Moscow Kremlin (Московский Кремль)

    Almost every old Russian city has a kremlin. Kremlin is a fortress.

Moscow KremlinThe Moscow Kremlin has been reminded of one of the most massive fortresses in Europe.

In the results of archaeology excavation, it was found that there was a dwelling site in the II millennia B.C. The first mention of Moscow in chronicles was in 1147; this year is considered as the date of establishment of Moscow.

During the Mongolian invasion, in 1238, after a 5-day siege, the Moscow fortress fell. All constructions had been demolished. In 1264 the Kremlin became the residence of the medieval Russian feudal principality – the Grand Duchy of Moscow which became afterward the center of the Tsardom of Russia.

In 1366-1363 wooden walls of the fortress were replaced by new white stone walls. Gradually all buildings inside the Kremlin were replaced by new stone walls.

In the second half of the 15th century, large reconstruction had begun over all the space of the Moscow Kremlin. Russian and Italian architects changed it with great respect for the principles of Russian architecture. Some of the buildings of that reconstruction are saved till our times – the Faceted Chamber, the Archangel Cathedral and Ivan the Great Bell Tower.

Since 1485, within 30 years, the walls and towers of the Kremlin had been renovated, since then the fortress had received nowadays boundaries. Now Kremlin has 20 towers along its walls: 3 of them are terete, the others have a shape of a square. The highest tower is Troitskaya; it has 79.3 meters in height.

After the accession to the throne by Peter I, the Moscow Kremlin had lost the status of the permanent tsar residence; soon Saint-Petersburg became the new capital of Russia. At approximately the same time the Arsenal had been started to build. During the war with Napoleon, the Arsenal building had been blown up, but by 1828 it was completely restored.

In 1787 the Senate building for some departments of Senate was transferred from Saint-Petersburg. Now the Senate building is the working residence of the Russian President. The ceremonial residence is placed in Grand Kremlin Palace which was built in 1849. The Palace is used for the state and diplomatic receptions, official ceremonies.

After the Revolution of 1917, Moscow became the capital again. The Soviet government had located in the Kremlin; the territory of the Kremlin had been closed for the ordinary citizens till 1955. For years of the Soviet power, the architectural complex of the Moscow Kremlin had considerably suffered – had been taken down more than half of objects.

In 1935 the double-headed eagles which crowned the main towers of the Kremlin had been replaced with stars made from ruby glass.

In 1990 Moscow Kremlin had been included in the List of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

The museums and objects are opened to visitors in the Moscow Kremlin:

The Armoury Chamber

The Armoury Chamber is a museum which collection has a lot of the unique ancient state regalia, ceremonial royal dresses, clerical garments; gold and silver artifacts of Russian and European masters; samples of the old weapon and vehicles.

There are nearly about four thousand monuments of arts and crafts of Russia, the countries of Europe and the East of 4th – the beginning of the 20th century in the museum are provided.

The Assumption Cathedral

The Cathedral was constructed in 1479 by Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti. Outstanding Russian masters were attracted to murals and icons writing. So, gradually there was a richest and really unique collection of monuments of the Russian medieval art which had been remained carefully and increased within centuries.

Throughout six centuries the Cathedral had been the most appreciated place in Russia, there was the place of Russian tsars and emperors coronation.

After the Revolution in 1917, the Cathedral became the museum. Creating the exposition, employees have tried to keep its interior as much as possible. The permanent restoration work provides an opportunity to save the original interior and icons of the Cathedral.

Since 1990 the church service was reinstated.

The Archangel Cathedral

Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin, RussiaThe Archangel Cathedral in Moscow Kremlin was built in 1505-1508 years by Italian architect Alevizio Novi. The Cathedral is dedicated to the Archangel Michael which is a patron saint of princes in their feats of arms.

The Annunciation Cathedral

According to the chronicles, the Annunciation Cathedral was constructed by Pskov architects in 1484-1489 when the Tsar Ivan III wielded the scepter. The Annunciation Cathedral was the family church of the Russian Grand Dukes and tsars.

Since ancient times the holy relics, the most appreciated icons, the ancient books, and precious vessels have been keeping in the Cathedral.

The Patriarch’s Palace

The Patriarch’s Palace is the well-remained monument of Russian architecture of 17th century. The Palace was constructed by Russian masters for the Patriarch Nikon in 1653-1655.

There is a museum of culture and art of the 17th century is located in Patriarch’s Palace. The exposition is composed of the objects of daily use, dishes, furniture, and icons.

The Church of the Deposition of the Robe

The church was founded in the 15th century and for a long time was the home church of the Metropolitans and Patriarchs.  Within several centuries the Church had been staying a part of the metropolitan yard.

There is a permanent exhibition of rare wooden sculptures of XV-XIX centuries in the church gallery. Monuments of this art form had remained a little, and each of them is of great interest and value.

The exhibition «The treasures and antiques of Moscow Kremlin»

The exhibition «The treasures and antiques of Moscow Kremlin» is located in the basement of the Annunciation Cathedral. The basement is the unique monument of the ancient Moscow architecture. It was built as a bottom part of the home church of the Grand Moscow Duchy at the end of the 14th century. The exact time of building is unknown; the researchers date the construction from 1360 to 1390 years. The basement is the square room of white stone which is located under the center part of the Annunciation Cathedral.

The basement is one of two of the most ancient architectural monuments in Moscow.

The basis of an exposition of an exhibition is made by finds of archeologists – jewelry, military clothing and weapons, coins and other objects of 12th -17th centuries.

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower

The Ivan the Great’s Bell Tower, is the central point of the Moscow Kremlin. The tower was built more than three centuries – from 1505 to 1815 years; finally, it is composed of three parts (each is of the different time– the pillar of the bell tower “Ivan the Great,” the Belfry Uspenskaya and Filaret’s Annex).

The bell tower was constructed in 1505-1508 years by Italian architect Bon Friazin. In the century the tower had had one more circle; the height of the tower had become 81 meters.

In 1532–1552 Italian architect Petrok Maliy built the church close to the bell tower. At the end of the 17th century, the church was reorganized into the belfry named Uspenskaya, in 1624 Russian master Bazhen Ogurzov completed the complex by one more belfry – Filaret’s Annex.

In 1812 Napoleon’s troops receding from Moscow had blown up the ensemble of the bell towers; however, the pillar “Ivan the Great” had resisted. The belfry “Uspenskaya” and Filaret’s Annex had been razed to the ground, but in 1814-1815 they were restored.

At the present time, the first floor of the Uspenskaya belfry is used as an exhibition hall; there is a museum of the Moscow Kremlin architecture in the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.

Red Square

The main square in Moscow. That is the most known view of Russia.

Red Square adjoins closely to walls of the Moscow Kremlin; from the other sides, the square surrounds by the Historical Museum, the Kazan Cathedral, GUM, and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

The unique architectural complex of Red Square is under the protection of UNESCO as a monument of the World heritage.

Red Square is the pedestrian zone, car traffic had been forbidden since 1963, the territory is also closed for bicycles and scooters.

Monument to Minin and PozharskySaint Basil’s Cathedral

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most significant monuments of the old Russian architecture of the 16th century. The Cathedral was constructed in 1555-1561 by Tsar Ivan Grozny in honor of conquest of the Kazan Khanate.

The Lenin’s Mausoleum

The mausoleum is a memorial tomb of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who was one of the main initiators of Revolution in 1917, the creator of the first-ever socialist state in the world.

The mausoleum is located in Red Square near the Kremlin walls. The modern building of the Mausoleum was built instead of two previous wooden constructions. The embalmed Lenin’s body has been keeping in the Mausoleum since the year of the death – 1924; the specialized laboratory works on maintenance of Lenin’s body preservation.

The mausoleum is opened for visitors every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The entrance is free.

Ceremonial mounting parade of Horse Guard and Foot Guard of the Presidential Regiment.

The Ceremonial mounting parade of Horse Guard and Foot Guard of the Presidential Regiment is held at the Cathedral Square on Saturdays at 12.00 from April to October.

The Ceremonial mounting parade is bright and spectacular; it shows age-old traditions of Russian army glory. The Presidential Orchestra accompanies the ceremony.

You can buy the tickets to Moscow Kremlin:

  • Online sale on the official website. The tickets are dated, the quantity of visitors is limited. Online tickets should be changed for the entrance tickets in the ticket office. Free tickets are not available online, including free tickets for children.
  • At the ticket terminals in Alexandrovsky Sad on the day of the visit, except free tickets.
  • At the ticket office in Alexandrovsky Sad on the day of the visit.

Open hours and price

Daily, except Thursday – from 10 to 17

From 15 May to 30 September: daily, except Thursday – from 9.30 to 18.00.

Day off – Thursday

Ticket office

Daily, except Thursday – from 9.30 to 16.30

From 15 May to 30 September: daily, except Thursday – from 9.00 to 17.00

Excursion office

Daily, except Thursday – from 9.00 to 17.00

Ticket price – 500 rub.

Tickets for children under 16 years old are free of charge. “Free of charge” tickets are provided on the day of the visit in accordance with a queue at the ticket office.

How to get to the Moscow Kremlin

Moscow, Kremlin

In Russian – Москва, Кремль

Metro station:

  • «Alexandrovsky sad» («Александровский сад») line 4 (light blue);
  • or «Biblioteka imeni Lenina» («Библиотека имени Ленина») line 1 (red);
  • or «Borovitskaya» («Боровицкая») line 9 (grey).


The Moscow Kremlin official website Russian, English, and Chinese languages

We recommend visiting nearby

The Bolshoi Theatre


Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

Shchusev State Museum of Architecture

Categories: history, Moscow, museum, must see

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