The Moscow Kremlin architectural ensemble: description, history and interesting facts

The history of Moscow dates back to 1147, when the Rostov-Suzdal prince Yuri Vladimirovich Dolgoruky gathered for the banquet of the allies, led by the Novgorod-Seversky prince on the banks of the Moscow River. Nine years later, he ordered a new fortress to be built on the site. Since that time, the history of the Kremlin ensemble, the largest and most important architectural ensemble of Russia, began.

Before the founding of the Kremlin

The Kremlin architectural ensemble is located in a sacred place - here, as early as the 2nd millennium BC, there was a pagan ritual place, and around it were ancient settlements and a churchyard where the Magi were buried. The hill, on which the first fortification appeared under Yury Dolgoruky many centuries ago, was called the Witch Mountain and was located at the confluence of the Neglinnaya River into the Moscow River.Later, the hill was called Borovitsky Hill. It is here that the unique architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin is now located.

The beginning of the formation of the ensemble

So, at the first stage of the formation of the architectural ensemble in Moscow, the Kremlin was just an earthen wall and a ditch protecting it from outside. According to other information? some of the fortifications were wooden.

The Moscow River had a territory inhabited at that time, because important trade routes passed here, although these lands were the outskirts and border points of the Rostov-Suzdal principality. All settlements near the river and Borovitsky Hill belonged to the boyar Kuchka. Shortly before the construction of the first fortifications, Dolgoruky executed Kuchka. The reasons that prompted him to this are unknown.

Near the Kremlin were erected princely chambers. There were new settlements of immigrants. All the villages united around Borovitsky Hill under the protection of the fortress walls in a single urban formation. The new city was originally named Kuchkov, but then changed its name to Moscow, which was due to its location.

Weak fortification, built not according to the traditions of the Old Russian defense architecture? It was captured and destroyed by the Mongol hordes, but under Ivan Kalita in the first half of the 14th century, Moscow was also restored. Gradually, the Moscow principality strengthened its position among other major Russian principalities, and even began to compete with the Tverskoy, Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod and Ryazan, and most seriously with the first of the three. All the principalities fought in the Horde for the prestigious label of Grand Duke Vladimirsky, possession of which gave enormous advantages, first of all, power over other principalities and special privileges in the Horde. Ivan Kalita, with the help of diplomacy, tricks and bribes, managed to acquire this label, as a result of which he was able to liberate Russian lands from the Horde yoke for a long time. Being a prince of Moscow, he annexed to his principality and others, thereby uniting many Russian lands. Moscow became the center of the new principality. This happened after Ivan Kalita persuaded Vladimir Metropolitan Peter of Vladimir to transfer his residence to the banks of the Moscow River. From that moment, Moscow became the church center of all Russian lands.The rapid rise of Moscow over other cities began.

Ivan Kalita is rebuilding the wooden Kremlin from oak, but how it looked is unknown. Over the next 25 years, the Kremlin repeatedly suffered from fires, and in 1366 the princes Dmitry Donskoy and Vladimir Andreyevich rebuilt it in stone. But for unknown reasons, will soon collapse. The next version of the fortress will be erected by decree of Ivan III. For several centuries, the Kremlin was completed, its towers were built. The modern appearance of the Kremlin received only in the reign of Ivan the Terrible.architectural ensemble

The structure of the Kremlin

The shape of the Kremlin’s territory resembles an irregular polygon, and is bounded by Red Square, the Kremlin Embankment and the Alexander Garden. The walls and towers are made of red brick. The height of the walls is 5-19 m, the towers 16.7 m - 80 m. There are 20 towers on the Kremlin wall.architectural ensembles of Moscow

The beginning of the formation of the architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square

The history of Cathedral Square began much earlier than is commonly believed. In 1272, according to legend, in this place Prince Daniel Alexandrovich ordered to build a small wooden church and consecrate as the Church of the Savior on Bor.The annals mention that the monastery was located around this church in the XIV century. His son, Ivan Kalita, built a stone cathedral instead of a wooden church. It happened in 1330.

In the architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin at the beginning of the 20th century, the church occupied an important place, but in 1933, by decree of the CPSU Presidium, it was demolished.

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It is believed that previously there was also a wooden temple. According to unconfirmed information, another wooden church built by Alexander Nevsky’s son Andrey Alexandrovich in 1291 was located nearby, on Borovitsky Hill. At the beginning of the XV century it was expanded and strengthened.

In 1333, among other temples on the Borovitsky hill, on the site of a modest wooden church of the XIII century, the white-stone Church of the Archangel was erected, in which, by decree of Ivan Kalyta, a prince’s tomb was equipped. By tradition, burials continued until the death of Peter II, and the tomb is preserved as a memorable place and is now in a new church.

Cathedral of the Archangel

A new church on the site of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel was built here at the beginning of the 16th century by the architect Aleviz Novy. Began its construction during the life of Ivan III, and finished after his death. According to the Old Russian tradition, the church has a cross-domed structure, and its arches rest on six pillars. The five-domed temple is richly decorated from the outside: the facades are divided into equal parts by shoulder blades with fancy capitals, and on top are decorated with zakomaras. The decor is complemented by white-stone carvings and a complex cornice with tall narrow windows. The fresco paintings of the times of Ivan the Terrible inside the temple were not preserved - in the 17th century they were replaced by paintings by Simon Ushakov, Joseph Kazantsev and Sidor Pospelov.

Assumption Cathedral

On the site of the former cathedral, Ivan III is building a new one, the architect of which is Bologna master Aristotle Fioravanti. This happens 153 years after the construction of the first temple of the Assumption.

The cathedral is built in the image of the Assumption Cathedral of Vladimir. Its architecture, however, is not similar to Old Russian. The temple is elongated and has six round and square pillars that divide the cathedral into three equal widths of the nave.Cross vaults ribs in the plan form a cross. On the east side it has three apses, the two side ones are doubles. The temple is crowned with five domes on the drums. Central - larger and higher. The entire dome design is intentionally shifted to the east.

Outside, the temple had the forms customary for Russian church architecture: the shoulder blades divide the facades into uniform parts and end with semicircular zakomaras. Instead of windows, there are slit-like openings, partially entering the area of ​​the zakomar. There is almost no decor, only a column belt. The entrance is decorated with vertically elongated portals.

The inner space of the temple is completely painted with frescoes. It is believed that the ancient Russian icon painter Dionysius participated in the work on the paintings.architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin

Blagoveshchensky cathedral

The “stone” history of the temple begins from the end of the 15th century and is associated with the name of the unifier of the Russian lands of Ivan III. The old cathedral was demolished. Built a new, white stone. He had only one apse and one massive pillar on which the arches of the vaults rested.architectural ensembles of Russia

The cathedral received its modern appearance only in the 1560s. The cathedral has the shape of a pyramid, surmounted by nine golden domes. The entrances from the north and from the west are decorated with figured portals of white carved stone, made by Italian masters.The main motifs of the carving were the images of vaz, dolphins, sphinxes. Perhaps they had a multi-colored color. Now (from the XVIII century) - two-color. The galleries with which they are decorated had floors that were laid out in the form of patterns with ceramic tiles, but were later replaced with carved white-stone with black ornaments. The floors in the temple itself are lined with silicon tiles. They are different sizes and shades. Noteworthy and heavy double wooden doors leading to the temple. They are covered with sheets of copper with embossed scenes of biblical scenes. From the southeast, a porch of carved white stone was attached to the cathedral.

Unique fresco paintings were made by the icon painters Feofan Grek and Andrei Rublev. In this cathedral there was also a personal chapel of Ivan the Terrible.

Ivan the Great belltower

During the reign of Ivan Kalita was built on Borovitsky hill and a church for the bell. Its architect was Ivan Lestvichkin. She stood here for 179 years and was demolished, and in its place the Italian architect Bon Fryazin built a stone church in memory of Ivan III. A belfry was built a little less than a quarter of a century later, and a staircase to the temple located on the third tier.After 68 years, the church was enlarged due to the additional tier of a cylindrical shape, at the beginning of the 17th century under Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov - Filaretov extension. From this time the church begins to be used only as a bell-belfry. During the burning of Moscow by Napoleon, the church burned down, only the bell tower survived. And the belfry and the Filaret extension were reconstructed seven years later.architectural ensemble is located

Now the building is equipped with 21 bells, they are suspended on metal beams instead of the old - wooden ones.

Church of the Deposition of the Robe

The church is located in the architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin near the Metropolitan Palace, is connected with it by covered passages and was previously the palace church of the metropolitans. It was erected in honor of an amazing event connected with the victory over the Horde army, which approached the Kremlin in 1451 and tried to seize it. According to the chronicles, this happened in the Day of the Acquisition of the Reese of the Most Holy Theotokos. The Mongol army, who was under siege at night, suddenly saw a huge army moving toward the Kremlin’s defenders, and fled in panic. Metropolitan Jonah decided to build a memorial church. And at the end of the century the temple was demolished and in its place a new stone church was erected.

A single-domed temple on a high basement with a porch leading to one of the entrances is surmounted by a helmet dome on a high drum. According to the Old Russian tradition, three equal apses are located on the eastern side. In the design of the facades, blade divisions, carved white-stone ribbon columnar ornaments, kokoshniks, narrow vertical semi-arched windows, portals, which are completed with the shape of a kokoshnik on twisted columns-columns, echoing the ornamental decor, are used.

Many times suffering from fires, in the Time of Troubles, the church was plundered, almost all interiors were destroyed. After the restoration, it was transferred into the possession of the Tsar's Court and connected with the chambers of the queen and princesses, and for a long time served as the home church of the royal family. A chapel of Our Lady of Pechersk was added to the church. The entrance to the temple is decorated with a high relief with the image of St. George the Victorious, allegorically reminiscent of the victories of the Russian army over the Mongol-Tatars.

Monuments on and around the Kremlin

The architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin also includes two monuments - Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon, as well as the Metropolitan Court,The Grand Kremlin Palace, the Faceted Chamber, the Terem Palace, the buildings of the Arsenal and the Armory Chamber, the Senate and the State Kremlin Palace, the Tainitsky Garden.architectural ensemble of the Kremlin

The Kremlin also adjoins the historical and cultural monuments of Red Square - St. Basil’s Cathedral and the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, the building of the Historical Museum, the Great (GUM) and the Small Trading Rows, the “frontal place” and the Lenin Mausoleum. As well as the necropolis in the Kremlin wall and the Memorial "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" from the Alexander Garden.

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