What's in the Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin - typically Russian!

Typical for many Russian cities is a castle or fortress, also known as the "Kremlin". The world's most famous Kremlin is the Moscow Kremlin, which is now the seat of government of the President. It is the historical center of the Russian capital and at the same time the oldest part of this metropolis. The fortification wall with a total of 20 towers, which was built between 1485 and 1499 and is still in good condition today, served as a model for the fortifications in many Russian cities. Probably the most important and best-known tower is the Spassky Tower with its 6.12 meter clock. Inside the Kremlin walls are many cathedrals, palaces, administrative buildings and sacred buildings that were built in different epochs. The Moscow Kremlin is widely regarded as the city's most attractive attraction. So it is not surprising that it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990.

The heart of the Kremlin - The Great Kremlin Palace

The Grand Kremlin Palace in the heart of Moscow is an integral part of the architectural ensemble in the Moscow Kremlin. From the 15th to the 19th century, several buildings of different architectural styles were built. The central building of the Great Kremlin Palace, which once served as the tsar's main residence and is now the official building of the Russian President, was built in the years 1838-1849 according to a design by Konstantin Thon. Seen from the outside, the central palace has a relatively simple design, but the interior was made all the more splendid by the architects Fyodor Richter and Nikolai Tschitschagow during the construction period. The palace can be roughly divided into a representative part for receptions and celebrations and an area for the living quarters of the tsarist family, the so-called own half. On the upper floor of the palace are the 4 of the total of 5 ballrooms, the George Hall, the Andrea Hall, the Alexander Hall and the Katharinensaal, while the Vladimir Hall is on the ground floor of the building. The halls were named after the five most famous state orders that were awarded in the tsarist empire. Also on the ground floor are the former private rooms of the tsarist family, some of which are still in their original condition. The division of the rooms by massive pylons is typical of these rooms. It is interesting that each part is decorated and furnished in its own style, including baroque, classicism and rococo.

    Faceted Palace, Terem Palace and Golden Imperial Chamber

    To the east of the central palace building is the Facetted Palace, which is not only the oldest part of the Great Kremlin Palace, but also the oldest secular building in Moscow that has been preserved to this day. The name of the Facetted Palace is derived from the design of the palace's eastern facade, horizontal rows of sharp-edged stones give the impression of a faceted surface. The Terem Palace as part of the Great Kremlin Palace is located in a part that is not accessible to the public and can therefore only be seen from the outside at a narrow point on the western Kremlin wall near the Russian State Library. The Golden Chamber of the Tsar in the extreme northeast of the palace complex is a relatively small building and served the Tsarina as a living room and reception room. On the walls of the reception hall of the Golden Chamber of the Tsar are portraits of well-known tsaresses and princesses, which were applied to a gold-colored background and thus presumably gave the building its name.

      The Kremlin Armory - a real treasure

      The armory still shows the viewer the former splendor and luxury of the Tsar's court. The armory was first mentioned in 1547 when a fire destroyed large parts of the inventory. Originally the armory was a large number of workshops that equipped the tsar with representative firearms and blades as well as helmets, shields and mail shirts. Later on, numerous iron, silver and goldsmith craftsmen, jewelers and icon painters also worked in the armory, who made numerous representative everyday objects for the tsar and family members by using precious metals and precious stones. All pieces made in the workshops always followed the Russian taste of demonstrating pomp and splendor. At the beginning of the 18th century, the transformation of the masterpieces that had been collected into a museum began when the Tsar's seat was moved from Moscow to Saint Petersburg and everyday objects were also manufactured there. The pieces made in Moscow were not originally intended for public viewing. It was only under Alexander I that a building in the early classical style was built on the grounds of the Kremlin specifically for the storage and exposure of masterpieces from the armory. Since this building quickly proved to be too small, the new two-story armory was built right next to the Great Kremlin Palace in 1844–1851. Today the armory houses over 4,000 valuable masterpieces, including the “Monomach's Cap”, the Russian tsar's crown with sable fur. The throne of Alexei Romanov, set with over 800 diamonds, is equally impressive. Since 1967, the armory has also housed the permanent exhibition of the diamond treasure with the famous Orlov diamond, a gift from Count Alexej Orlow as a token of love to Tsarina Katharina II.

        The arsenal in the Kremlin - an arsenal

        Over 800 historical artillery pieces along the facade underscore the historical use of the Kremlin arsenal as an arsenal. Most of these specimens are trophies from the war against Napoleon in 1812, but also guns from France, Prussia, Austria and Italy are among them. On the south side of the building there are also 20 old Russian guns from the 16th and 17th centuries, which were kept in the armory until 1960. The arsenal now houses the offices of the Kremlin headquarters and the barracks of the Kremlin regiment. Therefore, visitors are only allowed to see the building from the outside. Closer inspection of the building is only permitted on the southern facade. All other parts are strictly closed to the public.

          Beautiful cathedrals in the Kremlin

          Behind the walls of the Kremlin you can admire beautiful cathedrals with their famous onion domes. For a long time the Dormition Cathedral was the most important church in Russia. Tsar coronations, state acts and festive ceremonies took place here. The throne of the first Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible can also be seen in this cathedral. The Annunciation Cathedral was the main church of the tsarist family. World-famous Russian painters such as Andrei Rublev adorned the walls. Russian princes and tsars, including the first tsar Ivan the Terrible, found their final resting place in the Archangel Cathedral. The Church of the Deposition of Robes counts as the house church of the Russian patriarchs and metropolitans. The icon wall created in the 17th century is particularly worth seeing.

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