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Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin

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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.


площадь (ploshad) = "plaza"

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
Okhotny Ryad

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.


--- Quote from: mendeleyev on October 29, 2009, 12:25:30 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.

--- End quote ---

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.


I'm with Belle...from what I understand what we westerners know as Red Square is a rectangle.  See link...

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?


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