The Kremlin and Red Square

The Kremlin Palace

Moscow's very heart is of red brick. It stirs your imagination the moment you see it for the first time. Just fancy, these walls were built at the end of the 15th century by the order of Tsar Ivan the Third! What's more - people have been living here since 1147, or even earlier.

The first written record of Moscow dates back to 1147, when Prince of Suzdal Yuri Dolgoruky (Long-armed) first visited a small settlement on the high bank of the river - now it is called the Moskva - and the History began.

Ivan The Great

Ever since the Moscow Kremlin has been the centre of Russian statehood and the residence of Russian Tsars and patriarchs of Russian Orthodox Church. It was first rebuilt by Dmitry Donskoy - its walls were of limestone - Moscow became "white-stone" at that time. In Ivan the Third's time the Kremlin acquired its present appearance. Peter the First was treacherous enough to transfer the capital of Russia to newly built St.Petersburg. But according to the tradition, all Russian Tsars were coronated in Moscow. In 1917 the Soviet government transferred the Russian capital back to Moscow and settled down to live in the Kremlin. Thus it became some sort of "closed territory" where only those who lived or worked there could be admitted. It was only in 1955 that its museums were open to the public. In 1992 the Kremlin became the residence of Russian President and it still remains.

It's really hard to believe, but only half-century ago cars and trams ran across Red Square and hundreds of people made a long queue in order to see Lenin, who is still "more alive than any other living". And to be immured into the Kremlin wall after death was extremely prestigious. While the country remained not only Christian, but also Orthodox. Russia's soul has never been in peace with Russia's mind. The evidences of such paradoxes can be found everywhere.