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PALACES AND MONUMENTS

 

 

Kremlin

The Kremlin at the center of Moscow is an outstanding historical and architectural monument that serves as a symbol for the whole Russia.
In Old Russia the word "kreml" meant the central, fortified part of a city. The Moscow Kremlin that originally was made of wood was mentioned in the chronicles in 1156 as "Moscow fortress". At that time it occupied only the south-western part of the Borovitsky Hill. In 1326-1327 on the highest point of the hill the Assumption Cathedral, the first stone cathedral in the Kremlin, was constructed. And in 1366-1368, during the reign of Prince Dmitry Donskoy, the first stone Kremlin was put up.
At the time of Ivan III, who was the first one to be called the Prince of Whole Russia, the Kremlin was constructed in stone. Ivan III invited not only Russian, but also Italian architects to participate in the Kremlin creation.
In 1475-1479 the new Assumption Cathedral was designed by Italian architect Aristotel Fioravanti. In front of the Assumption Cathedral another Italian architect Aloisio Novy put up the Cathedral of Saint Mikhail the Archangel (Archangelsky Cathedral). In the western side of Sobornaya Square the palace of Ivan III was built. It included several chambers, but until nowadays only the Granovitaya Chamber survived. This chamber, designed by Marco Fryazin and Pietro Antonio Solari in 1487-1491, served as a gala throne hall of Ivan III.

In 1547 Great Prince Ivan IV the Terrible officially accepted the title of tsar. Since then the Kremlin turned into the residence of Russian tsars. To commemorate the conquest of Kazan khanate by Ivan the Terrible in 1555-1561 the Cathedral of Protection of the Virgin was erected. Today it is more known as St. Basil Cathedral. It was built outside the Kremlin walls, close to Spasskie Gates where another important center of Moscow, Red Square, formed.
Another sight of the Kremlin is the Tsar Bell cast in 1733-1735 by Russian masters Matorins by order of Anna Ioannovna. During the fire of 1737 the Tsar Bell cracked, and a piece of it broke off. Until 1836 the bell was in the founding pit, and then it was placed on the pedestal designed by architect Montferrand. Nowadays the Tsar Bell is installed near the Bell-Tower of Ivan the Great.
At the end of the 19th-the beginning of the 20th century the Kremlin was already taken by contemporaries as the monument of Russian history and culture. There was an idea to turn the Kremlin complex into the giant museum, but the October Revolution of 1917 interfered with the plans.
In 1991 the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve Moscow Kremlin was founded. It consists of the Armory, Assumption Cathedral, Archangelsky Cathedral, Annunciation Cathedral, the Church of the Deposition of the Holy Robe, the Museum of Applied Art and Russian Everyday Life of the 17th century, and the architectural ensemble of the Bell-Tower of Ivan the Great.

Lenin's Mausoleum

Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924 (with rare exceptions in wartime). Aleksey Shchusev's diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.
The Mausoleum is open every day from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, except Mondays and Fridays. Visitors still wait in long lines to see Lenin's body, for which entrance is free of charge. Visitors are required to show respect while in the tomb; photography and videotaping inside the mausoleum are forbidden, as are talking, smoking, keeping hands in pockets, or wearing hats (if male). The mausoleum is still heavily guarded, although the Changing of the Guard has been moved to the Eternal Flame by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Debate continues as to what to do with Lenin's body and there is serious talk of burying him.

Monument to Minin and Pozharsky

Monument to Minin and Pozharsky 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.
The monument was conceived to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the events. The competition of projects was won by the celebrated sculptor Ivan Martos in 1808. In the wake of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the monument could not be unveiled until 1818. The construction was funded by public conscription in Nizhny Novgorod, the city whence Minin and Pozharsky came to save Moscow. The tsar Alexander I, however, opted for the monument to be located on Red Square of Moscow rather than in Nizhny Novgorod.
Originally, the statue stood in the centre of the square, with Pozharsky waving his hand towards Moscow Kremlin. The Communist authorities, for whom the monument was obstructing military parades, discussed plans for its demolition or moving it to some indoor museum. In 1936, the statue was moved closer to the cathedral where it remains up to the present.

Kremlin Wall Necropolis

Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. It 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 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; burials in the ground resumed with Mikhail Kalinin's funeral in 1946. The practice of burying on Red Square terminated with the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko in March 1985. The Kremlin Wall Necropolis was designated a protected landmark in 1974.

Tsar Cannon

The Tsar Cannon is an enormous cannon, commissioned in 1586 by Russian Tsar Feodor and cast by Andrey Chokhov.
The cannon weighs 39.312 tonnes and has a length of 5.34 m. Its bronze-cast barrel has a diameter of 890 mm and an external diameter of 1,200 mm. The Guinness Book of Records lists it as the largest bombard by caliber.
Along with a new carriage, the 1 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.
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.
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.

Tsar Bell

The Tsar Bell, also known as the Tsarsky Kolokol, Tsar Kolokol III, or Royal Bell, is a huge bell on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. The bell was commissioned by Empress Anna, niece of Peter the Great.
The Tsar Bell with humans for perspective — broken piece is around the left, out of viewThe bell is currently the largest bell in the world, weighing 201 tons, with a height of 6.14 m and diameter of 6.6 m. It was founded from bronze by masters Ivan Motorin and his son Mikhail in 1733–1735. Ornaments, portraits, and inscriptions were made by V. Kobelev, P. Galkin, P. Kokhtev, P. Serebryakov and P. Lukovnikov. The bell was never rung — during a fire in 1737, a huge slab cracked off while it was still in the casting pit.
After the fire, the bell remained in its casting for a century. In 1836, the Tsar Bell was placed on a stone pedestal next to the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in the Moscow Kremlin. The broken slab is nearly three times larger than the world's largest bell hung for full circle ringing, the tenor bell at Liverpool Cathedral.
There were, in fact, two earlier bells with the same name, cast in the early 17th century and in 1654 (approx. 130 tonnes). The latter shattered during the fire of 1701. Its remnants were used to create the Tsar bell. The present bell is sometimes referred to as Kolokol III (Bell III), because it is the third generation.
For a time, the bell served as a chapel, with the broken area forming the door. There has apparently been some talk of recasting it

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Могила Неизвестного Солдата in Russian, or Mogila Neizvestnova Soldata) 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.
In front of the tombstone, there is a five-pointed star in a square pit, which emanates the Eternal Flame of Glory from its center. The flame illuminates a bronze inscription "Your name is unknown, your deed is immortal". To the left of the tomb, there is a granite wall with an inlay saying "1941 - To Those Who Have Fallen For The Motherland - 1945". To the right of the tomb, 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. The plate for Volgograd has since been changed to Stalingrad, the city's name during the Second World War.

Moscow University

In 1950 the new building of Moscow University was put up on Vorobievy Mountains. It was designed by architect L. Rudnev. In 1953 technical and natural faculties moved to the new building. In 1950-1970 the University complex was put up on Vorobievi Mountains. It housed all the faculties of Moscow State University, and only four faculties stayed in the buildings on Mokhovaya Street.
As international relations were developing, Moscow University turned into the large center of students' and candidates' training. In June, 1992 according to the President's order, Moscow State University got the status of self-governing institute of higher education.
Nowadays Moscow State University named after Mikhail Lomonosov is the largest classical university in Russian Federation. Over 40,000 students and candidates study at the University, and over 10 000 schoolchildren attend the preparation courses of the University annually. Many professors of Moscow University are laureates of Nobel Prize, State Premiums of the USSR and Russia.

Worker and Kolkhoz Woman

The sculpture was originally created to crown the Soviet pavilion of the World's Fair. The organizers had sited the Soviet and German pavilions facing each other across the main pedestrian boulevard at the Trocadéro on the north bank of the Seine.
Mukhina was inspired by her study of the classical Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the Victory of Samothrace and La Marseillaise, François Rude's sculptural group for the Arc de Triomphe, to bring a monumental composition of socialist realist confidence to the heart of Paris. The symbolism of the two figures striding from East to West, as determined by the layout of the pavilion, was also not lost by spectators.
Although as Mukhina said, her sculpture was intended "to continue the idea inherent in the building, and this sculpture was to be an inseparable part of the whole structure", after the fair Worker and Kolkhoz Woman was relocated to Moscow where it was placed just outside the Exhibition of Achievements of the People's Economy.In 1941, the sculpture earned Mukhina one of the initial batch of Stalin Prizes.
The sculpture was removed for restoration in the autumn of 2003 in preparation for Expo 2010. The original plan was for it to return in 2005, but because the World's Fair was not awarded to Moscow but to Shanghai, the restoration process was hampered by financial problems and re-installation delayed. See 2007 photographs of the disassembled statue.
It finally returned to its place at VDNKH on November 28, 2009.