Saturday, 31 December 2016

Red square

Over the last years, we have been in over twenty countries. Some of them were very small, like Liechtenstein or Tonga, other really large like USA or Canada. But today I will take you to the largest country on the planet. And if you want to start your first visit in Russia, there is no better place than the Red Square in Moscow, a UNECCO World Heritage Site. Let's enter by the Resurrection Gate.

On your right hand side you will immediately see the State Historical Museum, which is a museum of Russian history.

On your left hand side, you will see a church in bright orange colour. It is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan. It was built to commemorate a very important event in the history of Russia (to which I will revert later) but Stalin made it demolished completely. It was rebuilt entirely in 1993.

Next to the cathedral you will find a huge shopping mall. Or to be more precise the Main Department Store.

Let's have a look inside.

I am not sure if this place recalls you of anything? Well, for me it looks a lot like the Victor Emmanuel II Gallery in Milan, which we have visited last spring.

We have seen on the Red Square a church, a temple of wealth, now time comes for yet another type of temple. A modern type of pyramid where a human god lies, allowing believers to pay him tribute.

Yes, you are right, the red square structure in the middle of the Red Square is the Lenin's Mausoleum. As of what I have heard, Lenin actually wanted to be cremated and buried in St. Petersburg. But the communists knew better. It is not allowed to take pictures inside but if you have a special interest in mummies, you can take a look at another website.

The Mausoleum is located next to a high wall. This is the wall surrounding Kremlin, the most important place of power in Russia. Nowadays the gates are mainly decorative items but in the past they were really meant for protection.

A total of twenty towers survived, four of which are gate towers. Each is topped with a red star.

On the far end of the square, you will find one of the landmarks of Moscow and the only church which survived Stalin's orders. This is the church of Saint Basil.

In front of it stands a monument dedicated to Minin and Pozharsky. They were leading Russian forces which expelled from Moscow the forces of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1612. This victory was believed to be a miracle brought by the Virgin of Kazan, hence the church devoted to her on the Red Square.

Looking from the Saint Basil's church, the Red Square shows its size, even if only a part of it is visible.

Everything here is meant to make the visitor understand what an amazing country Russia is. The wall of Kremlin and it gates incite the proper respect ...

... the multi-colour domes of the Saint Basil's church bring hope in the divine protection.

But to be honest, I had a feeling that the further I walked from the Red Square the stronger the sun started to shine. Revealing the grandeur and uniqueness of this place.

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