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Information & Chat About the Former Soviet Union => Russian, Ukrainian & FSU Culture and Customs => Topic started by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 12:25:30 AM

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 12:25:30 AM
We're a 2 minute Metro ride, but that means 10+ minutes by the time we enter the Metro, go thru the turnstiles, ride down the escalator and wait our turn to board a train. Then do it all in reverse to get off the train, go up the escalator, and exit to the street.

Its not that bad of a walk.

On our handy-dandy Moscow mini map you see the small circle. That is where we are, near Metro Kropotkinskaya. We're headed toward Red Square, the Kremlin, Alexander Gardens, Manezh Plaza, etc, etc, etc. Making our way toward the big square triangle.

Holy jeepers, Batcat! Triangle? That means that Red Square isn't Square?

Exactly. It's the result of a long-standing mistranslation of the name.

It isn't red either as you'll soon see with your own eyes.  

Some historians say that the word "red" was originally applied to Saint Basil's Cathedral and was subsequently transferred to the nearby square. Others argue that the name comes from the colour of bricks, yes red, from the Kremlin walls.

Both theories have gaping holes. First, the name first appeared in the 17th century when the colour of the Kremlin walls were white, not red. During that time Красная was the main term for "beautiful" rather than Красивый as more commonly used today. Finally, Saint Basil's isn't red, it's multi-coloured but the main colour scheme is a deep orange, not red.

The modern day usage of the term grew during the Cold War days. The word for red comes from the word beautiful and the USA-UK-Canada and Russia were friends and allies before the revolution. The "red square" designation grew even more prominent after the capital had returned to Moscow and with the onset of large Red Army military parades on the plaza next to the Kremlin.

Красная площадь would have normally been translated as "Beautiful Plaza" from the Russian language as it was used in the 17th Century.


[attachimg=#]  



[attachimg=#] площадь (ploshad) = "plaza"
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 12:43:34 AM
Lets look close up and identify the Metro stations so that if you wish to make this trip yourself you'll have the necessary info.

There are many hotels and apartments who advertise themselves as "a stone's throw" or as within "just steps" from Red Square Plaza. In reality some of them are not that conveniently located if time is of the essence.

If you can get from where you are staying to these Metro stations easily you'll be fine:
Aleksandrovsky Sad
Biblioteka im. Lenina
Borovitskaya
Okhotny Ryad
Teatralnaya



[attachimg=#]


Map details:
Not that most of us will drive in Moscow, but you can see that New Arbat (Novy Arbat) leads directly to the centre of the city.

You can also see the Moscow River in relation to how it passes directly by the Kremlin area.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob on October 29, 2009, 04:17:02 AM

Holy jeepers, Batcat! Triangle? That means that Red Square isn't Square?

Exactly. It's the result of a long-standing mistranslation of the name.



Mendy, are you sure that the Red Square is triangular? If it is, how would it be able to host military parades that require very straight lines?

This picture is not of the Red Square but that of the inside Kremlin that is indeed triangular, surrounded by famous red walls. The Red Square is a little spot right at Spasskaya Tower which is visible at the side of your picture.

 

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: froid on October 29, 2009, 05:45:28 AM
I'm with Belle...from what I understand what we westerners know as Red Square is a rectangle.  See link...

http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=55.7531294&lon=37.6194406&z=16&l=0&m=b&search=red%20square (http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=55.7531294&lon=37.6194406&z=16&l=0&m=b&search=red%20square)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 07:47:25 AM
Of course you are correct. Red Square itself is more rectanglar, however the Kremlin territory in total is more triangular. My illustration was that it isn't "square" in terms of what many Westerners mean as square. Most of us associate Red Square and the Kremlin as one, true they're not, but even many Russians do the same.

Froid, way cool on the Google map! I like that.  tiphat

Well I liked it except for one thing: who moved the Лобное место? I didn't see that on the Google photo?
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob on October 29, 2009, 08:01:05 AM
Probably too little to be shown as a separate object on that map. But still there ;)



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 08:05:29 AM
Good! I didn't see it on the map photo and was worried that perhaps some Western tourist had thrown it in a suitcase and taken it back to Topeka, Kansas or some other exotic town like Hannah, Montana.  :chuckle:
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: froid on October 29, 2009, 08:13:02 AM
Actually Wikimapia.org should be it's own seperate post as a useful aid to travellers.  

I used it to learn where things were in both Moscow and St Petersburg before I even went to both places.  As long as someone in the general public has taken the time to label the map for you it is VERY helpful.  Then once I was there I could navigate by sight since I had seen aerial views of everywhere beforehand.

Belle you should look at Wikimapia for Toronto too.  
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 09:21:31 AM
Everyone just naturally rushes onto Red Square upon arriving so lets be different. For a while we'll get to know the neighborhood as we approach.

One of the areas least seen is just across the Moscow River. Ironically some of the most stunning photos can be taken from this area but only rarely do outside visitors take the opportunity to get to know this place across the river from the Kremlin territory.


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Lets approach Red Square and the Kremlin from what is generally called the Sofiyskaya Embankment. Its named for the little Saint Sophia church nearby and part of the Zamoskvorechye region of Moscow and perhaps most well known for two streets which separate districts, Bolshaya Yakimanka and Bolshaya Ordynka.


[attachimg=#] Yakimanka area


Likely you've heard of the House on Embankment (Дом на набережной), a block-wide apartment house in the Bersenevka neighborhood opposite the Kremlin. That imposing building is here too.

The House on the Embankment was completed in 1931 as the Government Building, as a residence of Soviet elite. The building currently has 505 apartments of which some are used as offices, a theater, a movie theater, restaurants and retail stores.


[attachimg=4]


During Stalin's purges, this was not the place one wanted to live. Stories abound of KGB vans pulling up at night, men pounding up the stairways, and shouting for doors to be opened, residents who lived with a bag packed in case those men suddenly came for them, and the relief of knowing that at least that night, they had come for a neighbor instead.

Some of the building's most famous residents have included Alexey Kosygin and Nikita Khrushchev.


[attachimg=3] Никита Сергеевич Хрущев


Cuse me, it's Nitika on the phone. I should take this call.

- Hello, its Mendeleyev.

- Yeah, Nicky here.

- Dude, it's been a LONG time.

- Well, yeah, it gets busy round this place.

- One could only imagine!

- Ah, Mendy, what's this about Froid taking the Лобное место back to Canada.

- Oh gosh, didn't know you read RUA!

- Avid fan, very avid. Of the Mendeleyev Journal too.

- Well, golly, aw shucks and all. But it wasn't Froid who took it. Well, I don't think it was him.

- Listen Mendeleyev, ya never know...your friends are the first ones to do something sneaky behind your back. Anyways, we've got to have that thing returned to Красная площадь.

- What "thing?"

- Is your memory that bad? Jeepers, wait until ya get my age.

- It's okay, Nicky. Belle found it. The Лобное место is back and sitting there next to St Basil's.

- Good, good. She put it in the correct spot, right? I mean, this is historic stuff and all. Placement is everything. Measurements have to be "spot on" if you understand me.

- Nicky, Belle has just the right measurements!   tiphat  On that you don't have to worry.  :laugh:

- Alright. We'll it's been good chatting. Listen, gotta run but watch out for that Lenoid, he's a back stabber. Threw me a curve ball that's for sure.

- Wait, Nicky, you mean that you don't ever run into Lenoid where you're at? He's been gone from here quite a while.

- Nope, reckon we musta ended up in different places.  :chuckle:

- (operator recording) Sorry, your phone card has exceeded the available minutes. Please hang up or insert another card. Thanks for using Pearly Gates Telecom for all your communication needs. Goodbye.

- (dial tone)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 11:36:47 AM
Meanwhile before we plunge into all that the Red Square and Kremlin territory has to offer lets grab some lunch not far from our destination. Restaurant Grabli ("the Rake") is at Pyatnitskaya 27 between Metro stations Tretyakovskaya & Novokuznetskaya and a decent place to try Russian food at a budget price. Its cafeteria style so each can choose their own items.


http://www.grably.ru/


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: froid on October 29, 2009, 11:52:06 AM
I can't remember where I was before I walked to Red Square and the Kremlin but it was an art museum.  My first view of the Kremlin was from this side, across the river.  Looks much more impressive then because you are far enough away to see more without buildings in the way. 
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 12:56:03 PM
Froid, were you coming from the area of Pushkin Museum near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour?

Or at the entry to Red Square? Did you notice a large (red building) state historical musuem with the statue of Marshall Zhukov on a horse in front?
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 31, 2009, 01:35:35 AM
Okay with lunch completed we're ready to begin our tour. However before we go we'll stop at a kiosk and get some bottled water.

Today street kiosks are a lot different than back in the 1980s. In the photo below is a bank of machines selling mineral water and a vendor selling ice cream (1986).


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It cost 15 kopeks in 1986 for vanilla ice cream sandwiches at one of these Moscow ice cream and water stands. Just as is often the case today, you needed to have correct change or you might lose your place in line or be asked to stand aside until the purchases of other customers made change possible.

Russians love ice cream and will eat it solo, as a topping for pancakes & blini, or just about any way imaginable. Since big fridges and freezers were not convenient for street kiosks, usually ice cream purchased from kiosks was in the form of eskimo bars.

Mineral (soda--with "gas") water could be purchased from one of the large bulky machines for a 3-kopek coin. At that time paper drinking/eating products were not in great supply so often a glass or tin was set nearby as well as a water fountain to rinse it out after the previous customer.


Today we'll take our bottled water in a more modern form. Common choices include .33 liter, .07 liter, or 2 liter.


[attachimg=#] Bottled water.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 31, 2009, 10:19:24 AM
Thousands of years of history have played out on this walled plaza, long used by the occupants of the Kremlin to congregate, celebrate, and castigate for all to see.

We'll pick up at Teatralnaya Ploshchad, or Theater Square, site of the celebrated (1) Bolshoi Theater (Teatralnaya Plaza; www.bolshoi.ru) and the lesser known (2) Maly Theater (Teatralnaya Plaza). The fantastic facade across the street is the (3) Metropol Hotel (Teatralny station; www.metropol-mosow.ru), an amazing art nouveau masterpiece covered with multicolored mosaics and sculpted stone.

A little later we'll walk on Okhotny Ryad to Manezhnaya Plaza (Manezh Square). The square is now occupied by the vast underground shopping mall (4) Okhotny Ryad. Surrounded by luxury hotels, the square centers on the statue of Marshall Zhukov, the heroic commander from WWII. The former (5) Central Lenin Museum provides the backdrop.

The best way to approach Red Square is through the (6) Resurrection Gate. Although this triumphal arch was built in the early 1990s, it is an exact replica of the original structure, which stood on this site from 1680 to the early 1930s. Now the stunning square is before you, ringed by historic buildings and amazing architecture. On the immediate left is the tiny (7) Kazan Cathedral, another 20th-century reproduction. And on your immediate right, anchoring the north end of the square, is the (#8) State History Museum (www.shm.ru). This stately brick building is a gem of a museum with each room dedicated to a different historical period.

The enormous, elaborate facade occupying the east side of the square is the State Department Store, better known as (9) GUM (www.gum.ru). These days, GUM (pronounced "goom") is filled with fancy boutiques and souvenir shops. The mighty towers of the (10) Kremlin (www.kremlin.ru) dominate the west side of the square (although the visitor’s entrance is on the opposite side). In a prominent place near the center, (11) Lenin’s Mausoleum is there to see (although his eventual interment is an ongoing subject of debate).

At the far end of Red Square, the colorful confusion of onion domes and tent peaks is (12) Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, the 16th-century church that is probably Moscow’s most recognizable sight. “The interior is mysterious and beautiful with its painted walls and iconostases of different period,” says Clementine Cecil, co-founder, Moscow Architectural Preservation Society (www.maps-moscow.com). “It was a museum during Communist times, which saved it from Bolshevik looting.” The church’s proper name is the Intercession Cathedral, named for the feast day on which the army of Ivan IV the Terrible captured the city of Kazan in 1552. But one chapel is built over the grave of Vasily (Basil) the Blessed, whose name has stuck to the whole church.

From here you can continue strolling south to the Moscow River for fabulous views of the gold domes of the Kremlin churches rising up over the red brick walls.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 31, 2009, 09:07:39 PM
Looking around at all this wonderful history, and knowing how far behind the Soviet Union was to the West in standards of living, it's hard to believe that we're enjoying all this history in the midst of what has grown in a very short time into this.....


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Visitors don't need to bring their own coffee and toilet paper any longer. We think you can find it easy enough here.  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 31, 2009, 09:58:29 PM
We're at Театральная Площадь!


Theatre Plaza (sometimes called Theatre Square) is the English name of this area which was called Sverdlov Square during the Soviet period between 1919 and 1991.  Located at the junction of Kuznetsky Bridge Street, Petrovka Street and Theatre Drive and only minutes from Red Square.

(Next to this plaza to south-east of Theatre Drive is the separate Revolution Plaza/Square.)

The square is named after the three theatres situated there — Bolshoi Theatre, Maly Theatre, and Russian Youth Theatre. The square is served by the Teatralnaya Moscow metro station on the Zamoskvoretskaya Line, Okhotniy Ryad on the Sokolnicheskaya Line and Ploshchad Revolyutsii on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line.



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Of course the Bolshoi Theatre is the most famous of these theatres and if you've been following the Mendeleyev Journal (http://russianreport.wordpress.com) you already know that a massive reconstruction of the Bolshoi has gone maddeningly wrong being over budget, over-due and still not completed, more structural problems have recently been discovered, the lead director quit in protest, and the board appointed to manage the reconstruction has apparently been accused of mismanagement of the funds. Also, did we mention large cost over-runs?



[attachimg=#]
(Theatre Square view)



Address: Театральная площадь, д.1 (Teatralnaya Plaza, House 1)



[attachimg=#] The renovation plan


Nonetheless, the Bolshoi operations continue and shows go on in neighboring venues. Also in the Bolshoi complex itself, in an adjacent building called the "New Stage."



[attachimg=#] Bolshoi map



[attachimg=#] Seating boxes



[attachimg=#] Bolshoi stage



Getting a ticket to the Bolshoi seems easy at first glance. But alas, tis still Russia. You could go to the English version of the theatre website (http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/), select a performance, use your credit/debit card to pay, print out your receipt and presto...well not really.

True, you do all the above. But you must take your printed receipt and the credit card you used for the online purchase, and on the day of the performance go stand in line for a cashier, like everyone else, and present your receipt and your credit card--both which are scrutinized for ungodly lengths of time while the casher, and her supervisors, try to figure out what to do with your receipt and card.


[attachimg=#]


Looking over your ticket
сезон = refers to the performance "season"

Сентябрь = September, 22 of the year 2000

начало в 19.00 = Official things in Russia go by a 24 hour clock, performance begins at 7pm.

ложа 2-го яруса 8 = Box 2nd, circle 8

левая сторона = Left section

место 3 = Place 3

цена 90 руб. = Price of 90 rubles

серия бт = Series/ticket number



http://boxoffice.bolshoi.ru/eng/sales.html

Cloak-room ladies are always friendly and take not only coats, but hats, too, and even large bags if you've been out shopping. The dress code is dressy casual to very dressy.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on October 31, 2009, 11:35:45 PM
We keep mentioning various Metro station names as we make this tour so for your convenience here is the newest printable pdf map of the Metro. It has the new updated stations that most internet maps don't yet have so feel free to make this handy resource your own.


[attachimg=#] Click here (http://livinginmoscow.ru/metro/Images/moscowmetro.pdf) for the pdf
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 01, 2009, 09:33:44 PM
Here on the Theatre Plaza we also find the Maliy Theatre, one of the oldest in Moscow.


[attachimg=1]



While we are still in the Theatre Plaza we'll take note of the historic Метрополь (Metropol) Hotel. The Hotel Metropol was built in 1905, as a part of the great project by Savva Mamontov, who planned to construct a complex of a hotel, restaurants, exhibition halls, and a theater in the heart of Moscow. With the revolution however the Communists nationalized the hotel and it became an apartment house for high ranking officials.


[attachimg=2]


Gutted by fire, the hotel was reconstructed in 1991, uniquely designed without any internal support columns and is known for its luxury rooms, each with a unique design and furnishings.

2011 note: the Hotel is being remodeled with the addition of a museum. Still uncompleted as of late August 2011.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 01, 2009, 10:13:35 PM
So as we prepare to leave Theatre Plaza, what is that building with the sign on it just off to the right of the Bolshoi?


Okay, is that supposed to be "Goom" or "Tsum" (Гум or Цум)?

Both.

They're different, two separate entities that just sound a lot alike to the Western ear.

Цум is near the Bolshoi.

Гум is at Red Square across from the Kremlin.

Both are "high end" and tend to be very pricey.


[attachimg=#]



Address: ул. Петровка, д.2  (Petrovka Street, House 2)
www.tsum.ru/en




[attachimg=#]
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob on November 02, 2009, 01:40:57 AM
The Theatre Plaza is spectacular, but I have also heard that it is rumoured to be a hanging up place of Moscow gay people  :hidechair: Perhaps I'd not advise for single tourists to sit there, unless you have a female companion ;)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 02, 2009, 09:04:00 PM
Thank you, Belle.

I haven't had any problems in daytime, and when there at night its usually for a performance at the Bolshoi. One should always be careful when in a new and unfamiliar city.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 03, 2009, 10:54:57 PM
Mrs Mendeleyeva says that I should mention that the "blini bar" at the Tsum is a fine place to meet your special friend and share a light lunch or cup of afternoon tea. (Note that lovely hot water samovar on the bar.)


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I have duly complied.  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 03, 2009, 11:31:08 PM
[attachimg=1]


Allo, this is Vladimir. You've probably seen me in pictures, on American television and especially those lackeys on CNN.

Lets be straight forward about the purpose of this greeting. Perhaps you've heard that I'm a hardnosed kind of guy. Well that is true. Which is exactly the reason why Dmitry and I have consented for Mendeleyev to lead this tour of Moscow and Red Square.

We may disagree politically from time to time but one thing must be said: even though a journalist, Mendeleyev is still alive. That should tell you something.

I've asked Manny to make sure that if RUA ever sanctioned a tour of Red Square and the Kremlin that Mendeleyev would lead the way. I dropped into RUA the other day (hey, even Russian men want to snag a Russian woman!) and was interested to see that this tour was taking a reasonably measured pace through some of Russia's very important historical sights.

Slow is good. You know, I like slow at times. Like the time we took photographers out to shoot wild game with my shirt off. I look good in slow motion. It makes the game easy to shoot too if they're moving slowly.

But once the photos are taken you can bet that the Russian press move into high gear. The faster they get my barechested photos in newspapers around the world the sooner it has that German broad and the Chicago boy in those foreign capitals shaking in their high heels. That makes me laugh!  :chuckle:

Okay, Mendeleyev is about to lead you from Revolution Plaza toward Red Square and the Kremlin so it's time for me to step aside (Mendeleyev says that often but I don't usually listen to Americans). This time however I've asked him to point out lots of interesting things on the way about Manezh Plaza and the Alexander Gardens.

You Westerners come to Red Square and don't even give those national treasures a second glance as you rush headlong toward the grave of a dead man and the overpriced department store across the plaza. As the American's are fond of saying, "stop and smell the roses." Mendeleyev is going to make that easy to do as this tour continues.

I hope that you enjoy the time in Moscow. If you do, tell everyone you meet. This isn't Vegas so you don't need to keep it a secret. Of course if you don't enjoy your time in Russia just let it be known and a little accident in front of a fast moving Metro train can be arranged.

Добро пожаловать!

V.V. Putin
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: froid on November 04, 2009, 09:05:28 AM
Haha.  You are amusing Mendy. :)

Alexander Gardens was one of my favourite places in Moscow.  I will have to look at my pictures from there again. :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 04, 2009, 10:16:32 PM
Well with Vladimir's blessing, and with his outstretched arm showing us the way forward, we are prepared to walk over to Manezh Square, a seamless walk from one area to another.

So how do we pronounce some of these names?

We'll get things started and perhaps enlist the help of Belle and Eduard and some of our other great members as we go along.

First, if you by happenstance were so fortunate to meet the Prime Minister on the street always address him formally as "Mr Putin" and all will be fine. But you already knew that. While we're not going to use his first name, ever, in a conversation it might be good to know how to say it in case we meet another guy named Vladimir.

It's not quite "Vlad-ah-mer" as so many say. Just as Ivan isn't "I-van" (it's "E-vahn"), neither is Vladimir "vlad-ah-mer." Make it sound more like "vla-DEE-mir" and in no time you'll be sounding like a native Russian speaker!  :)


So you'll know where we're going, lets go over our next destinations at Red Square. We'll be at Александровский сад and Манеж Площадь.

Манеж Площадь ("Mahn-Yezh") is sometimes spelled in various places on the Internet as Manege. What in heavens name they're drinking is beyond me, but if you wish to say it correctly put the letters 'g e' back in the holster. Ya won't need either. Манеж simply means "arena" and of course Манеж Площадь refers to "Arena Plaza" as Площадь is the word for plaza. Площадь is "plo-shhadT." A grammatical rule regarding consonants at the end of a word means that the D (д) at the end is converted to more of a T sound.

At the same time we'll see the famous but sometimes overlooked Александровский сад. That's the beautiful "Aleksandrovsky Gardern" area. So let's learn how to speak it. Alexander Garden was one of the first public parks in Moscow and keep in mind that Aleksandr is not spoken as we say Alexander. Take your time on this long word as it doesn't need to be rushed. Start with "Alek." Add "sahnd" and then "dravh" and finally "skee." Slow but confident, make it 4 parts at first until comfortable. When you have that down pat, put everything together as "Alek-sahndravh-skee."

The word sad (сад) means garden. It pronounced as easy as saying sad. That's it! "Alek-sahndravh-skee sad" means Alexander Garden.

Good work!  tiphat
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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...


[attachimg=1]


 :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.



[attachimg=2]



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.



[attachimg=3]


That large building center-left from this view is the Russian State Duma (parliment).
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.



[attachimg=1]



[attachimg=2]


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.


[attachimg=3]
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


[attachimg=1]


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.


[attachimg=2]



[attachimg=3]


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.



[attachimg=4]
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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-

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.



Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 05, 2009, 06:52:34 PM
Views of Manezh Plaza and Alexander Gardens in winter:


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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:


[attachimg=3] 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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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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:
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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).
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Jared2151 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
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.



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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.



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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.


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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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."


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



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Moscow's "zero kilometre" is at the beginning of Red Square at the Resurrection Gate/Iberian Chapel entrance.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 12, 2009, 11:00:50 PM
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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.


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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 12, 2009, 11:21:26 PM
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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).
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: workedforme 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!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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."


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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?  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


[attachimg=#] 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.


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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.


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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!


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By going inside you've experienced a part of Russian history that has been around since 1649!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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?



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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)."
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 16, 2009, 11:39:26 PM
Resurrection Gate Icons


[attachimg=4] 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.


[attachimg=5] February 2008


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



Do you recognize the top icon below?



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It is St. George, slaying a dragon.


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



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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
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 17, 2009, 12:10:17 AM
Are you ready to enter Beautiful Plaza (Red Square)?


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



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 18, 2009, 01:03:55 AM
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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.


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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.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 18, 2009, 01:46:45 AM
Here is a good video of Red Square on New Year's Eve (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMsUVOxswpU). Its just over a minute and very interesting to see.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 18, 2009, 05:57:10 AM
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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)


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Above: Photographers prepare for an evening of capturing Red Square on film. (Photo by Arthur Lookyanov.)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Stubben 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:

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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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:


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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.


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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).
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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


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[attachimg=1] Lenin across the plaza.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: WestCoast 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
(http://www.globosapiens.net/data/gallery/ja/pictures_468/www.globosapiens.net--japan--tokyo--tokyo--id=6554.jpg)

Beijing McDonald's
(http://cache.virtualtourist.com/1332785-McDonalds-Beijing.jpg)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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?  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Manny 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.


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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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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.


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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.


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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).


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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).



Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev 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.



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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.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 21, 2009, 12:33:34 AM
We've covered a lot of ground this early Moscow day and for lunch will go to the nearby home of relatives, cousin Natasha and husband Gherman. It was "Ghera" who was my representative when asking my wife's family for their blessing to propose.

Looks like Natasha has the table set. Ghera should arrive any minute as he works as a police captain at the Duma district, making sure those rowdy politicians don't beat up unsuspecting citizens too badly. Since that is just across the Manezhnaya Plaza from Red Square, he will arrive soon.

This is a communal apartment as Gherman and Natasha own two rooms and another couple owns the third room. The hallway, kitchen and bathroom are shared. Ghera and Natasha have three small children and Natasha's mom, Aunt Lyuba lives with them.

I'm seeing smoked salmon, marinated herring with onions, tomato slices with cheese, crab salad, tinned herring, olives, tomato and cucumber salad with olive oil and bread. Of course there is a box of добрый сок. сок is "juice" and добрый can be translated as kind or as good. Given that it's juice I think we're safe making the assumption that добрый сок is "good juice."


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Ah, looks like you've met my friend Тихон (Ti-hon). Don't worry, he is well house trained as Natasha has put the fear of God in him so that he'll sit there all day and gaze longingly at that fish but he won't dare put his life on the line by setting a paw on the table.

He will however snuggle comfortably on my lap during the meal, in full confidence that "Uncle Mendeleyev" will accidently drop small bits of fish and other goodies in his direction over the course of the meal. Away from Natasha's view of course.  :laugh:

Yes, there is a piano against the right wall and Natasha is a fine musician so at the end of the meal you'll experience some genuine Russian singing at the table before we extend our thanks and return to Red Square and RUA's Moscow tour.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: ECR844 on November 21, 2009, 06:12:28 AM
"Mendy,"

That looks suspiciously like a bottle of Монашеский орден "Monastic Order" wine, is it?
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 21, 2009, 07:43:03 AM
I believe so, but even with my reading glasses on I can't say for certain. However I know that you've been looking for a way to order it and you are in luck my friend!

Here is the order form: http://goods.marketgid.com/goods/7148104/


Or you can order if from the Moscow firm, Gerris Group: http://vino-massmarket.ru/products.php?category=2&subcategory=80 (Scroll to bottom of page. Photo on right, phone numbers at bottom.)


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: ECR844 on November 21, 2009, 08:15:55 AM
I'll give them a call, Thanks!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 21, 2009, 11:27:00 AM
After enjoying a tasty lunch in a real Russian home we make the quick jaunt back over to Red Square. As we'll be entering Red Square again from Manezhnaya Plaza, let's stop and check for any important email messages.

Got your laptop? On the top level of the Manezh Plaza shops (overlooking the waterfalls) there is an Internet Cafe. Hey, free internet access! (With a purchase of some sort like a soda or beer, etc).


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The sign advertises a куриный сзндвич (chicken sandwich) with a coca cola drink for 180p. 180 Rubles is $6.32 at today's exchange rate.

Did you notice the name of the bar on the window sign above the chicken sandwich special? The name of the bar is: бар флегматичная собака, which translates as "the phlegmatic dog bar."   :chuckle:


Stepping outside as we leave the plaza once again we're treated to the beauty that makes up Manezhnaya Plaza and the Alexandr Gardens.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 21, 2009, 12:54:13 PM
Leaving Manezhnaya Plaza one member of our tour noticed that we had walked past the Lenin Library which is nearby. Although the official name of the institution is Российская государственная библиотека (Russian State Library) most Russian's call it Lenin's Library as that was it's name during the Soviet period.

The plaque on the face of the building is of Pushkin and the statue in front is of Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский (Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky), the famous Russian writer. His best known titles in the West are probably Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.


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Re-entering Red Square one is reminded that this is one of Moscow's most popular concert venues. It was several years ago that Рол Маккартни (Paul McCartney) came to Red Square:


[attachimg=1] 24 May (2003)



The stage is most often set with St Basil's Cathedral as the background and GUM is decorated in an outline of lights, usually white to create a Christmas storybook look no matter what time of the year.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: ECR844 on November 23, 2009, 07:57:31 PM
"Mendy,"

Dimtri was so impressed with this thread he wanted to phone in on his new toy and give a shout out while he had Vlad give him a pedicure

(http://visualrian.com/storage/PreviewWM/5032/43/503243.jpg?1258202521)

No, "Stubben," it's not the newest Russian prototype of a Wii replacement :ROFL:












Or is it?
(http://de.fishki.net/picsw/112009/16/post/medvedev/medvedev002.jpg)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: skiingandrunning on November 23, 2009, 08:39:16 PM
For those who have spent a lot of time in Moscow, you would have probably seem the packs of stray dogs running around.  But, this article gives a different perspective on them as it relates to their using the subway to commute (unfortunately, the dogs I have seen have not been in nearly as good of condition as this article leads you to believe). 

http://englishrussia.com/?p=2462
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 23, 2009, 09:57:28 PM
We're walking past GUM and headed for the opposite end of Red Square.


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At the far end of Red Square lies the crown jewel of Russia. Travelers around the world reportedly identify this one landmark with Russia than any other. While not correct, it is commonly called Saint Basil's Cathedral.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 23, 2009, 10:06:18 PM
We'll have an opportunity to explore St Basil's in great detail, but first there are a couple of nearby things to explore. Two important landmarks lie between the south end of GUM shopping mall and the Cathedral. The first of these is the famous and perhaps not properly described лобное место (Lobnoye Mesto).


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лобное место is translated as "place of skulls." “Place of Skulls” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Golgotha”. Contrary to popular opinion, executions were not held in the Place of Skulls. Unruly boyars, the rebellious Streltsy and Stepan Razin were executed at some distance from the Place of Skulls, which was considered holy. The reference in the name to skulls came from the practice of displaying religious remains (relics) of saints at this spot.


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Tradition links лобное место with the deliverance of Moscow from the invasion by the Tatars in 1521. Chronicles first mention it in 1549, when the 20-year-old Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave a speech to the people from the Place of Skulls, calling for reconciliation among warring boyars.

The Place of Skulls that is made of stone with cast-iron gates was built under Boris Godunov. Before the capital was moved to St. Petersburg, the Place of Skulls was the main public and political tribune in Moscow. The Tsar’s decrees and important state documents were proclaimed here, and the relics of saints were placed here for everyone to see. In the 18th century, the Place of Skulls was moved slightly to the east and rebuilt according to the project of Matvey Kazakov.


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The circular stone platform which stands before St. Basil's was constructed in 1598, on the site where a wooden dais had previously stood. The platform and its predecessor were used for proclamations to the crowds gathered on Red Square and not, as is often claimed, for public executions. The most famous of these - the quartering of Cossack rebel Stepan Razin, Ivan the Terrible's gruesomely inventive torture of hostile boyars, and Peter the Great's mass execution of the Stresltsy Kremlin guard, all took place nearby.

From here the orders of the Grand Princes were announced by criers. It was also here that Ivan the Terrible, with quite a flare for drama, performed public penitence and several times declared his abdication. It was also traditional for heirs to the throne to be presented to the people here on their fourteenth birthdays. On religious holidays, a lectern was placed on the Lobnoe Mesto, turning St. Basil's into the altar of a vast open-air cathedral comprising the whole of Red Square.


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Earlier you may recall that RUA member Froid attempted to dismantle the monument and hide it in his suitcase to smuggle out of Russia and into Canada. Russian authorities because suspicious when Froid complained of back pains at SVO airport and his luggage was so heavy that Aeroflot couldn't make a takeoff due to the excess weight. The лобное место is now back in it's rightful place and meanwhile Froid is back in Canada but under 24 hour house arrest with a very attractive female FSB agent assigned to his case.  :nod:
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 23, 2009, 10:34:24 PM
Throughout history the лобное место (Lobnoye Mesto) has also been the scene of political announcements and demonstrations. In modern times the most memorable was the Демонстрация 25 августа 1968 года ("1968 Red Square demonstration").

The 1968 Red Square demonstration took place on 25 August 25 1968 at Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that occurred during the night of 20–21 August 1968, crushing the so-called Prague spring, a set of de-centralization reforms promoted by Alexander Dubček.

Many people over the world had protested against the suppression of the Prague spring with troops of USSR and other countries of the Warsaw pact. One such act of protest took place in Moscow, at the Red Square. The protest was held at the Lobnoye Mesto, to avoid any violation of public order that could have occurred during the demonstration. The protestors were sitting to avoid any inconvenience to ordinary citizens which might be caused by them standing, although this appears to have had little effect.

The protest began at noon as eight protesters (Larisa Bogoraz, Konstantin Babitsky, Vadim Delaunay, Vladimir Dremliuga, Pavel Litvinov, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Viktor Fainberg, and Tatiana Baeva) sat at the Lobnoye Mesto and held a small Czechoslovak flag and banners with various slogans, including:


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"For your freedom and ours" («За вашу и нашу свободу!»),

"We are losing our best friends" («мы теряем лучших друзей»),

"Ať žije svobodné a nezávislé Československo!" (Long live free and independent Czechoslovakia),

"Shame to the occupants" («Позор оккупантам!»),

"Hands off the ČSSR" («Руки прочь от ЧССР!»),

"Freedom for Dubchek" («Свободу Дубчеку!»).

Within few minutes seven protesters were assaulted and loaded into cars by KGB operatives. The Czech flag was broken, and the banners were confiscated. Since Natalya Gorbanevskaya had recently given birth, she was not made to stand trial. The other protesters convinced 21-year old Tatiana Baeva to declare that she had been at the scene by accident, and she was released soon after.

The KGB failed to find out which protester was holding which banner; therefore, all the banners were attributed to each protester, except for Tatiana Baeva, who was released. The banners were branded by the KGB as "anti-Soviet".

During the trials which followed Soviet eyewitnesses declared that they saw protesters leaving the GUM, a large store in the vicinity, even though this store is closed on Sundays. Additionally, all eyewitnesses happened to be from the same military division, even though they all claimed that they ended up on Red Square accidentally.

All of the protestors tried were sentenced to prison sentences, 3 were exiled to Siberia.



40 years later, on 24 August 2008, a similar demonstration with the slogan For your freedom and ours was held at the same spot.


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Through the centuries, and often first embraced by the younger generations, this small landmark has seen a lot of history, a lot of changes.

Until the young people of Russia finally have a full taste of freedom, they will never forget the ideals which bring about the Ветер перемен (winds of change).


The Winds of Change (Original: The Scorpions)
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the winds of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the winds of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the winds of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the winds of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the winds of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the winds of change

The winds of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the winds of change

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Jared2151 on November 24, 2009, 07:38:28 AM
Wow Mendy,

   You have a lot of unraveling to do.  Just about everything I have read about Lobnoye Mesto indicated that it was used for beheading.  So, if this wasn't the site, where is it ?

   From what I know, I'd bite down on the cyanide capsule before the KGB took me away.
I think the KGB would be an interesting topic by itself.

   Keep up the excellent work.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 25, 2009, 12:06:21 AM
Quote
You have a lot of unraveling to do.

Oh, this is small potatoes. Ole Mendy knows how to stir up trouble.  :chuckle:

Earlier this week I made a change to a Wikipedia article about Eastern Orthodoxy in regards to the Nativity fast. Holy moley, it at least seemed as if every Wiki bureaucrat on the face of the planet wanted to email or post messages of "How dare you mess" in an area where you haven't been granted SYSOP status (evaluation committee or administrator). One editor of a religion/philosophy subcommittee, wanted to know what gave me the right. "I'm Orthodox, and your committee information was wrong" was my reply.  8)



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Just about everything I have read about Lobnoye Mesto indicated that it was used for beheading.

Jared, there is a lot of that on the Web and it's not an undebatable conclusion. This time it appears that Wikipedia got it right, pointing out that "Sometimes scaffolds were placed by it, but usually public executions were carried out at Vasilevsky Spusk behind St. Basil's Cathedral." This is the official position of the Russian State Historical Museum also.

Lobnoye Mesto was of great significance both in political and religious terms. For the relics of saints to be displayed a place should be considered as "holy" and a place where criminals and political opponents were executed would not be considered to be holy.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.  :)



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So, if this wasn't the site, where is it?

Many historians point to the area directly behind Saint Basil's and some readers may recognize площадь Васильевский Спуск (Vasilevsky spusk) as the location for the Last.fm concert of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Live at Red Square back on 14 Aug 1999. It was also the starting point for the Moscow hosting of the Formula One race.


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Above: Down the hill from the Kremlin-Red Square area leads to the Moscow River.

We'll come back to this area when we make a tour of the Kremlin wall towers, one by one to learn more of each tower's individual story and contribution to the Kremlin and Red Square.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 12:26:47 AM
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Our next landmark really defines Red Square. Around the world it is renowned. When you think of one symbol that identifies our ideas of Russia, of Moscow, and most certainly of Red Square, this is the icon of which we assign to Russia in our minds.

The amazing thing, worldwide, is that nobody seems to know it's real name!



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So, why is the Church of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat (Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву) called the Cathedral of St.Basil the Blessed? The common Western translations Cathedral of Basil the Blessed and Saint Basil's Cathedral incorrectly bestow the status of cathedral on the church of Basil, but are nevertheless widely used even in academic literature.

The structure which so many of us, myself included, call the Cathedral of St.Basil (the Blessed) was built as a monument to a major turning point in Russian history, the defeat of the Kazan Khanate (1552-1554). After each major victory, a small wooden church was erected near the Trinity Church which already stood here. Thus, by the end of the war, there were eight churches on this site. After the final victory, Ivan the Terrible, on the advice of Metropolitan Makary, ordered stone churches to be built in place of the wooden ones.

Designed by the architects and master builders Postnik and Barma. They were commissioned by the Tsar Ivan to do the job and when all was completed they had created a monument whose composition had no parallel in the entire history of world architecture. They built eight pillarlike churches on a single foundation, placed symmetrically round the center chapel (the ninth), central pillar crowned with a tentlike roof. Two additional annexes were added later for a total of eleven. It is called Pokrovsky Sobor in Russian, which literally means the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin.


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Above: From the Brian McMorrow collection is the set of plans for the Cathedral design. Interestingly, it was only in the 1970s when doing restorations that craftsmen found a hidden spiral staircase leading to what at that time was an unknown small chapel!

The vividly coloured, onion-shaped domes of St Basil’s Cathedral are undoubtedly one of Russia’s most famous images. Situated in Moscow’s Red Square, each dome has a distinctive patterning and colour scheme, creating a stunning, fantastical effect, reminiscent of whipped meringue.

The cathedral retained its original shape until 1588, when a tenth church was added over of the grave of the holy fool Basil (Vasily) the Blessed, after whom the cathedral is now known. Basil, who died in 1552, was a well-known prophet who wandered the streets of Moscow and predicted, correctly, that there would be a fire in the city in 1547.
 
Ever since, the Cathedral has been known as the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. It has been a branch of the State Historical Museum since 1929.


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Originally an apprentice shoemaker in Moscow, Basil adopted an eccentric lifestyle of shoplifting and giving to the poor to shame the miserly and help those in need. He went naked and weighed himself down with chains. He rebuked Ivan the Terrible for not paying attention in church, and for his violent behaviour towards the innocent.

When Basil died on August 2, 1552 or 1557, St. Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow, served his funeral with many clergy. Ivan the Terrible himself acted as pallbearer and helped carry his coffin to the burial. He is buried in a side chapel of the Moscow Cathedral which has over time gradually taken on his name. Basil was formally canonized as an Orthodox saint around 1580. His feast day is celebrated on August 2.


Photo credits:
- Russian State Historical Museum
- Michau
- Brian McMorrow
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 12:50:49 AM
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С Новым Годом! (Happy New Year!) St Basil's is one of the focal points of the annual New Year's Eve celebrations on Red Square.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 08:50:47 AM
Today there are really 11 churches in one: 10 chapels built around the core of the original Trinity church. Trinity was the original name of the church before it was rebuilt of stone. The 10th chapel is an annex. The tenth sanctuary, dedicated to Basil Fool for Christ (1460s–1552), was added in 1588 next to the north-eastern sanctuary of the Three Patriarchs. Another local fool, Ivan the Blessed, was buried on the church grounds in 1589; a sanctuary in his memory was established in 1672 inside the south-eastern arcade.

In 1908 the cathedral received its first warm air heating system, which did not work well due to heat losses in long air ducts, and only heated the eastern and northern sanctuaries. In 1913 it was complemented with a pumped water heating system serving the rest of the cathedral.


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Almost destroyed by the Soviets!

In 1918 the communist authorities shot the church's senior priest, Ioann Vostorgov, confiscated its property, melted down its bells and closed the cathedral with the idea to blow it up sometime in the future. It remained closed but was spared for the time being.

By the early 1930's the cathedral became an obstacle for Joseph Stalin's plans for grand parades on Red Square. Moscow Communist party boss Lazar Kaganovich was known at the time as "the moving spirit behind the reconstruction of the capital" and one day Stalin's master planner/architect Vladimir Semyonov reputedly dared to grab Stalin's elbow when the leader picked up a model of the cathedral to see how Red Square would look without it. Stalin, shocked at the prospect of the missing Cathedral reputedly shouted, ""Lazar, put it back, put it back!"

Lazar Kaganovich was soon fired and replaced. Ironically however, another man, Pyotr Baranovsky had previously been arrested and was sitting in a cold Siberian Gulag for objecting to the proposed demolition. In the spring of 1939 the cathedral was locked up because demolition was again an open topic on the agenda of planners, but by this time public opinion had been aroused and planners relented.


Almost destroyed by the French!

Legend has it that Napoleon was so impressed with St. Basil's that he wanted it dismantled to take it back to Paris with him, but lacking to the technology to do so, ordered instead that it be destroyed with the French retreat from the city. French engineers set up kegs of gunpowder and lit their fuses, but a sudden rain shower extinguished the fuses and prevented the explosion.




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Mendeleyev has spent considerable time inside St Basil's, the last time in a private media tour displaying the last round of renovations which was completed in September 2008 with the opening of the restored sanctuary of St. Alexander Svirsky.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 10:04:16 AM
Below: Mrs. Mendeleyeva's painting of 'Saint Basil's on the Square.'



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Below: side views of Saint Basil's.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 12:41:05 PM
The extravagant and brightly colored domes of the cathedral's exterior mask a much more modestly decorated. Small dimly lit chapels and maze-like corridors fill the inside of the church and the walls are covered with delicate floral designs in subdued pastel colors dating from the 17th century.


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Visitors can climb up a narrow, wooden spiral staircase, set in one of the walls and discovered only in the 1970s during restoration work, and marvel at the Chapel of the Intercession's priceless iconostasis, dating back to the 16th century.



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There was so little room inside the church to accommodate worshippers, that on special feast days services were held outside on Red Square where the clergy communicated their sermons to the milling masses from Lobnoye Mesto, using St. Basil's as an outdoor altar.


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So, where in all this maze of small chapels connected into one large structure, is Saint Basil buried? Right there. You're looking at his grave in the bottom photo. That small room is St Basil's Chapel and the large stone/metal tomb which dominates the right side of this small room is where Saint Basil lies today. Those metal hanging stands hold incense which is lit on special Orthodox feast days.

We are only able to see this photograph because it was taken on an official photo tour with lighting set up by the Russian Historical Museum staff. Normally the lighting in this chapel, and the other chapels, is so dim that photos usually don't develop. Except on official museum media days, flash photography inside the Cathedral is strictly prohibited.

Several of these come from the excellent Brian McMorrow collection at http://www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow/moscowstbasils&page=all.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 03:22:56 PM
One of the best photographers of Moscow is a non-Russian, Brian McMorrow. We'll showcase a few of his photos here, giving proper credit but I'd encourage you to visit his website which is packed with some of the best St Basil's photos anywhere I've seen.


Visit Brian McMorrow at http://www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow/moscowstbasils&page=all


Sampling from that collection


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 26, 2009, 03:32:39 PM
Can you see and feel the Eastern influence?


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 29, 2009, 11:38:04 PM
When we first approached St Basil's Cathedral from the main entrance of Red Square you probably noticed a statue of two men just outside the Cathedral. The monument to Minin and Pozharsky (памятник Минину и Пожарскому) is a bronze statue on Red Square of Moscow right in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral.

The statue commemorates prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who gathered the all-Russian volunteer army and expelled the Poles from the Moscow Kremlin, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles in 1612.


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In the small garden outside St. Basil's stands an impressive bronze Statue to Minin and Pozharsky, who rallied Russia's volunteer army during the Time of Troubles and drove out the invading Polish forces. They were an interesting duo - Dmitry Pozharsky was a prince, while Kuzma Minin was a butcher from Nizhny Novgorod.


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Guarding Moscow in all sorts of weather.

The statue was designed by the artist I. Martos and erected in 1818 as the city's first monumental sculpture. It originally stood in the center of Red Square in front of what is now the GUM Department Store, with Minin symbolically indicating to Pozharsky that the Poles were occupying the Kremlin and calling for its liberation.

The Soviet authorities felt that the statue had become an obstacle during parades and after the construction of the Lenin Mausoleum Red Square, its position was considered rather ambiguous and was eventually moved to the garden in front of St. Basil's in 1936.

Now they have an incredible view of the GUM shopping plaza!


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On the first celebration of the Day of People's Unity (04 November 2005) a near exact copy of this monument by Zurab Tsereteli was erected in Nizhny Novgorod. The copy is only 5 cm shorter than the Moscow original.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 29, 2009, 11:46:35 PM
Don't misbehave on Red Square--they're watching!  :)


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Trivia question--in the sign on the monument Minin and Pozharsky there is a Cyrillic letter that while remaining in the Ukrainian and Belarussian languages, has been eliminated from the Russian cyrillic. Which letter is it?


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Next on the RUA tour of Moscow: The Kremlin Necropolis (tombs) along the wall towers.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Jared2151 on November 30, 2009, 10:23:50 AM

   Mendy,

   WOW !!!   Thank you for such an excellent article on St. basil's, errrrr.... Church of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat .

   I don't know why but, for some reason, I assumed that it was all one building.  I did
not know that it was a collection of separate churches.  The article, as well as the photographs, are top notch.  You do an excellent job of bringing us newbies up to speed.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on November 30, 2009, 01:36:58 PM
Thank you Jared. It is one building, sort of, just not all of the chapels at one time.  :chuckle:

It's a beautiful landmark with such a storied history! Glad you are enjoying the tour.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 02, 2009, 12:23:59 PM
Our earlier trivia question was: --On the sign on the monument Minin and Pozharsky there is a Cyrillic letter that while remaining in the Ukrainian and Belarussian languages, has been eliminated from the Russian cyrillic. Which letter is it?


Россия is how Russia is spelled today.

The sign uses an earlier Cyrillic letter which has since been dropped in a streamlining of the Russian alphabet.

The sign below reads Россiя.


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Both И и and І і are present in the Ukrainian version of the Cyrillic. Belarussian omits the И и in favour of the І і. Both letters are used in the Rusyn language spoken in Carpathian Ruthenia (what is now part of Ukraine and Romania), and small enclaves in Slovakia, and Poland, and Serbia.


The inscription on the monument reads: “To Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky from a grateful Russia."
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 02, 2009, 08:30:28 PM
When the cathedral is open, it's possible to tour the interior of St. Basil's. The interior of the chapels, though surprisingly small, are found to be richly decorated. The windows offer unique views of the cathedral itself as well as of Red Square. The stone floors exhibit the wear-marks of 500 years' worth of steps taken by the religiously devoted. The interconnected chapels, with their doors, nooks, artworks, and niches make the interior of St. Basil's seem like something out of a fantasy.

St. Basil's Cathedral should be open every day except for Tuesday, from 11am to 5:30pm. The cathedral may not be open if restoration work is being undertaken. Nonetheless, if Red Square is open (occasionally, it will be closed), it's still possible to view St. Basil's from the exterior and take photos of this symbol of Russia.


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It always sad to leave St Basil's, as you will someday understand, one falls in love with the beauty, the personality, and the history folded into these sacred walls. One can be so thankful for Stalin's yelling "put it back, put it back" upon seeing the map of what Red Square would look like without this magnificant work of art.

In the most recent renovations, carried out carefully as a scientific operation, the cultural stratum was lowered by 70 cm to reveal the foundation of the 17th century and layers of the 13th century. At the time of the 1917 Revolution, St Basil's was the tallest building in Moscow. During the latest renovations a coin minted in 1611 was found.

A common question when speaking about St Basil's is whether Ivan really blinded the eyes of the two architects, Barma and Postnik?

Well, Ivan was a pretty terrible guy. According to historical chronicles, St. Basil's Cathedral was designed by the architects Postnik and Barma and of course the legend goes that Ivan the Terrible admired the beauty of the cathedral so much that he ordered the architects blinded so they could never build such a masterpiece yet another time.

However a lot of things going back that far in history can "get a little fuzzy." The old adage that hindsight is always 20/20 certainly doesn't apply to this story!  :chuckle:

Moreover, many historians think that the cathedral was designed by a single person, Ivan Barma, who had a nickname Postnik. Postnic means "abstinent" and there is another problem--historical documents also reveal that an architect named Postnik built several other such monuments after St. Basil was completed.

Perhaps we'll never know the real answer, so for now we'll assign it to legend until proven otherwise.


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Both photos in this post are from the rear (south). In this bottom one we are standing on the bridge over the Moscow river. That white sign which reads "стоп" is a s-t-o-p sign.


Finally, Basil "the fool for Christ" worked and spoke tirelessly on behalf of the homeless and the poor. It is fitting that at various times during Russia's history, including during the Great Patriotic War, that homeless people have found shelter from the winds and snows under one of the Cathedral's porches or awnings or outer entry halls. Today that is no longer so, but in a way one must think that Basil, who spent his life defending such, would be very proud to have them as company, even if only for a night or two.

May his blessed memory be eternal. Amen.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 02, 2009, 11:09:29 PM
We're already covered the Lenin tomb on prior pages so now we'll briefly discuss the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. The Red Square Necropolis came into existence in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. The necropolis is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930.

After the last mass burial made in 1921, funerals on the Red Square were reserved as the last honor for the notable politicians, military leaders, cosmonauts and scientists. In 1925–1927 burials in the ground were replaced with burials of cremated ash in the Kremlin wall itself; however burials in the ground resumed with Mikhail Kalinin's funeral in 1946.


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Above: The Lenin Mausoleum on the right.

The Kremlin Wall Necropolis was designated a protected landmark in 1974 and the practice of burying on the Red Square was ended with the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko in 1985.

The tombs of Suslov, Stalin, Kalinin, Dzerzhinsky, Brezhnev are in front of the Kremlin wall. The tomb of Yury Andropov, which stands between Kalinin's and Dzerzhinsky's, is obstructed by trees. The Mausoleum is immediately to the right. Note the contrast between a mature spruce tree on the left to a line of young trees


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The largest single burial occurred in 1919. On September 25, a gang of anarchists led by former socialist revolutonary terrorist Donat Cherepanov, set off an explosion in a Communist Party school building in Leontyevsky Lane when Moscow party chief Vladimir Zagorsky was speaking to students. Twelve people, including Zagorsky, were killed and buried in a mass grave on the Red Square.

The last mass burial in the ground of Red Square were victims of a railway crash of 24 July  1921. The aerowagon, an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aero engine and propeller traction, was not yet tested properly. On the day of the crash it successfully delivered a group of Soviet and foreign communists led by Fyodor Sergeyev to the Tula collieries; on the return route to Moscow the aerowagon derailed at high speed, killing everyone on board, including its inventor, Valerian Abakovsky.


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Those concrete structures are the reviewing stands for parades on Red Square. There is a line of spruce trees separating the reviewing stands from the burial sites. The Kremlin wall and the stands erected in 1940s were traditionally separated with a line of blue spruce (Picea pungens), a tree not native to Russia. In August–September 2007 most of the trees were cut down because of disease. The Federal Protective Service salvaged some 28 old but sound trees for replanting inside the Kremlin. New trees were selected from the nurseries of Altai Mountains, Russian Far East and "some foreign countries".


Trivia question: Who was the only American to be buried in the Red Square necropolis?
Hint: Think of the 1980's movie "Reds."

Bonus question: What was his occupation?
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 02, 2009, 11:23:22 PM
Understanding that some of you wish to do some New Year shopping in GUM, we assure you that we'll get there quickly. In fact, it's our next destination and coming soon!

Happy holidays from Moscow!


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: WestCoast on December 02, 2009, 11:34:49 PM
We're already covered the Lenin tomb on prior pages so now we'll briefly discuss the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. The Red Square Necropolis came into existence in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. The necropolis is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930.

After the last mass burial made in 1921, funerals on the Red Square were reserved as the last honor for the notable politicians, military leaders, cosmonauts and scientists. In 1925–1927 burials in the ground were replaced with burials of cremated ash in the Kremlin wall itself; however burials in the ground resumed with Mikhail Kalinin's funeral in 1946.


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Above: The Lenin Mausoleum on the right.

The Kremlin Wall Necropolis was designated a protected landmark in 1974 and the practice of burying on the Red Square was ended with the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko in 1985.

Tombs of Suslov, Stalin, Kalinin, Dzerzhinsky, Brezhnev in front of the Kremlin wall. Tomb of Yury Andropov, which stands between Kalinin's and Dzerzhinsky's, is obstructed by trees. The Mausoleum is immediately to the right. Note the contrast between a mature spruce tree on the left to a line of young trees


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The largest single burial occurred in 1919. On September 25, a gang of anarchists led by former socialist revolutonary terrorist Donat Cherepanov, set off an explosion in a Communist Party school building in Leontyevsky Lane when Moscow party chief Vladimir Zagorsky was speaking to students. Twelve people, including Zagorsky, were killed and buried in a mass grave on the Red Square.

The last mass burial in the ground of Red Square were victims of a railway crash of 24 July  1921. The aerowagon, an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aero engine and propeller traction, was not yet tested properly. On the day of the crash it successfully delivered a group of Soviet and foreign communists led by Fyodor Sergeyev to the Tula collieries; on the return route to Moscow the aerowagon derailed at high speed, killing everyone on board, including its inventor, Valerian Abakovsky.


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Those concrete structures are the reviewing stands for parades on Red Square. There is a line of spruce trees separating the reviewing stands from the burial sites. The Kremlin wall and the stands erected in 1940s were traditionally separated with a line of blue spruce (Picea pungens), a tree not native to Russia. In August–September 2007 most of the trees were cut down because of disease. The Federal Protective Service salvaged some 28 old but sound trees for replanting inside the Kremlin. New trees were selected from the nurseries of Altai Mountains, Russian Far East and "some foreign countries".


Trivia question: Who was the only American to be buried in the Red Square necropolis?
Hint: Think of the 1980's movie "Reds."

Bonus question: What was his occupation?


Mendy, I hope this isn't suppose to be a real tough question.  John (Jack) Reed an American born journalist is buried in the Necropolis.   Didn't really like "Reds", the silent film October: Ten Days That Shook The World is better and reportedly more realistic.

Edit: Just checked and October: Ten Days That Shook The World is on Youtube in 10 minutes segments.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 03, 2009, 12:22:02 AM
Hooray! Today an honoured Canadian member is being awarded the Order of the USSRUA Red Star!  tiphat

Obviously given the movie and his book, John Reed was a journalist who was very much in agreement with the Communist revolution and had free access to the inner circles of the party when Lenin was alive.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 05, 2009, 09:42:48 PM
Time to do some New Year shopping. We'll step across Red Square to tour the world famous GUM. GUM (ГУМ) is pronounced as 'goom' and the Russian name is Главный Универсальный Магазин. That means it's the "main shopping store."

Lets understand the name. Главный means main and is the same form of the word used for home page on a Russian website. The name comes Soviet times when most major cities had a main department store that was open to the communist party elite but closed to average citizens.

The main store of those "main" stores was this one and is the most famous place to shop in Moscow. Facing Red Square, GUM is the start of the ancient Kitai-gorod (China town) of Moscow. It is a large large, ultra modern, and expensive shopping mall.

We've seen the outside from Red Square, so we'll step inside at this entrance.


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There are multi levels and several halls so we'll enjoy the views.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 05, 2009, 10:00:31 PM
Many of the stores feature high-fashion brand names familiar in the west; locals refer to these as the "exhibitions of prices", the joke being that no one could afford to actually buy any of the items on display. Currently there are more than 200 stores.


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By the time of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the building contained some 1,200 stores. After the Revolution, the GUM was nationalised and continued to work as a department store until Joseph Stalin turned it into office space in 1928 for the committee in charge of his first Five Year Plan. After the suicide of Stalin's wife Nadezhda in 1932, the GUM was used to display her body.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 05, 2009, 10:11:33 PM
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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 05, 2009, 10:49:28 PM
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My first GUM experience was one of amazement after seeing the Soviet shops available to ordinary citizens. Then a few years later when living in Moscow the then future Mrs Mendeleyeva and I were out for an afternoon and went there for some ice cream. We ended up however eating at Rostik's Chicken. I immediately knew that somehow there was a connection to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and sure enough, KFC and Baskin Robbins stepped in to save Rostik's financially in the 1990's and with some menu dish changes to accommodate Russian taste buds, the chicken was the very same.



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Well, after several hours of shopping we've decided to end the day with a great view from a bar/cafe at one of the hotels across from Manezhnaya Plaza. As you can see above, we are now very familiar with several sights.

Lower right-there is the 2nd Arsenal tower, at the corner of Alexandr Gardens and Revolution Square. It is a common entry to Red Square.

Lower middle-there you see the State Historical Museum, that large red building. In the front of the museum is General Zhukov on his concrete horse. To the left is the Resurrection Gate entry, considered the main entry to Red Square.

Lower left-the corner of the City Hall (not really) and the Lenin Museum. The Kazan Cathedral is behind the Lenin building but we can't see it from here.

Left middle-that large complex with the rounded glass lighted tops is GUM, where we just spent several hours.

Upper mid left-along the Moscow river in the distance we can see the distinctive outlines of the Hotel Ukraina, one of Stalin's "seven sisters."

Middle-Saint Basil's stands stead over the centuries as a beacon and light for faith and hope. Just as it has been almost destroyed and then "redeemed" each time at the last moment, in the same way God reaches out to redeem all mankind and speaks to us thru the centuries of time with a constant and steady reminder of the beauty of man's creative abilities.

Middle right-you see two towers in the middle. In between those are the concrete reviewing stands for Red Square parades and behind those is the Necropolis where some famous public figures are buried. Lenin's Tomb can be seen jutting out into Red Square from the Necropolis area.

Middle right Towers-the far tower nearest Saint Basil's is called the "Saviour Tower" with it's gate into the Kremlin territory. Like the other middle tower closer to us, it has a red star on top, an addition by the Soviets. This tower is considered the most famous and it has the big clock inside. When the President of Russia makes his traditional New Year speech, this tower and the clock in it are the focal point of ringing in the New Year, much as Times Square is to the USA.

Middle-we can't see it from this angle but the space in the middle of all that is the rectangle known as "Red Square" which you now know means "beautiful square."

Below and just out of view of our vantage point is the Manezhnaya Plaza with it's beautiful fountains, underground shopping center and the lighted domes on the plaza.

This completes part One of our RUA Moscow tour.

We'll pick up the next phase of our Moscow tour by discovering the Kremlin wall and it's 20 towers (tower by tower) and by invitation, we'll go inside the Kremlin!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 08, 2009, 11:22:29 PM
This page reserved for a photo of Mendeleyev, standing in GUM while patiently waiting for the beautiful and talented Mrs Mendeleyeva and the Mendeleyeva daughters who, not in the least concerned with my plight (from boredom), were busy entertaining themselves among the shelves and aisles of each GUM store. I have the photo on one of the laptops--now to find which one...
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 09, 2009, 12:24:35 AM
The tower walls of the Moscow Kremlin


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The RUA tour of Moscow continues! One of the most symbolic constructions in Russia's history can be traced back to the 12th century when Moscow was founded. The original outpost was surrounded by the first walls in 1156, which was most likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers. Destroyed in 1238 by the Mongol-Tartar invasion, the Moscow Kremlin was rebuilt in 1339-1340 which included a bigger fortress on the site of the original outpost. This time the walls were constructed of massive oak walls which were believed at the time to be an impenetrable defence from raids, however such was proven to be useless against the fire which burned Moscow in 1365.

Dmitry Donskoy in 1367 began a rebuilding of the fortress. All winter long from the Mukachyovo village 30 virsts (country miles) from Moscow, limestone was hauled back on sledges, allowing the construction of the first stone walls to begin the following spring. Within a few years the city was adorned with beautiful white-stone walls. Whilst it was successfully invaded by the Tatars again in 1382, the massive fortification suffered no damage.

Dmitry Donskoy's walls stood for over a century, and it was during this period that Muscovy rose as the dominant power in Northeastern Rus. By the end of the 15 century, however, it was clear that the old constructions had long passed their time and Czar Ivan the Great's visions. Between 1485 and 1495 a whole brigade of Italian architects took part in the erection of a new defense perimeter and although over the years new walls have been erected by building on top of the older walls, some white stone can still be seen at the base in some places.

During the reign of Czar Alexei Romanov, the towers were built up with decorative spires and the walls were restored. Today the Kremlin's walls of red brick with notches at the top provide the colour for the gray rectangle that is commonly called Red Square.


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Visitors who take the time to walk the walls are often surprised to learn that the walls aren't uniform nor were they constructed all at the same time. With an outer perimeter of 2235 metres, the Kremlin is a loose triangle, deviating from the geometric ideal on the southern side where instead of a straight line, it repeats the contours on the original hill on which the Kremlin rests. The height at some places ranges from no more than 5 metres quadrupling to 19 metres elsewhere. The thickness of the walls also varies from 3.5 to 6.5 metres.

The top of the walls, along their entire length, have outwardly-invisible battle platforms which also range from 2 to 4.5 metres in width (in proportion to the thickness). A total of 1045 double-horned notched "teeth" crown the top of the walls, with a height ranging from 2 to 2.5 metres and thickness from 65 to 75 centimetres.

The Kremlin walls themselves have also served as a prison as some of the interior corridors inside the walls have rooms with no exterior illumination where particularly dangerous criminals were jailed.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 09, 2009, 01:04:50 AM
Earlier in the tour we discovered that there are 20 surviving towers. These towers have each earned a place in Russian history and serve to highlight the walls. Most were built at different times.


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Kremlin wall trivia:
- Tainitskaya is the oldest, and dates to 1485. It is called the "secret" tower as we'll soon learn.

- The baby (youngest) is Tsarskaya was erected in 1680.

- The Troitskaya (Trinity) tower is the tallest at 80 meters high.

- Three of the towers, located in the corners of the castle have unique circular profiles. From the ground level it is only possible to enter six of the towers, the rest only from the walls.

- Four gate towers exist, all crowned with ruby stars, they are Spasskaya, Borovitskaya, Troitskaya and Nikolskaya. Although up to the 1930s it was also possible to enter the Kremlin via the gates of Tainitskaya tower, however these were covered up yet leaving their portal clearly visible. The ruby stars were added during the Soviet period.

- Kutafya Tower is a bridge over the now underground Neglinnaya River which used to serve as a moat before diverted underground by huge pipes and pumped to the Muscow River. It is the only bridgehead watchtower to have survived to this day.

- Kutafya Tower is also the Kremlin's smallest at a height of just 13.5 meters.

- Total distance around the Kremlin is 2.25km.


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The southern part of the wall faces the Moskva River. The eastern part faces Red Square. The western part, formerly facing the Neglinnaya River, is now part of the Alexander Garden, the bridge which formally crossed the river still stands and is done in the same style as the Kremlin wall.

The main gates in the Spasskaya tower are normally (with the exception of official and religious ceremonies) closed to the public. The gates under the Nikolskaya tower are often used for service duties only. Visitors to the Kremlin normally enter the premises via the gates under the Troitksaya tower. Except for those who wish to visit the Armoury chamber and the Treasury fond, which are accessible via the gates of the Borovitskaya tower.

We'll go inside the Kremlin territory soon, but for now we're going to do something that hasn't been possible since before 1917! Before the revolution it was also possible to book an excursion, lasting over two hours, to walk along the perimeter of the Kremlin walls, beginning at the Borovitskaya tower.

By special invitation we're going to do that now.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 13, 2009, 12:21:17 AM
At the time of the Russian revolution of 1917 the Bolsheviks' were the minority among the revolutionary factions. But Vladimir Lenin was a shrewd planner and soom emerged as the dominate force in revolutionary politics.

Lenin was bold and brutal. Just as brutal and ruthless as Stalin, but he died before gaining the same kind of reputation. So when the Bolshevik's fled, yes fled, Petergrad in early 1918 where could they go for safety?

There was a perfect place from which to hide from enemies while issuing cold orders to liquidate the opposition revolutionary parties. Behind the Kremlin walls in Moscow. The irregular triangle of the Kremlin wall encloses an area of 275,000 square meters (68 acres). Its overall length is 2235 meters (2444 yards), but the height ranges from 5 to 19 metres, depending on the terrain. The wall's thickness is between 3.5 and 6.5 meters.

After the death of Alexis Romanov, young Peter had witnessed the Moscow Uprising of 1682, and barely escaped alive. This emotional trauma made him dislike the Kremlin. Three decades later, Peter abandoned the residence of his forefathers for his new capital, Saint Petersburg, named not for himself but in honour of his patron saint, the Apostle Peter.

Not since that time had the government been in Moscow. Upon arrival Lenin selected the Kremlin Senate as his residence; his room is still preserved as a museum. Stalin also had his personal rooms in the Kremlin and couldn't wait to remove from his headquarters all the "relics of the tsarist regime". Changes included taking down the 2 headed golden eagles to be replaced by shining Red stars.

Behind the walls of the Kremlin proved to be a safer place for Lenin and company during the Russian civil war which followed.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Stubben on December 13, 2009, 02:07:01 AM
Awesome Mendy! Makes me want to visit Moscow again!

I now realize that I've actually been to GUM, had a quick meal there with the lovely Belle.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 13, 2009, 08:48:10 PM
Stubben, glad you're enjoying the RUA tour of Moscow! Belle is a great guide I've heard.  tiphat
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 13, 2009, 10:09:46 PM
Lets start our walk of the 20 Towers along the Kremlin walls!

Where to start? Each of the towers is important, of great interest, and deserving for us to visit. One might normally begin with the famous "Saviour" tower which is sometimes considered to be the "main" tower. However as we've just emerged from GUM and are directly across from the Lenin Mausoleum, we'll begin with the wall tower behind the tomb.


The Senate Tower
This tower went 300 years without a name. Only when the Senate building was constructed behind it did the tower finally receive a name in the late 1700s.


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This tower is known as the Senatskaya Tower. The Senatskaya Tower (Сенатская башня) was built in 1491 by an architect Pietro Antonio Solari and was purely defensive in nature: it guarded the Kremlin on the Red Square side. For a long time it remained nameless. It was only in 1787, after architect Matvei Kazakov constructed the Senate on the Kremlin’s territory, that it was given its present name.

That yellow building behind is the Senate building which we'll visit later once inside the Kremlin. As you can see, the dome of the Senate can be seen from Red Square. Inside the central part of the tower there are three tiers of vaulted chambers. In 1860, the flat tower was topped with a stone tent roof crowned, in turn, with a gilt weather vane. Its height is 14.3 m.


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This gateless, quadrangular defensive tower was built between the Spasskaya (then Frolovskaya) and Nikolskaya towers in 1491, by architect Pietro Antonio Solari. As with most of the other Kremlin towers, a tent roof was added in the late 17th century. Inside the tower are three levels of vaulted chambers.


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The tower's principal function was defensive, and for a long time it remained nameless. It became known as the Senate Tower only in 1790, after the construction of the Kremlin's Senate building. The dome of the Senate is visible from Red Square. A memorial plaque by sculptor S. Konenkov was mounted on the tower in 1918 above the site of a mass grave of Bolsheviks who were killed during the October Revolution. Now in the museum, the dedication reads "To Those Who fell in the Struggle for Peace and the Brotherhood of Nations".


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob on December 14, 2009, 12:08:52 AM
At the time of the Russian revolution of 1917 the Bolsheviks' were the minority among the revolutionary factions. But Vladimir Lenin was a shrewd planner and soom emerged as the dominate force in revolutionary politics.

Lenin was bold and brutal. Just as brutal and ruthless as Stalin, but he died before gaining the same kind of reputation.   

Lenin is a curious phenomenon in Russian history who probably deserves more attention.

Unlike Stalin, he was born a kind of middle class Russian nobility and received a very good education for that time, both domestic and formal. Like his brothers and sisters, he got taste in a number of politic related issues that were popular among young educated people. His elder brother Alexander became a political criminal with his plans to kill the Emperor and therefore to bring freedom to Russian nation. After Alexander was executed, young Vladimir made up a different plan, 'We will go the other way' is his famous line.

Sometimes I think what Russia would be like if Lenin still lived during Hilter's invasion. But as Mendy wrote earlier, Lenin did not make it up to Stalin's reputation, and remained a star and celebrity for every Russian schoolkid till the Perestroika's time.

Thanks for complimenting my modest guiding ability guys  :loving:
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 14, 2009, 06:51:44 AM
Belle, thanks for contributing and we hear that your knowledge, love of Russian history, and ability to help others understand what they see, make you a GREAT tour guide!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 15, 2009, 05:01:20 AM
Before we turn left and go south toward the Kremlin's most recognizable tower, we'll briefly comment on the Senate building which is behind the Senate Tower.

Built in the 1700s by Catherine II, it was gutted for remodeling by the Soviets who destroyed the world heritage interior, trashing a 300 year old classic interior design much to the lament of observers around the world.

Today it remains a beautiful building and over time many of the original interior features have been replicated. But the destruction of the interior by ideological illiterates remains a shameful aspect, of many shameful moments, in Soviet mismanagement.

Today it is the official home of the Russian Federation Presidential administration. The flag on the dome traditionally indicates that the Russian President is at work in his office under the dome.


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We'll visit the Senate building in greater detail later when we tour the Kremlin interior.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: WestCoast on December 15, 2009, 10:51:08 PM
Mendy just watching a program on the History Channel called Cities of the Underworld, tonight's episode is about Moscow.  They were doing a tour of the underground metro and why it was built so deep and solid, protection from German bombing, however they also mentioned "the metro 2". 

"The metro 2" according to the host is the name the citizenry of Moscow have given to a secret and very private government run metro beneath the public metro.  According to the host this private metro is still in regular use by the Russian government and being expanded to areas around Moscow.  The host said the secret started to emerge in the mid- 1990's after citizens who had worked on the private metro started to privately tell friends. 

Any chance "the metro 2" is true?  Is it really an "open secret"?  Any information or photos in circulation?  Perhaps Belle or one of the other Muscovites might know more?   
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob on December 16, 2009, 01:11:42 AM
I have heard of 'metro 2' probably from the same source as you Westy, but never found any real proof of its existence, besides the normal metro.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Manny on December 16, 2009, 05:47:52 AM
Wiki has a page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Metro_2 and there is a site in Russian here: http://www.metro.ru/metro2/

A translated version of the second link is here (http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http://www.metro.ru/metro2/&sl=ru&tl=en&swap=1).
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 16, 2009, 12:34:54 PM
Thanks Manny for posting those links. Yes, it exists and even the Moscow Metro has some limited info about it. It was designed for times of war to move the government quickly out of harms way.

These towers around the Kremlin wall that we just beginning to tour, has several that once had similar purposes with underground tunnels.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 16, 2009, 03:23:26 PM
A Word about the Kremlin Towers:

T he Russian aphorism that “the Kremlin has many towers” is a comment not just about architecture but on the rivalries that pervade the regime that sits within it – maintaining an outward veneer of autocratic rigidity but roiling nonetheless with bureaucratic turf battles.

Since the end of the Soviet period the tallest tower, in this aphorism, has belonged to the so-called siloviki, the former officers – security men, soldiers and spies – who have flooded into state structures on the coat tails of Vladimir Putin, former KGB officer, two-term president and now prime minister. The administration of Dmitry Medvedev as President has slowly removed many of those "siloviki" from positions of power.

So, if you hear Russians using the term for "Kremlin towers" in a discussion involving politics, it may not be about those red brick towers along the Kremlin wall that is being discussed.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 16, 2009, 05:29:55 PM
The Saviour Tower/Spasskaya Tower (Спасская башня)


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Right now some of you are experiencing little lights going on and you're making connections, aren't you! Yes, the Russian word "spa see ba" (thank you) means "May God save you." And the most photographed and best known tower of the Moscow Kremlin walls is the "Spass-kah-ya" (Saviour) tower.

The tower that today is called had a different name until the year 1658 when the icon of the Divine Saviour was placed inside the tower. On the order of the Tsar the tower's name was changed to the "Saviour tower" the name it still has today.


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The gate of the Spasskaya Tower has been the official entrance to the Kremlin for centuries with a through-passage on the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Red Square. Across from St Basil's Cathedral, the tower was built in 1491 by an Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari. Initially, it was named the Frolovskaya Tower after the Church of Frol and Lavr in the Kremlin (no longer there). In later years the icon was moved for safekeeping but the tower still claims that name.

Historians say that the clock on the Spasskaya Tower appeared between 1491 and 1585. It is usually referred to as the Kremlin clock (Кремлёвские куранты). Considered by many to be the most beautiful of the 20 towers, it is also famous for its chimes which are featured for example, to countdown the New Year each year on Red Square.

The first clock upon the Spasskaya Tower appeared in the 17th century, after the addition of a multi-tiered turret to the top of the tower. Designed by the Englishman Christopher Galloway, the clock boasted gold numerals in Old Slavonic and Arabic upon a blue background decorated with silver stars, but it eventually broke and was replaced in 1707 with Dutch chimes. In 1707, a Dutch musical carillion chime was sent to Moscow on the order of Tsar Peter the Great. The present-day Kremlin chimes were made in 1851-1852 by the Butenop brothers.  

During the October Revolution in 1917, a stray shell hit the clock, seriously damaging its mechanism. A year later it was repaired by order of Lenin, who decreed that it should be equipped with new chimes capable of playing the Communist Internationale. This unique clock has four dials, each 6.12 in diameter. The numerals are 0.72 metres in height, and the hour hand is 2.97 metres long, while the minute hand measures 3.28 metres. Their accuracy is ensured by a 32 kilogram pendulum. The ringing mechanism is equipped with 10 quarter-hour bells and one bell to chime the hour. The clock was originally wound by hand, but since 1937 it has wound itself automatically twice daily.


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The Russians have always regarded the Spasskaya Tower with great reverence. According to old legends, the tower was possessed with miraculous powers and was reputed to protect the Kremlin from enemy invasion. People passing through the gates would always observe the custom of crossing themselves and doffing their hats to show their respect, and horses passing under the gates of the tower were said to shy. In fact, legend has it that Napoleon himself could not prevent his horse from taking fright as he rode through the gates, having failed to show his respect, and the French Emperor's hat was said to have fallen from his head.

In 1935, the Soviets installed a red star on top of the Spasskaya Tower. The illuminated ruby-red star replaced the double-headed Russian eagle in 1937, raising the tower's height to 71 metres.


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During the 16th and 17th centuries the tower was used by the Tsar and the Patriarch for ceremonial processions and for greeting foreign dignitaries, and even today world leaders on state visits are escorted through its gates on their way to an audience with the Russian President.


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Today, just as 100 years ago, you can hear its ceremonial chimes, the sound of which rings out far beyond the surroundings of the Kremlin and Red Square below.


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Above: view of the Saviour tower from inside the Kremlin territory.

While traditionally the Saviour Tower Gate has been considered as the "main" gate, it is used for ceremonial purposes only and not as the main entrance for tourists.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 16, 2009, 06:09:31 PM
Below: Saviour/Spasskaya Tower as it was in earlier centuries:


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Above: Victory Day parade.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 16, 2009, 06:27:17 PM
Tsarskaya Tower (Царская башня)

The Tsarskaya is the youngest and smallest tower of all. It's almost new, built recently...in 1680! It is not a tower per se, it is rather a stone terem, a tent-shaped chamber placed directly on top of the wall.


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Previously, there was a small wooden turret, from which, according to legend, tsar Ivan IV liked to observe what was happening on the Red Square. Hence the name, the Tsar's Tower. The white stone bands around the posts, tall corner pyramids with gilt flags and tent roof topped with an elegant gilt weather vane make the tower look like some structure from a fairytale.


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To give you some perspective, you can see how close is the Tsarskaya Tower to the Spasskaya Tower. Also, its easy to see how small it is in comparrison to the Spasskaya. Straight off in the far distance is the State Historical Museum (red building) where we first entered Red Square via the Resurrection Gates. Unseen to our immediate right is St Basil's Cathedral.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 17, 2009, 09:03:38 AM
The Nabatnaya Tower (Набатная башня)


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Our next tower is the "alarm tower" in the southeastern section of the Kremlin wall, built in 1495. It is 38 m in height. Traditionally, there has always been a bell on top of the Nabatnaya Tower, and it takes its name from the alarm that warned of imminent danger. The tower stands on the slope of a hill and affords a good view to the south. Guards were on duty day and night, inspecting the roads. Seeing a fire or smoke, which meant enemy detachments were approaching, the guards would sound the tocsin so that people from nearby villages could hide in the citadel. The name Nabatnaya derives from the old Russian word набат - nabat, meaning "alarm".

In 1680, a bellmaker Feodor Dmitriev cast the so-called Nabatny bell (alarm bell) weighing 150 poods (2.45 metric tons) and installed it on the tower. The bell subsequently broke and was re-cast by Ivan Motorin on July 30, 1714.


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The sound from this bell served as a signal for the spontaneous uprising of the Muscovites during the plague outbreak in 1771, which would later be called the Plague Riot (Чумной бунт). By the order of Catherine the Great, the tongue of the bell was removed after this incident. The tongueless bell remained on top of the tower for 30 more years. In the early 19th century, it was removed and transferred to the Arsenal. In 1821, the bell was moved to the Armoury, where it remains to this day in the vestibule.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 17, 2009, 09:06:48 PM
The Sts. Constantine and Helen Tower (Timofeyevskaya/Константино-Еленинская башня)


Like most of the other towers, the next tower was built by Italian genius and labour. Erected in 1490 by Pietro Antonio Solari on the place of the white-stone Kremlin’s (1366-1368) Timofeyevskiye Gate.

The tower was named after the Sts. Constantine and Helen’s Church that stood nearby in the Kremlin. Initially, it was a pass-tower, which protected ancient roads that connected the Kremlin with the Great Posad (Kitay-Gorod) – the approaches from the nearest Moskva River pier – Velikaya (Great) and Varskaya streets.


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The tower had a mighty side-strelnitsa connected with its body by a drawbridge across the deep moat. In 1670-1680, the tower was overbuilt with a four-faceted stone marquee. In 1707, on the order of Peter the Great, the loopholes were widened, so that cannons could have been installed inside. In the early XIXth century, the drawbridge and the side-strelnitsa were dismantled and the gate was filled.


Its height is 36,8 m and it stands at the eastern wall of the Kremlin, overlooking the so-called Vasili's Slope (Васильевский спуск), that sloping southward area behind St Basil's which begins at the Red Square and ends at the Moscow River.

The church for which it was named was destroyed by the Soviets in 1928.


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Is this tower haunted? How about much of the Kremlin?

There are those who say that from time to time a red spot appears on the walls of this tower where a torture chamber was located (true) in the XVII century. A pale uncombed lady holding a gun in her hands, purportedly lives inside. Supposedly she is the famous Fanny Kaplan who attempted to kill Lenin and who was executed by the Kremlin"s superintendent, Malkov.

Of course we should point out that some folks say a terrifying shadow of Ivan the Terrible can be seen walking on the bell tower named after Ivan the Great. Tsar Dmitry the Pretender appears on the Kremlin"s wall. Last time he was seen there was in August 1991. No, I didn't see him but folks have made reports about it.  

Then of course there is the ghost of Stalin"s special services chief Ezhov. Apparently he is not interested in politics instead he prefers to walk around the Patriarch Chambers where his apartments were located before.

Even in the corridors of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses one can encounter semi-transparent figures dressed in shrouds. Prior to the Soviet "invasion and desecration" of the Kremlin there was a cemetery near that spot but it was plowed under and the souls of the dead are indignant about the sacrilege.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 18, 2009, 09:20:43 PM
Beklemishevskaya Tower (Беклемишевская башня)


Standing at 46 meters tall and designed/built by Marco Ruffo in 1487, Beklemishevskaya is circular with narrow windows and overhanging turrets and stands on the corner at the meeting of the moat with the Moscow River. It stands south of St Basil's on the southeastern side of the Moscow Kremlin on the Moscow River.


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At one time Beklemishevskaya housed the prison; the name came from the Beklemishev boyar family who lived nearby. The tall ornate roof is a 17th century addition. Sometimes it is referred to as the Moskvoretskaya (Москворецкая башня) Tower due to its proximity to the Moskvoretsky Bridge.

During the storming of the Kremlin by the Bolsheviks in 1917, the top of the tower was destroyed, but was later restored.

Below: We've already at the road running along the Moscow river! Now lets turn and follow the wall along this historic drive.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 19, 2009, 11:05:20 PM
This is our next series of towers. This stretch of towers follows the outline of the Moscow river and the river road. We began with the Beklemishevskaya (far top right and next to the river) and will work our way from top right to bottom left.


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Again on the Southeast corner near the river is the Beklemishevskaya Tower and our next tower is the one at the far right in this second photo below, the Petrovskaya (Peter Tower).


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Petrovskaya Tower (Петровская башня)

Named after the Church of Metropolitan Peter, which was part of the mission of the Ugreshi Monastery located near the tower in the Kremlin, the Petrovskaya Tower was destroyed by cannon fire during the Polish invasion in 1612 and then restored.


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In 1771, it was pulled down to construct the Kremlin Palace, but was rebuilt in 1783. In 1812, the tower was blown up by Napoleon’s retreating troops. In 1818, it was rebuilt by architect Osip Beauvais. The Petrovskaya Tower was used as a service building by the Kremlin's gardeners. Its height is 27.15 m.

Now of course in winter the towers are accented in snow.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 22, 2009, 12:00:24 AM
During this holy season of the Nativity let's take a break from the Kremlin towers and enjoy some scenes of New Year trees around the Red Square area.



[attachimg=#] Manezhnaya Plaza near Alexandr Gardens




[attachimg=#] State Historical Museum




[attachimg=#] Red Square, near GUM & Kazan Cathedral




[attachimg=#] Lenin Library, near Manezhnaya Plaza
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 26, 2009, 10:17:07 PM
The next two towers are a little harder to describe, because they don't have names.  :)  Well, in a way they do have names I guess.

Walking west from the Petrovskaya Tower we come to the next tower. It is officially called the Вторая Безымянная башня or "2nd Unnamed Tower" and the next is the Первая Безымянная башня or "1st Unnamed Tower" just further west.

In the photo below, Right to Left, are the:


1  Petrovskaya Tower (far right)
2  Second Unnamed Tower
3  First Unnamed tower
3  Taynitskaya Tower...and others (left)



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Since it's next on our route we'll visit the 2nd Unnamed tower first. The Second Unnamed Tower (Вторая Безымянная башня) was built in the middle of the 15th century. It had purely defensive functions and serves as a pass thru for supporting the wall strength.



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In 1680, a quadrangular structure and a tall pyramidal tent roof with a watchtower were added to the top of the tower. It is crowned with an eight-sided hipped cupola with a weather vane.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 26, 2009, 10:29:50 PM
Then of course we come to the 1st "Unnamed" tower. The First Unnamed Tower (Первая Безымянная башня) was built next to the Taynitskaya Tower in the 1480s and used for defensive purposes.



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In 1547 the tower was destroyed by fire after the gunpowder stored there exploded, and was rebuilt in the 17th century. Then in 1770 the tower was taken apart to clear the site for the Kremlin Palace. After the construction of the palace ended, the tower was rebuilt in 1783, closer to the Taynitskaya Tower.



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In 1812, the tower was blown up by Napoleon’s retreating troops, but it was soon restored to its original form by architect Osip Beauvais. Its height is 34.15 m.



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Below Left to Right: Taynitskay Tower, !st Unnamed Tower, 2nd Unnamed Tower.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 26, 2009, 10:43:07 PM
So how do you tell these towers apart? Around kids it becomes quite easy as they study these towers as part of Russian history. For example, one of our daughters taught me that the Petrovskaya has no "scarf" in winter. Each has a "hat" but come to think of it, Petrov doesn't have a "scarf".  :)  

Notice below the upper portion of Petrov and the lack of the green siding/roofing material which is found on the center and left towers which are the 1st and 2nd Unnamed Towers. No scarf on Petrovskaya!


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Below: kids also notice that of the Taynitskay, and the 1st and 2nd Unnamed Towers, Taynitskaya is a "heavyweight" while 1st Unnamed is a "middleweight" and 2nd Unnamed is a "lightweight" in size/shape. See for yourself...



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 28, 2009, 12:01:31 AM
Walking west (well, techically southwest as we follow the river road) our next tower is one we alluded to in the previous posts.

It's a surprise that you know about this tower because it's a secret.

Taynitskaya Tower (Тайницкая башня) That is what the name means, "Secret" tower.




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This "secret" tower is also one of the Kremlin's water towers and as the main water tower is sometimes also called Водяная башня (Water Tower) and stands as the middle tower on the south side of the Moscow Kremlin.

Behind the tower to the left is the Grand Kremlin Palace, in the middle is the Cathedral of the Annunciation and to the right is the ancient Cathedral of the Archangel Michael.



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It was built in 1485 by Antonio Gilardi on the spot of the gates to Dmitry Donskoy's whitestone Kremlin. The Taynitskaya Tower had a secret well and an underground tunnel leading to the Moscow River (hence, the name "Taynitskaya", or "secret").

Next, a rare view of Taynitskaya from inside the Kremlin walls.



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In 1770, the tower was dismantled due to the construction of the Kremlin Palace by Vasili Bazhenov. It was rebuilt in the 1770s. In 1930-1933, the Soviets bricked up the gateway and filled up the well. The Taynitskaya Tower is 38.4 m in height.

So how did the Taynitskaya look in prior years?

Glad you asked because it has seen several function changes at the platform level.



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We leave this tower at night when it's views are truly spectacular! From this angle you can see Ivan's Bell Tower behind the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 28, 2009, 10:06:45 PM
The Blagoveschenskaya Tower (Благовещенская башня)


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Translated into English as "Annunciation" Tower, the Blagoveschenskaya Tower was erected in 1487 - 1488. At its foundation are slabs of white limestone that have survived since the time of the white stone Kremlin of the 14th century.



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(Annunciation Tower. Moscow Kremlin.)



During the reign of Ivan the Terrible  the tower was used as a prison . The name of the tower comes from the miracle -working Icon of the Annunciation, which was once kept here and is also associated with the Church of the Annunciation added to the tower in the early 18th century and demolished in 1932.

In the 17th century the Portomoyniye Gates were built nearby so that palace laundresses could go to the Portomoiny raft on the Moscow River to wash underclothes. These gates were bricked up in 1813. The height of the tower is 30.7 m (32.45 m together with the weather vane that replaced the original cross in 1932).



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Grand Kremlin Palace overpowers the Blagoveschenskaya (Annunciation) tower.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: AnfieldRiot on December 28, 2009, 11:30:36 PM


   Mendeleyev, I just wanted to say thank you for the series of posts here and in the other travel related cities. I'm really enjoying reading your different reports on each city, very interesting.

   Your posts here for the subway's in Moscow has been very interesting... I am currently speaking with someone from Moscow and was going over the differences between NYC subway and Moscow subway.   I can think of maybe three subway stops in the entire NYC system that comes close to what Moscow offers, Lincoln Center, WTC & 72st (1&9 lines).

    Thanks again and keep it up... I'm one of the lurkers who is eagerly lapping up this info !  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 29, 2009, 06:56:08 AM
Thank you Anfield! Your comments are sincerely appreciated and we will continue to work to make RUA the best resource of it's kind found anywhere in the world.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 29, 2009, 10:02:08 PM
There are two towers peeking thru the trees from this vantage point inside the Kremlin walls. See the first one, shorter than the next? That first tower is our feature tower from the last post, the Annunciation" Tower (Благовещенская башня).

The taller tower you see at the end of this Moscow River stretch of Kremlin wall is our next tower visit.



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Vodovzvodnaya Tower (Водовзводная башня)

The Vodovzvodnaya Tower is a corner tower on the southwestern side of Kremlin, overlooking the Moskva River. It was built in 1488 by an Italian architect Antonio Gislardi (also known as Anton Fryazin).




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Initially, the tower was called the Sviblova Tower (Свиблова башня) after the Sviblov boyar family, who had lived in a house adjacent to the tower from the Kremlin's side. The tower was renamed to Vodovzvodnaya in 1633 after the installation of a water-supplying machine inside the tower ("vodovzvodnaya" may be translated as "water-lifting").




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In 1805, the Vodovzvodnaya Tower was dismantled due to its dilapidation and built once again. In 1812, the retreating French army blew it up. The tower was restored in 1817-1819 by architect Osip Bove. Its height is 61.85 m.

Below: From inside the Kremlin area.



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Below: today.



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Yesteryears, Водовзводная башня from the cover of LIFE magazine, 1940's.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: AnfieldRiot on December 30, 2009, 12:00:33 AM

Vodovzvodnaya Tower (Водовзводная башня)

The Vodovzvodnaya Tower is a corner tower on the southwestern side of Kremlin, overlooking the Moskva River. It was built in 1488 by an Italian architect Antonio Gislardi (also known as Anton Fryazin).


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  They say that Paris is the city of lights and prior to my interest in Moscow I would of agreed but the more I see and read about Moscow I tend to think that the Red City could give Paris a serious run for it's money.

   If one were looking for a great view of the city at night, what vantage point(s) would you suggest. I've never been one to enjoy the usual tourists spots so anything off the beaten path would be interesting to know about -
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 30, 2009, 09:34:40 PM
There are several places for great views and the first is from St Basil's Cathedral. In 2005 I was part of a media tour of St Basils and allowed to crawl out on some of the window scaffolds. What incredible views!


From the bar at the Ritz Carlton...



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Night views from the talented Moscow photographer Arthur Look (of Moscow-Driver.com).



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From the Plaza of Europe with the flag displays and the Old Andreevskij glass bridge over the river at the Kievyskaya rail station.



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Awesome views from up in the Ostankino tower...



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The amazing photographer Maxim Valjanski captured this night scene of Novodevichiy Monastery...



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The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour...



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On the way to Moscow State University's incredible night views, only simply can miss a night stop at Victory Park!



[attachimg=7] Triumphal Arch, Poklonnaya Hill, Kutuzovskiy Ave




[attachimg=8] Fountains of blood.





Russian White House at night...



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 30, 2009, 10:45:18 PM
Great views too from the Ukraina Hotel...



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Even Moscow traffic offers it's own brand of night time beauty...



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[attachimg=#] Early view from Sparrow Hills
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 31, 2009, 12:09:22 AM
The Borovitskaya Tower (Боровицкая башня)



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This is one of the most important towers--with black limos daring in and out--Borovitskaya is a corner tower with a through-passage on the west side of the Kremlin. It is named after Borovitsky Hill, one of the seven hills Moscow is standing on. The name harks back to the distant time when the hill on which the fortress stands was covered with dense coniferous forest - bor in Russian.



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The tower was constructed in 1490 on the spot of an old Kremlin gate by Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari by order of Vasili III of Russia. In 1658 by orders of tzar Aleksey I of Russia the tower was renamed to Predtechenskaya (from the Russian word предтеча — predtecha, the forerunner) after the Church of John the Forerunner, which was later destroyed during the construction of the Kremlin Armoury (Oruzheynaya Palata). The new name, however, never became popular.




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In 1812, the tower was damaged by an explosion staged by the retreating French army. In 1817-19, the tower was restored by architect Osip Bove. In 1935, the Soviets installed a red star on top of the tower. Together with the star, its height is 54.05 m.



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The Borovitskaya gate used to serve as the Kremlin's service entrance, as the tower gave access to the royal grain sheds and stables. Today it is the south-west entrance gate and serves the Kremlin Palace.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on December 31, 2009, 08:17:10 AM
On this New Year's Eve, here is a Russian wish for you to the new year:


Счастья, здоровья и любви всем! (Happiness, health, love to all)



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 01, 2010, 11:25:50 PM
Oruzheynaya Tower (Оружейная башня)



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The Oruzheynaya Tower, translated as Armory Tower, was built in 1495. It was given its present name in the 19th century after the construction of the Armory. Before then, it was known as the Konyushennaya Tower, a reference to the royal stables that stood behind it.



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This tower stands between the Borovitskaya and Komendantskaya Towers, on the same side as the Alexandrovsky Gardens. The Armoury is the building behind the tower.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 02, 2010, 12:04:59 AM
The Komendantskaya Tower (Комендантская башня)



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The Komendantskaya was completed in 1495. It used to be called Kolymazhnaya after the Kremlin’s coach yard, where carriages and coaches had been kept. It was given its present name, the Commandant’s Tower, in the 19th century when the commandant of Moscow took up residence in the Kremlin’s Poteshny – or Amusement – Palace.



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Like all Kremlin towers, it was supplemented with a tent roof and watchtower in 1676-1686. The height of the tower on the side of the Alexander Garden is 41.25 m. Originally, in 1495, the tower was built as an austere, gateless tower. However, almost two hundred years later, it acquired its present and evidently better-proportioned appearance after reconstruction from 1676 to 1686.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 07, 2010, 10:53:05 PM
Riddle: What is at the same time the shortest Kremlin tower, a bridge, and the tallest Kremlin tower?

Answer: The trio of the Kutafya tower (the shortest), the Troitskaya tower (the tallest) and the Troitskaya bridge which connects the two.


The Kutafya Tower, Troitskaya Tower, Troitskaya bridge


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The Kutafya Tower (Кутафья башня) is an outlying tower built in the early 16th century to protect the bridge over the Neglinnaya River leading to the Troitskaya Tower. Remember that at one time the Neglinnaya flowed past Red Square but early last century was buried in large pipes underground.

The Kutafya Tower had two combat tiers (the divider between them was destroyed in 1780); the upper landing was equipped with gun-slots for plunging fire at the enemy at the foot of the tower. A delicate ornamental crown in the Muscovite baroque style was built in 1685. Initially, the tower was surrounded by a moat with lift bridges thrown over it, which led to the side gates.



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A through-passage to the Manezhnaya Street was constructed in 1867. At the same time, they built the arched apertures on the sides and a guard house on the south side, which would be dismantled during the restoration in 1974-1977. The height of the Kutafia Tower is 13.5 m.



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Above: This is the main visitor entry into the Kremlin. Of course Troitskaya (3) represents the Trinity and the name of this entrance to the Kremlin is the "Trinity Gate."  The Troitskaya Tower is the highest tower of the Moscow Kremlin. Its current height on the side of the Alexander Garden together with the star is 80 m.



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The Troitskaya Tower (Троицкая башня) is a tower with a through-passage in the center of the northwestern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Alexander Garden.

The Troitskaya Tower was built in 1495-1499 and the two-story basement of the tower housed a prison in the 16th-17th centuries. There is the Troitsky Bridge, which is protected by the Kutafia Tower and leads to the gates of the Troitskaya Tower. There was also a clock on top of the tower between 1585 and 1812. In 1707, due to a threat of Swedish invasion, the gun slots of the Troitskaya Tower were enlarged to fit heavy cannons. In 1935, the Soviets installed a red star on top of the Troitskaya Tower.




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On the aerial photo look to the center/far left. There you will see the white Kutafya Tower, the Troitskaya bridge and the Troitskaya tower. It stands near Alexander Gardens and perhaps you recognize Manezhnaya Plaza from our earlier visit--far left.



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Above: Inside the Troitskaya Gate, now inside the Kremlin territory.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 10, 2010, 10:13:20 PM
The Middle Arsenalnaya Tower (Средняя Арсенальная башня/Middle Arsenal tower)


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The Middle Arsenal tower was built in 1495 and is located on the northwestern side of the Kremlin wall and overlooks the Alexander Garden. It is situated on the spot of a corner tower dating from the reign of Dmitry Donskoi. It was given its present name, the Middle Arsenal Tower, after the Arsenal was completed in the mid-18th century. Originally, it was called the Faceted Tower because of the shape of its facade.

An open lookout with a small pyramid-shaped top was added to the tower. In 1821, when the Alexander Garden was laid out, an ancient-style grotto was built at the foot of the tower, designed by Osip Bove.



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Landmarks: It stands in front of the famous Arsenal building of the Kremlin, is fronted from Manezhnaya Plaza and the Alexander Gardens, and just steps away is the famous and moving Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.



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Looking for the famous walkway monuments to important Soviet cities of the Great Patriotic War or for the Tomb of the Unknown Soliders? Just turn left and follow the wall. They're part of the program on the way to the next (second Arsenal tower) tower. In fact those things are just a few steps away.



[attachimg=#] Smolensk (Смоле́нск)



Just before we reach the tomb of the unknown soldiers, there is a granite alley made of porphyry plates with incapsulated soils from "hero" cities, Leningrad, Kiev, Volgograd, Odessa, Sevastopol, Minsk, Kerch, Novorossiysk, Tula and Brest.



[attachimg=#] Stalingrad (Сталингра́д)



In late 2005 Mendeleyev was on hand to watch workers change the memorial plate for Volgograd back to Stalingrad, the city's name during the Second World War.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 11, 2010, 09:49:49 PM
We started our tour of the Kremlin towers with the Senatskaya Tower and have covered 18. There are only 2 to go, and then we'll tour inside the Kremlin territory!

Coming in on the RUA Tower countdown is number 19...


The Corner Arsenalnaya Tower (Арсенальная Угловая башня/Corner Arsenal tower)



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The corner Arsenal tower was built in 1492 by an Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari. The construction of this tower completed the Kremlin's line of defense from the side of the Red Square. It was called the Sobakin Tower until the early 18th century (named so after a boyar Sobakin, whose house had been adjacent to the tower from the Kremlin side). The Corner Arsenalnaya Tower received its current name after the construction of the Arsenal.



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Look straight ahead in this photo. Though hard to see because of distance, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers is along the wall and to the right are the "hero city" granite monuments from the war.



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This tower still has a secret well. In 1707, due to a threat of Swedish invasion, the gun slots of the Corner Arsenalnaya Tower were enlarged to fit heavy cannons. In 1812, the tower was damaged by an explosion, set up by the retreating French army.


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It stands at the second most popular entry to Red Square, across from the red brick State Historical Museum. From our vantage point here we are standing on the Manezhnaya Plaza.

In medieval times there was also a secret passage, which led from the tower to the Neglinnaya River. During the 15th-16th centuries the tower was strengthened by the addition of a semi-circular wall. The wide-based tower is perhaps the most monumental of all the Kremlin's turrets, boasting walls more than 4 meters thick. In the cellars deep beneath the tower is said to be a spring from which clean water still flows today.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 11, 2010, 10:29:46 PM
One more view of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers before we turn the corner and visit tower #20.



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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers (Могила Неизвестного Солдата) is a war memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers killed during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. It is located at the Kremlin Wall in the Alexander Garden in Moscow.
 
The remains of the unknown soldiers, killed in the Battle of Moscow in 1941 and initially buried in a mass grave at the 41st km of the Leningrad highway, were relocated to the Kremlin Wall in December of 1966 (25th anniversary of the battle). The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was unveiled on May 8, 1967.

It is a tradition of Moscow newly married couples to stop by the Tomb for photos after the wedding to lay some of their wedding flowers in honour of the soldiers. On some summer days there can be a line of couples decked in their wedding attire waiting for their turn.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: AnfieldRiot on January 15, 2010, 02:31:26 AM


   Ok, dumb question time.... are you able to pose for a picture with the guards ? 
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 07:35:28 AM
Sorry, Anfield, if you were a Russian bride all decked out in your wedding dress and positioned yourself so that from an angle it would look as if you were posing near the guards, they probably wouldn't stop you. However they are officially manning a post, on duty, and cannot pose for photos or allow anyone to become so involved in the area to cause a distraction. Remember that officially for Russians, this is "Guard Post number One" and that is a solemn and serious responsibility.



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You'll notice that Russian couples treat this area as a shrine and a great deal of solemn respect is exhibited round the tomb. Photos of course, but there is an attitude of respect and honour.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 03:41:14 PM
The Nikolskaya Tower (Никольская башня)

 
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We made it--tower #20!

Nikolskaya is a tower with a through-passage on the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Red Square just a few steps onto Red Square from the State Historical Museum. As we can enter (limited entry) here it was my original thought to lead our tour into the Kremlin territory from here. However we've been invited by President Medvedev to a press conference so the RUA tour will enter the Kremlin from a different point. More on that is the next post.



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The tower sits on the northeast corner of the Arsenal building. To the right is the red brick State Historical Museum on Red Square. Standing here (on Red Square) we can see the parade reviewing stands to our left (further left would be Lenin's tomb) and behind us immediately is the GUM shopping mall (unseen) and continuing right, past the red State Historical museum is the Kazan Cathedral (also unseen).

The Nikolskaya Tower was built in 1491 by an Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari. It was named after Nikolaevsky (Nikolsky) Monastery, which is no longer there. In 1806, the tower was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style by an architect Karl Rossi. In 1812, the top of the tower was blown up by the retreating French army. It was restored in 1816 by architect Osip Bove.



[attachimg=#] The Arsenal just inside gate.




The Nikolskaya Tower was once again severely damaged by the artillery fire in October 1917 and was later restored by an architect Nikolai Markovnikov. In 1935, the Soviets installed a red star on top of the tower. Its current height with the star is 70.4 m.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 08:25:08 PM
As we've walked along the wall towers you've no doubt wondered about the red stars which were put up by the Soviets.

Those red stars make for an interesting story and we'll be quick in telling that part of the tower's history.



[attachimg=#] Circular panorama of Moscow!


The next photo is of an old post card showing the original 2 headed Eagle at the top of the Saviour tower. Do you see it?

If you've been paying attention, right about now you're shouting at the top of your lungs "hey, Mendeleyev--who moved the Tsarskaya tower? It's supposed to be to the left of the Saviour tower, not to the right!"

That is what I love about RUA members. You are observant and smart!   tiphat  That postcard is from inside the Kremlin walls, not taken from Red Square. So naturally when standing from the opposite direction the Tsarskaya appears on the right.


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The historic church to the left in the postcard was destroyed to make room for the Senate building. Below is what that scene looks like today. Again, notice the double headed Eagle in the postcard, but the red Star today.



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[attachimg=#] View from Red Square.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 09:04:08 PM
Four towers were adorned with the symbol of Imperial Russia--the double headed Eagle. Since around the year 1600 four Kremlin towers (Троицкая, Спасская, Боровицкая and Никольская) were decorated with symbols of the Russian statehood - huge golden  eagles. Two Eagles flew mounted on what is now the State Historical museum building.

The Communists were anxious to destroy anything that reminded the country of the Romanov dynasty. Communism is a complete failure as an economic system and there were two factors that held off this change until 1935.

1- Money, well the lack of money.

2- Although in power, until the early 1920's there were simmering pockets of resistance (the civil war in Ukraine lasted much longer than the Russian revolution, for example) across the Soviet Union and authorities were not confident in their ability to rid the country completely of every last symbol.



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In the early 1930s the Soviets handed artist and critic Igor Grabarju with the request to establish the art and historical value of the Kremlin eagles. Knowing that his life might well depend on being politically correct he answered back that "any eagles existing now on the Kremlin towers do not represent artistic or historic value and as such cannot be protected."

The Soviet government plastered his "analysis" all over the media of the time as proof that no reason existed not to replace the symbols. In August 1935 the official government news agency, TASS, published the following: "On advice of the National Commissioners of the USSR, Central Committee VKP, 4 eagles being on Спасской, Никольской, Боровицкой, Троицкой towers of the Kremlin wall will be removed by 7 November 1935, and the 2 eagles from the Historical museum. The Soviet Commission has determined to replace the stars with a five-pointed star with a sickle and hammer."

Workmen assembled, it was a massive job, and the four Eagles came down to earth.



[attachimg=1] Crated for trip to Gorky Park.



Once lowered to the ground, scientists would spend years studing the complex compound of gold, wood and other metals which gave these Eagles the stability to last for centuries in all sorts of weather.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 09:59:10 PM
Designing and manufacturing of the first Kremlin stars was entrusted to two Moscow factories and workshops of the Central Aerohydrodynamical Institute (ЦАГИ). Outstanding artist and academician Feodor Fedorovich Fedorovsky was assigned to lead the development of sketches for the future stars. His staff defined their form, sizes, and design specs. The Kremlin stars were to be a composite of stainless steel and red copper. In the middle of each star the emblems of a sickle and hammer inset with sparkling jewels.

Soviet officials inspected each step with the added instructions to make the stars capable of rotating so that muscovites and visitors from countries else could admire them when visiting the Kremlin. The project made a "work project" which would have rivaled America's FDR as hundreds of people from various specialities participated in creating the Kremlin stars.



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Each of the stars had similarities for conformity but differed from the others in decoration. On the sides of the Saviour (Спасской) star there are beams proceeding from the center. On the star of Trinity (Троицкой) the beams were made in the form of ears. On the star of Borovitskoy (Боровицкой) are two contours entertwined. The beams of the star on Nikolskaya (Никольской) have no joining fixtures.

The base of each star designed in the form of a lung and a strong skeleton of stainless steel overlaid with red copper, accented with gold. The hammer and sickle on each star weighed 240 kgs and was 2 meters in size.



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The emblems were decorated by precious stones from the Russian Ural mountains, such as rock crystal, amethyst, alexandrite, topazes and aquamarines. About 7 thousand stones in size from 20 up to 200 carats (one carat is equal 0,2 grams) were inlaid over the 8 designs. To present loss in wind and weather each design of precious stones in encased in a silver caste. Over 250 of the best jewellers of Moscow and Leningrad worked on the stones for almost 2 months.  
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 10:20:17 PM
The design of stars was calculated to handle gale-force winds while rotating on special bearings to carry the stress. Before installation of the stars on the towers of the Kremlin, engineers had doubts as to whether the towers could sustain the star weight especially during storm winds. Each star weighed on the average one thousand kgs with a surface area of 6,3 square meters. Careful calculations led them to believe that over past centuries the arches of the towers and their roofs were worn to a dangerous condition.

So before the new stars could be mounted it became necessary to strengthen brickwork on the top floors of each towers receiving a star. Metal reinforcements were added to the roofs on Спасской, Троицкой and Боровицкой. The roof of Nikolskaya (Никольской) was so shabby that it was reconstructed.



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On 24 October 1935 the first star was mounted on the Saviour tower. Before lifting, workers carefully polished the star with soft cloths while mechanics checked the motor of the elevating crane. At 12:40 the command was given and the star began to rise slowly upwards. At a height of 70 meters the crane stopped and craftsmen called "spidermen" working on the scaffolds moved the star carefully over its mounting braces. The star was then loved onto it's mount and declared a perfect fit at 1:30pm.



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Eyewitnesses to the event recollect that hundreds of watchers had gathered on Red Square and at the moment when the star was lowered onto it's mount the bystanders broke into applause for the spidermen on the scaffolds.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 15, 2010, 10:37:42 PM
The work which would eventually cover 7 stars continued into 1936 and ended in late 1937. Several revisions were made to the next towers, including strong but "breakaway" mounts which would allow the stars to break off in hurricane force winds and thereby saving the towers themselves from being completely destroyed.



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Lighting was changed also. At first lamps were installed in the center of each star but the light didn't reflect correctly so the lamps were redesigned with updated glass tile refractors.



[attachimg=#] Parade



[attachimg=#] Propaganda
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 12:16:19 AM
The Red Stars remain although most of the hammer and sickle symbols are gone. The 2 headed Eagle however has found it's place again as the symbol of Russia, as shown on the gates leading from the Alexander Gardens into the Kremlin territory.



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To quote the late Paul Harvey, "and now you know the rest of the story." Well, about the 20 Kremlin towers. There is more, however, as President Medvedev has invited the RUA tour into a rare behind the scenes press conference in the Kremlin Palace with the visiting President of India.

For now we'll return to our hotel because where we're going requires some vetting with the FSB, and that will take more than a few hours with so many of us along.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 12:50:52 AM
The RUA tour inside the Kremlin walls is going to begin like no other local tour: invited to attend a Russian state dinner at the Kremlin Palace, the honourable President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev hosting the distinguished President of India, (Mrs) Pratibha Patil.


It's evening and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is hosting Indian President Pratibha Patil for a news conference and state dinner (took place in real life early Sep/09).

For first time visitors it's best to keep quiet unless first spoken to, do not approach any of the Indians to declare undying love for curried rice and chicken!  :)

More basics: Everything will be checked in, so don't bring anything along you don't want to have to explain to security. Except for my pre arranged camera/mic bag there can be absolutely no bags under any circumstances and as you that notice that all equipment bags are thoroughly searched. Each member of the group will go thru a body scan also.

Upon arrival at the Kremlin Palace the group will enter a side entrance where more security will review docs and be introduced to more Indian Presidential security as well.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 01:13:50 AM
Excellent, everyone made it! Entry was achieved via the Kutafya/Trinity towers as that is where most visiting press enter for such occasions. Names were on a master list and each member stepped inside a small room for a body scan and pockets were emptied except for essentials.

Surprised that even your ink pen didn't make it in? At least the nice one you received with the Presidential emblem will be the keepsake of a lifetime.

Vinny, why did you bring condoms?!   :laugh: You can pick them up on the way out later this evening.


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Upon entry there was more security than usual.



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He may not look it, but this Indian military advisor is deadly serious about protecting his President. So are the members of the Indian security detail, both in uniform and in suits. Never approach a foreign leader until first receiving a clear signal to do so.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 02:24:51 AM
So, you have those nice embossed note pads and pens. Let's put them to good use. Here is our assignment and there's a lot to cover in the next 90 minutes.

Western media is here for:

Cover the current story
- First Indian President to visit Russia.

- Last week the first group of ten T-90 Bhishma battle tanks, assembled in India under Russian license, were handed over to the Indian Army. What is the Indian reaction?

- How are the Russians viewing the transaction process? Are they planning to go forward with the next group of 10?

- How many total will be delivered to the Indian army? What are the reasons why the Indians want this particular type of weapons system?

- How will this be received in India's part of the world by it's neighbors? Will it tip any balances of power or cause the Pakistani's to look for similar purchases?

- India and Russia have enjoyed close bilateral ties, particularly in the areas of defense, nuclear energy and space industry. We need to pay attention to what is said "between the lines" as one of the reasons for this visit is to smooth over some recent rocky experiences between the two governments.

- At the recent MAKS-2009 air show in Moscow, Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) purportedly signed a contract for 26 RD-33 series 3 engines. Is this confirmed? How will this help extend economic and military cooperation between India and Russia?

- Russia is due to build an additional four reactors for the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India under a deal signed in 2008. If that is part of the press conference (these are usually very well scripted in advance) there will be "sound bite" opportunities for Western business news outlets.

- The two countries have completed the design of an unmanned lunar orbiter due to be sent to the Moon in 2011-2012. Is that still on target?


As we are visiting foreign press, and this is a state dinner, the news conference isn't the open and freewheeling affair we are used to in the West. As we didn't win the press lottery to be amongst those asking questions, one of our tasks is to speak with those who do have that privilege tonight and suggest that our questions be asked.

There is a lot to be learned by watching and listening so it's time to get busy.


Pooled coverage
Pooled coverage is when an event is limited in the number of media outlets admitted. We have agreements with other companies to pool coverage (share stories, audio, video) as a courtesy because undoubtedly someday soon there will be an event to which they have access and to which we don't, so we share. That does mean extra work however because everything must be produced and distributed times 3 or 4.

Tonight the only other American/Canadian media here are the NY Times and the CBC. We'll be busy beavers writing and voicing until the wee hours of the morning.



Confirm the agenda for our Western news affiliates
- Wednesday evening the Russian and Indian presidents are scheduled to attend a performance of Indian dancers at the Bolshoi Theater, held as part of the Year of India in Russia.

- Thursday President Patil will hold official meetings with President Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. She will also meet with speakers of the two chambers of the Russian parliament - Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov and State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov.

- Friday Pratil will head to Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg, where she will meet with presidential envoy to the Northwest Federal District, Ilya Klebanov and the city's deputy governor, Alexander Vakhmistrov.

We must confirm, and report any schedule changes, to those media sources who we are representing in tonight's "pool."



Backgrounders
This is almost like prospecting for sales. We're always building the next story. A comment made tonight may be insignificant at this time, but part of an important story down the road. Write it down, file it away, write it down, file it away!



Special feature possibilities
- Russia's involvement in India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant might make an interesting special feature.

- This is India's first female president in a very male dominated country. Can we get reaction from any of the Indians? From the Russians? What makes her good at her job? What inspired ordinary Indian citizens to vote for her?



Obituaries
Obits are written when politicians and newsmakers are alive. Death comes suddenly and there is no time then to do research. Think of it as a "resume" in which you keep adding things. Someday you'll pull that out of a file and have prepared in an hour something which will take slackers days to build.

Media professionals in foreign capitals are expected to take the lead in development of this task. A comment or feat mentioned tonight might become significant upon that person's passing.


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Keep an eye on her. That is Nataliya Timakova, Press Secretary for the Russian Federation/President Medvedev. She is the reason why the RUA group is walking around these hallowed halls tonight. Take a good look at those crossed arms and then her face. She appears calm and in control now but the arms suggest a hint of being anxious (normal for such an event). If her jaw becomes set firmly and then the arms crossed, it would be a sign of stormy weather for press members in Moscow. Nataliya's mood can often be read from 40 yards away based on body language. She didn't get this job by being nice or baking cookies, so no misteps or the next steps will be a premature exit out onto Red Square.

Ah, those two boys to her right? Notice the small lapel pin and do you also see how intently he's watching a photographer's every move while his partner is covering us in this direction?

The former KGB has grown sophisticated. Meet today's FSB.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 02:56:03 AM
The producer has arrived and getting set up as his job will be to gather video and audio for pooled coverage.

Members of the media will sit at a dinner table, a very nice one with some delicious food being served, but a meal is not on the agenda. Out in the hall there are press tables with snacks, bottled water, hot tea, sodas.

A short, mainly pre-scripted, news conference will take place, followed by formal statements. The Russians love to use these controlled news conferences to make new announcements because there is very little opportunty for follow-up questions.

After the news conference everyone will move over to the Palace dining hall for formal toasts and then dinner. Dinner isn not a part of media "passes" for all but the staff of the Russian press office. Except for those Kremlin paid employees, media passes expire at the end of the second toast.

Next everyone assembles in the conference hall.



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Perhaps your reaction causes you to suck in your breath! Go ahead...pinch yourself. It's Russia. The Kremlin. Inside the Kremlin palace. Those are paintings of former Tsar's lining the wall and you'll be able to admire each one.




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Opening statements have begun and cameras are rolling.

Press conferences like this are a formality, designed as "photo ops" but not for open questions from a free press. The challenge comes in learning how to adapt and gather valid information in an environment where the real story isn't always easy to find.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 03:44:58 AM
Next on the agenda is the state dinner.

We have a few minutes and beverages are in the hall on special press tables if you're thirsty. Those rooms can get stuffy quickly. Restrooms are down the hall, follow the signs.



Time for the formalities of the dinner.

The seating of the visiting foreign leader is one of protocol and the assembly will stand while a special butler from the Russian Presidential staff with President Medvedev assists President Patil to her seat.


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The dignitaries will read prepared statements of friendship and cooperation to each other. You may keep your copy as a souvenir.  :)



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He reads to her, she reads to him.



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Is it just my imagination, or is Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looking a little tired? He's probably had another long day attempting to teach Hillary Clinton how to spell "reset" in Cyrillic. The trials a Foreign Minister must bear!   :snivel:



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Allo, Сергей. Hey, look lively there fellow. No worries, we won't tell anyone.  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 16, 2010, 04:16:16 AM
You'll notice that most of the press is already gone and our time is almost over. This is standard practice for most state dinners and additional photos if needed will be supplied from the official Russian press office tomorrow.



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One more glance back to the opulence that is the Grand Kremlin Palace, often called by it's initials БКД (Большой Кремлёвский дворец). It is an impressively elegant scene and one which President Medvedev and his staff hope you will remember fondly.



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We'll be back to tour the grounds of the Kremlin and inside some of the museums and churches, but it's doubtful that we'll have this once in a lifetime opportunity to share a Russian state dinner in the Kremlin Palace together as a group again.




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It's nightfall as we exit the same way we entered, through the Kutafya/Trinity towers and Trinity bridge. Meanwhile the lights burn bright inside the Kremlin as the Indian state dinner continues.

For us, where is McDonalds?  :)

It morning back in the West and editors are already texting with deadlines so after a quick burger, the next 4-5 hours will be busy.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 17, 2010, 12:12:10 AM
The RUA tour of Moscow continues with more of our visit inside the Kremlin walls.



Signs around the Kremlin:



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Hours of operation/Hours Ticket cashier is open.




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Rules: Enter the Kremlin Castle territory with tickets through the Troitsky (Trinity) Gate.
It is prohibited to bring cameras, briefcases, bags and other personal items into the Moscow Kremlin. Lockers are available in the Alexandrovsky garden.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Vinnvinny on January 19, 2010, 05:10:29 AM
Vinny, why did you bring condoms?!   :laugh: You can pick them up on the way out later this evening.

XXL ones are hard to source in the FSU.  tiphat
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 19, 2010, 08:42:08 PM
The Moscow Kremlin’s territory and museums are open daily, except Thursdays, from 10:00 to 17:00. The Armoury Chamber has scheduled/guided tours at 10:00, 12:00 , 14:30, 16:30. Generally cameras are not allowed.

If you want to visit the Kremlin and its museums on your own you can purchase tickets in the ticket offices located at the Kutafiya Tower just off Aleksandrovskiy Sad (the Aleksandrov Gardens). Museum tickets are also sold in the Armoury Chamber and on Cathedral Square.



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For some Russians this is hallowed and sacred ground. For others it is a reminder of times more troubling as one Russian spoke in an interview:

"I've been inside the Kremlin twice so far. Both of these visits have been made under compulsion. In the early 70's coercion was crude and physical. We were marched there in a file formation.

These liberal days I ended up within the same walls in response to the more civilized economic factors. For a modest fee I can overcome my natural distaste for things touristy and accompany you to see these palaces that saw centuries of intrigue, cathedrals that heard thousands of broken oaths, and squares that would be knee deep in human blood if not for the fortunate tendency to soak into the ground, evaporate, or otherwise happily get out of sight.
"
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 19, 2010, 09:13:49 PM
Time to return to the Kremlin for our tour thru the Kremlin territory. Its not a mountain by any stretch but you'll notice that the Kremlin is located on a hill overlooking the Moscow River and from each side there is a gentle downward slope.

We'll reenter the same way, through the Kutafya/Troitskaya towers. As you may recall this is a case of double towers. The lower tower is Kutafya and it is more at ground level as you'll see in the photo below. In ancient times there was a river (similar to a moat) that ran along the walls of the Kremlin. Today it's piped underground. The small Kutafya tower was a front line lookout/guard tower to protect the Troitskaya gate and tower.

The sloping bridge leading up to the second tower is called the Troitskaya (Trinity) Bridge and the taller tower is the Troitskaya. This is the most common entrance for visiting the Kremlin.



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As soon as we enter inside the Kremlin territory we'll turn right and begin our tour where we visited the other evening, the Grand Kremlin Palace. Then we'll follow the natural interior design, eventually exiting back onto Red Square to visit more of Moscow!




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Print this for your visit to Moscow.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 19, 2010, 11:07:10 PM
The first building we'll visit is the State Kremlin Palace (Государственный Кремлёвский Дворец), formerly and unofficially still better known as the Kremlin Palace of Congresses (Кремлёвский Дворец съездов), a large modernistic building just inside the Troitskaya tower entrance.



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The building was built under personal insistence of Nikita Khruschev as a modern arena for Communist Party meetings. Although the architecture of the projected building contrasted sharply with the historic character of the Kremlin, building work started in 1959. The structure was opened along with the 22nd Congress on October 17, 1961.

It is of a glass and concrete design and nearly half of it (17 metres) submerged underground. The main hall is able to hold six thousand people and its acoustics were considered to be the most advanced at the time. Truth is, while it makes a great place for concerts and ballet, most visitors without hesitation consider it be be an ugly blight on an otherwise beautiful Kremlin. I've known more than one Russian who called it the "Kremlin palace of concrete."


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Now the facility (one almost revolts when calling it a "palace") is undergoing interior reconstruction. Over the years this was the main place for mass state events (particularly party congresses). Presently it is used for official and popular concerts. Mendeleyev was introduced to the group "Modern Talking" here in the early 2000's. It is also the scene of the Kremlin ballet and the Bolshoi Theatre performed here while their historic building was closed for repairs.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 19, 2010, 11:53:30 PM
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Crude drawings represent:

K = Kutafya tower, low tower before Trinity Bridge.

M = Manezhnaya Plaza (home of famous glass domes and underground shops)

O = is really a circle over the Troitskaya (Trinity) Tower.

C= Palace of concrete or State Palace of Congresses
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on January 23, 2010, 09:44:44 PM
As we walk south we are immediately confronted by a series of buildings to our right, built up against the Kremlin walls. The Poteshny Palace is the structure with the 4 gold spires and the redish/orange colour and is where Stalin lived in later life. The Amusement Palace stands inside the Kremlin wall at the Komendantskaya tower, at the Alexander Gardens.



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It was built in 1652 for Boyar Miloslavsky, the father-in-law of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and for awhile housed the first Russian theatre, thereby earning the common name of "Amusement Palace." Here Tsar Alexey enjoyed various comedy performances; however, in keeping with conservative Russian Orthodox tradition, after the show he would go to the banya (Russian bathhouse), then attend a church service to repent his sins.



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You're probably wondering if it's a true palace or a series of buildings. Its a boyar manor named as a palace. A talented but unknown architect managed to fit all the buildings of the manor in a relatively small area. Near the Kremlin walls stood a three-story stone mansion with service buildings, deep cellars where wine and food were stored, an elegant palace church and an indoor garden. Boyar Miloslavsky lived here for 16 years; after his death the mansion went to the state, and in 1679 it was refurbished and used as a theater. “Potekhi,” performances to amuse the royal family, were staged there.



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In the 19th century, the Commandant of Moscow had his residence there. The Poteshny Palace is the Kremlin’s only surviving example of boyar chambers. In World War I it was outfitted as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

Today ironically the palace which served as Stalin's living quarters is being reconstructed into a Church!


Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 05, 2010, 01:43:48 PM
The Kremlin Armoury (Оружейная палата) is our next destination.


The Kremlin Armoury originated as the royal arsenal in 1508. Until the transfer of the court to St Petersburg, the Armoury was in charge of producing, purchasing and storing weapons, jewellery and various household articles of the tsars. In 1640 iconography and pictorial studios were openen where lessons on painting and handicrafts were given. In 1700, the Armoury was entrusted with the treasures of the Golden and Silver chambers of the Russian tsars.

The Armoury Chamber has scheduled/guided tours at 10:00, 12:00 , 14:30, 16:30. Generally cameras are not allowed.



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Situated between the Great Kremlin Palace and the Borovitskiy Gate, the Armoury Palace is one of the oldest museums of Russia and located in the Moscow Kremlin. In 1711, Peter the Great had the majority of masters transferred to his new capital, St.Petersburg. 15 years later, the Armoury was merged with the Fiscal Yard (the oldest depository of the royal treasures), Stables Treasury (in charge of storing harnesses and carriages) and the Master Chamber (in charge of sewing clothes and bedclothes for the tsars). After that, the Armoury was renamed into the Arms and Master Chamber.



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The Armoury Museum houses a museum, in which an enormous collection of Russian national treasures, including the famous Faberge eggs, is on display. Ten Faberge eggs, equal to the largest number on display anywhere in the world, reside in the Armoury.



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Some of the oldest treasures in the Kremlin collection are found in the Armoury exhibit. Other exhibits show glimpses of day to day life for the Tsars and their families. Food was served on elaborate gold and silver dishes including a platter which was a gift from Ivan the Terrible to one of his wives. Wine was served from enormous silver urns, then drunk from bejeweled goblets.



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When it came to travel, the Imperial Family rode in only the most extravagant carriages of the day. The Kremlin Museum contains a collection of 16th, 17th, and 18th Century coaches.



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Jewelry,worn by the Imperial Family, constitutes some of the finest work of Russian Craftsman over the centuries. This Russian gold filigree, an enamel barme, a neck ornament dates to the end of the12th Century. Later, pieces of jewelry are studded with precious and semi-precious stones.  
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 05, 2010, 01:54:33 PM
Perhaps the most spectacular Russian craftsmanship was reserved for the Imperial headpieces. Most of the early Tsars chose to wear headpieces lined with sable fur. These were called "caps".



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Peter the Great was the last Tsar to wear a cap. All succeeding Tsars favored the European fashion of wearing fur-less headpieces called crowns as evidenced below.



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Some of the most spectacular displays in the Kremlin museum contain various religious items from chalices, to ornate icons like the Virgin of Smolensk and to elaborate covers for Bibles.



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The museum's collection fills nine halls and includes exquisite jewelry, men's and women's clothing, thrones, armor, weaponry and many other fascinating artifacts from the cultural and domestic life of different eras. A good example is the legendary Crown of Monomakh, supposedly a gift to Prince Vladimir of Kiev, in the 11th century, from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus, and thus a symbol of Russia's claim to the spiritual and imperial heritage of Byzantium. It was used in the coronation ceremony of all the Tsars until 1682.

The museum brings the past to life for visitors, conjuring up images of splendid balls, bleak military campaigns and the everyday lives of the Russian people. The ground floor also houses the celebrated State Diamond Fund.



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Like the Faceted Chamber, the Armoury forms part of Great Kremlin Palace complex. The building was erected as part of Konstantin Ton's project between 1844 and 1851. From the start the space was intended as a museum to house the treasures of the Tsars. The new structure fitted comfortably into the Palace complex as a whole, being stylistically similar to the Great Kremlin Palace itself. The two-tiered chamber of the ground floor is particularly impressive and the fasade is decorated with sculpted and ornamented columns. The building houses a suite of apartments with high-vaulted ceilings, and the central hall is round.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: NathanHale on February 06, 2010, 11:03:08 PM
OMG, I started at page one of this. I have to change my plans. MY main goal was to stand on Red Square, visit the Kremlin and find Lenins grave. But now Im going to have to find more time. And St Petersburg will have to wait. When I get to a new city I divide it into blocks and explore each on foot until I know the city like a local. I hadnt planned on doing that in Moscow this time. Now I have to.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 07, 2010, 10:59:01 PM
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The current Armoury collection was established as recently as 1986, which means that display techniques are relatively modern, the layout is clear and coherent, and there is even plenty of labeling in English.

The Armoury covers two floors, the lower dedicated to artifacts directly linked to Russia's rulers. The first hall on the lower floor contains court dresses and religious vestments, including Catherine the Great's glorious coronation dress, the saccos (ceremonial robe) of Peter, Moscow's first Metropolitan, which dates back to 1322, and Peter the Great's high boots and cane. The next hall contains state regalia and ceremonial objects, which means thrones such as Ivan the Terrible's beautifully carved ivory throne and the exotic gold and turquoise throne given to Boris Godunov by the Shah of Persia, and crowns - most notably the Crown of Monomakh, purportedly a gift from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomachus, and used to crown all the Tsars up until 1682.

The last two halls of the ground floor contain equestrian-related artifacts: decorative saddlery and state carriages. The most impressive pieces of tack are the two gold harnesses that were presented by the sultans of Turkey to Catherine the Great, and the carriages include one given by James I of England to Boris Godunov, and Empress Elizabeth's coach with paintings by the French artist Francois Boucher.

Days and Hours:
Daily except Thursday, admission at 10:00, 12:00, 14:30 and 16:30. Sessions last 1 hour 45 mins. Tickets can be bought in the foyer or from the office in the Kutafiya Tower (to save time).
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 08, 2010, 12:08:06 AM
The Great Kremlin Palace!


The Grand Kremlin Palace (Большой Кремлёвский дворец) was built from 1837 to 1849 on the site of the estate of the Grand Princes, which had been established in the 14th century on Borovitsky Hill. Designed by a team of architects under Konstantin Thon, it was intended to emphasize the greatness of Russian autocracy. Konstantin Thon was also the architect of the Kremlin Armoury and the Church of Christ the Saviour.



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The Grand Kremlin Palace was formerly the tsar's Moscow residence. Its construction involved the demolition of the previous Baroque palace on the site, designed by Rastrelli, and the Church of St. John the Baptist, constructed to a design by Aloisio the New in place of the first church ever built in Moscow.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 08, 2010, 12:21:44 AM

The Kremlin palace is 125 meters long, 47 meters high, and has a total area of about 25,000 square meters. It includes the earlier Terem Palace, nine churches from the 14th, 16th, and 17th centuries, the Holy Vestibule, and over 700 rooms. The buildings of the Palace form a rectangle with an inner courtyard. The building appears to be three stories, but is actually two. The upper floor has two sets of windows. The west building of the Palace held state reception halls and the imperial family's private chambers.



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We'll spend more time because the Grand Palace is really a complex of palaces. As these beautiful and historic monuments play a role in the modern day diplomatic affairs of Russia we'll learn about each one individually.

Unfortunately the Palace complex is off limits to most visitors of the Kremlin.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 12, 2010, 10:40:34 PM
The Kremlin Grand Palace is one of my favourite buildings so we'll not rush this part of the tour along. As it's off limits to visitors, even to Russian citizens, and as photo taking is prohibited except for approved purposes, the opportunity to tour is something a little out of the ordinary.

The Kremlin palace is, in reality, a complex. It blends several palaces into a square within the Kremlin territory. It is made up of the largest and most grand (hence the name) Grand Palace, the Terem Palace, the Armoury and includes the Faceted Palace, an ancient and important part of the Kremlin.




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In this view we are standing on the raised platform of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (it's built on a marsh and needed a special foundation) and looking across to the Kremlin area. The main white building with gold trim and green roof is the Grand Kremlin Palace. To the left is the Armoury, which while built separately, is attached.



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This is the front of the palace which faces outward to the Moscow River. In this photo you see the red Kremlin wall (at left) and the building at the end of the lane (right) is the Armoury. If we continued to the end of this lane we'd come to the Borovitskaya Tower (http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,9049.msg139946.html#msg139946) which is one of the highly secure and tightly controlled entry/exit points for official Kremlin vehicles.



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The Armoury is the first yellow/white building on the left, the Grand Palace is next.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 13, 2010, 12:19:35 AM
The Grand Palace is not the official office of the Russian government, however is is the ceremonial home to most receptions of foreign dignitaries, presidential news conferences, official award ceremonies, and state dinners.

The "ceremonial home" of the Russian government, the Grand Palace. Shown below is the St Andrew Hall, considered as the "main" of the five Kremlin halls named after top decorations. It is also called the Throne Room.

In this hall presidents take the oath of office from the Chairman of the Constitutional Court. It is here that after being sworn in, the President takes possession of the emblem of the President of the Russian Federation, the symbol of presidential power. It is a gold chain made of two-headed eagles and medallions with the St George crosses in them, ending in a big St George cross with the gold two-headed eagle and an emerald figure of St George the Dragon-Slayer.  

Ater the swearing in, the new President reviews of the presidential regiment with a walk out into Cathedral Square, listening to the commander's report and greeting the regiment, which will make a ceremonial march across Cathedral Square. After that, a 30-volley salvo will be fired in honour of the President. Thirty is the maximum number of volleys in the hierarchy of military honours because the President of Russia is also the Supreme Commander of its Armed Forces.



[attachimg=1] circa 1800's



Where the Russian government functions daily:

- President Medvedev's office is in the part of the Senate complex known as number 14. It's the building to the immediate right of the Saviour Tower if you're standing outside on Red Square and looking toward the Kremlin.

- The Grand Palace is the ceremonial home of the Russian government.

- The administration of the President is officed in the Senate building, called building 1, and in the Presidium.

- The Medvedev family live on Tikhvinskaya Street in an upscale apartment home with high security, naturally insured by Lloyd's of London. If you really really need the exact address I'll send it to you by PM, but only after letting the Federal Protective Service know who inquired so look it up on the Internet to spare us both the hassle. It might be there.

- The President also has use of the Mein Dorf Castle on the Moscow River from which he entertains often.

- Officially the President's "reception" is the ancient Palace of Facets, but that is rarely used for Presidential purposes.

- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offices at the Russian White House, which is not at the Kremlin.

- Prime Minister Putin officially resides at Novo-Ogaryovo (Ново-Огарёво), which is the official Presidential residence in the Krylatskoye district of Moscow. It might seem odd that he didn't vacate the Presidential residence when taking on the PM slot, but it must also be pointed out that Mr Putin allowed retired Russian President Yeltsin to live there after Yeltsin left office.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 13, 2010, 01:11:12 AM
The most recent official reception of foreign dignitaries was Friday a week ago, 05 February 2010, when the President received credentials and documents from a group of new Ambassadors to Russia.

At the appointed time the President, followed a few steps behind by Foreign Minister Lavrov, entered the St. Alexander Hall, named for Saint Alexander Nevsky and built in 1725 by Catherine I, carrying out a wish of Peter the Great. The motto of the room's use since 1725 has been "For the Work and the Nation."

With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at his side, President Medvedev received the Ambassadors in a formal ceremony. Ambassadors are "seconded" (appointed) by a country's ruler/president and then forwarded to the leader of the country to which they've been appointed. The receiving ruler/leader may either accept or reject the appoinment.



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After addressing the new Ambassadors, Mr Medvedev accepted the credentials from the ambassadors of five monarchies:

– Mohammed al Hassan from the Sultanate of Oman
- Ahmed al Hasan from Jordan
- Makase Nyaphisi from the Kingdom of Lesotho
- Claude Giordan from the Principality of Monaco
- Sione Ngongo Kioa from the Kingdom of Tonga

The President also received the credentials from representative govenrments:
- Isikeli Uluinairai Mataitoga of the Fiji Islands.

The name of a diplomat is announced according to the time of launching a diplomatic mission in Russia, and each of them presents a letter of credentials to the president. After all diplomats presented their letters of credentials to the president he delivered a brief welcome speech to them.  



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The presentation of the credentials symbolizes the official beginning of the foreign diplomatic missions of newly appointed ambassadors in Russia. The ceremony is held quarterly in the St. Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace under a quite strict protocol scenario.

The official protocol permits the diplomats to come for the ceremony in a suit or national clothes. The ambassadors of Oman and Niger were in national clothes, and the ambassador from the Kingdom of Tonga was in a tuxedo.




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At the end of the ceremony a glass of champagne (or juice for representatives of Muslim countries) is offered to the diplomats. The president usually talks to each diplomat for several minutes.



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Also in attendance were the new Ambassadors from the first 2010 similar ceremony including Armenian ambassador Oleg Yesayan, Austrian ambassador Margot Klestil-Loffler, Zambian ambassador Patrick Nailobi Sinyinza, Malawi ambassador Isaac Chikwekwere Lamba and Niger’s ambassador Djibo Ali Amina Bazindre.
 
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 15, 2010, 09:32:51 PM
What did this palace look like in previous years? Here is a quick tour:


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[attachimg=#] 1838 colourized
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 15, 2010, 10:02:18 PM
[attachimg=#] CIS council



[attachimg=#] Awards ceremony



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 15, 2010, 10:14:25 PM
"I have seen the King's majesties of England and the French King's pavilion, but none are like this."

-Captain Richard Chancellor, 1553  
Richard Chancellor was the first Englishman to visit Russia, during the reign of Ivan the IV – better known as Ivan the Terrible. Ivan entertained his guest to lavish dinners on gold plate, and gave him presents of furs and jewelry. Chancellor went sightseeing and saw that Moscow was a much bigger city than London, yet he described it also as "a rude and barbarous kingdom."
 


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 16, 2010, 08:46:14 PM
The Grand Palace, St Andrew Hall:



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The St. Andrew's Hall was named in honour Saint Andrew "the first called" and missionary to the Slavs and the Order of St.Andrew instituted by Emperor Peter I on 10 March 1698.  Their motto is "For Faith and Fidelity."  The arms of the cross have at each end the letters S.A.P.R (Santus Andreas Patronus Russia)

The hall of the Throne of St. Andrew, with its Gothic vaults, two rows of square pillars and the "All-Powerful Eye", emitting its rays onto the Imperial Throne, recalls a temple by its architecture, and symbolizes the sacred dignity of the Sovereign Power.



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The Imperial throne sits atop a dais in the manner of the ancient Throne of the Tsars.  The six steps leading up to it are covered in material of gold brocade. On days of the grand ceremonies, the dais is adorned with a magnificent ermine tent.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 16, 2010, 09:34:43 PM
Saint Andrew Hall is also where Tsars were crowned and now the Presidents of the Russian Federation. When Vladimir Putin was inaugurated the Palace Regimental Guard, a division of the Federal Protective Service, heralded his approach in St Andrew Hall.

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Mr Putin walked through the Palace to Saint Andrew Hall to be sworn in by the head of the Federation Constitutional Court.

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Following the centuries old tradition of heir-apparents being introduced by out-going Tsars, President Boris Yeltsin introduced Russia's new President, Vladimir Putin.

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President Putin speaks in the Aleksandrovsky (Saint Alexander) Hall.

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The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev greets Russia's new President.

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President Putin with his wife Lyudmila Putina.


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The new Russian President is taken to the Annunciation Cathedral where Patriarch Alexi (may his memory be eternal) dedicates the new president with prayers and presents the president with the Icon of Saint Alexander Nevesky.

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Newly inaugurated President Vladimir Putin stands outside on Cathedral Square as the Regimental guard marches in parade formation.

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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 16, 2010, 11:06:49 PM
On 7 May 2008 at 12:20 in the afternoon, Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev was inaugurated as the next Russian President in the Kremlin Grand Palace.


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Mr Medvedev, having never run for public office in his life, made an astounding succession of leaps from law professor to mayoral assistant to deputy Prime Minister to Chairman of Gazprom, and in his first public election capturing 80% of the vote to hold the office of President of the Russian Federation.

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In time honoured tradition, the out-going Tsar introduces the newly appointed leader.

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Mr Medvedev takes the oath of office with his right hand (notice his wedding band) on a specially bound Russian Federation constitution with the Imperial seal. Only 2 of these exist in the world.

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Newly sworn-in President Medvedev is presented as the Russian head of State.

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President Medvedev addresses the representatives of the Russian people.

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The inauguration ceremony was attended by members of the Russian government, representatives of both houses of parliament, the heads of the Presidential Executive Office, Constitutional Court judges, State Council members, federal executive officials, and foreign ambassadors. In all, around 2,000 people were invited to attend.

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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 16, 2010, 11:32:21 PM
Cathedral Square hosts the Presidential honour parade, just as it did for centuries of Tsars in Russian history.

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After the formal reception and greeting, new President Medvedev and his appointee as Prime Minister, outgoing president Vladimir Putin, reviewed the Palace Regimental Guard in the same tradition as centuries of Tsars on the Kremlin's Cathedral Square.

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Following his inauguration as President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana attended a service at the Moscow Kremlin's Annunciation Cathedral. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexii II led the service ‘For the Start of a Good Work’, blessed the new head of state in his service of the nation and addressed to him words of counsel and dedicated the new President with prayers.

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The Patriarch presented Mr Medvedev with a blessed icon of the Vladimir Mother of God.

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The President can be seen making the sign of the cross before bending to kiss the icon.

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Finally with all the festivities concluded, the new President and his wife, Svetlana, enjoy strolling on the Kremlin Palace grounds while under the watchful eyes of the Federal Protective Service.

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In the background is the Dormition Cathedral, sometimes called the Assumption Cathedral, one of the most ancient and important fixtures on Cathedral Square.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 17, 2010, 10:04:21 PM
[attachimg=#] President Dmitry Medvedev


Hi there!

Sorry to intrude on this excellent tour of Moscow but I wanted to let you know that Svetlana, ah, Mrs. Medvedeva, and I are away skiing the great Russian north. But you're in good hands. Mendeleyev can be a little pesky at times but he does have a good heart and certainly knows his way around the Kremlin.

So even if you don't run into our family often during this tour, we know that your experience in the Kremlin will be top rate. Welcome to Moscow and a special welcome to the Kremlin!

Okay, Mendeleyev, I said what you wanted so where is my $50?

Mendeleyev....oh no you....don't let him run...hey, come back here!

Look Mendy.....I need that money to pay the lift fees!!


(The great tour of Moscow, and the Kremlin will continue. Right now however Mendeleyev has some running around to do.)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 01:15:50 AM
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Moo!

Ah, hi. I'm the Moo Moo (My My) cow from the famous restaurant chain. You've probably seen me standing in front of the "Moo Moo" on Arbat.

Listen, I don't know what happened to Mendeleyev but he came in here looking all frazzled and out of breath. That dude should exercise more--he was huffing and puffing like a bull in heat.

There are a bunch of guys in suits and walkie talkie ear pieces looking for him right now so I think he's laying low. Like real low...he's under the table in that far corner near the wall. I wouldn't bother him now as it seems as if he needs some privacy for awhile.

I'm sure that the RUA Moscow tour will continue real soon but since I've got your attention let me remind you that when in Russia, don't eat the beef! While true that we're not exactly impartial observers, nonetheless a solid majority of native Russian speaking cows hold beef eating to be bad tradition and all. Try some pork, fish or chicken. It's much better for you, anyhow.

Look, we didn't have this conversation and if interrogated I'll deny everything, so move along now.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: BelleZeBoob on February 19, 2010, 02:17:24 AM
Are you kidding about not eating beef?  :biggrin: I buy processed beef regularly, it is tasty and healthy, and never heard of any less than good tradition of eating this sort of meat  ::)
 
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Boris on February 19, 2010, 04:55:51 AM
Are you kidding about not eating beef?  :biggrin: I buy processed beef regularly, it is tasty and healthy, and never heard of any less than good tradition of eating this sort of meat  ::)
 

Belle, Mendy is mimicking a commercial here in America for a restaurant serving chicken. The commercial features a talking cow trying to persuade viewers not to eat beef.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 08:59:47 AM
Belle, sorry, as Boris indicated the talking cow is the one telling readers not to eat the beef.  :)


Quote
a solid majority of native Russian speaking cows hold beef eating to be bad tradition and all. Try some pork, fish or chicken.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 09:25:00 AM
There are several halls of note in the Kremlin Grand Palace. 35 Halls exist, but some of those are lesser such as the "Hall of Those in Service" a place where maids serving the Tsarista would gather, etc.

The main halls are Saint Andrew (which we've covered) and which includes the impressive throne room, Saint George (of the Patron Saint of Moscow), Saint Alexander named for the great Alexander Nevsky, Saint Catherine hall and the smaller Saint Vladimir hall.


Saint George Hall
Saint George is the largest of all the halls of the Palace. According to wishes of Metropolitan Philaret, "The temple of St. George the Victorious was dedicated to be the Sanctuary of Glory for the victorious Russian Army."



[attachimg=#] St George Hall



In the photo above President Medvedev is pictured approaching the podium in St George Hall. The ornamentation is exquisite with a colonnade of 18 twisted columns, formed from zinc by the sculpter Vitali., each fronting a pillar which support the enormous vaulted ceiling.  

Under the insignia of capitals are shields on which are listed the coat-of-arms of the provinces and kingdoms conquered by Russia with the date of each conquest. They are:
1472 - The conquest of Perm
1489-99 - The conquest of Viatka
1553 - Conquest of the Kingdom of Kazan
1557 - Defeat of the Golden Horde
1582 - Conquest of Siberia
1639-43 - Conquest of Kamchatka
1654 - Annexation of Lesser Russia
1702 - Annexation of the banks of the Neva
1721 - Annexation of the Ingermanland and Karelia
1722-23 - Annexation of Derbent and Baku
1783 - Conquest of Tauride
1791 - Peace of Issay, Annexation of Lesser Tartary
1794 - Conquest of the Kingdom of Poland
1801 - Annexation of Georgia
1809 - Annexation of Finland and the Aland Islands
1812 - Annexation of part of Persia
1812 - Annexation of Bessarabia
1828 - Annexation of Armenia



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The names of the Russian Army regiments which made these conquests and those of the Knights of the Order of St. George are engraved on marble plaques which cover the walls and pillars.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 07:25:48 PM
The St. George hall is truly magnificient. When then-President Vladimir Putin led USA President George Bush, Jr, into the Palace, Mr Bush's jaw literally dropped in amazement at the splendor.

When constructed it was the largest structure in the Kremlin, some 500,000 square feet, and cost 11 million rubles to build. It was designed to link the older Terem Palace and Palace of Facets, with its new and glorious reception halls, a ceremonial red staircase, and private Imperial apartments. It was remodeled in the early 1990's at a cost of over a Billion dollars.



[attachimg=#] Interior, red ceremonial staircase



In addition to the twished columns, the St. George hall has another fauture of great interest--the red staircase. We'll visit the Palace of Facets soon and in medieval times the Tsars descended from the Faceted Palace's banqueting hall via the Red Staircase, once again the word "red" originating from the Russian word for "beautiful'. The historical staircase was destroyed in the 1930s to make way for the construction of a modern building intended to house the Kremlin canteen, but was rebuilt in 1994, complete with Tsarist eagles above its arches and stone lions on columns.

In modern times access to the Faceted Palace is through the Vladimirsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, but is restricted to Government officials and visiting dignitaries only. We'll enjoy a visit there soon.

Today a Red Staircase, sometimes called the Parade Staircase, is the gateway to some of the most important receptions rooms in the Grand Palace. Fifty-eight steps of history rebuilt here for the purpose of pomp and circumstance, leading into the Saint George Hall.


[attachimg=#] Photo with the President!



The ceremonial (interior) red staircase leads to the St George Hall where foreign dignitaries are entertained and state honours are awarded. Very much unlike leaders before his time, President Medvedev is a very personable person who enjoys interaction with the Russian people.



Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 08:17:17 PM
As we move quickly to a couple of the other Halls, lets take a step back in time and think of three important people who have in modern times used this palace to change history. Specifically, the three I would like to mention now are:

- The late honourable Ronald Wilson Reagan
- The honourable Margaret Thatcher
- The honourable Mikhail Gorbachev

For those interested, out of respect to each party Mr Reagan is listed at the top because he is deceased, Ms Thatcher, a lady, and she and Mr Gorbachev are still alive at this writing. The world owes a great debt for the determination of each of these individuals to make the world a different and more free place to live.

In the photo below Mr Gorbachev is preparing to introduce President and Mrs Nancy Reagan. This photo gives you a view (on the sides) of the "twisted" design columns of Saint George Hall.

Mrs Raisa Gorbacheva is standing alongside the Reagans. Early in her career Mrs Gorbacheva taught Marxist-Leninist philosophy in Stavropol, where the young Gorbachev family made their first home.  


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What a special trademark view, of Mr Gorbachev looking over the top of those eyeglasses so that he could see the assembled crowd.  

Two years ago in 2008, a good friend and I drove to the Reagan Memorial in the north valley just above Los Angeles. We had been invited there as part of a group formerly performing various duties in either media coverage of, or serving in, the Reagan Administration. John was a member of the Secret Service detail, attached to Mrs Nancy Reagan, and I just a lowly broadcast journalist and at that time a budding/wannabe producer.

As we traded "war stories" and remembered good times we reflected on those days when the world was a much more dangerous place. It was early 1988, when President Ronald Reagan made an announcement in the White House Rose Garden that he would travel to the Soviet Union, the nation he had described, so many times before, as an "evil empire."

He would travel to Moscow where he would meet his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev. It would be their fourth summit. The previous December, Mr Gorbachev had come to Washington, D.C. to sign the INF Treaty that called for the elimination of all medium-range nuclear missiles, a milestone in superpower relations.



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Mr Reagan was genuinely humbled by the outpouring of friendship expressed by the Russian people who lined the streets and greeted an American President as his motorcade made its way to the Kremlin. For those who wonder, two presidential limos and a group of heavily armoured black Suburbans travel with the president anywhere in the world. The bulk of this motorcade driving thru the centre of Moscow were American made vehicles, flown in as part of the "Air Force One" contingent.

At the time many expressed doubts as to whether anything substantive could come from Reagan's visit to Moscow. There were still many unresolved issues between the U.S. and the USSR and even though Reagan and Gorbachev seemed to get along quite well, those issues had long overshadowed their relationship.

The question at the time was whether the two leaders would make progress on a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that would cut by half their respective nations' arsenals of long-range nuclear missiles and warheads?



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Above: Presidents Gorbachev and Gorbachev shake hands before being seated to sign START treaty documents.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 08:28:50 PM
The signing of the START treaties in Moscow. Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev being witnessed by Soviet leaders (seated) and their assistants.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 08:43:14 PM
Side note: Later we'll visit Moscow State University (and perhaps even embarrass the youngest Mendeleyev daughter if she's in class!) but here is the 1988 speech of President Reagan to students at MSU:


Here is the text of Mr Reagan's address at that historic address:

Introduction
Before I left Washington, I received many heartfelt letters and telegrams asking me to carry here a simple message--perhaps, but also some of the most important business of this summit--it is a message of peace and goodwill and hope for a growing friendship and closeness between our two peoples.

First I want to take a little time to talk to you much as I would to any group of university students in the United States. I want to talk not just of the realities of today, but of the possibilities of tomorrow.

You know, one of the first contacts between your country and mine took place between Russian and American explorers. The Americans were members of Cook's last voyage on an expedition searching for an Arctic passage; on the island of Unalaska, they came upon the Russians, who took them in, and together, with the native inhabitants, held a prayer service on the ice.

The explorers of the modern era are the entrepreneurs, men with vision, with the courage to take risks and faith enough to brave the unknown. These entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States. They are the prime movers of the technological revolution. In fact, one of the largest personal computer firms in the United states was started by two college students, no older than you, in the garage behind their home.

Some people, even in my own country, look at the riot of experiment that is the free market and see only waste. What of all the entrepreneurs that fail? Well, many do, particularly the successful ones. Often several times. And if you ask them the secret of their success, they'll tell you, it's all that they learned in their struggles along the way - yes, it's what they learned from failing. Like an athlete in competition, or a scholar in pursuit of the truth, experience is the greatest teacher.

We are seeing the power of economic freedom spreading around the world--places such as the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan have vaulted into the technological era, barely pausing in the industrial age along the way. Low-tax agricultural policies in the sub-continent mean that in some years India is now a net exporter of food. Perhaps most exciting are the winds of change that are blowing over the People's republic of China, where one-quarter of the world's population is now getting its first taste of economic freedom.

At the same time, the growth of democracy has become one of the most powerful political movements of our age. In Latin America in the 1970's, only a third of the population lived under democratic government. Today over 90 percent does. In the Philippines, in the Republic of Korea, free, contested, democratic elections are the order of the day. Throughout the world, free markets are the model for growth. Democracy is the standard by which governments are measured.

We Americans make no secret of our belief in freedom. In fact, it's something of a national pastime. Every four years the American people choose a new president, and 1988 is one of those years. At one point there were 13 major candidates running in the two major parties, not to mention all the others, including the Socialist and Libertarian candidates - all trying to get my job.

About 1,000 local television stations, 8,500 radio stations, and 1,700 daily newspapers, each one an independent, private enterprise, fiercely independent of the government, report on the candidates, grill them in interviews, and bring them together for debates. In the end, the people vote - they decide who will be the next president.

But freedom doesn't begin or end with elections. Go to any American town, to take just an example, and you'll see dozens of synagogues and mosques - and you'll see families of every conceivable nationality, worshipping together.

Go into any schoolroom, and there you will see children being taught the Declaration of Independence, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights - among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - that no government can justly deny - the guarantees in their Constitution for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion.

Go into any courtroom and there will preside an independent judge, beholden to no government power. There every defendant has the right to a trial by a jury of his peers, usually 12 men and women - common citizens, they are the ones, the only ones, who weigh the evidence and decide on guilt or innocence. In that court, the accused is innocent until proven guilty, and the word of a policeman, or any official, has no greater legal standing than the word of the accused.

Go to any university campus, and there you'll find an open, sometimes heated discussion of the problems in American society and what can be done to correct them. Turn on the television, and you'll see the legislature conducting the business of government right there before the camera, debating and voting on the legislation that will become the law of the land. March in any demonstrations, and there are many of them - the people's right of assembly is guaranteed in the Constitution and protected by the police.

But freedom is more even than this: Freedom is the right to question, and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to stick - to dream - to follow your dream, or stick to your conscience, even if you're the only one in a sea of doubters.

Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority of government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put on this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer.

America is a nation made up of hundreds of nationalities. Our ties to you are more than ones of good feeling; they're ties of kinship. In America, you'll find Russians, Armenians, Ukrainians, peoples from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They come from every part of this vast continent, from every continent, to live in harmony, seeking a place where each cultural heritage is respected, each is valued for its diverse strengths and beauties and the richness it brings to our lives.

Recently, a few individuals and families have been allowed to visit relatives in the West. We can only hope that it won't be long before all are allowed to do so, and Ukrainian-Americans, Baltic-Americans, Armenian-Americans, can freely visit their homelands, just as this Irish-American visits his.

Freedom, it has been said, makes people selfish and materialistic, but Americans are one of the most religious peoples on Earth. Because they know that liberty, just as life itself, is not earned, but a gift from God, they seek to share that gift with the world. "Reason and experience," said George Washington, in his farewell address, "both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. And it is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government."

Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive: A system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith.

I have often said, nations do not distrust each other because they are armed; they are armed because they distrust each other. If this globe is to live in peace and prosper, if it is to embrace all the possibilities of the technological revolution, then nations must renounce, once and for all, the right to an expansionist foreign policy. Peace between nations must be an enduring goal - not a tactical stage in a continuing conflict.

I've been told that there's a popular song in your country - perhaps you know it - whose evocative refrain asks the question, "Do the Russians want a war?" In answer it says, "Go ask that silence lingering in the air, above the birch and poplar there; beneath those trees the soldiers lie. Go ask my mother, ask my wife; then you will have to ask no more, 'Do the Russians want a war?'"

But what of your one-time allies? What of those who embraced you on the Elbe? What if we were to ask the watery graves of the Pacific, or the European battlefields where America's fallen were buried far from home? What if we were to ask their mothers, sisters, and sons, do Americans want war? Ask us, too, and you'll find the same answer, the same longing in every heart. People do not make wars, governments do - and no mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology. A people free to choose will always choose peace.

Americans seek always to make friends of old antagonists. After a colonial revolution with Britain we have cemented for all ages the ties of kinship between our nations. After a terrible civil war between North and South, we healed our wounds and found true unity as a nation. We fought two world wars in my lifetime against Germany and one with Japan, but now the Federal Republic of Germany and Japan are two of our closest allies and friends.

Some people point to the trade disputes between us as a sign of strain, but they're the frictions of all families, and the family of free nations is a big and vital and sometimes boisterous one. I can tell you that nothing would please my heart more than in my lifetime to see American and Soviet diplomats grappling with the problem of trade disputes between America and a growing, exuberant, exporting Soviet Union that had opened up to economic freedom and growth.

Closing remarks
Is this just a dream? Perhaps. But it is a dream that is our responsibility to have come true.

Your generation is living in one of the most exciting, hopeful times in Soviet history. It is a time when the first breath of freedom stirs the air and the heart beats to the accelerated rhythm of hope, when the accumulated spiritual energies of a long silence yearn to break free.

We do not know what the conclusion of this journey will be, but we're hopeful that the promise of reform will be fulfilled. In this Moscow spring, this May 1988, we may be allowed that hope - that freedom, like the fresh green sapling planted over Tolstoi's grave, will blossom forth at least in the rich fertile soil of your people and culture. We may be allowed to hope that the marvelous sound of a new openness will keep rising through, ringing through, leading to a new world of reconciliation, friendship, and peace.

Thank you all very much and da blagoslovit vas gospod! God bless you.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 08:51:19 PM
You've perhaps noticed that the Palace Halls in the 1980s are void of the luster and shine seen in more modern settings. The Soviet Union was broke and only after it's demise was the Russian government able to remodel and restore the Palace to it's rightful condition.

Ms Thatcher and Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan built upon the work begun in 1972 with the SALT treaties, initiated by US President Richard M Nixon, who while he made criticial mistakes in Watergate, at the same time it was his work which paved the way for the work which was to come. History will judge Mr Nixon much kinder, and rightfully so, than those of us so close to the Watergate era.

Before we leave the Saint George Hall, here are some final photos:


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Below: September 2009, Russian Federation Governor's meeting in the Saint George Hall of the Kremlin Grand Palace.

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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 19, 2010, 11:29:42 PM
Saint Alexander Hall


We've toured the Saint Andrew and Saint George Halls and next on our list is the Saint Alexander Hall, so named for a hero of Russian independence and sovereignity, Alexander Nevsky.



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Some mistakenly assume that Nevsky gained sainthood by being a great warrior and was awarded the title because of his role in history. Of course he was a great leader/statesman and a great warrior, but Alexander Nevsky got his sainthood the old fashioned way--he was a deeply committed Christian man.

There is a mural in the Alexander Hall which tells the story of the great warrior's refusal to worship the bush and fire as demanded by a pagan Tatar ruler. "Go tell Batyii," he said to the head of the Tatar troops, "that I render hommage to him as a sovereign, as he is such by the grace of God, but I will not prostrate myself before an object which was made only for the use of man.  I acclaim only the one God who I serve and adore." (The Great Kremlin Palace and It's Nine Churches;  Baron Freederickz, Aide de Camp to Emperor Nicholas II; 1912)




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Another wall mural tells the story of ambassadors from Rome, sent by Pope Innocent IV in an attempt to persuade Alexander Nevsky to embrace Catholocism. They swore to him that his father Yaroslav had made the promise to the Catholic monk Plano Carpini (a celebrated traveller) when they had encountered the Tatar Horde. "We know the true doctrine of the Church," replied Alexander Nevsky, "we do not accept yours and do not wish to know it." (Kremlin Palace mural, Saint Alaxander Hall)




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Saint Vladimir Hall


The octagonal St. Vladimir Hall is the center of the palace ensemble and is illuminated through the skylight in the dome. The Vladimir Hall is where Presidents Yeltsin and Bush (Sr) signed START II.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 20, 2010, 12:23:41 AM
St. Catherine Hall


This hall was named after the Order of St. Catherine. Peter the Great instituted the order in 1714 to commemorate the events of the Prut Campaign when Catherine I, in order to rescue the Russian army which was encircled by the Turks, gave some of her valuables to bribe the commander-in-chief of the Turkish army.

The motto of the Order is For Love and Motherland and it is awarded to women only. Catherine I was the first recipient and ladies inducted into the order took an oath to "ransom with their monies a christian found under the barbarian yoke."



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As yoiu can see from the photo above the hall has cross vaulting supported by powerful pylons. It is comparatively small, a little over twenty metres long, fourteen metres wide and seven metres high. The walls are adorned with pilasters of malachite with bronze capitals. The spaces between them are hung with watered silk in the Order's colours: pink trimmed with silver.
      


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In the photo above can you pick out US President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright? This decorations for the room reflect the role of the Empress in her function as the Grand Mistress of the Order of St. Catherine and of the Kremlin Palace.




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Russian President Vladimir Putin and American President William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton are shown above. The St. Catherine Hall is used for meetings and talks with foreign parliamentary delegations and heads of state and government from different countries.

The insignia of the Order are repeated in the decor. Together with foliate ornament they can be seen gilded on the intricate carving of the doors. The hall is lit by chandeliers of gilded bronze, four-metre high crystal standard lamps and candelabra.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 20, 2010, 09:07:11 PM
A lot of history, some of it recent, has taken place in this great palace.


[attachimg=#] Mr Gorbachev and Mr Bush, Sr.


We've spent a lot of time in the palace, however the RUA tour is taking us to parts of the Kremlin that even ordinary Russian citizens never see in a lifetime, especially inside the Grand Palace which is off limits to most.

The Grand Palace was planned and constructed to connect the Armoury, the Terems Palace, the Palace of the Facets, and the Royal apartments.

You're undoubtedly familiar with the churches on the Kremlin grounds such as the Cathedral  of the Dormition (Assumption Cathedral), the Church of the Disposition of the Robe, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Archangel Cathedral, the Church of the Twelve Apostles, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower (Church of St. Ioann Lestvichnik), and the Church of the Nativity.

There are also several churches, permanently closed to the public, which are inside the Palace complex. We'll visit those too, including a church which was "lost" and unknown to exist until remodeling was undertaken!

We'll also take a stroll thru the 7 Royal apartments and experience what it must have felt like to live in luxury so many centuries ago.

But first, more important history.



Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 20, 2010, 10:02:40 PM
Борис Николаевич Ельцин​ (Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin)


(May God grant hih memory eternal.) Mr Yeltsin played an important role in Russian independence at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union and most importantly, stopped a hardline coup designed to keep the Soviet Union intact as a Communist dictatorship. On 18 August 1991, a coup against Gorbachev was launched by the government members opposed to perestroika. Gorbachev was held in Crimea while Yeltsin raced to the White House of Russia (residence of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR) in Moscow to defy the coup.

The White House was surrounded by the military but the troops defected in the face of mass popular demonstrations. Yeltsin responded to the coup by making a memorable speech from the turret of a tank.

In early December 1991, Ukraine voted for independence from the Soviet Union. A week later, on 8 December, Yeltsin met Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk and the leader of Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, where the three presidents announced the dissolution of the Soviet Union and that they would establish a voluntary Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place.

On 24 December, the Russian Federation took the Soviet Union's seat in the United Nations. The next day, President Gorbachev resigned and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

Mr Yeltsin was no model of perfection on one hand and in fact the Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems. He either acted as his own prime minister (until June 1992) or appointed men of his choice, regardless of parliament. His confrontations with parliament climaxed in the October 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, when Yeltsin called in soldiers to retake Russian White House, after his opponents had taken over the building.



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An article published in Pravda described him as being drunk at a lecture during his visit to the United States, an allegation which appeared to be confirmed by a TV account of his speech. However, popular dissatisfaction with the regime was very strong, and these attempts to smear Yeltsin only added to his popularity. In another incident, Yeltsin fell from a bridge. Commenting on this event, Yeltsin hinted that he was helped to fall from the bridge by the enemies of perestroika, but his opponents suggested that he was simply drunk.

Mr Yeltsin got on well with each American President from the time but he especially admired Bill Clinton, commenting that he could admire a president who wasn't afraid of a little vodka, appreciated women, and liked to party.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 20, 2010, 10:28:23 PM
[attachimg=#] Mr Clinton and Mr Putin enjoy jazz concert.




[attachimg=#] Clinton and Putin enter St George Hall.




[attachimg=#] Mr Clinton given a sacred icon at nearby Christ Cathedral.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Jared2151 on February 22, 2010, 09:13:11 AM

  The photos are simply stunning, I can only imagine how impressive it must be in person.

I, like Bush II, would be dropping my jaw also.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: el_guero on February 22, 2010, 09:26:16 AM
Saint Alexander Hall


Alexander Nevsky got his sainthood the old fashioned way . . .


Nicely said.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 23, 2010, 09:54:43 PM
Thanks to both of you kind gentlemen, and for the gracious comments by new members in the introductions sections.

 tiphat
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: el_guero on February 24, 2010, 12:38:01 AM
One of these days, I am gonna have to probe that prodigious memory for some anecdotal information for one of my books.

;)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 24, 2010, 11:03:14 PM
My dear departed mother (may God grant her memory eternal) used to say that her "forgetter" was working better than ever the older she grew.  :)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 24, 2010, 11:13:12 PM
One wonders as to whether Russian presidents tire of showing foreign leaders around the Kremlin. Are there only so many times one can show the Tsar Cannon or Ivan Bell Tower and remain excited, especially when so many dignitaries come to Moscow annually? Or, is each time a new experience in immense pride at introducing the special points of over 1,000 years of Russian history?

Gracious hosts as they are, perhaps we'll never know. But for certain the parade of foreign leaders coming to Moscow seems to have no end.

Here are some photos from the Russian American Summit with President Putin hosting President George W. Bush,  in May 2002:


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[attachimg=#] Kremlin Grand Palace



[attachimg=#] Presidents and wives, state breakfast



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[attachimg=#] Signing documents
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2010, 12:30:18 AM
How Margaret Thatcher Helped to End the Cold War
by Ted R. Bromund

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, many in the West had come to believe that the Cold War could not and should not be won, that anti-Communism was morally wrong, and that the future lay in détente between the superpowers and the evolution of democracy into ever-deepening state socialism. By the time she left office, the Berlin Wall had fallen and Eastern Europe was liberated. A year later, the Soviet Union crumbled into the dustbin of history. Democracy and freedom were on the advance.



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Prime Minister Thatcher's contributions to this victory were profound. Together with the firm vision of her close friend President Ronald Reagan, the inspiration of Pope John Paul II, and the determination of the oppressed peoples of Eastern Europe and Russia, her courage and leadership were instrumental to democracy's defeat of Communism.

Even before 1979, the Soviet Union derisively described her as the Iron Lady. She proved that, for once, the Communists spoke the truth, turning what was intended as an insult into an honor hailed around the world. As the liberated nations and their friends and allies commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, her part in this great victory must be remembered with gratitude.

Thatcher was elected leader of the Conservative Party in February 1975. In a major speech to the Chelsea Conservative Association that July, she set out her vision for British foreign policy and the unity of the West. She expressed her support for "a real détente" but pointed out that when Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, lectured his population on peaceful co-existence, he proclaimed that this "in no way implies the possibility of relaxing the ideological struggle."



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Even more vitally, as Thatcher put it, "throughout this decade of détente, the armed forces of the Soviet Union have increased, are increasing, and show no signs of diminishing." A real détente would be one that "Russia supports in actions as well as words." Instead, the U.S.S.R. was arming while simultaneously deepening its domestic repression. Moscow's behavior had consequences for the policy of the West, because "a nation that denies those freedoms to its own people will have few scruples in denying them to others." Free Europe needed to stand united, field a military strong enough to deter aggression, and work--through NATO--with the United States if it was to prevail in its common purpose: the "pursuit and preservation of liberty."[1]

These were the themes that dominated Thatcher's public life, both in opposition and in government, for the next 15 years. She insisted on speaking the truth about the Soviet Union. This was deeply unpopular in many circles, both at home and abroad, where her honesty was regarded as dangerous to the effort to develop closer relations with the U.S.S.R. But Thatcher, in keeping with the conviction she had held since her youth, believed that what was truly dangerous was to indulge the worship of the state that had created a tyranny in the U.S.S.R. and a suffocating socialism in Britain itself.



[attachimg=#] Thatcher, Gorbachev, Mulroney- Reagan Funeral



She coupled this clarity of moral vision with a belief in the essential unity of the West, including the U.S., Britain, and Western Europe, and of the vital importance of Western armed strength to peace and security. But her vision was not one of eternal stalemate. Rather, precisely because she believed that the U.S.S.R's foundations were faulty, she argued that, if it was contained by the West's arms and confronted by its superior, free economies and the reality of its liberties, the Communist state would eventually be forced to recognize its own failure.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2010, 01:39:04 AM
President Medvedev hosts India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:


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President Medvedev and Indian PM Singh enter Yekaterinninsky (Catherine) Hall:


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Russian President Medvedev and the Sultan of Brunei:


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Prime Minister Putin at the Kremlin Palace with Ambassador Zlatko Lecevski of Macedonia and Ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga of Sri Lanka:


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President Medvedev poses with Foreign Policy Adviser Sergei Prikhodko and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov:


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President Medvedev with President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana:


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June 2009, the Summit between Russia and China at the Kremlin Palace with President Medvedev hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao:


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2010, 08:28:39 AM
July 2009, Moscow


[attachimg=#] Moscow Ritz Carlton arrival


PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Mr. President, distinguished members of the American delegation,

On this occasion I would like to welcome you in the Kremlin, and it is our expectation that during the deliberations we will have today and tomorrow we will have a full-fledged discussion of the relations between our two countries, closing some of the pages of the past and opening some of the pages of the future.

Among those difficult questions our countries are tackling together, are those pertaining to economy, security and strategic offensive elements, and it is my hope that it will be possible for us to tackle successfully these problems jointly.

So once again I would like to welcome you all and to wish you success.




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PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Well, let me just thank President Medvedev and his entire delegation for the extraordinary hospitality. We are confident that we can continue to build off the excellent discussions that we had in London. And that on the whole host of issues including security issues, economic issues, energy issues, environmental issues that the United States and Russia have more in common that they have differences. And that if we work hard during these next few days, that we can make extraordinary progress that will benefit the people of both countries.

So we are very much looking forward to our meetings. And again I want to thank not only you, Mr President, but the people of Russia for hosting us today. We are very glad to be in Moscow.



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DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Even the weather favours such an intercourse between us since it is going to be chilly outside and it is better to work inside.


[attachimg=#] St. Catherine Hall, Grand Palace



BARACK OBAMA: We might as well be inside today. Although the last time I was here in Moscow it was 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


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(St. Catherine Hall, sitting room)
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2010, 09:16:34 AM
Joint Press Conference, Moscow, 06 July 2009



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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,

We have just completed our negotiations with the U.S. President. The first visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Russia was a very busy one. The first day showed that we managed to discuss all the items of our agenda, and it was a very big one.

I would like from the outset to say that there was a very useful and very open business-like conversation. This, no doubt, was a meeting that has been expected, both in this country and the United States of America, and on which not only the future of our two countries depends but also, to a large extent, the trends of world development.

I would like to emphasize again one thing. The first day of negotiations, our meetings one-on-one and in an expanded format were very open and sincere. And this is extremely important. We have agreed that we will continue to communicate in this mode further on. In reality, for our relations, it is both very important and sometimes a bit complicated, because the backlog of problems is quite impressive. But we have enough of mutual wish and will and the principled positions that we have always held and still hold, to discuss these problems in a business-like manner and to achieve mutually beneficial results.

I would like to emphasize that each of our countries understands its role in its own way, but at the same time we realise our role and responsibility for the situation in this world - especially in a period when the level of globalization has reached such dimensions and such parameters that the decisions we make very often determine the situation in general. And such powerful states as the United States of America and the Russian Federation have special responsibility for everything that is happening on our planet.

We have many points of convergence, many mutual interests, and global and economic ones and a variety of other interests. But our desire to discuss these subjects was mutual and this is also one of very important results of our meeting since the work we are doing requires goodwill, mutual respect, and honest understanding of each other's position.

We also came to the conclusion that Russian-American relations, to be precise - the level achieved today, do not correspond to their potential, to the other possibilities of our countries. And the important thing is that the level that we have today does not correspond to the need of the current age, and without active development of our relations on the foreign affairs agenda, in trade and economic, scientific, educational and cultural spheres we will not be able to build the road to the 21st century.

We have spent several hours in very busy negotiations, very specific, and at the same we dwelled on the questions of philosophy of our cooperation. I am grateful to the President of the United States for the understanding he showed on the principles that we put forward and our attention to the proposals made by the American side. So, despite the fact that in several hours we cannot remove the burden of all the problems that have been building up over a rather long period of time, we have agreed that we will go forward without stopping; that we will make the decisions that are needed for the development of relations between our two countries.

We have discussed quite specific problems, and I would like to share some of them with you. We, of course, discussed international subjects. We spoke about such difficult problems as the process of Middle East settlement. We agreed to continue our work, taking into account the visits we had in the Middle East recently, and the plans that we discussed ahead of major events. We discussed the possibility of holding Moscow conference on the Middle East.

We spoke about a very important subject that requires utmost coordination of our activities. This is the problem of Afghanistan. Without our joint work in that area, we would not be able to achieve success in that area, and on that score we have agreed on a special statement.

Our relations will be also consolidated by our links in the humanitarian field, in the field of science. This has to be done by all means, and we'll be dealing with this after this meeting in a very persistent way.

Now, a few specific results of our negotiations. You are aware of them. We have agreed on a very important subject, the new agreement of strategic offensive arms. This is a basic element of our mutual security. The work was very intensive, and I must admit that our teams, our delegations, worked on this subject in a very fruitful way. They have showed reasonable compromise, and I would like to thank everyone who took part in these negotiations or is going to take part in them.

A result of this is that we have reached not only mutual understanding of how we should move forward, but also agreed on the basic levels on which we will advance our cooperation in this area. We agreed on the levels of carriers and warheads, meaning that this is a very concrete subject.




[attachimg=#] Signing accords



[attachimg=#] Signatures exchanged



In the Mutual Understanding that we have just signed with the President of the United States it is said that our two countries can have from 500 to 1,100 carriers of strategic arms, and from 1,500 to 1,675 warheads. These are the new parameters within which our dialogue will be going on and where we hope to achieve final agreement that will be part of the new treaty.

We have agreed also that the offensive and defensive systems of both countries should be considered together. We have adopted a joint statement on ABM. And this is also an important result of our work, even taking into account that we have differences on a number of items. Nevertheless, we managed to approve a joint document.

We have discussed measures of cooperation in the nuclear field and the most important is that we will continue our cooperation in every area, and a lot depends on our countries. We have signed an agreement on military transit to Afghanistan. We decided to create a presidential commission on cooperation, which will be coordinating relations among various agencies of the United States and the Russian Federation, respectively, in all priority areas, including economic and military areas.

In the military area, these questions will be dealt by the chiefs of General Staff that have just signed the document, General Makarov and [Admiral] Mullen.

Soon all these documents will be published and you will be able to familiarize yourself with them. On the whole, by characterizing our first day of work and the results of negotiations that we have had, I would like to say that I view them as a first but very important step in the process of improving full-scale cooperation between our two countries, which should go to the benefit of both states. And if both states benefit by it, that means everybody will benefit by it.

I would like to emphasize in conclusion that our country would like to reach such a level of cooperation with the United States which would be realistically worthy of the 21st century, which will ensure international peace and security. This is in our interests, and we are grateful to our American colleagues for the joint work we have done. It is true that the solution of many world problems depends on the joint will of the United States and Russia.





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PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BARACK OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody, and I want to thank President Medvedev and the Russian people for their hospitality. Michelle and I and our children are pleased to be here in Moscow, and to be here so early in my administration.

We've just concluded a very productive meeting. As President Medvedev just indicated, the President and I agreed that the relationship between Russia and the United States has suffered from a sense of drift. We resolved to reset U.S.-Russian relations, so that we can cooperate more effectively in areas of common interest. Today, after less than six months of collaboration, we've done exactly that by taking concrete steps forward on a range of issues, while paving the way for more progress in the future. And I think it's particularly notable that we've addressed the top priorities - these are not second-tier issues, they are fundamental to the security and the prosperity of both countries.

First, we've taken important steps forward to increase nuclear security and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

This starts with the reduction of our own nuclear arsenals. As the world's two leading nuclear powers, the United States and Russia must lead by example, and that's what we're doing here today. We have signed a Joint Understanding for a follow-on treaty to the START agreement that will reduce our nuclear warheads and delivery systems by up to a third from our current treaty limitations. This legally binding treaty will be completed this year.

We've also agreed on a joint statement on nuclear security cooperation that will help us achieve the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years - progress that we can build upon later this week at the G8 summit. Together, these are important steps forward in implementing the agenda that I laid out in Prague.

As we keep our commitments, so we must ensure that other nations keep theirs. To that end, we had constructive discussions about North Korea and Iran. North Korea has abandoned its own commitments and violated international law. And that's why I'm pleased that Russia joined us in passing a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for strong steps to block North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Iran also poses a serious challenge through its failure to live up to international obligations. This is not just a problem for the United States. It raises the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, which would endanger global security, while Iran's ballistic missile program could also pose a threat to the broader region. That's why I'm pleased that we've agreed on a joint statement on cooperation on missile defence, and a joint threat assessment of the ballistic missile challenges of the 21st century, including those posed by Iran and North Korea.

Second, we have taken important steps forward to strengthen our security through greater cooperation.

President Medvedev and I agreed upon the need to combat the threat of violent extremism, particularly from al Qaeda. And today, we've signed an agreement that will allow the transit of lethal military equipment through Russia to Afghanistan. This is a substantial contribution by Russia to our international effort, and it will save the United States time and resources in giving our troops the support that they need.

Thanks to Admiral Mullen and his Russian counterpart, we've also agreed to resume military-to-military cooperation between the United States and Russia. This provides a framework for improved cooperation and interoperability between our armed forces, so that we can better address the threats that we face - from terrorism to piracy. We've also agreed to restore a Joint Commission on Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, which will allow our governments to cooperate in our unwavering commitment to our missing servicemen and women.

And third, we've taken important steps forward to broaden our cooperation on a full range of issues that affect the security and prosperity of our people.

President Medvedev and I are creating a U.S.-Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission to serve as a new foundation for this cooperation. Too often, the United States and Russia only communicate on a narrow range of issues, or let old habits within our bureaucracy stand in the way of progress. And that's why this commission will include working groups on development and the economy; energy and the environment; nuclear energy and security; arms control and international security; defence, foreign policy and counterterrorism; preventing and handling emergencies; civil society; science and technology; space; health; education; and culture. And this work will be coordinated by Secretary Clinton and Minister Lavrov, and Secretary Clinton will travel to Russia this fall to carry this effort forward.

Just to give you one example of this cooperation, is the new Memorandum of Understanding on health. We've learned - most recently with the H1N1 virus - that a disease that emerges anywhere can pose a risk to people everywhere. That's why our Department of Health and Human Services will cooperate with its Russian counterparts to combat infectious, chronic, and non-communicable diseases, while promoting prevention and global health.

Finally, I'm pleased that Russia has taken the important step of lifting some restrictions on imports of U.S. livestock. The cost of these restrictions to American business is over 1.3 billion USD, and we've now made important progress towards restoring that commerce.

I won't pretend that the United States and Russia agree on every issue. As President Medvedev indicated, we've had some frank discussions, and there are areas where we still disagree. For instance, we had a frank discussion on Russia - on Georgia, and I reiterated my firm belief that Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Yet even as we work through our disagreements on Georgia's borders, we do agree that no one has an interest in renewed military conflict. And going forward, we must speak candidly to resolve these differences peacefully and constructively.

President Medvedev and I are committed to leaving behind the suspicion and the rivalry of the past so that we can advance the interests that we hold in common. Today, we've made meaningful progress in demonstrating through deeds and words what a more constructive U.S.-Russian relationship can look like in the 21st century. Tomorrow, I look forward to broadening this effort to include business, civil society, and a dialogue among the American and Russian people.

I believe that all of us have an interest in forging a future in which the United States and Russia partner effectively on behalf of our security and prosperity. That's the purpose of resetting our relations, that is the progress we made today, and I once again want to thank President Medvedev and his entire team for being such wonderful hosts and working so effectively with our teams. Thank you.




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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 26, 2010, 09:29:52 AM
QUESTION (Associated Press): Good evening to both presidents.

President Obama, I'd like to ask you about the issue of trust, after this period of rocky relations between the countries, but also with the agreements that you've just laid out today. Having spent time with President Medvedev, do you feel like you have full trust in him, and have you settled in your mind who is really in charge here in Russia - the President or Prime Minister Putin?

And President Medvedev, I'd like to ask you, polling shows that the Russian people have some hard feelings about America. I'm wondering what you think President Obama can do to try to change this?

BARACK OBAMA: Well, first of all, this is now my second lengthy bilateral meeting with President Medvedev, and we've also had a series of telephone calls and other exchanges. And throughout our interactions, I've found him to be straightforward, professional. He is clear about the interests of the Russian people, but he's also interested in finding out what the interests of the United States are. And we have found I think an ability to work together extremely effectively.

So, yes, I trust President Medvedev to not only listen and to negotiate constructively, but also to follow up - follow through on the agreements that are contained here today. And, again, I'm very appreciative not only of the manner in which he's dealt with me, but also the manner in which our teams have worked together.

Tomorrow I'll be having breakfast with Prime Minister Putin. I have not met him before. I'm looking forward to that meeting. My understanding is, is that President Medvedev is the President, Prime Minister Putin is the Prime Minister, and they allocate power in accordance with Russia's form of government in the same way that we allocate power in the United States.

And my strong impression is, is that President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin are working very effectively together. And our interest is dealing with the Russian government as a whole in order to achieve the improved bilateral relationship that I think can be accomplished.



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DMITRY MEDVEDEV: First of all, I would like to thank President Obama for the kind words he has just said about the spirit and the level of openness in our personal relationship.I have already spoken about it, and I can say it again.

Good personal relations may not be what’s most important, but without them, it is difficult to build normal intergovernmental relations. It is good when both intergovernmental relations and the personal relations between the states’ leaders are in harmony, so I hope that the relations with my colleague, President Barack Obama, will continue in the same vein.

As far as Russian people’s attitudes toward the American people are concerned, these are normal, friendly attitudes. It is another matter when the political climate grows cool, when there are problems between two states, as this clearly affects the attitudes of people who follow the political developments. This is a given, and thus, a better relationship between two countries leads to more positive attitudes on the part of their people toward one another. We can remember some great periods of time when our countries cooperated with one another and resolved some very complicated problems, including those pertaining to keeping and restoring peace in the world. I am referring to World War II. There have also been some difficult, even dramatic moments in our relations. But today, we clearly understand that a great deal depends on our relationship. And the extent of our progress, our success in making our relationship more considered, more precise, and suitable to fit the modern world, the extent that our relationship can influence the global climate, will determine the attitude of our peoples towards each other, while realising that people in our countries have always had sympathy toward each other.

QUESTION (NTV Television Company): Good evening. I have a question to both presidents.

Russia and the U.S. are the largest nuclear powers in the world, accounting for 95 percent of warheads. You have been working on the documents on the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] for quite some time - in fact, since 1970s. Do you think you will be able to have the situation in the NPT area under control when there are so many negative trends around the globe?

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Well, the non-proliferation problem is very important for our countries because we share the largest burden in the non-proliferation of strategic arms. We do have the major nuclear arsenals and we take full responsibility for those arsenals.

Sadly, I must fully agree with you – negative trends are emerging around the world, and they are partially due to the emergence of new nuclear players, many of whom are not official members of the nuclear club, but who either hold aspirations to have nuclear weapons and declare so openly or do it clandestinely. Naturally, this has a very negative bearing on the world.

For obvious reasons, there are regions around the world where the mere presence of nuclear arms would create enormous problems, and those are the areas where we should concentrate our efforts together with our American partners. These areas are well-known, so there is no need to name them. Still, it is quite clear that the global climate will depend on the situation in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula. Thus, this is our common, joint responsibility, and we must work on it as thoroughly as possible.

BARACK OBAMA: Well, I think President Medvedev said it well. This is an urgent issue and one in which the United States and Russia have to take leadership. It is very difficult for us to exert that leadership unless we are showing ourselves willing to deal with our own nuclear stockpiles in a more rational way.

The critical issue that President Medvedev identified is the fact that we are seeing a pace of potential proliferation that we have not seen in quite some time, and he mentioned two specific areas. In the Middle East, there is deep concern about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons capability not simply because of one country wanting nuclear weapons, but the fact that if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, it is an almost - it is almost certain that other countries in the region would then decide to pursue their own programs. And we would then see a nuclear arms race in perhaps the most volatile part of the world.

In the Korean Peninsula, we've already seen North Korea flout its own commitments and international obligations in pursuit of nuclear weapons. And in all of these cases, as you see more proliferation of nuclear weapons, the possibilities not only of state actors targeting populations with nuclear weapons, but the possibility that those nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of non-state actors, extremist organizations, poses an extraordinary threat to both Russia and the United States.

I think continuing the pursuit of cooperation that already exists between Russia and the United States on loose nuclear materials and making sure those are secure, I think that's going to be very important. Structuring a new, reinvigorated non-proliferation treaty that applies a set of rules to all countries, allows them to pursue peaceful nuclear energy without having the capacity to weaponize that nuclear capacity, that is going to be very important.

QUESTION: Thank you. Deep divisions over a proposed U.S. missile shield have contributed greatly to the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations in recent years, and it does not seem that you gentlemen have finally resolved that issue either. President Obama, you have said very clearly that you would not accept the linkage between the missile systems and arms control talks. President Medvedev, you and Prime Minister Putin have said that these issues must be linked. Are either of you gentlemen willing to budge or compromise on this issue? And if not, could this also contribute to a blockage or obstacle to reaching a final START II agreement?

And also, President Obama, I wonder if you could give us your reaction to the Chinese government crackdown in the northwest of the country on rioting and unrest that has killed more than 140 people.

BARACK OBAMA: With respect to the China situation, unfortunately I've been travelling all night and in meetings all day, so I have not been fully briefed and I don't want to comment until I actually see all the information.

On missile defence, we have agreed that we are going to continue to discuss this critical issue. That is part of the joint statements that we've signed. I also believe that it is entirely legitimate for our discussions to talk not only about offensive weapon systems but also defensive weapon systems.

Part of what got us through the Cold War was a sufficient sense of parity and deterrent capability; that both sides during those very difficult times understood that a first strike, the attempt to use nuclear weapons in a military conflict against the other, could result in an extremely heavy price. And so any discussion of nuclear strategy, security, has to include defensive as well as offensive capabilities.

The difference that we've had has been on the specifics of a missile defence system that the United States views as a priority not to deal with Russia, but to deal with a missile coming in from Iran or North Korea or some other state, and that it's important for the United States and its allies to have the capacity to prevent such a strike. There is no scenario from our perspective in which this missile defence system would provide any protection against a mighty Russian arsenal.

And so, in that sense, we have not thought that it is appropriate to link discussions of a missile defence system designed to deal with an entirely different threat unrelated to the kinds of robust capabilities that Russia possesses.

With respect to this particular configuration that was proposed several years ago, as you know, we're undergoing a thorough review of whether it works or not, what has been proposed. That review should be completed by the end of the summer and I indicated to President Medvedev that as soon as that review is complete, we will provide the Russian government our assessment of how we think we should proceed, and that will be the subject of extensive negotiations.


DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I'll say a couple of words on this subject. Clearly, the issue of anti-ballistic missile defence – or more specifically, the problem of the third region area – is a difficult subject in our discussions.

But I would like to draw your attention to what President Obama said, which I would like to note as well. In the Mutual Understanding that we just signed, we talk about the linkage between offensive and defensive weapons, and this already constitutes a step forward. Just recently, we had nothing but disputes on this issue. Now, this linkage is being stated, and this opens up the opportunity to bring our positions closer to one another.

Secondly, nobody is saying that a ballistic missile defence system is harmful or threatening in and of itself. On the contrary, its aim is to resolve a number of practical tasks. The issue at hand is that of linking this configuration of missile defence with the interests of other countries. I would like to specifically point out that in contrast to what was happening in recent years, our American partners have paused and are now evaluating this situation, and will subsequently formulate their final position.

At the very least, this also represents a step forward in reaching a possible compromise on this fairly difficult subject. Before, we were only hearing that all decisions had been made, that that they do not concern us, but they present no threat to us. Our position is somewhat different – you are quite familiar with it, so I will not repeat it.

QUESTION: Good evening. Yury Lipatov, Channel One. A question to both presidents.

You spoke about your concerns about Afghanistan. Can you be more specific? What do the presidents think about the situation in that country? There is a feeling that the counterterrorist operation in Afghanistan is having difficulties. And to what extent can cooperation between U.S. and Russia in transit - and maybe in some other areas - help to improve the situation, in greater detail, please? Thank you.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: The subject of U.S.-Russian cooperation in Afghanistan is extremely important. This is why we directed so much attention to discussing this problem during our talks, and we have just signed an agreement concerning transit. It is an important subject and we will certainly continue cooperating with our American partners.

As for the current situation, it really is complicated. I am not trying to say that it is deteriorating, but in many areas, progress is either not yet visible or is insignificant. In this regard, we are ready for full-scale cooperation with our U.S. and other partners, including in the area of transit. We are prepared to help in various ways.

Recently, I met with the President of Afghanistan in Yekaterinburg. In fact, I also met with the President of Pakistan, because both of these problems need to be resolved jointly. I believe that if we can join our efforts both in peaceful economic development and in supporting counterterrorist operations, then we will be successful sooner or later.


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BARACK OBAMA: Well, as you may be aware, as soon as I came into office, we undertook a thorough review of our Afghan strategy to that point, in consultation with not only our NATO allies but all the forces internationally that have contributed to the efforts there.

So our approach has been to say that we need to have a strong security system in place for the Afghan elections to be completed. We have to train Afghan nationals for the army and police so that they can effectively secure their own country. We have to combine that with more effective diplomatic efforts.

Now, we have just begun the implementation of this new strategy, and so I think it's too early to gauge its success so far. I think by the time that we've completed the next election and the - either President Karzai or another candidate has taken his seat, then we will be able to I think do an additional review and see what other efforts we can take in order to improve the situation.

Obviously Russia has its own concerns about extremism and terrorism. Russia also has deep concerns about the drug trade and its infiltration into Russia. And Russia has extraordinary capabilities when it comes to training police forces, training armies. And so our hope is, is that as part of the broader presidential commission structure that we've put in place, that we're going to further discuss both the military efforts in Afghanistan but also the development efforts and the diplomatic efforts so that we can make progress.

And President Medvedev is right that this is important for Afghanistan but it's also important with respect to Pakistan. And we're going to have to think regionally in terms of how we approach these problems.

But I just want to thank again the Russian government for the agreement for military transit. That will save U.S. troops both time and money. And it's I think a gesture that indicates the degree to which, in the future, Russian-U.S. cooperation can be extraordinarily important in solving a whole host of these very important international issues.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Thank you very much, everybody.


Those interested in watching the news conference can use this link from the Russian Press Ministry office: http://media.kremlin.ru/2009_07_07_01e_01.wmv
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 28, 2010, 07:39:03 AM
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The Moscow Kremlin meeting between Presidents Medvedev and Obama came following their prior meetings at the G20 Summit in London, therefore the two had built a certain level of rapport.


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[attachimg=#] Emotional moments



President Medvedev is more reserved in using hand movements while talking (he'd not make a good Italian!) whereas Mr Obama uses hand gestures much more naturally, sometimes to the point of being overbearing. When tense or angry, Mr Obama's hands movements become very pronounced.

In eye contact, President Medvedev is a consummate professional. He not only listens, but shows that he is listening. The speaker receives his entire attention.


[attachimg=#] Humour too



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Mr Obama has the posture of a basketball player, shifting weight from one leg to the other frequently. Where President Medvedev seems to practice good posture more naturally, for Mr Obama it appears to be a matter of effort, but perhaps that is due in at least in part to discomfort from being in the spotlight constantly.

Below: Body language can speak volumes in such meetings. President Medvedev is easy to read and here he appears very relaxed. Mr Obama on the other hand is relaxed but trying to appear dignified.



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President Medvedev, like most of us in the human family, has one leg slightly longer than the other. In general President Medvedev practices excellent posture but when in a very relaxed mode those around him say that he will sometime sort of "tilt" slightly to his right. When in official settings he makes an effort to have good posture which can on occasion make him appear to overcompensate to the opposite side. Assistants monitor this and reporters say that he will adjust to the guidance of discreet hand signals.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: el_guero on February 28, 2010, 07:34:45 PM
Nice update!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 28, 2010, 11:06:18 PM
President Medvedev from all appearances and reputation is a genuine family man. Although he does not include his family in state travel visits typically, this positive character trait allows him to be a very capable host to foreign leaders who bring families in tow.


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Here the Obama family moves up the famous "red stairs" which is reserved for foreign dignitaries entering the Kremlin Palace. There are a total of 58 stair steps, accentuated by several flat landings, and each step carries the weight of history.



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In the case of this first diplomatic meeting between Presidents Medvedev and Obama, the inclusion of family was not only a nice touch, but entirely appropriate considering that these two countries constitute the world's two superpowers and the presence of family allows each nation to see the human side of a country from the other end of the world.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on February 28, 2010, 11:32:50 PM
Thanks, Wayne!

And to all who have commented so graciously via PM as well.



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We could go on forever with foreign diplomatic visits, but there is so much still to cover here in the Kremlin Palace. Remember, the Palace complex was constructed to connect the Armoury, the Terem palace, built in 1635, and the Faceted Palace (sometimes called the Palace of Facets) which dates back to 1487.

Amazingly both the Terem and Faceted Palaces are still functional! The public is not allowed access so we'll have do tag along on some official events as we've done with the main halls of the Grand Palace.

We've also been granted clearance to visit the Royal Apartments--to see how the Royal families lived in their private living quarters here in the Palace complex.

More of the Kremlin Palace tour to come, soon.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 03, 2010, 10:55:15 PM
The Terem Palace/ Теремной дворец (or Teremnoy Palace)



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The Terem Palace was the Imperial residence until Peter the Great moved the capital to St Petersburg in 1712.  The name is derived from the Greek word τερεμνον ("dwelling"). This palace is not accessible to the public as it belongs as part of the Grand Kremlin Palace complex and used for official functions only.

Due to numerous modifications to which is has been subjected, the Terems Palace has seens changes to it's outward appearance over the years. The construction of the Grand Palace, designed to blend and incorporate the Terem and the Faceted Palaces, can cause first time Kremlin visitors to miss it as the principle portion of the the Great Palace is large. Nevertheless the character of the palace is there among the buildings which surround it and visible when walking on a tour.  



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View of the Teremnoy Palace as portrayed in 1797 (Quarenghi's veduta). The original Terem Palace was commissioned by Ivan the Great, nearly 500 years ago, but most of the palace you see today was built in the 17th Century by the first two Czars of the Romanov Dynasty, Czars Mikhail and Alexey.

The palace consists of five stories. The third story was occupied by the Tsaritsa and her children; the fourth one contained the private apartments of the Tsar. The upper story is a tent-like structure where the Boyar Duma convened. The exterior, decorated with brick and colored tiles, was brilliantly painted in red, yellow, and orange. The interior used to be painted as well, but the original murals were destroyed by successive fires, particularly the great fire of 1812. In 1837, the interiors were renovated in accordance with old drawings in the Russian Revival style.

The Terem is most easily viewed from the top. Two rows of sculpted cornices form a soft transition between the balustrade, the mottled roof and the diversely ornamented windows. From these windows in ancient times ladies of the court could watch, but not participate, in palace functions. That changed in succeeding years.



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The construction of this unique palace began in 1635 under the supervision of four talented masters of Russian architecture: Bazhen Ogurtsov, Trefil Shaturin, Antip Konstantinov and Larion Ushakov. They modeled the top of the brick palace based on features of a Russian log cabin. Despite a small construction site cramped by nearby buildings, they managed to create a palace that rose in stair-like ledges forming a pyramid-like structure. The “golden top” of the palace is approximately level with a modern four-story building.

Water, candles and canned vegetables were stored in the ground-floor rooms. The first floor was occupied by the tsarina’s workshops, where the garments of the royal family were made. The second floor had a bathing room with water supplied from the water tower. On the third floor were the living quarters overlooking the river, a bedchamber and prayer room, as well as the “throne room,” or the tsar’s study. From the middle window of this room a special box was lowered to ground level so that anyone could submit a petition.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 04:07:31 PM
History of the Terem Palace:



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It was at the turn of the 16th century that "Aloisio the New" constructed the first royal palace on the spot. Only the ground floor survives from that structure, as the first Romanov tsar, Mikhail Feodorovich, had the palace completely rebuilt in 1635-36. The new structure was surrounded by numerous annexes and outbuildings, including the Boyar Platform, Golden Staircase, Golden Porch, and several turrets.

The palace fell into disuse in the eighteenth century and might have crumbled away had not Nicholas I commissioned Fyodor Solntsev to restore it in a re-creation of the seventeenth-century style, in 1837.

Emperor Nicholas's initial appears on the shields held by lions flanking the stairs from the so-called Golden Porch to the royal suite, while access from the floor below is via a grill-work door crawling with dragons and demons (a medieval feature).



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Another major restructuring took place in 1840 when the Grand Kremlin Palace was built, after which the church complex was connected to the Grand Kremlin Palace and no longer was a stand alone building.



[attachimg=#] Tiled stove



Low-vaulted anterooms with ornate tiled stoves and murals lead to a Cross Chamber where the inner circle of boyars listened to monks chanting while they forged a consensus, before filing into the red and gold Throne Chamber, to present it to their sovereign.



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Whereas tsars Fyodor, Mikhail Romanov and Alexei Mikhailovich were willing to let the boyars make policy, Ivan the Terrible only let them decide the menu for banquets, and other trivial matters.



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Ground Floor:
These rooms on this level, called the Alevisio rooms, actually serve s the rooms for the furnaces and trash.

First Floor:
This is made up of vaulted rooms (built in the second half of the 16th century) fitted out to serve as lodgings for those persons of the Imperial suite during the Court's stay in Moscow.

Second Floor:
(One enters the rooms of this floor from the stair landing of the Savior-on-High and by the "Cast Iron Corridor" which connects, all on the north side, all of the rooms.)



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 04:32:11 PM
Royal Apartments


This floor is the "under cage" of the Terems properly called, the floor of the private apartments of the Tsar, built by Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich. The rooms of this floor, with their original vaults, quite low, and the very deep window casings, are occupied by the persons in the Imperial Suite during the Court's stay in Moscow.


[attachimg=#] Red Reception Room



The window cornices of the Teryemok are adorned with animals, birds and monsters, all sculpted into the stone. If you will look closely in the next photo below, there is an armchair built into the window and you can see the coat of arms of Kiev (left) and of Astrakhan. Such an armchair was built into the window during the time when women were only allowed to watch Kremlin festivities but not to participate in them.



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The Terem had two levels of service quarters, above which is the royal suite created for Mikhail Romanov in 1635–36. The term "terem" means "tower-chamber." All the rooms were connected by a corridor used for the "smotriny" which was the selection of the Tsar's bride from a parade of eligible virgins.


The Tsar and Tsarevna slept in separate quarters, giving the Tsar the choice of visiting his wife or a mistress downstairs. It was around this time that elaborate four-poster beds begin to appear in Europe. Russians traditionally slept on benches, wrapped in furs, and such modern 4 poster beds had to be imported from Germany via Arkhangelsk, a staggering distance to transport a bed.

Note: not all Russian royality used modern bed furniture. Tsar Nicholas I in Saint Peterburg's impressive Winter Palace slept each night on a simple army cot covered by an army overcoat. It was a "tradition" which he believed made him a better commander of Russia's Imperial Army.



[attachimg=#] Private bedchamber



The Royal Apartments represent the 7 most luxurious rooms in all of Moscow. The capital had already been moved to St. Petersburg, but when the Czars would come to visit Moscow, this was their home away from home.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 04:59:50 PM
The ground floor of the Grand Kremlin Palace features the Imperial family's private apartments, which have been carefully preserved as a museum to the Russian Tsarist dynasty. Walk through these doors and you find 7 private suites for the Czar and his wife. Each room opens off one central hall with reception rooms, studies, bedrooms, etc.


[attachimg=#] Royal family private quarters



The third floor of the Terems which, until the 17th century served as the Tsar's residence, is a monument of ancient Russian architecture.



[attachimg=#] Study/Library of the Empress



Only the finest work of the finest craftsman was permitted in the Royal Apartments. The desks aren't painted, instead these are mosaics of jade, topaz, and other gems, several containing thousands of semi-precious stones.



[attachimg=#] The Green reception room



Most of the rooms on this floor have cradle vaults with pointed spaces above the windows, and they have as support points sculpted consoles displaying the double headed eagle. The clocks are imported from France, the finest porcelain set on casts of solid bronze. One fireplace is crafted from handcarved alabaster. Another, valued at several millions dollars, was built of thousands of layers of malachite, a Russian semi-precious stone, and above them, a swirling sky of chandeliers.




[attachimg=#] Empress reception



All the rooms are sumptuously decorated with marble, stucco molding and murals and furnished with ornate and sumptuously designed furniture and fixtures. Particulary fine is the Catherine Hall, adorned with malachite pilasters and mantelpieces so skillfully and precisely matched in color and pattern so as to have been made from a single piece of the semi-precious stone.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 05:04:54 PM
RUA member Cufflinks reported in from Moscow and readers can find the beginning of his trip report here: http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,10471.msg149159.html#msg149159

We hope you are having a great time!  tiphat
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 05:12:23 PM
At the top there is only one large room. It was built by Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich for his sons Alexei and Ivan, which is confirmed by and inscription above the East door: "By the grace of God and by the order of the Sovereign Tsar and Great Prince Mikhail Fyodorovich, autocrat of All Russia and possessor of many sovereignties, these apartments have been built for his children and the Tsarevich Prince Ivan Mikhailovich in the Year of the Creation of the World 7144."

In the 17th century, this room was called the Stone Attic or the Little Terem with gilded roof (Teryemok).



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Those who have been to the top of this terrace testify that the view of Moscow with all the church domes and crosses, and the new high rises, is nothing short of incredible. Maybe someday...


Before we leave the Terem we need to talk about churches. Lots of them. In fact, on the photo above you see some onion domes with crosses. Those are above the Golden Tsaritsa's Chamber, constructed in the 1560s for Ivan IV's wife.  

Why would 11 domes/crosses be above the Empresses chambers? Because there is a church under that roof, in fact not just one church. Many visitors to Moscow mistakenly believe this to be the Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles and varying stories attempt to explain why there are 11 domes with crosses, instead of 12. The most common tale is regarding Judas, the betrayer, he was no longer an Apostle and so there is no church erected to his memory. This story however, is not the case.



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We'll explore the Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles later, but this isn't it.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 07:22:59 PM
The 11 golden domes represent small domestic churches built from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Originally, there were eleven of them, but only six remained after the numerous reconstructions of the 18th and19th centuries.

A single roof was constructed over all churches and the roof was crowned with 11 small golden domes on exquisite drums, placed so that they formed three five-domed compositions. The oldest of these include the Church of the Nativity which dates back to the 1360s, and the Upper Saviour Cathedral.

The Terem Palace incorporates two medieval churches which were built on top of the other. Amazingly, one of the churches was lost over the centuries during ongoing renovations. The Chapel of the Resurrection of Lazarus was lost and only discovered during restoration work to the Palace.

The Lazarus chapel had been built in 1393 but abandoned because of age. In 1838, during the building of the new palace, the forgotten Chapel of the Resurrection of Lazarus was discovered in the basement. By order of Emperor Nikolai I, the church was restored. During this process, ancient paintings were lost forever. From 1920 to 1929, and again between 1949 and 1952, the church underwent extensive restorations.



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In the photo above, on the left edge we have (unseen) the Palace of Facets. At the right edge is the dark brown stone of the Dormition Cathedral (also called the Assumption Cathedral). Just to the right of centre is a white church with a single golden dome, the Disposition of the Robe. At the centre, you see white walls surrounded by an orange painted curved entry with white walls upstairs and curved windows under the roof. At ground level is the Church of the Nativity and above, the Upper Saviour Cathedral.

The walls are painted with icons of the Savior, Evangalists, Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and on the walls are the images of the Most Holy True Believer Emperor Constantine, his mother Helena and the images of Grand Duke Vladimir and St. Olga.



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Above: entrance to one of the smaller churches inside the Tsar's residence area of the Palace.



Churches under the Palace roof:
- Church of the Nativity, 1360.

- The Saint Catherine Church - housechurch of Russian Queens and Princesses (домовый храм цариц и царевен), adjacent to the west and north to the Queens Galley (Золотой Царицыной палатой) was built in 1627.

- Upper Saviour’s CathedralThis has been considered as the House church of Russian Tsars with the Chapel of Saviour John the Baptist (Домовая церковь царей - Спаса Нерукотворного с более низким приделом Иоанна Белогородского), later called the Upper Cathedral with a chapel of John the Baptist, was built during 1635-36 at the same time as the Terem Palace underwent a major renovation.

- In 1654 the Church of Eudokia (Церковь Евдокии) was built above the Chuch of Catherine.

- In 1663 the Quadrangular Church (Четверик храма) was built over the Queens Galley.

- From1679 to1682 the complex of Palace churches underwent major reconstruction and a small church called the Crucifixion Church (Храм Воздвижения креста Господня) was added and the Church of Eudokia was renamed as the Church of Resurrection (церковь Воскресения Словущего).


How to find it if you're inside the Kremlin grounds:
The exterior of the Upper Saviour's Cathedral and Terem Churches, easily recognisable from the 11 golden domes, can be viewed from Cathedral Square by standing between Church of the Deposition of the Robe (Церковь Ризоположения) and the Palace of the Facets (Грановитая Палата).



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The Terem Churches are to the centre right with the orange curved entry and 11 golden domes. At far right is the Dormition Cathedral (Assumption). Centre is the ancient white building called the Palace of Facets, all that behind in white/yellow is the Terem portion of the Grand Palace and to the left is another church with multiple golden domes, the Cathedral of the Annunciation.

This is all a part of Cathedral Square and we'll visit the square and each church as part of our tour--soon.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 05, 2010, 08:54:41 PM
Before we leave the Terem Palace and visit the magnificent and ancient Faceted Palace, there are two pieces of history that are enjoyable to discover.

The first is in the form of art on a piece of metal.

The second is an electric light switch!

These buildings go back into the 1300's and naturally electricity came along a long time later. When walking inside the Terem and the Facets, it's is obvious that in those days things were a lot dimmer, even in daytime.


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Sometimes those who restore and renovate the world's ancient historical sites recognize the value of leaving behind little parts of a building's story in certain reserved spots. That two-headed Eagle sends my mind spinning--who designed and crafted it, and how old (if ancient at all) is that type of metal?

Then, who came along later and added the electricity--in and of itself an eventual part of the Terem Palace history.

Given those two gems, and to imagine that a church was lost for centuries inside this palace, what other mementos and stories remain hidden inside those hallowed walls?



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Then there was light. And it was good.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 06, 2010, 09:13:43 AM
[attachimg=1] A last glance at the Terem



The white Faceted Palace juts out between the Cathedrals of the Assumption and the Annunciation and is named for its diamond-patterned facade. Built for Ivan III in 1487–91 by Marco Ruffo and Pietro Antonio Solario, its outstanding feature is the 500-square-metre chamber that forms its upper storey, whose vaults are supported by a single massive pillar. Every inch is gilded and frescoed with biblical and "historical" scenes by Palekh artists.



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Stepping into the Palace of Facets is yet another step back in time, into history that spans from recent to ancient.

The oldest secular building here in the Kremlin, is the Palace of Facets, named for the unusual prismatic cuts in its limestone exterior. This was the place from where Russia's first Czar ruled. His name -- Ivan the Terrible (IV).

As we make our way into the Palace of Facets, which is connected to the Grand Palace, we'll need to tiptoe quietly. As you can see, US President Ronald Reagan is making a speech and President Gorbachev doesn't tolerate noisy interruptions.



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The main part of the Facets is a large, single chamber hall that is still used by the Russian government as part of the official President's residence, the Facets Palace has long been, and today remains, a place for official banquets of state. Just as Mr Gorbachev hosts the meeting above, in ancient days the Moscow boyars occupied benches around the walls while the tsar sat enthroned in the corner where the sun stayed longest. It was both an audience chamber and a banqueting hall; Ivan the Terrible treated foreign ambassadors to roast swan and elks' brains, with dwarves and jesters for entertainment.

It was in this very hall that Prince Vladimir told his twelve sons to rule Russia in peace, but as you already know from history they quickly were at war with each other. Inside these faceted walls Tsar Fyodor met with his advisor Boris Godunov (who commissioned the murals), and Boris Godunov was believed to have murdered Fyodor's heir to seize the throne for himself.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 06, 2010, 11:19:40 AM
For many centuries the Faceted Chamber has witnessed the crucial events of Russia's history.

- In 1552, Ivan the Terrible celebrated the the capture of Kazan in this hall.

- In 1653 the Muscovite Land Assembly made the decision to unite Russia and Ukraine.

- Peter the Great marked his victory over the Swedes at Poltava inside this hall in 1709.

- As pictured earlier, Mikhail Gorbachev used the chamber to entertain foreign leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the period of perestroika.

- Today the Faceted Chamber is used as the reception hall of the President's residence.


Access to the Faceted Palace is through the Saint Vladimir Hall (Vladimirsky) of the Grand Kremlin Palace, but is restricted to Government officials and visiting dignitaries only and not open for public viewing.



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Notice the windows, upper far left of the photo. On the Palace's 2nd floor, were small windows of a secret chamber, or tainik in Russian, where legend has it the Tsarinas and princesses would watch the ceremonies taking place in the main hall and on Cathedral Square, as customs prevented them from taking part. This tradition was not changed until the time of Peter the Great, who insisted that women be present at all formal celebrations and feasts.

The baroque decorations which are visible around the windows of the building appeared much later, at the end of the 17th century.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 06, 2010, 11:46:48 AM
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In 1930 the porch was removed, but it was returned again in 1994. Thus the Chamber was restored to its original appearance. The Chamber itself was given the epithet 'faceted' thanks to the main facade, which looks out onto Cathedral Square. The technique known as "brilliantovii rust" was used in its decoration: Each facing block of white stone was dressed with four facets. This particular workmanship is typical of the architecture of the Renaissance era.

So what's so special about that staircase? Also, why is it called the "red" stairs when they're not red?

History. That's what.

Details coming up, when the RUA tour of Moscow continues.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: Chris on March 06, 2010, 02:18:55 PM
As part of the coronation process, a new Tsar walked down the Red Staircase of the Faceted Palace and to the Cathedral of the Dormition (Assumption). On the morning of a coronation, the Tsar was met at the Red Staircase, where he took his place beneath a large canopy held by thirty-two Russian generals, with other officers providing additional support. Accompanied by his consort (under a separate canopy) and the imperial regalia, he proceeded slowly toward the Cathedral of the Dormition, where his crowning and anointing would take place.

After the service, the Emperor and Empress proceeded under canopies back to the Red Staircase of the Kremlin, where they rested and prepared for a great ceremonial meal at the Kremlin's Hall of Facets. During their procession back to their Kremlin palace, later rulers (starting with Nicholas I) stopped on the Red Staircase and bowed three times to the assembled people in the courtyard. This is an Orthodox expression of humility and can be seen in churches when a parishioner visits icons in the front and before returning to stand with the congregation, folds his arms across the chest and bows, showing humility to others.





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(Faceted Palace Red Staircase)


The splendid Red Porch or Red Staircase (Красное крыльцо), decorated with stone lions, leads into the Palace of Facets. As with other nearby landmarks (such as "Red" Square) in old Russian the word meant "beautiful", but today it means "red."

In the 1930s the porch was destroyed, and its place was taken by an unimpressive Kremlin canteen. In 1994 the Red Staircase was the first of Moscow’s monuments to be restored.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 06, 2010, 03:04:35 PM
The staircase empties out onto Cathedral Square. In days of old the Kremlin gates were open and ordinary people came and went. Historians say that the Red Staircase, or what happened on that staircase, influenced Peter the Great to move the capital from Moscow to build a new capital, Saint Petersburg.

Red with the blood of history:

- It was on this staircase, 400+ years ago, that Ivan the Terrible killed the messenger who brought him bad news.  

- Over 300 years ago, during a failed Palace coup, a young Peter the Great saw his friends and family thrown from the Red Staircase onto bayonetts during the Streltsy revolt of 1682. It was then that the ten-year-old Peter vowed to someday build a capital where civilized citizens could live and he could rule more like a European than a barbarian.  

- 200 (+/-) years ago Napoleon Bonaparte walked up this staircase and into the Royal Palace after occupying Moscow.


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(These days more peaceful transfers of power are common.)



Today, each new President stands on the red staircase to review the parade after his inauguration has taken place.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 06, 2010, 03:32:08 PM
Often of interest is this detail: If the Faceted Palace came first (it was part of an earlier palace), and is now attached to the Grand Palace, where is the entry point from one to the other?

Good question, especially since there must be a way to use the Red Staircase to enter the Palace of Facets and then continue on further inside the Grand Palace. This is the route taken when foreign dignitaries are escorted on those red carpets from the Cathedral Square and into the Grand Palace for official functions. It is also the route taken when a new Russian President is inaugurated.  

The point of connection between the Grand Palace and the Palace of Facets is through the beautiful octagon shaped room, Saint Vladimir Hall. Below you can see, these couples coming from St Vladimir hall into the Faceted Palace.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 06, 2010, 10:33:17 PM
We've toured the Grand Palace, the Terem, the Palace of Facets, the churches inside the Palace and the Royal Apartments. So, since the last photo took us down the red staircase leading to the "Cathedral Square" area, that's where we'll tour next.



Cathedral Square (Соборная площадь)



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It has been said that if the heart of Russia is the Kremlin, then its soul is the oldest area within the Kremlin, Cathedral Square, the so-called "City of God". Six buildings, including 3 three enormous cathedrals edge the square. Most of them, the work of Italian architects during the late 15th and early 16th Century.

At this point in our walk it would be appropiate to describe some ways in which the Kremlin has changed.

The first recorded Kremlin structures were of wood. In the late 1320s and early 1330s, Peter, Metropolitan of Rus, with the blessing of the Ecumencial Patriarch of Constantinople had moved his seat from Kyiv (Kiev) to Moscow. This was quite a move because Kyiv, as the first capital of the Rus people, was a more developed and much larger city.

If Moscow were to succeed as the new ecclesiastical capital of Russia, more permanent churches would be necessary. These included the Dormition Cathedral (1327, with St. Peter's Chapel, 1329), the church-belltower of St. John Climacus (1329), the monastery church of the Saviour's Transfiguration (1330), and the Archangel Cathedral (1333) — all built of limestone and decorated with elaborate carving, each crowned by a single dome. Of these churches, the reconstructed Saviour Cathedral alone survived into the 20th century, only to be pulled down at the urging of Stalin in 1933.


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Next stop: in logical order we'll start with the Annunciation Cathedral. We'll tour both outside and inside as we begin.

We'll even learn who built the Annunciation Cathedral. As you've read during the RUA tour it was the Italians who seemed to build everything. Italians built the Kremlin wall, the Kremlin towers, the palaces, and most of the churches.

But Italians didn't build the Annunciation.

We'll discover who did when the tour continues.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 08, 2010, 08:54:26 PM
Annunciation Cathedral (Благовещенский собор)


To the south of the Faceted Palace stands the nine golden dome-topped Church of the Annunciation, the private church of the Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars. It was here that members of the ruling family were married, their newborn heirs to the throne baptized and their confessions heard.

The Annunciation Cathedral was erected in 1484-1489 by the team of Pskov stone-layers that had built the Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe on the Metropolitan’s court. The cathedral is situated at the south-western corner of Cathedral Square on the place of the stone Annunciation Church of the XIV century that had been the church of the Great Princes’ estate.



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In earlier times when Moscow was the capital of a small principality it is possible that a small wooden church erected by Prince Andrew of Vladimir, son of Alexander, stood where the Annunciation Cathedral now stands. In 1397-1405 during the reign of Grand Prince Basil I a white-stone Annunciation Cathedral was built on the site of the wooden church. Today the cathedral is an incredible amalgamation of churches and chapels from the 14th to the 16th centuries and is the second oldest cathedral in the Kremlin.


Where were the Italian builders this time?
While many of the other cathedrals were created primarily by Italians, Annunication, like St. Basil's, is wholly Russian. Commissioned by Ivan III (The Great) in 1484 as a Royal chapel, it was designed by architects from Pskov and completed in 1490. The reason why they were brought to Moscow for this purpose is most likely because Aristo-tele Fioravanti was busy making cannons, bells and coins and also taking part as a military engineer in Ivan Ill's campaigns to Novgorod the Great, Kazan and Tver.

During the reconstruction of the Kremlin under Ivan III, the Pskov masters dismantled the cathedral to the podklet’s level and erected a new brick one. The cathedral of 1484-1489 became the heart of the building’s composition.

In 1562-1564, four one-domed chapels were attached to the gallery’s corners and two more false domes were added so that the cathedral became nine-domed as it is now. The domes and the roof were covered with gilt copper and the cathedral was nicknamed “gold-topped”.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 08, 2010, 09:15:39 PM
One each side of the Cathedral is a covered porch and you'll notice that they look very different. Well, that is one of the interesting points of history for the Annunciation. Visitors enter on the right via the steps at the northeast corner.


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(Entry porch for Ivan the Terrible)


So what was the purpose of the other covered porch. It's a later addition, added in 1572 after Ivan the Terrible married for the fourth time, contrary to the rules of the Orthodox faith, which allow only three marriages. The Church Council dared not refuse him a special dispensation, but prohibited the Tsar from attending services with normal worshipers. He then built the Groznenskiy Porch on the south facade from which he could watch through a grille.

You can follow in his footsteps by climbing the steps of the Groznenskiy Porch (whose name derives from the term Grozny, meaning "Awesome" or "Terrible") alongside the road leading to the Armoury Palace.

From the porch of this cathedral in March 1584 Ivan caught sight of a cross-shaped comet and declared that it foretold of his impending death. He must have been right because he died a few days later.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 08, 2010, 10:11:39 PM
While not a large cathedral, many feel it is the most tastefully decorated. It is most noted for its frescoes, which cover the entire interior, and its Iconostasis, widely considered the finest in Russia.


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[attachimg=#] Let's go inside.


Much of the artwork was done by the monk Feodosius, son of the icon painter Dionysius who worked on Dormition cathedral.


[attachimg=#] Inside, above the door.


Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 08, 2010, 10:21:30 PM
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The cathedral's interior is divided into the royal chapel and three galleries, each lavishly ornamented with carved columns and window frames and frescoes, and paved with agate-colored slabs of jasper, brought here on the orders of Ivan the Terrible from a cathedral in the city of Rostov.


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The Cathedral of the Annunciation was originally built as the domestic church of the Grand Dukes and tsars and was connected (along with the Cathedral of the Archangel) by passages to the private quarters of the royal family. The cathedral was used to celebrate name-days, weddings, baptisms and so forth.


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The Cathedral of the Annunciation was badly damaged during the Revolution, when the Kremlin came under attack from artillery fire. In 1918, the cathedral was closed as a place of worship and now it operates officially as a museum.

For a time Ivan made the Cathedral to serve as his Treasury to store gold and other valuables as he consolidated his rule and tax revenues increased. In that sense one could almost call the cathedral as the first national bank of Russia.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 08, 2010, 11:30:36 PM
Three of Russia's most famous Icon painters contributed to the Iconostasis: Theophanes the Greek, Andrei Rublev and Prokhov.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 09, 2010, 08:19:16 PM
The Archangel Cathedral (Архангельский собор)


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Commonly called the Arkhangelsky sobor and the second largest cathedral in the Kremlin, the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael stands on the Southeast corner of the square. Construction on this classic Italian Renaissance building started under Ivan the Great in the early 1500's, but was modified many times in succeeding years. Although some of the original 16th Century artwork has been restored, most of the interior was repainted in 1681 in the Russian Baroque style.



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The Archangel Michael, a suitably war-like heavenly figure, was chosen as the patron saint of the rulers of Muscovy in the 14th Century. The Cathedral that bears his name was erected between 1505 and 1508 - the culmination of a grandiose building project begun by Ivan the Great to reflect the growing power of the state, and provide a fitting resting place for Russian Royalty.



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The cathedral’s iconostasis crowned with the scene of Crucifixion was created in the reign of Tsar Feodor Alekseevich Romanov in 1679-1681. The iconostasis of the cathedral dates from 1813, after Napoleon's troops used its predecessor for firewood. Nearly all of the icons were painted much earlier, however, between 1679 and 1681. The oldest icon, depicting the Archangel Michael in full armour, is believed to date from the late 14th Century.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 09, 2010, 08:26:13 PM
Starting with the central dome fresco of the holy trinity and extending to the main vault and west wall of the cathedral, the paintings tell the story of the reign of God from the Creation until the Last Judgement. The paintings on the southern and northern walls honour the Archangel Michael, depicting his heroic conduct in the war against Satan.



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Victories of the Russian military were celebrated in the Cathedral of the Archangel. Russian tsars and grand princes were buried within the cathedral until the 17th century, who remain there to this day (including Ivan I Kalita, Dmitri Donskoi, Ivan the Great, Ivan the Terrible).

It contains frescoes dating to the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of them were painted by Yakov of Kazan, Stepan of Ryazan, Joseph Vladimirov and others between 1652 and 1666.


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[attachimg=#] Archangel Royal Tombs
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 09, 2010, 08:37:45 PM
There are 54 burials in the cathedral, 46 ornamented whitestone tombstones (1636-1637) and glazed cases made of bronze (1903). Tsarevich Demetrius, the son of Ivan the Terrible, was buried there in the early 1600s.


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(Alexi I, 2nd Romanov Tsar, father of Peter Great)



Emperor Peter II is also interred there, the only post-Petrine monarch buried in the Kremlin (and the only one besides Ivan VI who is not buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.)



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(Tsar Vasiliy IV, 1552-1613, the last Rurikid tsar of Russia deposed in 1610)



One of greatest treasures of the cathedral is the burial vault of Ivan the Terrible. Ivan was the first to take the title of Tsar and therefore merited a special burial chamber, the construction of which he oversaw himself. Nearby are the tombs of Ivan's sons, Ivan Ivanovich (killed by his father) and Fyodor Ivanovich (who succeeded his father.)



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(Tsar Ivan V Alekseyevich the Ignorant, co-ruler with half-brother Peter the Great)



The walls of this cathedral are lined with over 50 coffins of Russian royalty, including the remains of Czar Ivan the Terrible and his sons, as well as the first two Czars of the Romanov Dynasty.


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In 1929, when the cathedral of the Convent of the Ascension was demolished, the remains of tsarinas and princesses were brought to the Cathedral of the Archangel.

The Cathedral of the Archangel was closed after the October revolution. Since 1955 it has been open to the public as a museum.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: el_guero on March 14, 2010, 10:06:10 AM
Thank you for this!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 14, 2010, 07:59:17 PM
You're welcome, and I need to get back at this so thanks for the reminder.  tiphat



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Above: The Archangel Michael Cathedral in winter. This photo was taken from under the archway of the Church of the Twelve Apostles.



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Below: This is a close up of the side entry door seen in the photo above.


[attachimg=#] Side entry, never used.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 14, 2010, 08:26:23 PM
As we make our way around Cathedral Square/Plaza our next stop is the Ivan Bell Tower. That is it in the photo below. This photo is from the back side, looking toward the Kremlin Palace. You remember the ancient and elaborate Square on which you saw the Palace of Facets, the Annunciation Cathedral and the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel--that is on the inside of the Square. We're on the outside, from the rear.

The Bell Tower ensemble separates Cathedral Square from Ivanovskaya Square (which is where we are standing now). The ensemble was in construction for over than three centuries – from 1505 till 1815. It includes three objects from different time periods:
1 - the pillar of the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower
2 - the Uspenskaya (Dormition/Assumption) Belfry
3 - the Filaret’s Annex.



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That is the Ivan Bell tower straight ahead, at the centre. From this perspective it blocks the Kremlin Palace. At the base of the bell tower (left) you can see the Tsar Bell which looks small from here, but frankly it's very large. The magnificent tower was the tallest building (81 meters) in all Russia for almost 400 years.

To the left is the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel and if you look past it, you can also see the domes of the Annunciation Cathedral, both we have already visited. To the centre/right, partially obscured, is the Dormition Cathedral's golden domes. In almost full view to the right is the complex which makes up both the Church of the Twelve Apostles and the Patriarch Palace.

Photos of the Ivan Bell Tower are best taken from a distance as it's taller than one realizes and unless you have a very wide angle lens, photos are limited to just part of the tower from close range. For centuries there was a law that no Moscow structure could be taller than the Bell Tower.

Let's go around the front and get a close up look.


[attachimg=#] Ye gads, tourists wearing ties!  :chuckle:


The boys in suits are walking away from the Ivan Bell Tower so we'll go and see what they found to be so interesting. Or what they missed, as they seem to be in a hurry.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 14, 2010, 09:51:25 PM
Колокольня Ивана Великого (Ivan the Great Bell Tower)

Dominating the Kremlin skyline for years, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, on the Northeast corner of the Cathedral Square, is said to mark the exact centre of Moscow. Moscow has grown to the point today that such a statement is more tradition than reality.

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower consists not only the main Ascension belfry, but also the smaller domed Bono Tower, and the steepled tower of the Patriarch Philaret, both added to the original 16th Century structure. The belfry, heightened to its present 263 feet by Tsar Boris Godunov, provides a view extending some 20 miles. The structure originally served as the alarm and watchtower for the Kremlin. Its 21 bells would sound the alarm if the enemy was approaching.


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(photo: G. Frysinger)


The octagonal Bell Tower (the tallest) was built between by the Italian immigrant architect Petrok Maly Fryazin (who converted to Orthodox Christianity and settled in Russia) and completed in 1508 during the reign of Ivan III's son, Vassili III. When Boris Godunov added a third story in 1600 it became the tallest building in Moscow---and a strategic look-out with visibility to 30 km. The Ascension Belfry section (centre) was built in 1543. The tent roofed annex (top left) was commissioned by Patriarch Filaret in 1642.

The Assumption Belfry contains the Great Assumption Bell which was cast in the mid-19th century by Zavyalov, and it is the biggest of all the Kremlin bells. At present there are twenty-one bells hanging in the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower and the belfry. The biggest of them is the Resurrection Bell weighing about seventy tons.

So this was named after Ivan the Great, right? Not entirely, although it is a common misunderstanding. A church already stood here and following the death of Ivan III (Ivan the Great) in 1505, his son Vasily III ordered new tower as a monument to honour his father. From 1505 to 1508, the new bell tower was erected next to the church on the foundation of the old tower. The bell tower was built around the church, the Church of St. Ivan of the Ladder-under-the Bell, hence the name "Ivan" in the title.


[attachimg=#] In winter.


The adjoining belfry has contained a church from it's inception. At the end of the eighteenth century the Church of St. Nicholas of Gostunsky was moved into the belfry. Ivan Fyodorov, who printed the first dated Russian book in 1564, was a deacon of this church.

Napoleon ordered French troops to blow up the Tower before his ill fated retreat from Moscow in 1812, and although the explosion levelled the adjoining buildings, the Bell Tower survived with only a small crack.
 
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 14, 2010, 11:32:54 PM
Царь-колокол (Tsar Bell)



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At the foot of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, rests a monument to the grand days of the Romanov Dynasty--The Tsar's Bell. Located at the southeast side of the Ivan Bell Tower, this is the largest bell in the world. To compare, Big Ben bell in London is 15 tons and the Liberty Bell is 1 ton, but this bad boy is 202 tons! It stands more than 6 metres high and 6.6 metres across.

It was Tsarina Anna I, who commissioned the bell in 1734, a fulfillment of the dream of her grandfather, Tsar Alexei. The huge bronze bell was to be the biggest and clearest sounding bell in the world.

The original bell fell from the tower in 1701 during a fire and was shattered. The story of its replacement, the Tsar Bell, is marked by a series of almost supernatural misfortunes. Empress Anna Ioanovna had wanted to entrust the making of the bell to a French royal designer, but was refused. Monsieur Germaine judged that it was impossible to make a bell that big. The work was therefore handed to the Motorin father and son team of Russian craftsmen.

The bell was cast in a large ditch dug in Ivanovsky Square. The craftsmen prepared for the casting for two years, but work had to be stopped when leaking metal caused a fire that burnt down the wooden derrick designed to lift the future bell. It is claimed that after this the elder Motorin "died of grief". However, his son began work again, and in 1735 the bronze was poured into the cast in only half an hour. But that was not the end of the disasters, and during a fire in 1737 overheating and uneven cooling caused a large chunk weighing more than 11 tons to crack from the bell. For another century the monster lay in its casting pit, and it was only in 1836, on a second attempt, that the bell was at last raised from the pit and placed on its pedestal.

Two hundred tons of silence are all that remain.


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For a time, the bell served as a chapel, with the broken area forming the door. Today visitors to the Kremlin can admire the rich relief work on the bell's exterior, depicting Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Russian rulers and their patron saints.  


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 09:27:42 AM
We have three more Cathedrals to go before we can move from Cathedral Square to the Tsar Canon on Ivanovskaya Square, learn about the special Palace Regiment which is entrusted with protection of the Kremlin, then visit the Senate buildings, the President's administration (called "building 14") and the Arsenal.

The ancient Dormition Cathedral (Assumption Cathedral) is our next stop on the tour.


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Above: To the left is the famous Palace of Facets and hidden just behind it is the Church of the Disposition of the Robe. The Dormition Cathedral (Assumption Cathedral) is straight ahead and that white church to it's right is the the complex of the Patriarch's Palace and the Church of the Twelve Apostles. To the far right in the distance is the yellow Senate building.



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Above: from the opposite side, lovely scene in winter! The spiritual heart of the Kremlin is the 14th Century Dormition Cathedral (Cathedral of the Assumption). From the 16th Century until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, all of the Russian Grand Princes and Tsars were crowned and patriarchs of the Orthodox Church buried inside here.



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Beautiful golden domes! Inside The walls are covered by frescoes painted on gilded panels. The first version of the Kremlin's Cathedral of the Assumption collapsed in an earthquake. In the mid 1400's, Tsar Ivan the Great brought the Italian architect Aristotle Fioravantito to Moscow to design a second version of this light and spacious church in the spirit of the Renaissance.



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It is the oldest and largest church in Cathedral Square and was commissioned by Ivan the Great to be the main church of Moscow. The plaza in front of the Cathedral is the setting for the famous Coronation Scene in Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 10:06:32 AM
The Cathedral of the Dormition (Успенский Собор)


In 1547 the coronation of the first Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, took place in this cathedral. From 1721 it was the scene of the coronation of the Russian emperors. The ritual installation of metropolitans and patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church also took place in this cathedral, and their tombs are to be found here.


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One might wonder why this great Cathedral is sometimes called the "Assumption" Cathedral. Well, it's a misnomer, a result of misunderstanding the subtle differences between Orthodox and Roman Catholic theology regarding the Virgin Mary.

This Cathedral was dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. The Theotokos is the Greek word for the title of Mary, mother of Jesus. It means "God-bearer" and the term "dormition" means "falling asleep."



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So, what is the difference between Orthodox and Roman Catholic teaching in this matter? The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary died a natural death, like any human being and that her soul was received by Christ upon death, and her body assumed into the heavens. Roman Catholic teaching holds that Mary was "assumed" into heaven in bodily form. Some Catholics agree with the Orthodox that this happened after Mary's death, while some hold that she did not experience death.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 10:48:00 AM
The ritual installation of metropolitans and patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church took place in the Dormition Cathedral.


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The American connection to the Dormition Cathedral:

During the reign of Peter the Great, the patriarchate was abolished and was only restored after the February Revolution of 1917. On 21 November 1917 the cathedral was the setting for the installation of Tikhon (Василий Иванович Беллавин), the Metropolitan of Moscow, as the first patriarch of the restored Patriarchate. Tikhon was the Russian born American citizen who for years was the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in America.

Before the revolution Tsar Nicholas II had begun to lay the groundwork for the restoration of a Patriarch of the Russian Church and the Holy Synod summoned Tikhon to return to Russia from America in 1907. Upon his return to Russia he was first appointed Bishop of Yaroslavl and thereafter transferred to Vilnius, Lithuania in 1913.

On 21 June 1917 he was elected the ruling bishop of Moscow by the Diocesan Congress of clergy and laity and in August 1917 was raised to the dignity of Metropolitan of Moscow. On 5 November of the same year, after an election as one of the three candidates for the reinstated Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev announced that Metropolitan Tikhon had been selected as the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.


[attachimg=#] Dormition Iconostasis, year 1652


Tikhon had been a very active missionary during his years in America and authorized the establishment of St. Tikhon's Monastery in Pennsylvania in honour of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, consecrated the St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York, and the church of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn for Syrian Antiochian Orthodox immigrants.

In 1925, still an American citizen, he died while under house arrest, and archives suggest that he might have been poisoned by the Bolsheviks. Tikhon had protested the 1921 famaine and the arrest and murder of Orthodox priests.

When the sewer system under the hastily erected first Mausoleum of Lenin was damaged and a leak happened, Tikhon remarked, "The balm accords with the relics" (По мощам и елей). The phrase was widely quoted. To fully understand that phrase some background is needed. In the process of canonization of a saint the candidate's relics are unearthed. Just one of the many tests of a person's life is whether the remains omit a foul smelling stench or a sweet aroma. If a candidate for sainthood can't meet the "aroma test" then they are disqualified to be declared a saint.


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Several years after his death the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia canonized Tikhon as a saint/martyr but the Communists prohibited the Russian church from recognizing his canonization until later.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 11:05:53 AM
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Mr Putin and Mr Clinton, Dormition Cathedral



The massive, virtually unadorned grey limestone facade, capped with its 5 golden cupolas was the work of Russian masters, under the guidance of the Italian Aristotle Fioravante. Inside, well over 100 figures of saints and martyrs adorn the pillars, window jams, and reinforcing arches.



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The floor to ceiling partition, that divides the sanctuary from the naive consists of tier after tier of icons: Jesus Christ, Mary, Saints, and scenes from the Bible. St. George is probably the oldest icon in Uspenski, but the most famous icon is the legendary Madonna of Vladimir (shown above), even though it is only a 15th Century copy of the 11th Century Byzantine original.


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Notice the narrow slat windows.



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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 11:31:14 AM
In an age when state power and religion were barely separable, the Dormition Cathedral was also a centre of state ritual - a place where governmental decrees were read and official state services were held.


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Inside the cathedral, the Patriarch's Seat and the "seat" (really a partially enclosed canopy) for the ruling Tsar to sit. Normally Orthodox stand for the entire liturgy however in ancient times a Tsar could sit if he so desired. Today, Tsars and Presidents stand just like ordinary citizens.


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Each Orthodox Church has a central doorway separating the main altar from the open congregation area. These are called the "Royal Doors" thru which the Eucharist is presented and brought out to the people.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 01:54:52 PM
Coming next is a church which goes largely unnoticed by Westerners, perhaps because it's so close to the Kremlin Palace and is overshadowed by larger churches on the Cathedral Square.

This church, the Church of the Disposition of the Robe, although not the oldest building on the Kremlin territory, has roots back to the 5th Century.

Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 02:50:47 PM
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Nestled up next to the Kremlin Terem Palace is the small Church of the Disposition of the Robe. Looking at the photo above, you see the corner of the Palace of Facets (far left) and the church we just toured, the Dormition (Assumption) Cathedral on the far right. Straight ahead is the Terem Palace and you perhaps remember the churches on the top floor including the Church of the Nativity and the Upper Saviour Cathedral.

Standing there in white with one lone golden dome on a white tower is the Church of the Deposition of the Robe. This church was built in 1484 by masters from Pskov, most likely by the same group of architects who built the adjacent Cathedral of the Annunciation (Благовещенский собор).

Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow built this on the site of a previous church. Now although it was built in the 1400's, the reason for the church being constructed dates back to the 5th Century.

During the reign of Byzantine Emperor Leo the Great in the early fifth century, the brothers Galbius and Candidus traveled from Constantinople to Palestine to venerate the holy places. They discovered a very precious sacred item: the Robe of the Mother of God, which performed many miracles and healings and was in the possession of a Jewish family.

The jeweled chest, containing the sacred Robe, was ultimately transferred to Constantinople.  On 2 June 458, St. Gennadius transferred the sacred Robe into the church at Blachernae, placing it in a new reliquary.

Afterwards, the outer robe of the Mother of God and part of Her belt were also put into the reliquary. This event has for centuries influenced the Orthodox iconography of the Feast, in connecting the two events: the Placing of the Robe, and the Placing of the Belt of the Mother of God. A Russian pilgrim, Stephen of Novgorod, who visited Constantinople in 1350, testified: “We arrived at Blachernae, where the Robe lies upon an altar in a sealed reliquary.”

More than once, during the invasion of infidels, the Most Holy Theotokos is credited with saving the city to which She had given Her holy Robe – during the time of a siege of Constantinople by the Avars in 626, by the Persians in 677, and by the Arabs in 717. Especially relevant are the events that took place in 860, which are intimately connected with the history of the Russian Church.

On June of 860, the Russian fleet of Prince Askold, a force comprising more than 200 ships, destroyed the coastal regions of the Black Sea and the Bosphorus, then entered the Golden Horn and threatened Constantinople. The Russian ships sailed within sight of the city, setting ashore troops. Emperor Michael III interrupted his campaign against the Arabs and returned to the capital. All night he prayed, prostrating himself upon the stone tiles of the church of the Mother of God at Blachernae. Patriarch Photius spoke to his flock, calling for tears of repentance to wash away their sins and to seek the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos with fervent prayer.

Under these conditions the decision was made to save the church’s sacred objects, especially the holy Robe of the Mother of God, which was kept in the Blachernae church, not far from the shore. After serving an all-night Vigil, and taking it out from the Blachernae church, the sacred Robe of the Mother of God was carried in a procession around the city walls. Its edge was dipped into the waters of the Bosphorus, and it was then carried to the center of Constantinople to the church of Hagia Sophia.

The Mother of God protected the city and turned back the Russian warriors. An honorable truce was concluded, and the siege of Constantinople was lifted. On 25 June the Russian army left the city, taking with them a large tribute payment. A week later, on 2 July the wonderworking Robe of the Mother of God was solemnly returned to its place in the reliquary of the Blachernae church. In remembrance of these events an annual feast day of the Placing of the Robe of the Mother of God was established on 2 July by Patriarch Photius.

In October-November, 860, a Russian delegation arrived in Constantinople to conclude a treaty “in love and peace.” Some of the conditions of the peace treaty included the payment of an annual tribute by the Byzantines to the Russians, permission for them to serve with the Byzantine army, an agreement to trade in the territory of the Empire (primarily in Constantinople), and to send a diplomatic mission to Byzantium.

This led to what is widely called the "Baptism of Rus" and the Patriarch sent missionaries St. Cyril and his brother, St. Methodius, on a mission to Kiev to translate the Bible and other holy books into the Slavonic language. Not only did Russia become Orthodox, but an alphabet for Slavonic was created, which we know today as Cyrillic. Bulgaria became an Orthodox nation at the same time.

St. Andrew Bogoliubsky built a church in honor of this feast day in the city of Vladimir at the Golden Gates. At the end of the 14th century, part of the Robe of the Mother of God was transferred from Constantinople to Russia by St. Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal. Today the robe is kept in the Moscow Kremlin church built in it's honour, the Church of the Disposition of the Robe.


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Originally, the church was used by the Patriarch of Moscow, but during the 17th century it was taken over by the Russian royal family.

Let's take a peek inside.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 04:06:34 PM
Church of the Disposition of the Robe (Церковь Ризоположения)



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The church was badly damaged in a fire in 1737 (the same fire that cracked the Tsar Bell). The window in the upper left was where ladies of the royal court could stand and watch the services.



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Through the covered gallery female members of the royal family passed from the Terem Palace to the Cathedral of the Assumption. The church was severely damaged in the fire of 1737 and during the bombardment of the Kremlin in 1918. After large-scale restoration the church serves as a museum.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 04:14:43 PM
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In the late 15th century, a new brick church was erected in place of the old one, which burned down, with an open parvis on three sides. In the 17th century it was rebuilt, with a new roof with four pitch slopes. Arches were added to the parvis on the west side.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 04:22:19 PM
Today the church is a museum and also houses a small exhibition of wooden sculptures from the 15th to 17th centuries. These include icons carved from wood.

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Below: You'll see square icons sitting in rows. Those are wood carved icons, designed to be taken on long journeys and are called "traveling icons."


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Below: A famous icon was painted depicting the story of the Robe being washed in the Black Sea and saving the city of Constantinople from the Russian invaders.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 09:53:29 PM
The Church of the Twelve Apostles (церковь Двенадцати Апостолов)


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By now you recognize the Dormition (Assumption) Cathedral on the left, and to the right is our next stop. The Church of the Twelve Apostles was commissioned by Patriarch Nikon as part of his stately residence in 1653 and dedicated to Philip the Apostle three years later.


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Although premises for the Muscovite metropolitan had existed in the Kremlin ever since the 14th century, Patriarch Nikon, who aspired to rival the tsar in authority and magnificence, had them replaced with a much more ambitious residence, centered on a spacious chamber in the form of the cross, once used as a banqueting hall but now serving as a museum of applied arts.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 10:03:33 PM
This Patriarch's Palace is joined from the south a domestic church of the patriarchs, originally consecrated to Philip the Apostle until the dedication was altered to the present one in 1682. These two buildings are in fact a continuous structure, together constituting the Kremlin domain of the patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. Constructed by the Patriarch Nikon in the 1650s, they now serve as a museum of 17th-century applied arts, including ecclesiastical regalia as well as furniture and domestic objects from the period.


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This angle allows us to see how close the Church of the Twelve Apostles is to the Ivan Bell tower (back left). The church is almost as prominent as neighbouring grand cathedrals of the 15th century, due to its placement upon a high pediment, pierced by two large arches allowing passage from the Cathedral Square to the patriarch's court-yard.


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The exterior walls are decorated with two belts of columned arches which reference both the neighbouring cathedrals of the Cathedral Square and the great churches of the 12th-century Vladimir-Suzdal school which had been their inspiration. The rigorous outline of five helmeted domes, in keeping with Nikon's conservative architectural tastes, serves to accentuate the church's Byzantine pedigree.


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The patriarchal residence was seriously damaged when the Bolsheviks shelled the Kremlin in October 1917. Subsequently the church was restored in order to accommodate the applied arts museum. Very little subsists of its original murals, yet there is a delightful 17th-century iconostasis, salvaged from the Ascension Convent cathedral upon its demolition by the Bolsheviks and displaying many fine old icons, notably those by Fyodor Zubov and Simon Ushakov.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 19, 2010, 10:10:46 PM
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The complex housed both the Patriarch's Palace and the Church of the Twelve Apostles. Today it is a state museum.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 22, 2010, 08:48:21 PM
The Tsar Cannon (Царь-пушка)


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Just outside Cathedral Square is the stunning Tsar Cannon, built in 1586. It was Czar Fyodor I, Ivan the Terrible's son, who commissioned master craftsman Andrei Chokov to cast the giant bronze weapon to better protect the Kremlin.


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It's the largest cannon in the world, sixteen feet long, weighing 85,000 pounds (nearly 38 metric tonnes) and has a length of 5.34 meters (17.5 feet), a calibre of 890 mm (35 inches), and an external diameter of 1200 mm (47 inches). The Guinness Book of Records lists it as the largest howitzer ever made.


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Along with a new carriage, the 2 ton cannonballs surrounding the cannon were added in 1835 and are larger than the diameter of its barrel; it was, in fact, designed to fire 800 kg stone grapeshot. According to legend, the cannonballs were manufactured in St Petersburg, and were intended to be a humorous addition and a symbol of the friendly rivalry between Moscow and St. Petersburg.


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The cannon is decorated with reliefs, including one depicting Tsar Feodor Ivanovich on a horse. The original wooden carriage was made in the early 19th century, but it was destroyed by fire in 1812 when Napoleon descended on Moscow.


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The cannon is within the walls of the Moscow Kremlin next to the Tsar Bell, which is similarly massive and the largest bell in the world, but it has never been rung. The cannon was last restored in 1980 in Dzerzhinsky Military Academy. There it was thoroughly analysed and gunpowder remains were found, indicating that the cannon was fired at least once.


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A replica of the cannon was made in 2002 at the Izhevsk machine-building factory. It was given to the Ukrainian city of Donetsk and now is installed near the Donetsk city administration building.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 22, 2010, 09:07:11 PM
The Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell are located on the portion of the Kremlin territory known as Ivan Square. As you can imagine, these two monuments to Russian history are very popular with visitors to the Kremlin. They are two of the most photographed points inside the Kremlin.


[attachimg=1] Yikes! Tourists taking photos in suits.



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Coming up: Who protects the Kremlin, and guarantees the safety of the President when he is working in the Kremlin?

We'll meet the Kremlin Regiment, next.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 23, 2010, 08:23:06 PM
The Kremlin Regiment, often called The Presidential Regiment (Кремлëвский полк or Президентский полк)


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So who is responsible for the safety of the Kremlin and the President when he is at the Kremlin? It's the primary responsibility of the Kremlin Regiment but other divisions of the Russian Federal Protective Service are involved.

The Federal Protective Service (FSO) (Федеральная служба охраны, ФСО), is a federal agency given the job to protect high ranking officials, including the President of Russia, as well as certain federal properties. It traces its origin to the USSR's Ninth Chief Directorate of the KGB.

The FSO has roughly 20,000 - 30,000 uniformed personnel plus several thousand plainclothes personnel and controls the "black box" that can be used in the event of global nuclear war. It also operates the secure high-level communications system and the secure subway system used by the government Moscow metro-2, something the Russian government includes in the budget but declines to acknowledge in existence as official policy.


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The FSO is a powerful institution with a range of rights and powers, including the right to conduct searches and surveillance without warrants, make arrests, and give orders to other state agencies. One of it's units is the Kremlin Regiment.

The Kremlin Regiment is a unique military regiment with the status of a special unit. The regiment ensures the security of the Kremlin and its treasures and guards the highest state officials. It is also responsible for Russian Guardpost number One, serving as the guard of honor at the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The regiment is housed in the historic Kremlin Arsenal and it is directly under the command of the President - the Commander in Chief.


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When the Great Patriotic War began in 1941, the Kremlin Regiment defended the Kremlin against attacks by enemy aircraft right from the first days of the war. On 25 June 1941, the commandant ordered the regiment to reinforce the defenses, and the regiment set up round-the-clock guard on the Kremlin walls.

In 1942-1943, four groups of snipers from the Kremlin Regiment were sent to the western and Volkhov fronts. The snipers killed a total of more than 1,200 enemy soldiers and officers. The regiment lost 97 men during the war, and their names are engraved on a memorial plaque in the Arsenal.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 23, 2010, 08:48:22 PM
The Kremlin Regiment history (Кремлëвский полк)


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When the Soviet Union moved the government from Petrograd to the Moscow Kremlin in early 1918, their protection was entrusted to the Red Latvian Riflemen, under the command of the Commandant's of the Kremlin. In September 1918, the Latvian Riflement left for the fronts of the Civil War, and replaced in the Kremlin by the cadets of 1st Soviet United Military School of RKKA named after VTSIK that was redeployed into the Kremlin for this purpose.

In 1952, the regiment was reorganized into the Separate Special Purpose Regiment. On 7 May 1965, it was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner for its military achievements during the Great Patriotic War and its excellent results in military training and political education. On 8 May 1967, the regiment took part in the ceremony unveiling the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexandrovsky Gardens. In 1973, the regiment was renamed the Separate Red Banner Kremlin Regiment on the order of the chairman of the KGB.


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Early courses were designed to train commanding officers for the Red Army. This was how a “red commanders’” school came to be established in the Kremlin. The military students were dubbed “Kremlin Students” and were responsible for guarding the Kremlin, acting as bodyguards for state and government officials, organizing security at state and government meetings with foreign representatives, controlling entry to the Kremlin and keeping order on its territory.

The regiment finally came to be called the Presidential Regiment in accordance with a presidential decree of 30 March 1993. Since that time, the regiment’s First Company (the honor guard company formed on 6 July 1976) has been responsible for protocol events.


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Today a section of that military school remains on the grounds of the Kremlin as an active training institution, training both FSO and Russian military leaders. Russians of note who have trained in the school and served in the FSO include former Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Kasyanov, former head of Russian Secret Service Alexander Korzhakov, and deputy of the State Duma Andrei Lugovoi who was indicted by UK authorities on charges of murdering Alexander Litvinenko.


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Guard duty in uniform constitutes only a small part of mainly ceremonial duties. Most of the service is employed in plainsclothes activities similar to that of the Secret Service of the United States.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 23, 2010, 11:43:13 PM
Before we leave the Palace and Cathedral areas of the Kremlin to make our way over to the government buildings, here are some miscellaneous tidbits regarding the Kremlin.


Q: Russians love ice cream. What kinds of ice cream are served in the Kremlin cafeteria?
A: None right now because of the Easter Fast.

However, there are two official brands served:
- Noginskiy Khladokombinat Ice Cream (Ногинский хладокомбинат мороженого), and
- Baskin Robbins.

(BR came to Russia in 1990, after American and British representatives registered a joint venture called "Baskin Robbins Soviet International" and opened the first Baskin Robbins shop in the hotel "Russia.")


Q: Rumour has it that President Medvedev has a sweet tooth and loves chocolate. True or false?
A: Hard to say as Mrs Medvedeva put him on a diet before he ran for president. He lost, and has kept off, about 25 lbs since 2008. He does enjoy ice cream however.


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However if he did have a sweet tooth, he could very easily find satisfaction (photo above) at the "A. Korkunov" (Odintsovo) confectionary. For several years Odintsovo has been named the "Official fine chocolate supplier of the Moscow Kremlin". (PS...don't tell, but Odintsovo is owned by the USA conglomerate, Wrigley Gum Co.)    :-X


Q: Wines from Georgia have been banned all over Moscow. Is it true that Georgian wines are served even now in the Kremlin?
A: Yes, in the executive sections, except during the Orthodox fasts.


Q: If Prime Minister Putin were to drop in, what might he drink?
A: Publically he observes the fast, but privately is anybody's guess. But since you asked, he has access to the Kremlin supply of some of the finest brandy/cognac around--Кизлярский Коньячный Завод (Kizler Brandy), official supplier of the Kremlin. Those who have access...


[attachimg=#] Кизлярский


Q: Does the Kremlin really observe the Orthodox Easter fasts with meatless dishes, no oil, no dairy and no alcohol?
A: True, it is on a limited fasting menu now thru Easter, just as it was for the 40 days before Christmas. When not fasting most dairy products served inside the Kremlin come from Vologda Dairy Factory.


Q: Any truth to the rumour that Heineken is one of the official beers served in the Kremlin?
A: Hey, does the Prime Minister drive a free Land Rover each year?! Of course he does! So yes, Heineken was named an official beer of the Kremlin back in 2007.


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Q: Smoking is a popular thing in the FSU and is it true that there is an official tobacco of the Moscow Kremlin?
A: Yes. Let's go back in history. Such a designation goes back to the days when the Royal government was in St Petersburg.

Here is a Russian tradition for you: Since the days of the Tsars, a company called JTI ПЕТРО has been the Поставщик Двора Его Императорского Величества (supplier of His Majesty's government) for tobacco. What is surprising is that the initials J T I stand for Japan Tobacco International. The name of that honour has been changed to official supplier of the Moscow Kremlin, but J T I continues to hold that distinction to this day!
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 29, 2010, 12:27:53 AM
We're ready to move from Ivanovsky Square over to the buildings that house the day to day workings of the Presidential Administration. In so doing, we should mention that the daily government functions of Russia take place at the Russian White House where Prime Minister and his cabinet make their offices. We'll visit the White House later on this tour.

Noticing the cluster of onion domed churches in the photo below we see Cathedral Square. Because of angle, the Church of the Disposition of the Robe and the Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles/Patriarch's Palace are not readily visible in this photo. The Tsar Bell is hidden behind the Ivan Bell Tower (centre/right), the tallest structure in the Kremlin. The Tsar Cannon is to the left from this angle, but blocked by the Dormition (Assumption) Cathedral.

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Our next stops are the 3 buildings at the edge of the Kremlin territory which backs up to Red Square. The three are:

Top Right- Administrative building 14 is the Protective Service code name for this building, upper/centre in this photo. It contains the offices of the President and his advisors. The red tower to the immediate right is the famous Saviour Tower, the primary tower of the Kremlin. Unseen here, but to the immediate right of the Saviour Tower is Saint Basil's Cathedral.

Top Centre- The Senate building, triangle shaped. This is not where the Duma meets as you'll recall the Parliment building is across the street from Manzehnaya Plaza (far left photo). It was given this name when built. The tower to the left (between the Senate and Arsenal) is the Nikolaiskaya tower.

Top Left- The Arsenal is both a museum and a working government building. Here we'll find the headquarters of the Kremlin Regiment and the School for Military Officers. The tower to the left of the Arsenal is the Troitskaya (Trinity) tower from which we entered the Kremlin coming from Red Square (at the Kutafya Tower and Trinity bridge).

It's difficult to see from this angle but Red Square is right across the tower walls at the top. You may recognize the GUM building outline in this photo.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on March 29, 2010, 12:43:37 AM
What is the view from the opposite side of the photo above, from the top, from Red Square looking into the Kremlin?


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From Saint Basil's on Red Square, looking into the Kremlin you no doubt recognize the Saviour Tower with it's world renowned clocks. The first yellow building is just a section of the larger "Administrative Building 14" complex.

Next, the building with the black rounded dome is the Senate building proper. After that you see the green roof of the Arsenal building.

These will be the subsequent points of interest as the RUA Tour of Moscow continues.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 03, 2010, 01:12:56 AM
Kremlin Administrative Building 14

The former building of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet is another part of the presidential working residence in the Kremlin and was the first building built in the Kremlin during the Soviet period.


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We're entering the near final points of our tour of the Kremlin. We'll visit the so-called "14th building" or "Administrative 14" which is the structure to the right in the above photo. The triangle shape building in the centre is the Senate complex and to the left is a multipurpose structure known as the Arsenal (a misnomer of sorts as it's far more extensive than just the Arsenal museum).

Often you'll hear/read about these groups of buildings as the "residences" of the Russian President. This is not a reference to where he lives with his family, but rather where he works when conducting the business of the Russian Federation.

The view above is coming from the areas we just visited--the Cathedral and Ivan Squares. So to put the "14th building" in perspective we add the next photo:

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I like this photo angle because you can see not on the front columns but also get your bearings from the closest Kremlin wall tower. The tower with the clocks is the most famous and most photographed tower, the Saviour Tower/Spasskaya Tower (Спасская башня).

This administrative building is located between the Spassky Gates and the Senate Palace and faces the Tainitsky Garden with the facade over which the Russian Flag flies. It is one of the buildings that forms the Ivanovsky Square of the Kremlin.

The 14th building of the Kremlin is sometimes called the “former building of the presidium of the Supreme Council.” It was the first to be built in Soviet times in 1932-1934 on the site of the ancient Moscow monasteries of Chudov and Voznesensky, which were barbarically torn down in 1929, and also the Small Nikolaevsky Palace.

Ivan Rerberg was responsible for the project of the administrative building. It was designed to blend with the Senate building as its proportions, neoclassical style of the facade and the colour scheme of the building were influenced by the adjacent Senate Palace built by Matvei Kazakov one and a half centuries earlier.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 11, 2010, 01:39:48 AM
Just in case you're wonding, this is the former building of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Sometimes confused with the Senate building, Administrative #14, which we've already pinpointed as next to the Spasskaya (Saviour’s) Gate, was the first building built in the Kremlin during the Soviet period.
 
Designed to blend with the Senate complex, Building 14 originally housed a Soviet military school. In 1938, it was taken over by the secretariat of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1958, the building’s interior was redesigned to make room for the Kremlin Theater, which seats 1,200 people. It is often used as a press centre.


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In Tsarist times, the site of the Presidium was occupied by the Monastery of Miracles and the Convent of the Ascension, into which many female members of the Tsarist family were forced to enter due to the lack of Suitable Orthodox foreign rulers for them to marry.

The building’s main vestibule is linked with the main foyer on the second floor by stairs at each side. The foyer is elegant with impressive snow-white columns and crystal chandeliers cascading from the ceiling. Additional light comes from big windows facing the Moscow River.

 
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The main foyer leads into the Assembly Hall, the building’s main hall. The hall was designed in a semi-circle shape to suit its purpose. The white stone walls with gilded metal ornamentation form a beautiful ensemble. The oak furniture upholstered with dark claret-coloured Morocco leather is comfortable and is equipped with headsets for listening to simultaneous translation. A 1.5-ton wheel-shaped crystal chandelier measuring 11 m in diameter and fitted with 1,500 light bulbs is attached to the ceiling with a special lightweight fixture.


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Next door is the Consultation Hall. The hall is decorated in soft colours and has furniture of dark polished walnut with dark green upholstery. Modern crystal chandeliers decorate the light grey walls. In the centre of the hall is a long table for working.

On the building’s second floor is a long suite of ceremonial halls. The first is the Anteroom. A mirror-glass wall makes this small square-shaped hall feel much bigger than it really is and creates a decorative effect that was widely used in the design of ceremonial halls in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Dark brown furniture, walls covered in green silk and an elegant crystal chandelier decorate the hall.

There is a "reserve" office for the President also.


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It was in this building in 1953 that the Director of the Soviet Secret Police, Lavrenty Beria, was arrested after an attempt to claim dictatorial power of the USSR after the death of Stalin. Some allege that he was shot on the spot, but official Soviet history records that he was arrested, put on trial, found guilty of being an "Imperialist agent" and committing "criminal anti-party and anti-state activities" and was executed.

At present the building houses some subdivisions of the Presidential Administration, such as the Press Service, the Protocol Service, the Foreign Policy Directorate and the Research Department. The President also has a second office there.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 20, 2010, 12:26:56 AM
The President’s main working residence is located in the Senate building in the Kremlin. In the 19th century, this building was called the “building of state offices,” while in the 20th century it was known as the Council of Ministers of the USSR.

The Moscow Kremlin Senate building (Сенат) was commissioned by Catherine II of Russia and designed by Matvey Kazakov. Construction lasted from 1776 to 1787 as a Neoclassical styled building which originally housed the Moscow branch of the Governing Senate, the highest judiciary and legislative office of Imperial Russia. It was restored in 1995 and today houses the Russian presidential administration.

 
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After its construction, the commandant of the Kremlin doubted the stability of the building's large green dome, which is clearly visible from Red Square, and the architect was forced to climb up onto the cupola and stay there for more than an hour before he was convinced of its integrity. The cupola sits above the building's impressive grand hall, which was used formerly for meetings of the USSR Council of Ministers and the awarding of Lenin Prizes.


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The ceremonial section of the offices comprises a suite of new halls for meetings and receptions. The suite stretches from the waiting room of the President’s ceremonial office along the whole main faзade of the Senate building. This is where important international meetings and protocol events are held.

This three-storied building has, in plan view, the shape of a blunt-ended triangle. Its inner space is divided by two straight archways thus forming three inner courtyards. The upper angle of the triangle is marked with big green dome. The Senate stands opposite Senate Tower, confronting the Mausoleum on the outer side of Kremlin wall. The dome of the Senate echoes another, smaller one, situated opposite the big one.


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Stalin’s study, consisting of a big reception room and small study was in the Senate building. A famous screen with a large moving geographical map was kept here. It is known to millions of people since it is seen on newsreels and feature films about the life of the government inside the Kremlin.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 20, 2010, 12:44:57 AM
The Senate Building looks onto Senate Square, where in February 1905 the terrorist Ivan Kalyaev, a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, threw a bomb at the carriage in which the uncle of Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, was traveling.

The building also used to contain the former quarters of Lenin and Stalin's study, under which a secret passage was discovered that may have enabled the Director of the Secret Police, Beria, to overhear the dictator's conversations.

 
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The working residence is divided into a working and ceremonial section. The working section includes offices for the President and his closest aides, a ceremonial office, the hall where the Security Council meets, the hall where meetings of the Presidential Council are held and the Presidential Library.


[attachimg=2] Catherine Hall


The Catherine Hall is the main hall of the Senate Palace of the Kremlin. With a colour scheme of pale blue and gold, and a classical circular form, the hall impresses with its grandeur and elegance of decoration. The Catherine Hall is remarkable not just for its classical form and design, but also for its unusual, light and harmonic design.

Along the walls, there is a colonnade of the Dorian order. Above the colonnade cornice is a light balcony. On the frieze are gilded two-headed eagles. Two arches decorated with caissons are symmetrically opposite each other. Three rows of windows fill the hall with light, including the upper row above the balcony. From below it seems that the windows in the upper row form a wreath which rests on a kind of parapet.

  
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Particularly interesting is the famous circular hall of the Senate, which connoisseurs of architecture have dubbed the Russian Pantheon. This hall-cum-rotunda has a diameter of almost 25 meters, and is an incredible 27 meters high. Magestic colonnades run round the perimeter of the space, topped by a dome containing 24 windows.


[attachimg=5] President's Kremlin Oval Office


After the revolution of 1917, there was a club for Kremlin personnel and students of the military college in the Senate building. In the spring of 1918, the capital of Soviet State was moved to Moscow. At the end of April of the same year, Lenin with his family, his wife and sister, moved to the former Senate building. His flat and study were on the third floor.


[attachimg=4] President's Reception


The Representative (Ceremonial) Office is in the Small Hall, or as architect Matvei Kazakov called it, the Oval hall of the Senate Palace. Here the Russian President holds talks and meetings with the heads of foreign nations.

The Representative Office is more elegant than the other work spaces in the building. At the same time, the hall stands out for its simplicity. Its architectural design gives the hall a peaceful solemnity: the pale green and white walls, the unusual oval form of the dome, the crystal chandeliers, and the parquet flooring made of dozens of types of valuable wood, like a rug.

Next to the desk are the symbols of the Russian state and attributes of Presidential power: the coat of arms and Flag of Russia, and the President’s Standard.



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In 1992-1995, the building was reconstructed for the residence of the President of the Russian Federation. Historical interiors have been preserved only in the Round and Oval Halls.


[attachimg=3] Heraldic Ambassadorial Hall


The Heraldic (Ambassadorial) Hall opens the suite of representative halls of the Senate Palace. The Russian coat of arms predominates in the decorations (hence the name Heraldic Hall). The other name of the hall, the Ambassadorial Hall, reflects its use – for the President to receive the ambassadors of foreign nations.

The main motif in the design of the Heraldic Hall – the Russian heraldic eagle – is present in the walls, the reliefs, in the niches above the doors, and in the bronze chandelier. The walls are covered in corduroy fabric, to which heraldic eagles are attached by gold threads.



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The hall for meetings that the President holds with the Government and the Security Council is located in the work zone of the Senate Palace. In the middle of the hall is a long table for meetings.

The walls are decorated with a hand-woven tapestry featuring symbols of the Russian state. The formative artistic element of the hall’s decor is the austere and ceremonial half-columns of dark grey marble decorated with gilded caps.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 20, 2010, 11:27:32 PM
Russia's current President, Dmitry Medvedev, uses the Kremlin in a more symbolic fashion than any previous Russian or Soviet leader. Mr Medvedev prefers to work as much as possible from his presidential residence in Gorky, a region of Moscow. However several days a week he is at the Kremlin where much of his general staff is quartered, often for ceremonial occasions.

Today, 20 April 2010 for example, President Medvedev split his working day between the Kremlin and his Gorky presidential residence. His day began well before 7am with staff briefings and at 10:30 he joined a meeting on the development of Russian financial markets and the establishment of an international financial centre in Russia.


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As with most days the President had a working lunch and at 3pm welcomed the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov to the Kremlin, who traveled from Tashkent to Moscow after being summoned by Prime Minister Putin after last week's overthrow of the government in Kyrgyzstan.


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As predicted would happen several days ago in the Mendeleyev Journal (http://russianreport.wordpress.com), Moscow has summoned several regional leaders from former Soviet republics to discuss ways to prevent new populist revolutions from taking place. One of most offensive and oppressive of the regional dictatorships is the regime in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

When the Kremlin issued this statement, "President Medvedev emphasised that deepening strategic partnership with Uzbekistan is in Russia’s long-term interests," you can translate that as "Moscow had a come-to-Jesus meeting with the bozo in Uzbekistan and warned him to get his act together or he might not have much of an act left when they get through with it."


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Around 4pm the President left the Kremlin but not before signing formal orders authorizing Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to take measures to ensure the safety of Russian citizens in Kyrgyzstan and step up security at Russian facilities in light of increasing incidences of seizures and raiding in that country. Translation: "If engaged, fire." Since Kyrgyzstan is again in a state of rioting and violence, the president authorized the Defense Ministry and it's troops to do whatever necessary to protect Russian citizens and property in Kyrgyzstan.



[attachimg=#] Gorky, Moscow


Shortly thereafter the President arrived at the presidential residence in Gorky, his favourite working location, to welcome the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan.


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The two met and had dinner and afterward said that they had "discussed current issues on the international and regional agenda, among other topics." Translation: Armenia is not the hotbed of unrest as some other republics, but Moscow wanted to remind the government in Yerevan to keep it that way.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 20, 2010, 11:59:53 PM
[attachimg=1] President, Russian Federation, Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev


The residence of the Russian President in the Senate Palace consists of work and representative sections. The work section includes the President’s Work and Representative offices, the offices of his close aides, the Meeting Hall of the Security Council, and the Presidential Library.

The representative section consists of halls for business and ceremonial meetings, and the suite of these halls extends from the reception of the President’s Representative Office along the entire main facade of the Senate Palace.


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The President’s Work Office is in the centre of the work area of the Senate. The office is not large, but is comfortable as possible for work. The walls are decorated with oak panels. The walls are lined with bookcases containing unique books and works of reference.


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In the centre of the room is the President’s work desk, which has a desk set made by contemporary Russian craftsmen from Ural malachite. The coat of arms of the Russian Federation hangs above the desk. On the left and right of the desk respectively are the Flag of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Standard. Closer to the window there is another desk for talks, business meetings and consultations with close presidential aides.


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You've likely heard that President Medvedev is a modern blogger. He is also an accomplished photographer and as you can imagine, each day he goes thru volumes of newspapers. And you thought the only media he dug was listening to Black Sabbath and Deep Purple on his ipod!!


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 21, 2010, 12:33:58 AM
The President’s Library is located in the rotunda of the third floor in the northeast section of the Senate building. The rotunda has a light dome-shaped roof and a system of four arches which divide it.


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The interior, which was restored by contemporary experts, echoes the best traditions of palace libraries built two centuries ago in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It has peaceful, dark brown tones. The decoration and colour scheme of the library create a strict working atmosphere. Along the walls of the first and mezzanine floor of the library are brown wooden cupboards with glass fronts. There is a large round table in the centre of the library’s main hall.

The facilities in the reading hall match the most modern requirements of library and information complexes. The library is equipped for making modern information searches, and is actively used by the President and the employees of his Administration in their work. Books with dedicatory inscriptions to the Russian President form a separate part of the library collection. This is where presents received by the President are kept.

A specially printed unique edition of the Russian Constitution is kept in the library as a particularly valuable exhibit. The President swears an oath on this book when he is appointed. Occasionally, meetings, talks and presentations are held in the Presidential Library.


Below: As a rule there are 2 reasons why this flag should fly above the Senate rotunda. As in Soviet times, it signals that the President in working in the Kremlin. However if conditions warrant that the flag be flown at half mast, it will fly whether or not the president is on the Kremlin territory.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 26, 2010, 12:03:45 AM
Before leaving the Senate building we'll pause for a moment before walking over to the Arsenal as it's our opportunity to say hello to Mrs Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of President Medvedev as she is entertaining her guest, Mrs Michelle Obama, the wife of USA President Obama.


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(6 July 2009, Presidential Press service)


L-R: Mrs Obama, Mrs Medvedeva, center, and the lady to the right is Yelena Gagarina, director of the Kremlin Museums. Perhaps you remember her father, Yuri Gagarin, the famous Russian cosmonaut.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 26, 2010, 12:56:48 AM
The Arsenal

The Arsenal is an odd, trapezoid shaped, two-story building in the northwest corner of the Moscow Kremlin. It is part museum, part Kremlin administrative offices and home to the Kremlin Regiment responsible for on-site protection of the Russian President and policing of the Kremlin.

It is in the form of an elongated trapezium, surrounding a large courtyard. The solid brick walls of the two-story facades are sliced through by two rows of double arches.


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The Arsenal's building has a long history and occupies the Northeast corner of the Kremlin, was originally commissioned by Peter the Great in 1701. He wanted a building in which he could display the spoils from his victory over the Swedes in the North War.

Construction began in 1702 on the initiative of Peter I according to a plan of his own. The Arsenal was to be used not only like an armoury and ammunition storehouse but also like a museum-depository of captures and ancient weapons. The largest Moscow building of Peter the Great’s epoch was placed in the northern corner of the Kremlin's territory, between the Troitskaya (Trinity) and Nikolskaya Towers.

Up until the Middle Ages, the spot was occupied by granaries. After they burnt down in the great fire of 1701, Peter the Great engaged a team of Russian and German architects to construct the Arsenal building on the spot. Construction started in 1702 and lasted until 1736, when it was completed under supervision of Field-Marshal Munnich.

The construction of this enormous building took many years, and was interrupted by the Russo-Swedish War. Eventually completed in 1736, it was badly damaged by fire only one year later. The Arsenal seen today was built in 1817 after Napoleon's troops destroyed the previous building. Surprisingly, despite all the upheavals, the existing building follows the plans of the original blueprints almost exactly.


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During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the retreating French soldiers had the central part of the building blown up. It was restored between 1816 and 1828 to a Neoclassical design in order to house a museum dedicated to the Russian victory over Napoleon. Accordingly, some 875 cannon captured from the retreating Grand Army were put on display along the walls of the Arsenal.


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The list of captured cannon:
- 365 are French
- 189 are Austrian
- 123 are Prussian
- 70 are Italian
- 40 are Neapolitan
- 34 are Bavarian
- 22 are Dutch.


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Of these bronze cannons, the ones bearing Napoleon's insignia were cast in Paris between 1790 and 1810. Since 1960, Russian cannons of the 16th and 17th centuries were added to the display along the south wall of the building.


The Arsenal Towers
We explored the towers very early in the RUA Moscow Tour and perhaps you recall the two Arsenal towers: The Middle Arsenalnaya Tower (Средняя Арсенальная башня) was built in 1495. It is located on the northwestern side of the Kremlin wall and overlooks the Alexander Garden. It was given its present name, the Middle Arsenal Tower, after the Arsenal was completed in the mid-18th century. Originally, it was called the Faceted Tower because of the shape of its facade. In 1680, an open lookout with a small pyramid-shaped top was added to the tower.


The Corner Arsenalnaya Tower (Арсенальная Угловая башня) was built in 1492 and completed the Kremlin's line of defence from the side of the Red Square. It was called the Sobakin Tower until the early 18th century (named so after a boyar Sobakin, whose house had been adjacent to the tower from the Kremlin side). The Corner Arsenalnaya Tower received its current name after the construction of the Arsenal. The tower still has a secret well. In 1707, due to a threat of Swedish invasion, the gun slots of the Corner Arsenalnaya Tower were enlarged to fit heavy cannons.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 26, 2010, 11:39:02 PM
The Arsenal is off limits to visitors as it serves to serve certain Kremlin administrative functions and as HQ for the Kremlin Regiment. The regiment is part of the Federal Protection Service and has the status of a special service. While officially a branch of the FSB, it is directly under the command of the President -- the Commander in Chief.

After being granted entrance into the courtyard we are invited to step inside an entry where we are greeted by none other than the man who stole the Russian Revolution.

The Arsenal is home to the Kremlin Regiment, which had it's beginnings in September 1918 when the Latvian riflemen were sent to the front and were replaced by students from the machine gunners’ courses at Lefortovo. In January 1919, these machine gunners’ courses were reorganized into courses to train commanding officers for the Red Army. The military students were dubbed “Kremlin students” and were responsible for guarding the Kremlin, acting as bodyguards for state and government officials, organizing security at state and government meetings with foreign representatives, controlling entry to the Kremlin and keeping order on its territory.


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Today they perform the functions of acting as honour guards in parade and diplomatic functions, sentry duty at "Guard Post Number One" (Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers), policing the Kremlin territory, and protecting the President and high ranking officials.


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The Arsenal is their residence, command center, and training facitiliy as the Regiment coordinates various guard duties in conjunction with FSB commanders.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 27, 2010, 12:12:51 AM
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The members of the Regiment train and perform hard. One of the first duties learned is guard duty, including honour guard at diplomatic function. This is harder than it looks and these members are dedicated to spending years perfecting their tradecraft and progressing in the ranks to more important assignments.


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Some guards master and complete certification as mounted troops and will likely serve for several years in policing and general security duties around the Kremlin.


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Some of these men may look young, but don't allow looks to be misleading. With continual career-long training and practice as they progress through the ranks, these individuals are being shaped into some of the most effective and versatile protectors in the world.


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Looks like some Kremlin Guards get an early start, very early. This little one certainly has an eye out for anything that would bring danger to Russia's future leaders.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 27, 2010, 12:16:16 AM
The uniform of the last photo above is a reminder that there is yet another important function coordinated in the Arsenal. It also involves the Kremlin Regiment. We'll explore it soon.

But first, time for some birdwatching, Kremlin style.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on April 27, 2010, 08:51:22 AM
For most visitors to the Kremlin unless you are fortunate to have an invitation to a parade event or a diplomatic arrival, the only glimpse of the Kremlin Regiment is in their role as guards and policing the Kremlin.


[attachimg=#] Kremlin open today.


On days when foreign leaders are present or the President is strolling around, the Kremlin is closed to the public as is adjacent Red Square sometimes closed down when important occasions are going on inside the Kremlin territory.

Before we move to the important subject of music and it's role in the diplomatic and national life of the Kremlin, there is one other important element to the Kremlin Regiment's role in security of the President and the Kremlin territory -- patrolling the skies above the Kremlin.

In particular, through the use of specially trained Falcons.  


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For generations, the symbol of the Kremlin Regiment's care in protecting the Kremlin's treasures is the Kremlin falcons. These strong and noble birds help protect the gold domes of the Kremlin's cathedrals from flocks of crows that would otherwise cause serious damage to these architectural monuments.

Crows are fascinated by bright colours and as one can imagine, the dazzling gold domes of the Kremlin are a magnet and if allowed, there would be no end to the number of crows landing atop the domes and sliding down the sides, scratching the precious metal with their claws.

Popular legend has it that the number of crows in the Kremlin increased dramatically when it was occupied by the Poles during the Time of Troubles and then by Napoleon's army in 1812. Those tales may be true or might be "for the birds" but no matter, the Kremlin Regiment Falcons are on patrol and in their eyes, crows are "public enemy number one."


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Now to be candid, the Kremlin Regiment members enjoy being photographed with a falcon sitting on an arm or shoulder, but in reality the handlers and keepers of the falcons are bird specialists, not part of the security detail. But their administration is part of the Kremlin Regiment and the birds are an honoured part of the Regiment's parade tradition.

The Kremlin has four falcons on duty daily. The falcon's handlers say the birds are expertly trained and are also very patriotic.  :) We have no grounds on which to disagree.


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The birds have a special place in their hearts for Saint Basil's Cathedral also. Any crows thinking of the domes next door on Basil's Cathedral to be an easy target had better think twice because just when an errant bird might think no one is paying attention, a Kremlin Regiment Falcon may rush to the scene.


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Bright colours, a crow magnet. Those of you who've traveled in the past will notice the Hotel Rossiya, no longer there today.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 12:57:49 AM
"Battles are better with music…"
Alexander Suvorov (one of the 3 major commanders in world history who never lost a battle).


Music takes place inside the Kremlin in primarily 4 forms:

- Diplomatic occasions with the Presidential Kremlin Orchestra

- Ceremonial occasions with the Kremlin Regiment Music Corp

- The annual Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival

- Public concerts, primarily in the Palace of the Soviets


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 01:47:29 AM
We'll stay with the Kremlin Regiment for the sake of continuity and as they are involved in two of the four listed musical functions we listed above. Members of the Kremlin Regiment Music Corp provide music and march & drill functions for Kremlin events, diplomatic events, and presidential inaugurations. Although members of the various Regiment music groups will change depending on type of events and instruments needed, the organization is commonly called "the President's Band."


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Evgeny Yurievich Nikitin, lieutenant colonel, has been the Senior military bandmaster of the President's Band since 2004. He graduated with honours from the Moscow Military Music College in 1992 and the Military Bandmaster department of the Moscow State Conservatory of P.I.Tchaikovsky in 1997.



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The Band's repertory includes all genres of music, from the ancient Russian music and the folklore of African countries, to the classic symphonies of the world. The Band combines playing at the official state events and playing symphonic, opera and ballet music. The President's Band has successfully performed at some of the best venues in the world.


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The International Military Music Festival:
The Kremlin Regiment is also involved in the annual International Military Music Festival known as “Spasskaya Tower" named after the famous Saviour wall tower. Each year the "Spasskaya Tower" marching music festival takes place during the popular "Moscow Days" celebrations in September.


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This year's “Spasskaya Tower” will take place in Red Square from 4 to 9 September 2010. The traditional participants of the Festival are the units of the State Honour Guards and the leading Russian and foreign military music bands.


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Daily Festival audience numbers in the thousands and for 2010 the festival audience is expected to be over 35 000 people (then well over 100 million people as Internet and TV viewers are taken into account). The combination of military, classical, folk and popular music, military band parades and dance shows, laser and pyrotechnical effects makes the Festival one of the brightest and most memorable events of the year.


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Bands from every branch of the Russian military, the military bands of most of the former Soviet Republics, from India, China and Japan traditionally participate in the annual "Spasskaya Tower" military music festival. Spasskaya Tower is staged on the background of the walls of the Kremlin, with bands from different countries fighting for the love and admiration of the audience.


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"Spasskaya Tower" is not only a stunning show, it is symbolic that military musicians, representing the diversity of the national, artistic and military traditions of the world, become the ambassadors of peace and understanding between the nations during the Festival.


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Sponsors for the "Spasskaya Tower" festival include the Kremlin Preservation Guild, a civic organization actively participating in the life and longevity of the Kremlin grounds and buildings, especially the ancient palaces and the Grand Palace.

This year's directors for the Spasskaya Tower festival include a committee of government ministers and representatives, led by:

- Alexander Avdeev - Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation
- Oleg Dobrodeev – Director General of the All-Russian State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK)
- Elena Gagarina - Director General of Moscow Kremlin Museums

One more photo, given that Mendeleyev (and Bill Clinton) have been known how to whip a tenor saxaphone around for a spin, features the Kremlin Palace Regiment sax ensemble with the boys from the brass section.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 02:31:53 AM
You recall that blight, the Soviet eyesore, the edifice that is commonly called the "Palace of Congresses," right? Most public concerts and events given on the Kremlin grounds take place in the newly renovated facility; the State Kremlin Palace (Государственный Кремлёвский Дворец).


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A variety of events use the State Palace, from children's groups to ballet and rock concert events. The facility became home to the Bolshoi Theatre events while the Bolshoi was undergoing extensive and long renovations.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 03:09:17 AM
Finally, in the music of the Kremlin segment of the RUA tour we have the opportunity to meet the Kremlin Orchestra. As you can imagine the Kremlin State Orchestra is a collection of some of the finest musicians from all across Russia. It was founded on September 11, 1938, as the Orchestra of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant’s Directorate.

Photo below: Pavel Ovsyannikov, artistic director and chief conductor of the Presidential Orchestra.  

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The Presidential Orchestra has toured many countries, performing at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, Madison Square Garden in New York, Olympia in Paris, the Rome Opera and the Friedrichstadt Palace in Berlin.


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The orchestra’s schedule has included command perforances for Queen Elizabeth II, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, U.S. presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton, the King and Queen of Spain, the presidents of France, Italy, Canada, and China.


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The orchestra records for television and radio and at recording studios. The orchestra has been particularly noted for its work on the television program “Stars in the Kremlin.” It also takes part in the “Song of the Year” program and in many concerts given by songwriters and composers.

Over the years the orchestra was variously known as the Orchestra of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant’s Office, the Model Orchestra of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant’s Office and the Kremlin Orchestra. The orchestra became the Presidential Orchestra on September 11, 1993.


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The above concerts were in the elegant Saint George Hall of the Kremlin Grand Palace and below is a concert in the palace's Vladimir Hall.


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In addition to concerts at the Kremlin and around the world the Orchestra also performs in Moscow at places like the Moscow House of Music, a delightful place we'll visit soon on the RUA Tour of Moscow.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 03:39:58 AM
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The Presidential Orchestra’s “home” is in the Moscow Kremlin’s Troitskaya (Trinity) Tower. It may not look that large from a distance, but this, the tallest of the Kremlin towers, houses rehearsal rooms, modern digital recording studios and the Orchestra’s offices.


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Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 03:47:55 AM
You thought that we were finished with music, now didn't you?   :)

I don't know about you, but something just isn't right about Russian guys wearing skirts! Please, I know they're "kilts" but seriously, let the Scottish guys wear skirts. I don't mind that, but dude, this is Russia! Sunglasses aside, they don't even look Russian! :chuckle:


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Guess where these guys practice, have offices and record? Like the other musicians, the Kremlin Palace Regiment's Pipe band makes their home in the Trinity tower, too.   :chuckle:
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 03:57:21 AM
Approximately two-thirds of the Kremlin is off-limits to visitors, including the Arsenal, the Presidium, the Terem, Faceted and Great Kremlin Palaces and most of the buildings in the northern half of the fortress. All of that territory is occupied by various President's offices, his residence and the Kremlin Guards.

Tourists have access to most of the cathedrals, the Armory, the Patriarch's Palace and the State Kremlin Palace, which hosts regular concerts and gala performances. The Kremlin section of the RUA Moscow tour has taken you to those places where tourists and even many ordinary Russians may never enjoy.

With that in mind, we'd like to acknowledge the courtesy of the Presidential Protocol Office and the Presidential Press Service for making this part of Russia more open and enjoyable for everyone.

First off, kudos to a very good photographer, President Dmitry Medvedev, for lifting the decades old ban on professional photography on Red Square! Thank you, sir. You understand modern media and social networking better than perhaps any other modern leader and your understanding and cooperation with those in the professional/media photography services is noted and appreciated.

Next, how about opening up the Kremlin as well? We understand the need for tighter security inside the Kremlin territory, and thank you for access to the Presidential Press Services, but today's technology is well capable to ascertain camera integrity and detect planted threats. If a professional can be cleared to work with photos inside, and tourists are allowed consumer grade cameras outside with a ticket, why not open up the opportunity for professional equipment everywhere on the grounds, too? Just a thought.  :biggrin:

Press Attache for the President: Natalya Aleksandrovna Timakova
Chief of the Presidential Press and Information Office: Andrei Mikhailovich Tsybulin
Chief of Presidential Protocol-Kremlin: Marina Valentinovna Entaltseva (Miss Manners!...and fluent in English)
Chief of Presidential Protocol-Abroad: Sergei Alexandrovich Sobolev


Tour the Kremlin tips:
- You'll need rubles for tickets to the Kremlin so make a currency exchange before you arrive.
- Purchase an additional ticket if you intend to use a camera to take pictures. Video cameras are strictly forbidden and the cutoff for what security considers a consumer or professional still camera is 70 mm lens.
- If you need to check items for retrieval later, go down the stairs from the kiosk in Alexander Gardens. There is a cloak room at the entrance.
- While at the Alexander Gardens, pick up a map of the Kremlin. It's a bigger place than you may have realized.
- Buy tickets for everything you plan to visit while at the kiosk. Don't make yourself walk all the way back because you forgot tickets for the Cathedrals.
- Plan ahead: Some days the Kremlin is closed because of visiting foreign dignitaries or special presidential events.
- Don't even think about buying tickets from someone just standing around offering them.
Title: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on May 01, 2010, 05:12:36 AM
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The next segment of the RUA Tour of Moscow will continue soon, but on a new thread as 25 pages is way too much for most to navigate in one setting. We most certainly do want this tour to be a resource that members will use for reference in future trips to Moscow and beyond.

The new thread will begin geographically as we leave the Kremlin/Red Square and begin to visit the many fascinating places within walking distance of where we are now.
Title: Re: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on July 31, 2010, 11:40:47 PM
As of May, the "Touring Moscow" series had grown to 25 pages with thousands of readers. So to make things more managable as a travel and touring resource to RUA readers we've split the topic into more "bite size" segments:

Touring Moscow, part 1: Metro & Transportation
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=9049.0


Touring Moscow, part 2: Arbat to Red Square
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=12015.0


Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=12016.0



Touring Moscow, part 4 is in development stages and coming soon. It will focus on leaving Red Square and touring more of some of the central parts of this magnificant city.
Title: Re: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on August 28, 2010, 10:51:48 PM
Update to the segments on the Kremlin towers:

In April of this year (2010) archaeological studies were conducted in the niches of the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya towers. Two important Russian Orthodox icons, previously feared lost to the Soviets, were found under layers of plaster.

The icon found in the Spasskaya Tower depicts Jesus Christ and two saints, St Sergius of Radonezh and St Varlaam of Khutyn, below him. The exact date the fresco was painted is not known, but it was not before the middle or second half of the 17th century. Historians have affirmed that it was this sacred icon that gave the tower its previous name, which at one time was known as Frolovskaya Tower.

The last mention of the icon is from the 1930s, when a decision to cover the icon with plaster was made by the Soviets. The icon had been damaged during fighting in October 1917 when the revolution spread to Moscow.


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Today's unveiling (28 August 2010) of the restored icon above the Spasskaya Tower's gate was timed to coincide with the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin. Despite a damp rain shower, Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia, accompanied by President Dmitry Medvedev, conducted a prayer service for the consecration of the icon, sprinkling the tower with holy water.


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A second icon, of St Nicholas (on Nikolskaya Tower), was also uncovered at the same time.
The icon of St Nicholas dates from the late 15th or early 16th century.

Restoration work on Nikolskaya Tower will last a few months longer and a seperate consecration service will be held upon completion. The Fund of St Andrew the Apostle took on funding to restore the Kremlin gate icons. This initiative was supported by the President with the blessing of the Patriarch.


RUA feature on the Spasskaya Tower is here (http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,12016.msg137379.html#msg137379).


RUA feature on the Nikolskaya Tower is here (http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,12016.msg142340.html#msg142340).
Title: Re: Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
Post by: mendeleyev on September 28, 2011, 01:41:45 AM
This August I was allowed to begin photography for a book project on the Kremlin towers, the story inside this thread. Hopefully in 18 to 24 months you can obtain the book!  :)

Some of you know that in the past few years I've longed to write and broadcast more on the culture and people of Russia and less of politics. Reality however has somehow intruded and politics seems to take centre stage as that is what news outlets demand.

If you've read this thread you already know that there are 20 towers; 18 have names and 2 are called the "first unnamed tower" and the "second unnamed tower." The youngest two are the Tsarskaya Tower (built in 1680) and the Petrovskaya Tower (built in 1612). Most of the others were built in the 1400s.

You know that the most recognizable tower is the Spasskaya (Saviour Tower), named for an icon inside the tower and the Spasskaya is the tower you see in photos and on TV on New Year's Eve with the famous clocks. It is close to Saint Basil's Cathedral (which isn't the correct name of the Cathedral--but you already know that too from this thread.

This summer as I began the new series of photographs it was to my dismay to observe the decay and falling brick. I plan to take a second/winter set of photographs this January of each tower. This August I was accompanied by a young lady from the Kremlin Regiment (palace guards) while taking photos and she was amazed at not only what I could explain to her about each tower, but like myself was dismayed to see the decay.

The original Kremlin wall was white stone and part of it is still there--the red brick wall was built on top of the original foundation.

We should always remember fallen heros, including those journalists in Russia who have paid a price for speaking the truth. I plan to dedicate this book to the memories of these fallen heros and list their names on the inside covers much like the names of the fallen war heros from 1812 are memorialized on the walls of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

They represent that white foundation on which the future bricks of Russian democracy will be laid.

They are truly the "21st" tower.