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Author Topic: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin  (Read 45491 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2009, 11:29:55 PM »
Coming in our next installment we'll go to church! Just very briefly we'll learn how to pay respects to a priest, bow toward an icon, make the sign of the cross, explain what the burning incense means, etc. We'll even light some candles.

We'll do all that without leaving this spot.  :)

Offline BelleZeBoob

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2009, 04:43:43 AM »
Curious, what do you call Chinatown in Moscow?

My thoughts were that it should be a part of city where Chinese live. However, Moscow does not have any compact national communities.
Men are like Bluetooth: he is connected to you when you are nearby, but searches for other devices when you are away.
Women are like Wi-Fi: she sees all available devices, but connects to the strongest one.

Offline workedforme

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2009, 05:12:53 AM »
When my wife and I were at the Moscow center of Russia my wife stood in front of the circle,which is in front of a small church office? and threw coins over her shoulder as some type of offering to the church.(ws actually an offering to the babuska's scrambing for the coins)

The geographic center of Russia is in my wife's city...Novosibirsk!


Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2009, 07:19:28 AM »
Quote
Curious, what do you call Chinatown in Moscow? My thoughts were that it should be a part of city where Chinese live. However, Moscow does not have any compact national communities.

Historically the Resurrection Gate represents the only remaining gate separating the old Kitay-Gorod district from Red Square. That the current gate is a reproduction yes, but it holds that place symbolically. Much of the symbols of Red Square harken back to Russia's much earlier history.

Belle is right in that today Китай-город has no residents. That is why it no longer constitutes a raion (district) as there are no resident voters, however there is some serious shopping to be had in Moscow's China Town! And one of the oldest Metro stations is "China Town."





Above: all that remains of the old historic walls of Moscow's Китай-город (China Town).




Quote
The geographic center of Russia is in my wife's city...Novosibirsk!

Supposedly the small Chapel of Saint Nicholas in Novosibirsk attests to that "fact." Legend says that the Chapel is built on the exact spot and regarded as the geographical center of Russia. However the Chapel in Novosibirsk is actually the center of the late Russian Empire, including the central Asian republics and countries like Poland and Finland to the west.

Russia’s true geographic center is situated in the autonomous okrug of the Russian Federation, Evenkia, on the sides of the Vivi lake; a memorial was erected there to mark the true geographic center of the country. Recently the only resident of the former town, Anatoly Denisenko passed away (2002).

In 1983, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the famous chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev, an expedition marked the true center of the Russian Empire that scientists had previously determined. A silver 8-meter column with a gold ship on the top was made especially for this purpose to mark the center. It was a reduced copy of the ship from St.Petersburg’s Admiralty.

Anyway, do all Russians look with awe toward Novosibirsk, or the true centre Evenkia, and speak of either as the "centre" of life in Russia?  :)

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2009, 10:26:09 PM »
So, just how did an Orthodox chapel come to be at the entrance of Red Square? Well when you think of it there are as many churches on the Kremlin grounds as any other kind of building!


The Iberian Chapel
The small chapel at the entrance of Red Square/Beautiful Plaza was built specifically to house an icon known as "the Iberian Virgin." In the 17th century Russian Patriarch Nikon ordered an exact copy to be written and sent to Moscow. The icon arrived in 1648 and a year later a sacred copy was placed in the Neglinenskaya Tower of the Triumphal Gate, with a small awning placed over it for protection from the elements.


Right, Iberian Chapel


Later in 1649 the protective awning was expanded into a small chapel. When the imperial family traveled to Moscow it was a royal custom for the ruler and his family to visit and bow before Moscow's most sacred site when they arrived in the city.






Things to remember if you have the chance to enter the Iberian Chapel
- The chapel is not always open, but if it is observe the same respect you would a church as this is not a tourist attraction.

- Your lady will cover her head with a scarf. Men remove hats and caps.

- You should not enter if either of you are wearing shorts.

- The use of a camera will be discouraged.

- Making the sign of the cross is done by putting the thumb and first 2 forefingers together as a trio (Trinity) and the 4th and 5th finger lay flat against your palm (the two natures of Christ--human and divine). Take the three fingers in a point and touch the forehead, then the bottom of your stomach area, then LEFT shoulder, and end at the RIGHT shoulder (opposite of Roman Catholic style). Then bow.

- If you enter the chapel you should do the above at these times: At the door BEFORE entering, again upon stepping inside, and at each icon you visit.

- Purchase candles and light them at a candle stand in front of the icons. Again make the sign of the cross and say a brief prayer.

- Its not often but if a priest is present, don't shake his hand. Rather, cup both hands and hold them at mid waist level as if to receive a blessing. The priest will make the sign of the cross on your forehead and then take your hands to give a blessing. Bow your head as he gives the blessing. When finished kiss his cheeks 3 times: right-left-right.

- Be mindful of time spent inside if others are waiting outside for a chance to enter. It's small and more than 7-9 people constitute a real crowd.

- After stepping outside, face the chapel (out of the way of others if there is a line), make the sign of the cross again and do a final bow.





This is the famous Iberian Mother of God icon, of which a sacred copy is housed in the chapel. You can also see it in front of the priest in photo #2.

Finally, a night scene of the chapel interior.

The candles are of varying heights and widths and made in monasteries out of bees wax. As you can imagine the aroma is wonderful!





By going inside you've experienced a part of Russian history that has been around since 1649!

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2009, 10:48:52 PM »
One of the reasons Stalin ordered the destruction of the Resurrection Gate and the Iberian Chapel in 1929 was to make it possible for large military machinery to use this North entrance for Soviet parades on Red Square.

But another reason was his deep distrust of the Russian Orthodox Church, of which he had served in his youth and begun training to be a priest only to cast that aside and choose to prepare for revolution instead. In that sense Stalin was afraid to compete with political challengers, and just like Petr the Great had replaced the position of Patriarch of the Russian church with a voting Synod, Stalin feared the power of faith in a being greater than himself.

So in 1929 the Iberian Chapel, and in 1931 the Resurrection Gates, were destroyed by a madman.





Look not only at the chapel, but also at the two gates. How many Orthodox icons do you see representing Russia's historic faith?

Only in the early 1990s would these important landmarks be rebuilt and restored to their rightful places in the annals of Russian history.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2009, 10:04:21 PM »
Stepping out of the Iberian Chapel we are almost ready to enter Red Square. So lets learn a bit about the "Resurrection Gates."


After the Bolshevik Revolution the Soviet government began to destroy sacred sites, and in 1929 the Iberian Chapel was removed and replaced by a hideous sculpture of a worker. The icon was moved to the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Sokolniki.

In 1931 Stalin ordered the removal of the Resurrection Gates so that the Army could drive large machinery onto Red Square for the staging of large military parades. But did you know that even during the Great Patriotic War (World War II), when German forces were just 60 miles away form the Kremlin, Stalin commanded the official parade in a celebration of the Communist revolution of 1917? Russian troops were brought in from the battlefields to march on Red Square and then moved back to the front lines!

Every year since the defeat of Hitler, Red Square hosts the official "victory parade" and in 2005 it celebrated the 60th anniversary of victory over the Nazis. This event was attended by 60 leaders from the countries that took part in World War II and was the largest gathering of world leaders in history.

Have you ever looked up at the top points of the two towers of the Resurrection Gates?







As explained by excellent blogger Arthur Lookyanov of www.Moscow-Driver.com, "the double headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry. It was the coat of arms of the Byzantine Empire where the heads represented the dual sovereignty of the Emperor (secular and religious) and/or dominance of the Roman Emperors over both East and West. After fall of Constantinople, Grand Moscow Prince (Ioan III) adopted this symbol as the state emblem in 1472 to position themselves as successors to the Byzantine state and to likewise symbolize their dominion over the west (Europe) and the east (Asia)."

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2009, 11:39:26 PM »
Resurrection Gate Icons


Icon of the Resurrected Christ.



Some word plays in Russian:

Воскресенские ворота = Resurrection Gate

воскресенье = Sunday (day of Resurrection)

As you can see the word for "Sunday" in Russian is formed from the very word for "resurrection."

Even today the Russian calander is based on the old Jewish week of Monday thru Sunday as opposed to the Western Roman catholic calendar which starts our week on Sunday and ends on Saturday. Technically, Sunday in the East models the Jewish custom of sundown to sunset. For Orthodox Christians all over the world the Christian sabbath begins at sundown Saturday and ends at sundown Sunday. You will see this played out in Orthodox services at Christmas and Easter.


February 2008


Notice above how Saturday and Sunday are (in Red) at the end of the week.



Do you recognize the top icon below?







It is St. George, slaying a dragon.






Seems like there is a common theme here. Remember this earlier from the main glass domes over the underground shopping mall at Manezh Plaza?






You've figured out now that Saint George the Dragon Slayer is the official patron saint of Mosocw.

Legacy of icons during the Soviet period. Unfortunately many were destroyed. However more than a few Russians became believers during the Communist era through their restoration of Russian paintings and artwork. One artist, Anna worked on restoring the Amber Room at the Catherine Palace, which had been sacked by the Nazis.

Her husband, Dimitry worked on the restoration of Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (the famous “Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood” whose interior is completed covered in semi-precious stone mosaics of Biblical narrative paintings and icons). As they worked on these great works of art, they kept asking themselves this question, “how can the atheists be right, when the Christian faith has over the centuries produced such powerful artwork?”

Thankfully one of the biggest mistakes the Communists made was not removing the glories of Russian literature and liturgy from culture and not removing the great collection of Biblical narrative paintings at the Hermitage and the Russian State Museum.

Oscar Wilde was correct, "the cultural trappings of old holy Russia, though considered by the Communists to be only cultural treasures and neutral works of art, stood as silent witnesses to the Gospel during the ascendency of atheism during the 20th century. No matter how hard they tried to obliterate the meaning of their stories, it was the truth contained in those cultural treasures that ultimately unmasked the lie."


“One word of truth outweighs the world.”
—Alexander Solzhenitzyn

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2009, 12:10:17 AM »
Are you ready to enter Beautiful Plaza (Red Square)?






No matter the weather, Red Square is a favourite place for the Russian people.




Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #59 on: November 18, 2009, 01:03:55 AM »



Welcome to Beautiful Plaza (Red Square)!

To most Russians this is a holy site, full of meaning and history. It can be said that here lives and breathes the Russian soul. This is the centre of Russia, the heart from which flows all that it means to be Russian.




Below: Mendeleyev doesn't like photos that don't fit a normal page. But this Pano of Red Square would be ruined if it were condensed to fit on a page. So we apologize in advance and hope that you will enjoy as it's meant to be.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #60 on: November 18, 2009, 01:35:05 AM »
Immediately to our left as we enter is a wonderful historic landmark. We've entered from the north so our immediate left is northeast and on this corner of Red Square is the Kazan Cathedral.

The current building is a reconstruction of the original church which was destroyed at the direction Joseph Stalin in 1936.


ila_rendered


The Kazan Cathedral of Moscow was originally built in 1636 in honor of the Icon of the Our Lady of Kazan (Казанская Богоматерь) as a shrine to mark the city's liberation from the Polish aggressors by the Russian people's volunteer army at the close of the Time of Troubles.

Upon clearing Moscow from the Poles in 1612, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky attributed his success to the divine help of the icon Theotokos of Kazan, to whom he had prayed on several occasions. From his private funds, he financed construction of a wooden church to the Virgin of Kazan on Red Square in Moscow.

During the time when the Communists were preparing Red Square for holding the military parades of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin ordered the square cleared of churches. Although efforts were made by Baranovsky to save it, he could not prevent the Kazan Cathedral from being demolished.






The events that led to construction of the Kazan Cathedral took place during the Time of Troubles, following the end of the Rurik dynasty. During this period Polish forces, in supporting claims to the Russian throne, had occupied Moscow. Russian liberation forces on the way to retake Moscow carried with them the Our Lady of Kazan Icon from Yaroslavl. The Russians laid siege to the Poles who occupied the Kremlin and the walled Kitai-gorod area next to the Kremlin. The Poles were soon defeated and retreated from Russia.

Following the expulsion of the Poles, Prince Dmitri credited their victory to the divine help of the Icon of the Theotokos of Kazan.


ila_rendered

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2009, 01:46:45 AM »
Here is a good video of Red Square on New Year's Eve. Its just over a minute and very interesting to see.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2009, 05:57:10 AM »




A Brief History of Moscow
The city’s glorious history covers more than eight and a half centuries. The city was repeatedly conquered, destroyed and born again from the ashes ... Moscow was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147. This date is the year of birth of the city. But the foundation of Moscow is attributed to Suzdal prince Yuri Dolgoruky. In 1156 the Prince ordered to erect a new wooden fort, the future Moscow Kremlin, on the steep Borovitsky hill that towers above the Moskva River and the mouth of the river Neglinnaya, on the site of an ancient settlement.

Though being a remote region of Vladimir-Suzdal principality, by the early 13th century, the young Moscow turned into a huge medieval city - the symbol of Russian people and state. The ancestor of the dynasty of Moscow princes was the son of Alexander Nevsky, Daniil. It was he who made the first important steps towards the rising of Moscow in the 14th century by way of uniting fragmented Russian lands around Moscow, the future center of Russian state. Numerous enemies repeatedly tried to conquer Moscow. In 1238 Moscow was ruined by Batu Khan. In 1382 the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh took Moscow by fraud. The Kremlin was burned to the ground. In 1365 Moscow was destroyed by the terrible fire.

During the reign of Grand Prince Ivan III (1462-1505), Moscow became the capital of the centralized state. Ivan III sought to turn Moscow into a “third Rome” in exchange of Constantinople, which had lost its significance. The capital of Russia grew fast due to the large-scale construction of fortifications and temples, grand restructuring of the Kremlin, and, above all, its cathedrals. At the same time the Red Square was shaping. The construction of Moscow was carried out in circular layout. Like ripples from the historical center of the capital, the ancient Kremlin, appeared the stone fortifications. Thus, the Kremlin wall was followed by China-town walls. Next came the wall of the White City; its outlines are now the Boulevard Ring of Moscow. The Boulevard Ring was followed by Earth wall, which gave birth to the Garden Ring.

In the 15th century. Moscow became the largest cultural center with the territory and population surpassing London, Prague and other European cities. Since then, Moscow has been one of the largest cities in the world. For centuries it has remained the outstanding center for Russian culture, science and arts. It became the place of Russian publishing, the first theater in Russia, the first Russian university, and the first Russian newspaper.

The history of Moscow remembers a lot: more than two and a half centuries of Mongol-Tatar yoke, the exhausting battle with the Polish-Lithuanian invaders, Napoleon's troops that burned the city, and the Nazis, who did not manage to even enter the city.
 
Moscow is rated among the most expensive and beautiful cities in the world. Every year thousands of tourists come here with the dream of touching the relic of Russian culture, visiting world’s famous museums and theaters, wandering the roads of great poets, writers, musicians and artists, visiting the estates and mansions of Russian princes and emperors, witnessing magnificent Orthodox churches and monasteries. Moscow is filled with treasures. Each street has a name related to its history and almost every building and monument is a unique architectural masterpiece with its unique destiny.

Only in Moscow can you exit a bustling modern avenue and instantly enter a lane of the 19th century and see a house in Art Nouveau style or constructivism standing next to a Boyar house. Walking around Moscow is both in space and time.

 
(http://www.advantour.com/russia/moscow.htm)


ila_rendered


Above: Photographers prepare for an evening of capturing Red Square on film. (Photo by Arthur Lookyanov.)

Offline Stubben

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2009, 08:41:51 AM »
Are you ready to enter Beautiful Plaza (Red Square)?


I went for the same shot when I was in Moscow, but my crappy old camera wasn't up to the task.

And it didn't help that the photographer was incompetent either!  ;D

Here is one photo I think turned out well, the statue of Marechal Zhukov right outside the entrance to the Red Square. If it hadn't been for Belle the photo would be titled some dude on a horse.  :laugh:





Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #64 on: November 18, 2009, 09:22:30 PM »
On the previous page Belle asked a very important question:

Quote
Curious, what do you call Chinatown in Moscow? My thoughts were that it should be a part of city where Chinese live. However, Moscow does not have any compact national communities.

I gave a brief answer in order to stay in a step by step approach to Red Square. Belle is right in that Moscow's "China Town" has little to do with a compact center of Chinese residents or merchants.

As we are making our way down the Northeast side, we take great pleasure in introducing you to the next building on our left. Right now were are here:





From this vantage point you can see that there is a side street emptying away from Red Square. That would lead us to the northern most area of Китай-город (China town) and we'll visit there later. The next building, of which you can see the brown/gray stone corner, is our next subject (only briefly for now) as we move South on Red Square.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2009, 10:03:40 PM »
Just so you know, Kitay-gorod is one of the oldest parts of Moscow and dates back to the 11th century. The name can be confusing without some contextual understanding so we'll briefly explain.

Китай-город comes from two words. Китай (ki TIE) which means "China" and from the word город (GOR ahd) which means "city." So the translation is "China Town" and has been that for centuries.

However the Russian language has changed and developed over the years and although the name translates as “China-town,” it probably derives from an older Russian word "kita" which in ancient times referred to the type of wood slats on the wall that surrounded this early Kremlin suburb. Today, remains of an old city wall and ancient, colorful churches are scattered throughout this ancient neighborhood.

Why is the China town name relevant to the discussion of GUM, Moscow's fine and very upscale department store on the eastern edge of Red Square?

First, it's on China town territory, conveniently bordering Red Square.

Second, that fine building which you and I know as "you'd better have an AMEX card or you can't afford to shop here" was built on the grounds of what at one time had been the main livestock arena for merchant traders who brought pigs and cows and sheep and goats to trade/sell at Moscow's main area of commerce, Red Square.





ГУМ (GUM) is pronounced as "goom" and one of the most popular spots for Western visitors to spend some time shopping after visiting the Kremlin and Red Square.


ila_rendered



We'll explore GUM more later and of course China-town, but for now lets concentrate on Red Square and then the Kremlin.

In many photos you'll see the natural curvature of the earth across the distance from one end to the other of Red Square. It's not that the total area is so long, its surprisingly smaller than you expect, but the Kremlin area was built on one of seven hills in the Moscow region. Sometimes called "Kremlin Hill" (Кремлёвский холм) or more historically "Borovitsky Hill" (Боровицкий холм).

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2009, 10:31:05 PM »
As mentioned in the previous post we'll come back to GUM and go inside to do some shopping later, but for now we've got, no kidding, close a hundred things to cover in the Red Square and Kremlin territories before coming back to GUM.

Do you recall that street that runs between the Kazan Cathedral and GUM? This is what it looks like when entering Red Square. From this direction, the Kazan Cathedral is on the right (we now have a rear view of the Cathedral) and there front/right is the red brick building of the State Historical Museum. Entering from this direction we'd turn left to enter Red Sqaure.

Straight ahead is one of the 20 towers of the Kremlin wall. The big, imposing wall on our left is the northern end of the GUM complex.


ila_rendered



Looking south lets stand under a shade tree along the GUM sidewalk and snap some photos.


ila_rendered



Lenin across the plaza.


Offline WestCoast

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2009, 11:30:23 PM »
Mendy a question that might at first seem stupid, but those travellers that have been in foreign countries will realize that it is true, why are there no English language signs in your photos of Moscow? 

I've been in many foreign countries that don't have English as an official language yet I've always seen commercial advertising (billboards) in English, Tokyo, Paris, Beijing for example, around the city.  In the subway system in Tokyo, English is common, even in English hating Paris English signs are easy enough to find. McDonald's is spelled the same in Paris as in English speaking countries (there is no possessive in French) yet I notice from your signs in Moscow and I presume the rest of Russia it is in Cyrillic.

Tokyo McDonald's


Beijing McDonald's
Ipsa scientia potestas est. Knowledge itself is power.   Sir Francis Bacon

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #68 on: November 19, 2009, 12:01:00 AM »
WC, McDonalds is going back to using English and English-sounding cognates for it's Russian restaurants.

Street signs in Moscow and St Petersburg are starting to be bi-lingual but overall Russia is having an internal debate about the purity of the language and keeping Russian alive and well as a world trading langauge.

More on how to read a Russian restaurant menu here, and about McDonalds practice of developing English sounding cognates for it's Russian menu: http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=9476.0

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #69 on: November 19, 2009, 06:17:43 AM »
Okay, we're back at Red Square this morning. We enjoyed a cup of coffee at the McDonalds on nearby Manezh Plaza and are ready to continue the RUA tour. Now we're just waiting for officials to open Red Square.


ila_rendered



While we're waiting, there is one sure way to tell which lady is Russian or not. Its cold, we'll be walking long distances on stone and brick surfaces, and we'll encounter some snow on the ground this time of year.

So, which ladies are wearing high heels?  :)

Offline Manny

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #70 on: November 19, 2009, 03:40:56 PM »
Quote from: Mendy
Immediately to our left as we enter is a wonderful historic landmark. We've entered from the north so our immediate left is northeast and on this corner of Red Square is the Kazan Cathedral.

Is Kazan cathedral the one in the opposite corner to St Basils with a street at the side and the GUM centre to its right? We went in there; I was waiting for it to crop up on this topic.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #71 on: November 19, 2009, 11:34:55 PM »
Quote
Is Kazan cathedral the one in the opposite corner to St Basils with a street at the side and the GUM centre to its right? We went in there; I was waiting for it to crop up on this topic.


Yes, it depends on where you're standing but if you went into the Cathedral then it would be GUM to the right. For example if facing GUM from across the Plaza at Lenin's Tomb, Saint Basils would be to your right at one end (southeast) and the Kazan would be up at the other end (northeast) near the red brick Historical Museum.

There are side streets both by the Kazan Cathedral and also by St Basils. Behind the St Basils area is another historic church, St Barbara's Cathedral and behind the GUM area is the 16th century monastery of the Epiphany.


Here is a shot from the rear (southwest) and you can see St Basil's on the right (southeast corner), then GUM along the Eastern edge and the Kazan Cathedral would be at the far end of GUM, unseen in this photo. This view is from the opposite end of where we entered. It is past Red Square and looking back towards the north.





Both St Barbara's Cathedral and the Monastery of the Epiphany are set back behind Red Square, in the China Town area, but visible from certain points and very close to Red Square. Below is the monastery. It is also a bright pink colour, very close to the colour of the Kazan Cathedral but the monastery trim is white whereas the Kazan trim is green and white.






Finally, to show Kazan Cathedral (this is one of my fav photos!), here we are standing in the front of GUM (unseen to our right) and looking back at the Resurrection Gates from whence we entered, and there on the right, set back just a bit from street view, is the ever so beautiful Kazan Cathedral. In the snow!


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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #72 on: November 20, 2009, 10:40:38 PM »
Lenin's Mausoleum


Lenin's tomb (Мавзоле́й Ле́нина) displayed prominently on Red Square is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since the year he died in 1924 (with rare exceptions in wartime).


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Above you can see how Red Square looks just after the sun has risen in the morning. This view is from the Saint Basil's end, looking back toward the entrance. There in the middle/left fo the photo is Lenin's mausoleum, sandwiched between two towers. Inside the Kremlin walls the Senate buildingm which we'll explore later in detail, provides a splash of yellow colour to the decidedly drab grave of a former revolutionary.


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Lenin died on January 21, 1924, and before long the Soviet government received more than 10,000 telegrams from all over Russia, requesting the government to preserve his body. On the night of January 23, architect Aleksey Shchusev was given a task to complete within three days: design and build a tomb to accommodate mourners.

On January 26 the decision was made to place the tomb in Red Square by the Kremlin Wall. The first tomb covering was made of wood and more than 100,000 people visited within a month and a half.

In 1929, it was decided to exchange the wooden mausoleum with the one made of stone and architects used marble, porphyry, granite, labradorite, and other construction materials. In October 1930, the construction of the stone tomb was finished. In 1973, sculptor Nikolai Tomsky designed a new sarcophagus.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #73 on: November 20, 2009, 11:12:30 PM »
You'll notice block structures on both sides of Lenin's tomb which look like small staircases. Those are reviewing stands for dignitaries for official state parades.

Behind the tomb is the prominent Kremlin Senate building. The tower is the "Senatskaya Tower" one of 20 towers along the Kremlin walls.

In the old days Red Army soldiers stood guard. Russian soldiers called it "Sentry post number one" as a way to honour Lenin.





Guards smartly goose-stepped at the changing of the guard and crowds stood in line for hours every day of the week and especially on holidays.


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Over the years lines got lighter, and lighter, and lighter.


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Today the lines are about as dead as the man himself.





And if you want to pay a visit inside the tomb you'll need to manage your schedule just right. As the sign says, visiting times are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays only, between 10 and 13 hours (10am to 1pm).





Today there is official talk of finally putting the old boy to rest, permanently and away from public view.

In 1993 the Russian government discontinued the practice of Sentry duty at Lenin's tomb and transferred the duty of "Sentry Post number one" to the much more deserving tomb of the unknown solder on the Kremlin wall at the Alexandr Gardens (which we visited earlier in our tour).




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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
« Reply #74 on: November 20, 2009, 11:59:23 PM »
Review from earlier in the tour: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


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The tomb of the Unknown soldier is located in the Alexandr Gardens, just outside the Kremlin walls and on the approach from Manezh Plaza toward Red Square.


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History of the Unknown Soldier tomb: It really is plural for soldiers. The remains of the unknown soldiers came from unidentified Red Army soldiers killed in the Battle of Moscow in 1941 and initially buried in a mass grave at the 41st km of the Leningrad highway.

The remains were relocated to the Kremlin Wall in December of 1966 on the 25th anniversary of the battle. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was officially unveiled on May 8, 1967 and the torch for the memorial's Eternal Flame was transported from Leningrad, where it had been lit from the Eternal Flame at the Field of Mars.






Today it is an honoured tradition for newly married couples to stop by the Tomb of the Unknown soldier to leave some of their wedding flowers as a tribute. Especially on weekends there can be quite a gathering of couples, fresh from the ZAGS experience, taking photos and leaving flowers.