The Kremlin

The Heart of Russia is what people called the Kremlin, the central architectural ensemble of Moscow, during the olden times. Everything important that happens in the country is definitely connected to the Kremlin. It is for a reason that the Kremlin is perceived as a symbol of Russia’s greatness.

the-kremlinIt was laid at the high Borovitsky Hill near the junction of two navigable rivers – Moscow River and Neglinnaya River, the most ancient territory of the city. Historians and archaeologists believe that a small Slavonic fortress of a Krivichi tribe was raised at high Borovitsky Hill not later than at the end of the 11th century. The history of Moscow goes as far back as the year 1147. A few years later, in 1156 the Duke Yuri Dolgorukiy ordered to build a town encircled with a moat and a bank. Yuri Dolgorukiy’s fortress was five-six times bigger than the former fortifications at Borovitsky Hill, but it was ruined by the Golden Horde in 1237.

In 1339 the Kremlin was fortified with walls and towers made of large oak logs; later, in 1367 during the reign of the Duke Dmitry Donskoy the Kremlin was made of stone. New walls were laid with a white-yellow limestone. The present walls and towers of the Kremlin today were built by the Italian architects Mark Fryazin, Anton Fryazin, Peter Fryazin and Aleviz Novy in 1487-1491 according to the Decree of Ivan III. Red brick was used for the construction of these walls and towers.

the-kremlin2The Moscow Kremlin, surrounded by walls, has the shape of an irregular triangle. The area of this triangle is 27.5 hectares. The southern wall faces the Moscow River, the north-western wall looks at Alexander Garden and the eastern wall fronts the Red Square. The highest walls are on the Red Square’s side because there was no natural water barrier there. There are total of 20 towers, one of them is in a bridgehead position (the Kutafia Tower) and one more is situated right on the wall (the Tsarskaya Tower). In the 17th century the Kremlin’s towers were overbuilt with beautiful hipped roofs which can be seen today. Each of the Kremlin’s towers has its own history. A number of them have passage gates.

In the 17th century the dynamic construction of various secular buildings began. The Kremlin ensemble started to take its shape. In the 18th century, during the reign of Peter I, the construction of the Arsenal got underway and later, under Catherine II, the building of the Senate was erected. The idea of constructing the Great Kremlin Palace at the southern slope of Borovitsky Hill along the Moscow River occurred as early as in the middle of 18th century but it was executed only during the reign of Nicholas I. The Kremlin Palace was built as per the project of Russian architect Konstantin Andreyevich Ton and later the building of the Armory Chamber was constructed.

The Kremlin is famous to foreigners as the seat of absolute power in the former Soviet Union and today’s Russia, but it is also a centre of historical cathedrals and museums. Moscow tours