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Moscow Red Square

Moscow Red Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of the Moscow Red Square

Moscow Red Square

Most recognized destination in Russia, Red Square is surrounded by buildings and structure from most of Russia's history. Ironically this World famous landmark has a wrong translation. A Russian world for for "red" or krasnaya (красная) in medieval times was actually used in two meanings: red and beautiful. So the actual name of this World famous landmark is "Beautiful Square". Kremlin walls that serve as a backdrop for Red Square were originally wooden. Only in the 14th century they were replaced by a white stone structure, but even after red brick walls were erected in the 15th century the defences were still painted white. So for much of Russia's history "Red Square" was surrounded by white color. In fact another nickname for Moscow is "white- stoned" or belokamennaya (белокаменная).

 

Few people who visit Red Square realize that it was designed as a single open air church modelled after Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (map of the church on the left). If you look at the layout of Church of Holy Sepulchre you can see the similarities between general outline of these structures. It is no coincidence. Faith in New Jerusalem as a place of righteousness was particularly strong in a Russian society at the time it was constructed. Architected simply put these beliefs in stone and brick.

 

Open space of Red Square served as a place for worshippers, while the area around Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral (mistakenly known as Saint Basil Cathedral in the West) served as the altar where Jesus Christ was buried. In the medieval times Saint Basil's Cathedral stood on a small round hill that in eyes of Russians represented a round rotunda where the tomb of the Jesus' burial stands. The church itself is so small that it was never intended to serve as a major prayer site. Instead its presence on a location was supposed to represent a chapel of Tomb of Christ on a round hill. If you have been to Jerusalem you would know that Calvary or Golgotha stands just few feet from the former burial cave of Jesus. Here on Red Square medieval artisans constructed their own small version of Golgotha. Lobnoye Mesto or literally 'Forehead Place' was a reference to Golgotha or 'place of the skull'.

 

 

 

 

17th century
By the middle of the 17th century, the shopping arcades of Kitay-gorod and Red Square numbered 680 points, which were divided into three types:

“There were various shops, half-shops and quarter-shops - permanent covered places of trade. The size of the bench was set as follows: 2 fathoms wide and 2 ½ fathoms deep; half-and quarter-benches were correspondingly smaller. In addition to the shops, there were wine cellars, tents and "kadi" - the kadiu was the name of the place of a fermentor or a merchant of some kind of drinks, who was located with his goods in the open air. "

In 1635, under Mikhail Fedorovich, a stone Gostiny Dvor was built on Red Square. Contemporaries described it as "marvelous and very decorated": the bricks for the building were made according to the German model at the factory of the Dutch master Ruderik Martys, the facades were decorated with tiles and stone carvings. The main gate was decorated with a golden double-headed eagle. Funds for the construction were provided not only by the treasury - a significant part was also contributed by merchants, owners of permanent outlets. Later, in 1664, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich ordered to build a new Gostiny Dvor next to his father's building and issued a number of decrees regulating the order of trade on the square. Then the townspeople were forbidden to build near the Kremlin wall, and hawkers and peddlers were transferred to other markets.

Opposite the shops on Red Square, cannons made in the local courtyard were placed, some in the open air, some in a stone tent. All the guns were directed by their vents to the east - in the direction of the appearance of a possible enemy. Nearby was "the most riotous tavern in the city, called" Under the cannons ".

The end of the 17th century was the heyday of the architectural ensemble of Red Square. In 1681, a tsar's decree banned wooden construction, so it became almost completely decorated with stone buildings and received a new front entrance: the renewed Resurrection Gate with a decorative hipped roof and double-headed eagles. In 1697, the Mint was erected, the walls of the Kremlin were whitewashed, and two new front porches were added to the Pokrovsky Cathedral.

Under Peter I in 1698, Red Square was finally cleared of temporary stalls and small buildings, a significant part of trade was transferred to other parts of Kitai-Gorod. Only peddlers who sold goods were allowed to stay. In 1699, in the northern part of the square, a new stone building of the Zemsky Prikaz was built to replace the old wooden one. It was decorated in the style of the European town hall, the facades are decorated with tiles and white stone carvings.

In the 16th-18th centuries, Red Square was the center of political life: people flocked to it, news was discussed, unrest and riots took place, and royal decrees were read from the Execution Ground, in some cases demonstrative executions were carried out nearby. On July 25, 1570, the most massive of them took place, when at the height of the "oprichnina terror", on suspicion of a conspiracy, Ivan the Terrible ordered the execution of more than a hundred boyars. In 1671, Stepan Razin's head was cut off at the Execution Ground, and after both rifle riots for several years there were gallows on Red Square. In 1768, Daria Saltykova was serving on the scaffold a "disgraceful show": chained to a pole, she stood under the sign "torturer and murderer"

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

Interesting information and useful tips