́ков) a Russian career officer in the Red Army who, in the course of World War II, played an important roles the defense of Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Stalingrad (Volgograd) and in leading the Red Army through much of Eastern Europe to liberate the Soviet Union and other nations from the Axis Powers' occupation and conquer Germany's capital, Berlin.







He is one of the most decorated generals in the history of both Russia and the Soviet Union.

Zhukov and Stalin had a curious relationship and he is perhaps the only man who Chairman Stalin actually feared. At the outset of the war when Stalin was depressed and demoralized by his own stupidity in not heeding the advice of commanders about the reality of the German invasion, Stalin pled with Zhukov for forgiveness. Zhukov, in what was perhaps his one real chance to seize control of the government, turned on his heels and walked out of the room in disgust at the sight of Stalin groveling.

The general would later reveal a deep hatred for Stalin, and despite being his highest commander, Zhukov might have later regretted leaving Stalin in power. Stalin would regain his superiority and although he needed Zhukov, never fully trusted him.







Following the war Zhukov was the supreme Military Commander of the Soviet Occupation Zone in Germany, and became its Military Governor on June 10, 1945. A war hero and a leader hugely popular with the military and the Soviet people, Zhukov constituted a most serious potential threat to Stalin's leadership and as a result, on April 10, 1946 he was replaced as commanding general.

Exiled out of Moscow, Stalin assigned him to command the Odessa Military District, far away from Moscow and lacking strategic significance. He was then given another secondary posting, command of the Urals Military District, in February 1948. After Stalin's death, however, Zhukov was returned to favour and became Deputy Defense Minister in 1953.

Zhukov was no angel himself however. On September 28, 1941, Zhukov sent ciphered telegram No. 4976 to commanders of the Leningrad Front and Baltic Navy, announcing that families of soldiers captured by the Germans and returned prisoners would be shot. This order was published for the first time in 1991 in the Russian magazine Начало (Beginning).

In 1946, seven rail carriages with furniture which he was taking to the Soviet Union from Germany were impounded. In 1948, his apartments and house in Moscow were searched and many valuables looted in Germany were discovered.

In 1954, Zhukov was in command of a nuclear weapon test at Totskoye range, 130 miles (210 km) from Orenburg. A Soviet Tu-4 bomber dropped a 40 kiloton atomic weapon from 25,000 feet (7,600 m). Knowing the effect of the nuclear bombs which ended the war in Japan, Zhukov chose to watch the blast from an underground nuclear bunker. However as an experiment he ordered about 5,000 Soviet military personnel to stage a mock battle near the blast scene with another 40,000 troops were stationed about 8 miles (13 km) away from the epicentre.

The number of soldiers killed and injured was so large that the Soviet government shrouded the results in secrecy as a result of the devastation to their own soldiers.

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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2009, 08:58:56 AM »
Just so you know, political correctness is alive and well in Russia. Most westerners seem not to remember that it was born out of the Soviet experience.

An example is the Lenin Museum. Well, pardon me, I meant to say the Moscow City Hall.

If you're confused, I'll try to explain. This building below is the Moscow City Hall by all official standards.





But it isn't really. It's the Lenin Museum. However the Lenin Museum doesn't exist. By government decree, no less.

Of course if you're looking for City Hall, don't come here because although this is the Moscow City Hall, it really isn't. This building, is the Lenin Museum which doesn't exist.

Here is a little history: This was the original Moscow City Hall. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Moscow city Duma was disbanded and the large building was handed over to the Lenin Museum. As a consequence of this decision, opulent pre-revolutionary halls were either plastered or painted over, so as not to distract the visitor's attention from the personal effects of the deceased Communist leader exhibited there.

The museum was opened in May, 1924, as a branch of the V.I.Lenin Institute. Since 1936 it has been called the Central V.I.Lenin museum. More than 12,500 exhibits are displayed in its three floors and 34 halls. The exhibits include the first publications of his works, photostat copies of his manuscripts, Vladimir Ilich's personal belongings, documentary photographs and presents from the working people. Also on display are several Soviet works of art-paintings. sculptures, graphics, and items of folk art dedicated to V. I.Lenin.

Following the fall of Communism, the Moscow City Duma was reinstated but preferred to keep its headquarters in an office building of the former Moscow Soviet on Petrovka Street.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the new government didn't like the idea that in the centre of Moscow there was a museum devoted to the leader of the communist party and the Soviet state. Repeated attempts were made to stop its activities and to close the museum. Finally on 12 November 1993, by presidential decree, the Central Museum ceased to exist as an independent historical and cultural institution. This happened on the eve of its 70th anniversary.





The pre-revolutionary city hall is currently used to exhibit the vast collections of the State Historical Museum located next door.

Here is the Lenin Museum website http://www.stel.ru/museum/.

Which doesn't exist, of course.

Glad we could clear that up.

Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2009, 10:28:19 AM »
The Centre of Russia

In the 1956 Russian civil war movie Сорок первый ("The Forty-First") there is a scene which illustrates the significance of our next landmark. The movie is set in the 1918-1920 civil war and a small ragtag band of Red Army scouts cross a southern desert and stumble upon a nomadic group of Kazakhs and the old patriarch of the tribe asks in amazement "were you sent from the Centre?"

Even in those days with the capital still in St Petersburg, the cultural and ideological concept of Moscow being the "centre" of the Russian Universe was very real.

In more modern times that idea continues. The 2007 movie "Kilometer Zero" is about Oleg and Kostia, two young men from Murmansk who meet in a train compartment and discover that they are united in their indomitable desire to “make it.” How do they hope to "make it?" Their destination is the big time--go to "the centre" which is the envy of every young Russian boy or girl. Oleg and Kostia wanted to go to the centre, to Moscow's famous "Zero Kilometre" and achieve a life much different from ordinary life so far from the centre.

Our RUA tour of Red Square will start here, at "Zero Kilometre."









ALL Russian roads/distances across Russia are calculated from this point. Its a popular practice to toss coins onto the zero marker.











Moscow's "zero kilometre" is at the beginning of Red Square at the Resurrection Gate/Iberian Chapel entrance.

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« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2009, 11:00:50 PM »



Flanked by the Lenin Museum (supposedly City Hall) on the left and the State Historical Museum on the right, we're here at last! Beautiful Plaza (Red Square) is only a heartbeat away.

Welcome to what is correctly called the Resurrection Gates. Before 1648 this was known as the the Neglinenskaya Tower of the Triumphal Gate. More on how it came to be the Resurrection Gates soon.

Most Muscovites speak of a single Resurrection Gate, but there are two on that spot. It's just that the one on the right is not often used.





We'll be treated to several shots as the character of this special entrance molds itself to fit the Moscow weather and mood.

We've covered a lot in a surprisingly compact space! This shot gives perspective at what we've accomplished so far.

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2009, 11:21:26 PM »




As we saw earlier, just in front of the chapel is the bronze plaque marking kilometre zero of the Russian highway system.

Resurrection Gate is the only existing gate of the Chinatown area of Moscow. It connects the north-western end of Red Square with Manege Square and gives its name to nearby Voskresenskaya Square (Resurrection Square).