Russia: The Kremlin

On our second day in Moscow, we woke up early. Very early. That day, we found out that Russians wake up late. Very late. One benefit: we had all of Red Square to ourselves. No, we’re not even exaggerating. Honestly, we felt like we had the whole city to ourselves, because we saw only a few people while we were walking towards Red Square. We felt slightly foolish, as we had to walk another 3 kilometers to find a place to eat. Once we felt rejuvenated, we walked back to Red Square, intent on going to see the Kremlin which houses Russia’s government and some of its national treasures. The term ‘kremlin’ actually refers to a fortress, but since Soviet times it also began to be used as an alternative word for the Soviet-Russian government. This Kremlin has been in use for centuries with its importance increasing once Moscow became the capital of the Soviet Empire after the communist revolution. Many of the churches and structures inside the walls were constructed hundreds of years ago (More info is available at Wikipedia).

We first entered the Armory. In this complex, we saw some of the clothing of the tsars and tsarinas, swords, artillery, carriages, china, silver, Faberge eggs, crowns, thrones, robes, jewelry and more. As Emily said after we left the building, “Sometimes it’s easy to understand why there was a revolution.” There are a number of large churches that are part of the complex. We admired the beautiful exteriors and the impressive interiors. The walls and ceilings were covered with icons of the saints, Jesus and Mary. The Cathedral of the Archangel devoted much of its space to tombs of members of the royal families from the 14-16th Century up until Peter the Great. In this church a group of monks also sang. Their voices echoed through the church in such a way that you couldn’t help but raise your eyes towards heaven.

After leaving the church courtyards, we walked over to a giant bell. It was the biggest bell ever made, but unfortunately it broke before it was ever rung. The bell rests near one of the many gardens that surrounds the buildings and provides a buffer between them and the walls.

The garden was filled with tulips, lilac, name some other flowers, and statues. We found it to be a peaceful place to spend a few minutes after the overwhelming grandeur of the rest of the Kremlin. Our legs were tired from walking for so long, so we decided to do a tour of the Metro which we had previously described. We ended up a bit out of town and walked around a local market, picking up some dinner for our overnight train ride to St. Petersburg.  Before heading to St. Petersburg though please check out the Kremlin photos.

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~ by pagespages on July 7, 2009.

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