The Moscow Kremlin

The Kremlin is a wonderful memorial to history and architecture. It has become the symbol not just of Moscow but of all Russia in the whole. Each construction of the Kremlin is a page of the city history. The Kremlin walls used to be the boundaries of Moscow. Today it is the centre of the capital. The Kremlin stretches in the centre of Moscow over the Moskva River on Borovitsky hill. From the opposite bank of the river the walls and towers of the Kremlin produce the image of fence of the proud architectural ensemble. But near one can feel severe power of this ancient citadel. The height of its walls, narrow loopholes, grounds of the battle, majestic towers everything shows that first of all it is a fortress. The plan of the Kremlin represents irregular triangle of 27, 5 hectare. The southern wall faces the river, north-western – Alexandrovsky Garden, eastern – Red Square.

On the territory of the Kremlin spacious squares and cozy parks, grand palaces and gold-domed temples stretch. Today everything here is filled with history – ancient cannons and bells, ancient Cathedrals, kept too many events and names…. Everything is close and near here – tsar terems and palaces of New Time, President’s residence and world known museums. In the end of XV century the process of uniting of Russian lands into united centralized state with Moscow as the main land finished. The Kremlin ensemble was formed. The towers and walls of the Kremlin were built under management of Italian architects, so some similar features in constructions of the Kremlin and for example castle Sfortsecko in Milan are not surprising. Construction of the Kremlin buildings took at least 9 centuries. In 1475-1479 on the highest point of the Kremlin hill on the place of first temple stone construction of the city Dormition Cathedral (Uspensky Cathedral) which became the main temple of the centralized Moscow state was built under management of Italian architect Aristotle Fiorovanty. In 1484-1489 architects from Pskov built Annunciation Cathedral (Blagoveshchensky Cathedral) which served as the private temple of Moscow princes and Church of the Deposition of the Robe (Rizopolozheniya church) which was the private chapel of Russian patriarchs and metropolitans. In Annunciation Cathedral the frescoes of works by Theophanes the Greek and Andrei Rublyov have been saved. In 1505-1508 the Italian architect Alevisio Novo built the Cathedral of the Archangel (Arkhangelsky Cathedral) which served the final resting place for the tsars and grand princes from 1540 to 1700. In 1505-1508 the bell tower of Ivan the Great of 81 meter height was built under management of the architect Bon Fryazin. The bell tower is reasonably considered to be one of the greatest architectural constructions. There are architectural constructions of different epochs on the Kremlin territory: the Faceted Palace (1487-1491), the Terem Palace (1635-1637), the Arsenal (1702-1736), the Senate building (1776-1787), the Great Kremlin Palace (1838-1850), Armoury Palace (1844-1851) etc. Next to the Arsenal building Tsar Cannon molded in 1586 by the craftsman Andrey Chokhov was set. This is the biggest arm in the world according to its caliber. In 1735 cast iron carriage and kernels were molded for it. Nowadays Tsar Cannon is set on the special stone pedestal near the Church of the Twelve Apostles on the Kremlin territory.

One more giant place of interest of the Kremlin is Tsar Bell molded by order of Anna Ioannovna in 1733-1735 by Russian craftsmen I. and M. Matoriny. During the fire in 1737 a seven pood chunk broke off. To 1836 the Bell was kept in the molding hole and then was put up on the pedestal constructed by project of the architect O. Monferran.