As the biggest active fortress in Europe and the seat of government in Moscow, the Kremlin has multiple museums and exhibits where visitors can learn about Russia’s fascinating history. Once you get behind the 2,235 meter-long kremlin walls, there are five squares to wander around, various buildings to explore one could the Kremlin offers a week’s worth of attractions to explore.
The Moscow Kremlin, more commonly referred to as simply the Kremlin, is a fortified complex at the heart of Moscow. The most famous of all the Russian citadels, it overlooks the Moskva River, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, and the Alexander Garden. The over 500-year-old complex includes five palaces, four cathedrals, five squares, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with it’s 20 Kremlin towers. Also within this complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace that was formerly the tsar’s Moscow residence and now serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.
Evidence of human habitation on the site of the Kremlin dates back to 500 BC, and yet Moscow’s history really begins around 1147, when the Grand Duke of Kiev, built a wooden fort. Despite being demolished by the Mongols in 1208, the city grew rapidly and was soon powerful enough the Russian Orthodox Church moved there from Vladimir. At the same time, stone buildings began to appear in the Kremlin and, by the end of the 14th Century, the citadel was fortified with stone walls. The Kremlin became the center of a unified Russian state and was continually expanding and being extensively remodeled with the times and by the 1917 revolution, the Kremlin was cemented as the seat of the Russian government.
A potent symbol of two mighty imperial cultures – that of medieval Muscovy and that of the Soviet Union – the Kremlin is at once fascinating and foreboding, a mixture of lavish opulence and austere secrecy, and its eclectic mix of architecture reflects these paradoxes and seismic cultural shifts.
Today, the Kremlin remains as alluring and enigmatic as ever. Two thirds of the citadel territory are closed to visitors, but the remaining third contains one of the largest and most interesting museums in the world and enough treasures to occupy several days of sightseeing.
Church and the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower complex, as well as the exhibition halls in the Assumption Belfry and in the One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace.