Inside The Kremlin
Moscow Travel Blog› entry 6 of 10 › view all entries
Up earlyish, and set out for, you've guessed it, Red Square. This time though we did intend to walk it, in the right direction this time ;), and see some of the things Marina had shown us the night before in the daylight. Walked down to Pushkin Square, and then behind it to a little church there. Carried on down to the City Hall and the monument opposite it of the Grand Duke Yury Dolgoruky , the founder of Moscow.
Having not been in Red Square when Lenins Mausoleum was open, we went into the square and up to the middle and it was all still fenced off. Watching where the people inside the gardens were coming from we worked out where it must be and headed there, only to find a manned barricade with police telling us we had to go all the way out and back round.
Found it anyway and joined the smallish queue at the first checkpoint, as they only allowed so many at a time to proceed up to the security gates.(Will do seperate review for this). Eventually we got wandering round the gardens, looking at the names of those buried at the Kremlin wall and carried on round to the Mausoleum. From what we had seen before there only ever appeared to have been one police/militiaman at the tomb, and what we read before was that it had been downgraded from the army protecting it and that every so often the Moscow authorities bring up the subject of moving it. So it was a surprise when we went in to find police/militia at every corner of the stairs on the way down, loads more inside and the same on the way out as the way in on the stairs.
It is very dark inside, and the only real light comes from the glass case that the embalmed body is held in. Looks kind of strange the way the body of Lenin is propped up, and he does have the distinct look of being made of wax. My wife was at the front of us and when she got to the front of the case she stopped to try and take a better look, and was promptly told to keep moving by yet another guard. Wasn't even like it was busy.
Once we came out we headed round to get tickets to go into The Kremlin. We got tickets for The State Armoury and the Cathedrals, so we had to walk through the park beside the wall to get to the gate at the far end to go in. Free audio guides in a great variety of languages, and spot marked where to start them.
After that we walked up to the Cathedrals, coming first to the Annunciation Cathedral, with the Archangel Cathedral opposite it. Really quite remarkable that these places surved through the whole of the communist era. Some didn't of course and further round there is big hall that was built for the 1961 Communist Party Congress.
Ivan Square marks the boundary of where you can go, as on the other side are the government buildings, and one side of the square was full of official cars waiting to take the powers that be wherever they need to go. At the side of the square though is the Tsar Cannon, supposedly wih cannonballs to big to have ever been fired, and the Tsar Bell, the largest bell in the world, which has a big chunk out of it as The Kremlin caught fire when it was being cast and cold water hit the hot metal. The chunk sits beside it and is nealy as big as my kids :O.
You can get to the side of the walls across the square, so long as you use the laid out pedestrian crossings, otherwise the traffic nazi ( as my daughter dubbed him) gives you a sharp blast of his whistle.
Again there was a request(?) that we get something to eat now. As I said in my profile I'm not fussed by eating and would rather just press on, and I wanted to get out to Park Kultury, so said we would find something there. On the way into the metro station there was a bakery stall, so we bought some stuff from there and headed for the train.
Walking over the bridge you could see Park Kultury, the fairground rides were a bit of a give away . On the left though I spotted the statue of Peter The Great, not hard since it's the 7th tallest statue in the world, so we headed along to it. Coming down off the bridge there was a whole street with artists selling paintings and when we got along to the end of it there was an art museum.
Walked back along the river and crossed over the road and up onto a foot bridge that takes you straight up to the Cathedral Of Christ The Saviour, the largest Orthodox church in the world. Really nice looking on the outside, but that is nothing to the way it is inside. Really bright and beautifully decorated and has a nice central altar or smaller chapel thing in the middle. Again like a lot of places you are not allowed to take pictures inside :(
Had seen a statue and a tower that took my fancy on the way over the bridge, and my daughter and I went down into the gardens of the church to see the statue.
I had checked a few places, so we headed back across, or under to be more precise :D, the road to an American Bar & Grill and again the free wifi swung it. Turned out to be a great place, with really good service and great food.