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Through centuries of history: The Moscow Kremlin for tourists

The Kremlin is a unique touristic, spiritual and political place in modern Moscow where it is possible to plunge into different eras of the history of the White stone and to touch its main treasures! The museum complex combines in itself surprising artefacts, monuments of architecture of the different periods, burials of great people who left a mark in the history, and invaluable treasures of Russia which were touched by monarchs. Each guest of Moscow can go to a small historical tour and learn more about stages of formation of the city, its take-off and falling, and the highest points!

The most convenient way to reach the Kremlin:

The easiest and the fastest way – is the subway. All you need is any of four stations, nearest to the area, – "Borovitskaya", "Alexandrovsky Sad", "Biblioteka imeni Lenina" or "Arbatskaya". By the way, these stations form the largest transfer knot.

After an exit from the car go according to the singes to the entry of Alexander Garden. Directly in the centre of a garden there is a cash desk (it is possible to be guided by The Kutafiya Tower – a white oval construction with the observation deck issued by a red wall with arches) where you can acquire entrance tickets for the territory of a museum complex, where Armory and Diamond fund are located.

You can reserve an excursion and get the reference information by the phones:

  • 8 (495) 695-41-46;
  • 8 (495) 697-03-49.

Also you can make the most convenient for you a route by means of the interactive map:

 The rules that need to be followed during your visit of the complex

  • The entrance to the territory is carried out through Borovitskaya and Trotsky Gates with the help of acquired tickets (for people of a retirement age, minors and students the entrance is free);
  • It is possible to carry out free of charge photo shooting in the open territory however you probably won't be allowed to carry your camera's tripod with you;
  • It is impossible to make photos in cathedrals, showrooms and in the mausoleum;
  • Only the part of the territory is open for walks – it is possible to walk on Cathedral Square, at The Ivan the Great Bell-Tower, to look at the Tsar Pushka and the Tsar Bell, to walk from the Kutafiya tower to Armory through Cathedral Square, and then to have a rest in the picturesque square;
  • The entrance to a complex in alcohol intoxication and in an inappropriate to standards of decency look is forbidden;
  • The entrance with weapon and potentially dangerous objects is strictly forbidden – all excess things need to be handed over in a left-luggage office;
  • Having meal and drinking of alcohol in the territory of a complex are forbidden;
  • Rise on monuments and distribution of advertising are forbidden;
  • Singing, dances, playing musical instruments and other actions disturbing the public peace are not allowed.

The best time to go to the Kremlin

In winter time the complex is very beautiful, however before the visit it is desirable to learn a weather forecast as you should spend a lot of time outdoors, and if the frost is hard it is possible to freeze. In summertime the walks in the Kremlin are especially pleasant – green lawns, magnificent crowns and colourful beds roll in sunlight. However, it should be taken into account that in summer the flow of visitors is more than in other seasons, and in days of a solemn posting of sentries the queues start to gather at cash desks long before opening.

The Kremlin receives guests all week except Thursday (day off) and also some festive events, such as meetings of foreign heads of states, inaugurations, etc. At the same time during the period of public holidays the doors of the complex are open for visitors. In winter the Kremlin is open from 10:00 till 17:00, in summer – from 09:30 till 18:00.

Armory works from 10:00 till 18:00 and offers during the day four sessions of visit – they begin at 10:00, 12:00, 14:30 and 16:30. The Diamond fund accepts visitors from 10:00 till 18:00 with a lunch break from 13:00 till 14:00.

Exciting and unusual facts about the Moscow Kremlin

The Kremlin – is the greatest fortress

The Kremlin – is the biggest fortress of times of the Middle Ages in the world and the oldest construction in Moscow. The total area of strengthening is 27 hectares, in the territory is 20, the total length of walls is about 2.5 kilometres, and height - from 5 to 19 meters. In the olden days the fortress was almost unapproachable for enemies.

 

Surprising fact about the cost of the Kremlin

The group of enthusiasts decided to estimate the Kremlin in terms of a monument of art and territorial unit. It turned out that today the cost of the Moscow Kremlin is fifty billion dollars – Manhattan island, the most expensive district of New York costs almost the same.

Fortress among waters

In the sixteenth century the Kremlin was an island. Wide channels which had to stop or at least detain enemies were dug for the defence of the city around the Kremlin walls. However, the channels existed not for long - besides the defensive advantage they also gave a lot of inconveniences during the conducting trade and attacks on the enemy.

Saving camouflage

In the period of the Great Patriotic War the Kremlin needed to be protected from raids of enemy aircraft. For this purpose, the red walls were painted in various flowers, then windows and doors were drawn & stars were hidden with plywood. As a result, it was extremely difficult to see fortress from air, and enemies could hardly find the final purpose for airstrike. Unfortunately, the Kremlin could not avoid the destructions - 15 land mines and 150 fire bombs, one of which destroyed the building of the Arsenal, got to it.

Churchill against the Kremlin

In 1947 Winston Churchill was so worried of a possibility of distribution of communism that he urged the USA to drop an atomic bomb on the Kremlin. Fortunately, the appeal was left without answer.

Hours which never lie

The Kremlin chimes clock – is the real symbol of Russia, it measures seconds before each New Year. One impressive fact is that the chimes clock always shows the faultlessly exact hours on which it is always possible to verify time. How was it succeeded to achieve such an accuracy? Everything is very simple – a chimes clock is connected with control hours at the Moscow institute of astronomy!

The fortress which named the city

The Kremlin presented to Moscow one of its poetic names. After the wooden Kremlin was destroyed, Yury Dolgorukiy ordered to construct new one made of a white stone – this is where the origin of the name "White Stone Moscow" came from.

Magnificent gardens of the Kremlin

The real hanging gardens grew in the seventeenth century in the territory of the Kremlin! There were both exotic fruit, and nuts, and rare flowers and plants – according to contemporaries, the show was tremendous. However severe Russian winters quickly pronounced a sentence to gardens as plants weren't adapted for hard frosts, and to look after trailing designs was extremely difficult and expensive therefore gardens were soon closed.

The city under the fortress

The Kremlin is not just a fortress, there is one more town hidden from public eyes under it. The complex system of vaults, the courses and shelters passes under all territory of fortress and has an exit to Vorobyovy Hills. By hearsay, Ivan the Terrible's library and hundreds of other treasures of history remained in these vaults, but archaeologists hasn't managed to find anything similar to an ancient treasure yet.

City of monasteries

The Kremlin initially was not just a fortress, but the town in the city – numerous monasteries were located here. In the twentieth century 28 of them were destroyed, and earlier attacks of foes gradually destroyed infrastructure.

Not all towers are named

It is considered that each tower of the Kremlin has its name. For example, the highest is called Troitskaya, and the most popular – Spasskaya (where chimes clock is located). However, there are two towers that still have no name. This is how they are called today – the First and Second anonymous.

The Last construction of the Kremlin

The newest building of the Kremlin was built in 1961 - it is the State Kremlin Palace.

Stars which are visible day and night

Red stars were established on the Kremlin towers only in the thirties of last century, and each of them weighs more than a ton. Previously the spires of the towers were crowned by two-headed eagles. By the way, the stars are not static: during a strong wind they turn an edge to the direction of the movement of air, so that reducing resistance and the large sizes allow us to see them practically from any foreshortening.

The Immortal leader

As well as any historical construction, the Kremlin is shrouded in secrets, rumours and legends. For example, there is a belief that Lenin still wanders around the corridors and offices of the Kremlin during dark nights. It is remarkable that there were these legends during lifetime of the leader while he was seriously ill and privately lived in his house.

The gun which didn't shoot

The Tsar Pushka decorating Red Square was created for the protection of the fortress, but in the end it has never been involved in fighting.

A very heavy bell

The Tsar Bell which is nowadays flaunting on the square lay for 100 years in a hole in which it was created. Because of huge weight it couldn't be lifted in any way from there.

What should definitely be seen in the Moscow Kremlin

Territory of the Kremlin

Certainly, you won't manage to bypass all the 27 hectares of the Kremlin fortress as not all the territories are open for visit, but there is plenty of sightseeing in the open arears! Tourists are usually attracted by the Cathedral Square where they can see the temples and enjoy the refined architecture. It is also possible to meet in person the Tsar Pushka and a surprising huge bell; to look at the residence of the president and the Great Kremlin palace. After a walk it is possible to have a rest in a picturesque garden.

Spiritual monuments

Several fine churches are located at once at Cathedral Square:

  • The Assumption Cathedral;
  • The Cathedral of the Archangel Michael;
  • The Annunciation Cathedral;
  • The Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe;
  • The Church of the Twelve Apostles entering into ensemble of the Patriarch's Palace.

Certainly, it is not all the churches which took cover behind the red walls, but tourists enjoy their magnificent architecture, rich internal furniture and a possibility of visit practically at almost any time (except for hours in which the services are held).

The Bell towers

The Assumption Belfry and Ivan the Great Bell Tower enjoy invariable love of guests of the Kremlin. There is a spacious hall in a belfry where temporary expositions are represented – their visit is carried out under the standard entrance ticket. Ivan the Great Bell Tower is remarkable by the fact that you go to see it inside, however, it will be required to get the ticket. Besides, the rise is carried out by sessions and groups up to 15 people, it usually begins at 10:15, 11:30, 13:45, 15:00 and 16:00. The tickets sales begin in 45 minutes prior to an excursion.

The Patriarch's Palace

He settled down at the Cathedral Square. The second floor of the building is allocated under the constant exposition devoted to the Russian culture of the seventeenth century – there is also ware made of precious metals, both jewellery masterpieces, and the most different antiques.

The Armory

This exhibition – pride of the Kremlin and one of the most important wor ld collections of treasures. Here are jewellery and exhibits of imperial times, the state regalia, clothes for crowning, magnificent carriages, invaluable works of art made of precious metals, legendary eggs of Fabergé and ambassadorial gifts from different corners of the world. Going to an excursion, be ready that the exposition extremely big, and to you will be required a lot of time to see all the key exhibits.

The Diamond fund

It is an independent exhibition as a part of Armory which is comparable with a royal collection of jewellery of Britain and Iran. It is possible to see the crown of the empress Catherine the Great and all the following monarchs. The crown is decorated with five thousand diamonds and also seven world famous gemstones. Also here the imperial sceptre with diamond weight almost 190th carat, the huge diamond received by Nikolay the First from the Persian shah, the diamond sign and a star of an award of Andrew the First-Called, and hundreds of other invaluable treasures are presented.

Kremlin towers

The main tourist attractions can be easily called the eight Kremlin towers:

  • Taynitskaya. The first of the constructed towers, in old times there passed the secret way to the Moskva River through it.
  • Spasskaya. A tower where there is known chimes clock and a ceremonial entrance to the Kremlin passes through it.
  • Nikolskaya. The tower is allocated against the background of other ensemble with the fact that it is constructed in pseudo-Gothic style. It is exiting that the rebels Minin and Pozharsky entered the Kremlin in 1612 through it.
  • The Middle Arsenalnaya. The grotto "ruins" is established on its bottom in memory of destruction of Moscow by troops of Napoleon. The stones of the destroyed constructions were used for creation of the monument.
  • Kutafiya and Troitskaya. The only towers connected by the bridge. Troitskaya Tower is also remarkable by the fact that it is the highest in the Kremlin.
  • Borovitskaya. The entrance to Diamond fund and Armory is carried out through her.
  • Water platoon. Perhaps, it is the best-known tower that is represented on the majority of posters and cards with the Kremlin panorama.

The Monuments

The most remarkable are the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell. The cannon was created in 1568 according to Fyodor Jovanovich’s instructions, and it had to participate in defence of the Kremlin, but had never shoot until now. The weight of the bronze cannon impresses –  it is 39 tons!

Bell, as well as the cannon, has never been used for the designated purpose. Made in 1735, it had the weight of 202 tons, and after creation it couldn't be lifted up for about hundreds of years from a foundry hole. During the fire the bell fell and the piece weighing more than 10 tons had broken away. Afterwards all the attempts of restoration didn't yield result.

We recommend for visit: Lenin Mausoleum and necropolis of the Kremlin

The mausoleum – is a unique monument as a part of the Kremlin, since 1924 the body of the leader of the proletariat V.I. Lenin whom anyone can see is based here. The unique technologies of embalming allowed to save the body in original state, and full-time employment of group of scientists supports him not only in visually good, but also in physically mobile state! Annually more than 120 million people from the different countries and different political convictions come to the mausoleum.

The first wooden mausoleum was built to a funeral of the leader and was open on the 27th of January, at the same time the soil which was frozen during a few months of cold weather had to be undermined dynamite to begin construction. The history tells that the building was built so hasty that the last nails hammered when Lenin's body was already brought to the Mourning hall. In 1930 a stone mausoleum was built instead of the wooden – that is the one which we can see today.

The fact that for the period of war Lenin's tomb had to be masked in order to save it from enemy aviation bombs is impressive. The mausoleum was painted as a usual house for living, and the difference was absolutely imperceptible from the air.

One more exciting fact is that from 1953 to 1961 Lenin was not the one in the mausoleum – the embalmed Stalin's body laid near him.

So, what exactly waits for you in the mausoleum? First of all, be ready that it will be impossible to call the atmosphere "festive" - after all it is a tomb. The twilight also reigns in the main hall always quietly, only the glass sarcophagus is illuminated that each visitor could consider the face of the former leader. Visitors move one after another around a sarcophagus and spend in the mausoleum on average about a minute, and then leave to the Kremlin Necropolis.

The mausoleum accepts visitors from 10:00 till 13:00 in all days, except Monday and Friday. Several important rules work during a visit of a tomb:

  • It is impossible to carry by and use the photo and video equipment, cameras and smartphones;
  • It is impossible to carry by bags and large metal objects, liquids;
  • Men need to remove headdresses.

After an exit from the mausoleum you can pass along a necropolis at the Kremlin walls – such cult persons as Sverdlov, Frunze, Budenov, Voroshilov, Stalin and a great number of other historical figures are buried here. However, it isn't recommended to stay long at graves – such visits are allowed only for relatives deceased in certain days.

 

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