How are relics connected with cathedrals?

Moscow is a city of cathedrals and palaces

Even if you've never been to Moscow, you can recognize the colorful St. Basil's Cathedral at first glance. It is on Red Square, with the Kremlin wall behind it. The tower-reinforced Kremlin complex of domed cathedrals and palaces, surrounded by fortress walls, dates back to 1156. However, this place has been inhabited for a long time. It was the center of the Russian Orthodox Church and also the residence of the tsars.

Put it all together, these buildings symbolize the essence of Russia. You have been standing in the heart of the country for many centuries.

The Kremlin is located on Borovitsky Hill, which rises above the Moscow River in the middle of the city. Its first white limestone walls were erected in 1367-68 and renewed a little over a century later. Knowledgeable artists and architects from all over Europe were recruited to build it. The shape and appearance of that time can still be seen today.

During the first decades of the Soviet era, the Kremlin became the exclusive enclave where the ruling elite lived and worked. The Kremlin is still the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation, but access to other areas within the walls has become much easier. Here museums are now exhibiting relics of Russian history and services are being held again in the numerous cathedrals of the Kremlin.

The Kremlin is on the west side of the huge Red Square that separates the fortress from the rest of the city. The rectangular brick level was used as a marketplace, as a venue for festivals and as a meeting place. During the Soviet era it served as a parade ground to demonstrate the strength of a military superpower. Lenin's tomb is on the Kremlin side of Red Square. The embalmed body of the former head of government has been on display since 1924.

St. Basil's Cathedral dates back to the 16th century and was built by Tsar Ivan the Terrible (Tsar Ivan IV) to commemorate his victory over the Tatars. Its interior is richly decorated with painted walls and icons from different periods of the Church's long history. However, it is their exterior, the pointed onion domes, each of which crowns a chapel, that make them so distinctive. Their impressive architecture and rich history earned the Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage status in 1990.

THE PLACE

Moscow is rightly famous for its metro system. The stations near the Kremlin are called Borovitskaya and Biblioteka imeni Lenina.

POINT OF TIME

The Kremlin is closed on Thursdays. On all other days, the fortress and Red Square are one of the main attractions in Moscow for tourists. In Russia the weather is often cold, visitors should be prepared for this in winter - but freshly fallen snow only makes the famous sights even more beautiful.

THE VISIT

There is a lot to see in this place where so much Russian history was written. You can easily join one of the free tours that take you to all the highlights on foot.