I hope you will find things among my random thoughts that resonate with you and yours. I'd love to read your reactions in the Comments, and I'll be sure to visit you in return. Best regards, Mary

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Kremlin

My tour of Moscow's Kremlin was the highlight of my visit to Russia. That might not have been the case had it received broader publicity in the US media, but with only dark and dreary images in my mind I was unprepared for its brilliant beauty. The month was May and we were the first tourists of the season, so flowers were freshly in bloom and everything sparkled with sunshine and color. It was glorious!

The Kremlin is a heavily walled fortress whose origins date to 1147. Construction and expansion continued until the end of the fifteenth century when today's complex was completed.  

Because of its situation walled in on the hill it is hard get a picture of the Kremlin except from the air, but this one is pretty good. Look hard and you will see a section of wall running behind a small gold "onion dome" about 2/3 of the way down in the center. 

The picture below it is taken from outside that part of the wall looking up at it. A tall green steeple with a red star on top is in both pictures and will help you orient orient yourself. 

The view bellow is from outside the wall as we approached it in line, awaiting our tour. (Notice again the green steeple with the red star atop.) Of course we were there during the day, but it's a better angle to get a feeling for the wall.

From the Moskova River one gets a sense of the size of the complex, and again how colorful it is. And all around it is that wall. On the other side, out of sight, is Red Square. Also very colorful, and much smaller than it seems in pictures. I thought of those black and white news films years ago of apparently endless rows of Russian soldiers marching with row upon row of tanks. Surely there was not enough space for all that!

"The Moscow Kremlin, sometimes referred to as simply the Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the South), Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square (to the East) and the Alexander Garden (to the West). It is the best known of kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation."
 Getty Images. 

And finally, a look inside: "Standing in the center of the Kremlin in Moscow viewing the Cathedral of the Assumption and The Ivan the Great Bell Tower on a beautiful afternoon." Getty Images

Putin's flag was flying on the official residence as we strolled among the buildings and into these cool dim cathedrals. I fantasized him looking out the window at us, perhaps wondering what these Americans thought of his beautiful Kremlin.