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The ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square is a masterpiece of human creative genius and the main symbol of the country. It took more than 500 years to form, reflecting the history of Russian architecture as well as relationship with the European cultural traditions. Architectural monuments of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are the finest examples of national architectural school. Moscow Kremlin was the residence of Great Princes and later the Tzar’s residence. Currently it is the seat of the President of the Russian Federation.

The Moscow Kremlin is situated high on the left bank of the Moscow River on the Borovitsky hill. Kremlin walls have the shape of an irregular triangle and surround an area of 27 hectares. The southern wall facing the Moscow River, north-western - the Alexander Garden, the eastern - the Red Square.

According to the XVth century chronicle, the first wooden fortress was erected here in 1156.  

In the second half of the XIVth century a young Moscow Prince Dmitry, later to be nicknamed Donskoi, decided to build a new stone fortress.  It took only one year to erect walls and towers of white stone. The territory of the fortress had been expanded northeastward, almost up to the present day size. Since then Moscow was to be called "the white-stone city".

The present-day red-brick walls and towers of the Kremlin were built in the late XVth century. Prince Ivan III who was nicknamed the Great invited the architects from the North Italy to perform the renovation work. The construction project got started in 1485. The first tower Tainitskaia was erected under the supervision of an Italian architect Anton Friasin. By 1495 the new walls and towers had been completed. More than 100 Italian craftsmen and architects had been working in the Moscow Kremlin. In the XVIIth century the beautiful stone marquees on top of the Kremlin’s towers were built, they changed considerably the outlook of the medieval citadel.

In 1479 Aristotele Fioravanti from Bologna build the Assumption cathedral, the greatest cathedral of the Kremlin.  

Construction of the Grand Prince Palace was started by Marco Fryazin and Pietro Antonio Solari in 1487. The Faceted Chamber is the only part of the palace that survived to our days.

In 1505-1508 the greatest Moscow Bell-Tower of about 60 meters high was erected under the supervision of Bon Fryasin. This Bell-Tower was named "Ivan the Great".

The Archangel's cathedral was erected in 1508. The Italian architect known in Russia under the name of Alevis Noviy, was specially invited to Moscow from Venice to supervise the construction project. From the outside the Archangel's cathedral looks very much like a Venetian palazzo. Also well recognizable elements of Renaissance architecture were used in its decoration.

Close to the Spasskaya tower, on Red Square’s southern side, you can see the magnificent Pokrovskiy cathedral on the Moat. It was erected on Czar’s Ivan the Terrible order in the mid-XVIth century to commemorate the taking of Kazan and the conquest of the Astrakhan Khanate.

In the XVIIIth-XIXth centuries the Arsenal, the Senate, the Grand Kremlin Palace were built in the Kremlin

In 1929 according to the decree of the Soviet government some buildings, the Ascension Nunnery and the Chudov monastery among them, were destroyed in the Kremlin. The Kremlin Military School was built on the place of these two monasteries.

In 1990 the architectural complex of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square were included to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

One of the most important aspects of the Kremlin museum’s activity is the preservation of the unique architectural monuments of the Moscow Kremlin.

All the restoration works are preceded by pre-project study, including archival, architectural and field studies.

Restoration of the Annunciation Cathedral should be mentioned among the recent restoration projects, made by the Kremlin Museums. During the centuries the Annunciation Cathedral had been the Moscow Great Princes' and Tzars' home church.

The most interesting discoveries were made in the underground part of the cathedral ("podklet" in Russian). Here the lower parts of the walls and foundations of the cathedral of 1416 were found.

More than hundred white stone blocks with carved ornamentation or fragments of the mural painting on the surface were found under the northern back steps. Carved white stones previously decorated facades and interiors of the temple. Fragments of monumental painting of the interior of the cathedral date back to the beginning of XVth century and are attributed by experts as painting of Rublev's circle.

The Patriarch's Palace with the Cathedral Church of the Twelve Apostles is the most interesting example of the civil architecture of the mid-XVIIth century in the Kremlin. Built by order of Patriarch Nikon, the palace was rebuilt many times.

Restoration of the One-Pillar Chamber in the ground floor of the palace began in 2003. In the course of complex research two wall-stairs leading to the second floor of the palace were revealed. The lost metallic bonds in the interior of the chamber were restored, they strengthened the walls and vaults. After completion of the restoration, the Chamber was opened as an exhibition hall of the museum.

Ivan the Great Bell-Tower was opened to the public in 2005. Unique white stone spiral staircases, initial cornices and white stone rosettes remained in the interior of the Bell-Tower.

Today there is the exposition, dedicated to the centuries-old history of the development of the Moscow Kremlin architectural complex, in the Bell-Tower. Here our guests can see the original architectural fragments of ancient buildings that were destroyed, the ancient Kremlin schemes and images.

The Archangel's Cathedral, Russia’s first state necropolis is one of the most original monuments of  the Cathedral Square.

The white stone Renaissance portals are certainly the most interesting architectural details of the Archangel's Cathedral. Unfortunately, they were heavily destroyed due to the high salinization and bad ecology in general.

Works on the restoration of the unique portals of the cathedral began in 2005 and they are  still going on. White stone details were desalted and the lost carvings were reconstructed. Genuine parts of the central portal were replaced by copies. Later restored columns and pilasters of the portals were transferred to the fund of  the architectural details of the museum.

The restoration works in the South Annex of the Archangel's Cathedral began in 2008. Interfloor overlappings, metal stairs and walls, built in the soviet period were dismantled.  Now we can see again the vaulted roof structure, copper roofs and facades with window openings reconstructed in their previous form. At the north and east walls of the South annex brickwork of the XVth century is demonstrated with fragments of rebuilding of the XVIIth-XVIIIth centuries. Exhibition, dedicated to the history of the famous Ascension Convent, is created as a result of the long-term restoration and research work of the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Assumption Cathedral, erected by Aristotele Fioravanti, is a unique monument of the ancient Russian architecture. During the last years the facades and the roof of the cathedral were restored. At the same time, restoration was conducted on the north and south portals, with the replacement of the destroyed white stone blocks in the socle. During the restoration of the portals, new door frames executed in compliance with the existing samples, were built and installed. Old metal doors were also restored.

The facades of the Church of the Deposition of the Robe of the Holy Virgin, were also restored in 2014.

The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square form a unique artistic ensemble, a masterpiece of creative genius of many generations of outstanding artists. Now the world-famous museum, which is visited annually by more than two million guests from all over the world, is situated here.

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