Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin
They will ask you: what is the most central square in Moscow? Say Red. And wrong: after all, it is outside the Kremlin. And the central one is INSIDE the Kremlin walls, called Cathedral. The oldest in the capital. And also the highest up to 145 meters above sea level. Located on Borovitsky Hill.
The Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin is unusually beautiful, now no one remembers the legend that in pagan times the hill was called Witch Mountain, on which there was a temple. Rather, I remember another story how in 1147 Prince Yuri Dolgoruky installed the first Moscow Kremlin here, around which the life of our ancestors swirled. And now ours. Let’s go inside!
History of Cathedral Square
In the 15th century, the Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti (and at that time many countries were inviting architects from the Renaissance country Italy) came to build the Assumption Cathedral. Moreover, the master decided that the stone in the Moscow region was not hard enough, and he himself found a deposit of good clay on the Moscow River. He set up a brick factory there and in just 4 years built a temple, which remains the oldest of the fully preserved temples in the capital.
How the Italian was thanked is another story. I liked his work so much that they did not want to let Aristotle go home: work more! And when he tried to escape, they seized him and sent him to prison. Then, during a skirmish with the Tver principality, he was appointed chief of artillery. In general, Aristotle never returned to his homeland, he died in Russia.
After him, many other Italians took part in the construction of Kremlin churches and walls with battlements. For example, the Cathedral of the Archangel was erected by Aleviz Fryazin, who had managed to build the Bakhchisarai Palace before that, being in captivity by the Crimean Khan.
After the revolution, the churches were closed. But they are not ruined. On the contrary, they were given to artists for the study and preservation of Russian icon-painting art. Since the 1950s, churches have become museums. And although from the end of the 20th century, services are sometimes held here again, you can take pictures in all the temples.
The Assumption Cathedral and Cathedral Square, on which it stands, are part of the Moscow Kremlin complex.
Sights: Assumption Cathedral
Built in the 15th century, the main cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. At first, Russian metropolitans and patriarchs were buried here. But since the Assumption was considered the main cathedral of the capital, it was here that they began to crown the Russian tsars. Here in 1896 the coronation of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna took place.
Cathedral of the Archangel
Built at the beginning of the 16th century. The first temple in the country, which the Italian architect Aleviz Fryazin (by the way, Fryazin is not a surname, as it might seem, but a nickname that meant Romanesque people from Southern Europe “Franks”) decorated with carved shells of white stone. The cathedral was built primarily as a royal tomb. All royal persons were buried here until Peter the Great. Now there are 46 tombs in the cathedral.
Here, in particular, Ivan the Terrible is buried. Its sarcophagus was opened by the Soviet artist Alexander Gerasimov in order to restore the image of the tsar from the skull. At the same time, mercury was found in the bones of Grozny and his wife and the conclusion was drawn: the rulers were persecuted!
And who promised that it was easy for the kings?
Until the 20th century, only men of royal blood were buried in Arkhangelskoye, women in the Ascension Monastery nearby. In 1929, the monastery was demolished. Recently, excavations were carried out in its place and after that they left a huge pit covered with glass, through which you can see the remains of walls and gravestones of the Middle Ages. All this, as well as a tour of the Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin, is included in the price of one ticket. But to get inside the cathedrals, you have to buy a separate ticket.
At the end of the 15th century, it was no longer created by Italian, but by Pskov masters. Consecrated in honor of the feast of the Annunciation (installed in honor of the Good News of the birth of Christ, which the archangel brought to the Virgin Mary). On the feast of the Annunciation (April 7), the Patriarch himself performs a divine service here, and then from the steps of the cathedral releases white doves a symbol of peace and good news. Before the revolution, birds were bought on Okhotny Ryad, now they are raised by the Federation of Sports Pigeon-breeding.
After the revolution, the temple, like its neighbors, was closed for worship. Soviet artists began to clear the icons and found works by Andrei Rublev and Theophanes the Greek.
It is interesting that in the temple there are images of ancient Greek thinkers. In the hands scrolls with inscriptions. For example, Socrates can read: “No evil will befall a good husband.”
Ivan the Great belltower
Initially, there was the Church of John Climacus, built by order of Ivan Kalita in 1329. The ladder lived in the 6th century in Byzantium, became famous for the treatise “Ladder of God’s Ascent” (“ladder” the same “ladder”, hence the expression “ladder to heaven”). And already in 1505, on the site of the old church, the bell tower of Ivan the Great appeared in memory of Tsar Ivan the Third the Great, under whom churches were erected on Cathedral.
The bell tower was built by the Italian architect Bon Fryazin. That is, the name paid tribute to both Ivans the Ladder and the Great. Oh, so also the third Ivan Kalita!
In 1600, Boris Godunov ordered to build a 60-meter bell tower up to 81 meters, as we know it today. From it you can see the surroundings at a distance of up to 30 kilometers (and here you also need to buy a separate ticket they let you in for sessions).
There was a belief: as long as Ivan the Great is indestructible, Russia will stand. And, they say, after Napoleon fled from the Kremlin, people came to see if the bell tower was in place. In place. Hooray!
Until the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (103 meters) in 1860, the bell tower remained the tallest building in the city.
The Tsar Bell
Stands next to the bell tower. Height with a lintel 6.24 meters; diameter 6.6 meters; weight 202 tons. This is a never-rung bell. It was cast in a specially prepared pit nearby in 1730 by order of Empress Anna Ioannovna in memory of the descendants of her reign. True, it was remembered, rather, not by this, but by the Bironovism a time of intrigue and repression.
Cast in 1586, the Tsar Cannon also never fired, but was a monument of Russian foundry art. It is believed that once the cannon was put on alert, when the troops of the Crimean Khan approached the city, but still there was no shot. Not far from the Tsar Cannon, on Ivanovskaya Square, in 2012, an exposition of Russian artillery pieces of the 17-18 centuries was opened. All signed: what, where and when it was done.
Built at the end of the 15th century, it was used for ceremonial meetings and dinners during royal weddings. Sessions of the Boyar Duma and Zemsky Sobor took place right there.
The famous Red Porch, from which the tsar’s decrees were read, was dismantled after the revolution in order to build a dining room for members of the Communist Party in its place. But at the end of the 20th century, the porch was restored. Now the heads of state are meeting in the chamber. So you can only admire the outside.
He is the Patriarch’s Chambers. See together with the small 17th century Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles.
The main tree of the country
It is visible from Cathedral Square. The chimes on it always show perfectly accurate time, because they are connected to the control clock of the Astronomical Institute. Let’s check the dials? The bells on the Spasskaya Tower reproduce the melody of the Anthem of Russia, which sounds 4 times a day at midnight, at 6 am, at 12 and at 18 hours. Four more bells play Glinka’s melody “Glory” at 3 am, 9 am, 3 pm and 9 pm.
Above there is a star, the distance between the ends of the rays of which is 3.75 meters, this is one of the largest stars in the Kremlin. By the way, the star in different cultures meant military valor, the right path, the five wounds of Christ However, the Bolsheviks came up with their own explanation: “The Red Star is the star of happiness for all the poor, peasants and workers.”