Kremlin at the center of Moscow is an outstanding historical
and architectural monument that serves as a symbol for the
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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,