The Kremlin, a Look at Moscow’s Jewel (Part I)
Several months back we took a look at Russia’s other Kremlin, the Kremlin at Kazan, but thus far we haven’t spent any time admiring Russia’s most majestic Kremlin, the one found in Moscow. Our previous post about Moscow took a look at the city from a bird’s eye view, but let us now admire Moscow’s Jewel, the Kremlin.
History of Kremlin
The Kremlin’s history is a long and arduous one. The region has been populated from the second century BC. The point at which the Neglinnaya River flowed into the Moskva River was ideal for farming and pasture, and so settlers are said to have begun expansion from there. Over the years the area grew, and the land below the Kremlin took on a more regal persona.
Early Soviet archaeologists claim to have evidence of a metropolis in this region dating back to the late 11th century, but with little excavation it is difficult to say for sure. Few doubt the validity of their claims, but far more excavating would need to be done to properly date the early inhabitants of Moscow, something that is doubtful to happen in our lifetime.
The Kremlin is thought to be from where Moscow sprang. Before the 14th century, the Kremlin was known as “The Grad of Moscow”. The Grad of Moscow has been around for hundreds of years until Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy greatly expanded its area. Later, during the Mongol conquests, it was burned to the ground. It wasn’t until its rebuilding after the expulsion of the Mongols where the name the Kremlin was first recorded.
Since its rebuilding, the Russian Tsar’s made the Kremlin their place of coronation, a place of grand balls and a place of Russian opulence. For centuries now, visitors to Moscow have been amazed at its grandness and ornate design. Even when Russia’s capital was moved to St. Petersburg, the Kremlin stood tall as Russia’s most lavish structure.
Planning your tour to Kremlin
To this day, tourists from around the world flock to the Kremlin’s walls, reveling in its majesty. Anyone who visits Moscow is bound to end up at the Kremlin. However, not everyone is aware of the many tours within its walls. If you plan on visiting Moscow, it is highly recommended that you purchase tickets to go inside the Kremlin’s walls so that you can get a real taste for Russian grandeur.
Since the Kremlin is situated on Red Square, stands right besides St Basil’s Cathedral and is a 2 minute walk from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, it really would be crazy for any tourist of Moscow to miss it. The State Historical Museum of Moscow is also on Red Square, not to mention the endless supply or restaurants and shopping centers. While the Kremlin dwarfs them all in stature, they are all great places to visit. A properly planned trip to the Kremlin will take all day, especially if you plan on going inside.
A photo-tour of the Kremlin
The perspective these photos represent are incredibly unique, very few people are given the opportunity to shoot the Kremlin from atop its walls or from within its gardens. I hope these images impress you as much as they’ve impressed me.
All the images below were taken by one of Russia’s most renown photographers, Ilya Varlamov. His original post can be found here which has substantially more photos of the Kremlin’s exterior. Ilya’s blog is loaded with photos of Russia, as well as much of the world, making it a must see for anyone who truly admires photography and travel.