What You Will See on the Kremlin and Armoury Tour
The Moscow Kremlin is the heart of the country. It is a great monument of Russian and world architecture. It was built in the shape of a triangle on the left bank of the Moscow River.
To Muscovites the famous towers and spires are so familiar that they frequently overlooked, although the clock on the Savior Tower is a constant reminder that the old guardian of the city is alive and well.
The Kremlin is also Russia’s most popular tourist attraction and no wonder with its towers and gates, churches and cathedrals, palaces and the magnificent treasure house of the Armory Chamber.
Inside the Kremlin area you can see wonderful white stone monuments of the 15th-16th centuries such as Assumption Cathedral or Cathedral of the Dormition with its gilded domes where Russian Tsars Emperors were crowned, Cathedral of the Annunciation, Church of the Deposition of the Robe and Cathedral of the Archangel Michael.
The main entrance to the kremlin is through the Kutafya Tower leading to the Trinity Gate.
The Majestic Campanile of Ivan Veliky which was built in 16th century during the reign of Boris Godunov. It was in ancient times, the Kremlin watch tower. At the foot of the Campanile of Ivan Veliky stands the famous Tsar-Bell.
In front of the Bell Tower is the extensive Kremlin Square. The tsar Cannon is a rare monument to the skill of Russian masters of the 16th century. The main square of the Kremlin is Sobornaya Square or Cathedral Square built in the 18th century, the former Senate, now the residence of the Russia Government.
Details of the Kremlin Tour
Kremlin Tour lasts for 32 hours and during this time you will:
- learn how many towers are in the Kremlin;
- be told what French military trophy decorates the façade of the Kremlin;
- know why the tsar Cannon bears that name and how heavy it is;
- learn what happened to the Kremlin area during Russia-French War of 1812;
- know what project Catherina the great intended to carry out in the Kremlin area;
- be told why Peter the Great decided to transfer the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg;
The History of the Kremlin in Moscow
The Russian word Kreml means “citadel” or “fortress”. In 1156 Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy laid the foundations of the first wooden fortress. The first Kremlin was roughly triangular in shape but occupied only about one- sixth of the present site. During the reigns of Ivan Kalita, Dmitri Donskoy and Ivan III the area of the Kremlin was enlarged and faced with stones including towers and battlements.
The fortified structures of the Moscow Kremlin are best examples of mediaeval European fortifications of 15th century. The vast territory of the Kremlin situated on lofty Borovitsky Hill at the confluence of two navigable rivers, the Moscow and the Neglinnaya.
Further later Italian as well as Russian master builders contributed into the appearance of the Kremlin by adding Renaissance features to the fortress. From an architectural point of view it was a perfect meeting of Russia and Italian minds and from a military strategic perspective a masterpiece, for the new Kremlin was virtually impregnable.
The most important state ceremonies were held in the Cathedral of the Assumption such as ordination of metropolitans and patriarchs, coronation of tsars and later emperors and public proclamation of state edicts. During its existence the cathedral was decorated with the finest examples of ancient Russian Art, in particular icons from the 12th to 17th centuries.
Works of art collected by the grand princes, tsars, metropolitans and patriarchs formed the basis of the state treasury which is now located in the Armory Chamber – priceless manuscripts, art objects fashioned from gold and silver and decorated with precious stones, that were crafted by the best painters, jewelers, engravers and gilders.