Today, with temperature minus 11, MM and I travelled the Metro back to Red Square and then went our separate ways.
This is where the waxy, bald and embalmed body of the founder of the Communist Party is to be visited.
It is certainly a no-nonsense event with guards posted at each corner to prod you forward should you halt at any stage during the viewing. I had read of this prior to my visit today, but was amazed when the young couple in front of me paused and were very quickly made to move on and we were the only ones in there (it is Winter so no queues today).
There is no fee to visit but a charge to leave my bag in a storage locker so that meant no camera, no phone, no credit cards, no PASSPORT (all very scary). I was just left with my wallet so that I could pay for the Locker. After walking through metal detectors and along the long path, the Guard at entry said “pockets” so I showed him my wallet and in I went for my 30 seconds viewing.
He may be dead, but you can’t mess with him.
The first challenge was to find the Ticket office. This meant a long walk through Alexandrovsky Gardens. There are few signs and, of course, no crowds to follow, but eventually I spotted a glass building where I saw the word “kacca” and considered I was on the right track. I then asked where I should enter and was told upstairs. Next search was for the stairs and back out in the gardens I saw some in the distance, so headed there and up the stairs to find the guard and scanning equipment to check me through.
It was snowing and freezing cold – the coldest I have felt.
The Main Gate (but not for Public use)
Along the wall and now inside
The Kremlin is the fortified hill which formed the heart of the ancient city and which today houses the Political Headquarters of the planet’s largest nation. Within the world famous red walls nestles a collection of buildings of various architectural styles. Much is out-of-bounds to tourists, being part of the Government and Presidential estate.
If visitors happened to move in a wrong direction, a guard would blow a whistle and they would be sent back to the main path. This was quite disconcerting because there were no directional markings or signs. It was a bit of an eerie place to be today as there were few people around and there was a total sense of being watched continually.
I am pleased to have spent some time there as who could visit Moscow and not visit The Kremlin.
THE IVAN THE GREAT BELL TOWER
This impressive 60 metre high tower was built between 1505 and 1508. The adjoining belfry was built 15 years later and contains some 20 bells. The biggest bell (the world’s largest no less) however was too big to remain in its place and sits to the rear of the tower with a huge break.
THE TSAR CANNON
Cast 1586 – length 5.34 m, weight 40 ton
THE CHURCH OF LAYING OUR LADY’S HOLY ROBE
A more modest cathedral nestled in a corner. Built 1484-1485. The home church of Russian metropolitans and later, Patriarchs.
THE PATRIARCH’S PALACE AND THE TWELVE APOSTLE ‘S CHURCH
Once the home of the Moscow Patriarch.
It was built 1653-1655 for Patriarch Nikon.
THE ANNUNCIATION CATHEDRAL
This imposing cathedral where Russian Tsars were christened and married was built in 1482.
THE ASSUMPTION CATHEDRAL
This was the major church of the state in which all Russian Tsars were crowned – built 1475-1479.
Back to Red Square and the Gum Store where I met MM, had lunch and thawed out before returning to the apartment.