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Author Topic: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin  (Read 35383 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.


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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.


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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.


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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:


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2009, 06:52:34 PM »
Views of Manezh Plaza and Alexander Gardens in winter:


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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2009, 09:37:14 PM »
Did you remember to bring your Зонтик?


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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:


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


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Here's your sign:


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 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.


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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.)


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

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.



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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.


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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:


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.


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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.


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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« 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.



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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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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2009, 07:40:31 AM »
As you can see the sign, this is "State Historical Museum, Entrance 1."


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


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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.