Red Square

September 26, 2005

Shortly after leaving the subway station, we walked a short distance and came upon the northern end of Red Square.   The first photo is of a building once used for City Council and dates back to 1890.   The second is of the Historical Museum which is older dating back to 1874.   The next photo is of the Resurrection Gate which is positioned between the two former building. Through this gate is Red Square.   Past the Historical Museum we got a glimse into Red Square and part of the walls encircling the Kermlin.

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Before entering Red Square, we visited Russia's “Grave of the Unknown Soldier”.   It is a nice memorial but the temporary work in the background was distracting.   My thoughts were that the guards are some very young soldiers.   There were two guard stations, one on each side of the memorial.   They did not move, a very difficult thing to do for very long.   The inspecting guard seemed to be confirming that the guard was fine and could remain there longer.

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We are now in Red Square.   I had always thought that the “Red Square” was associated with the Soviet era, the Communist and the fact that we Americans referred to communist as reds.   To the contrary, “Red Square” means “beautiful square”.  

That said, the building in the first photo below is the GUM department store.   More like a huge indoor mall.   It has some of the world's finest products and is very expensive.   The next photo is a distant view of the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed.   More on this later. The third photo will be familar to those old eonough to remember the Cold War.   Here is the podium where Stalin and those who followed him stood watching the military might of Russia parade before them.   Then there is the backside of the Historical Museum and one of me with the Cathedral in the background.   And, lastly, one of the 22 gates of the Kremlin.

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The Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed is a recognizeable Russian landmark.   It is also known as the Cathedral of the Intercession and was built between 1551 to 1561.   Built during the reign of Ivan the Terrible and by his order to commenorate an important victory by the Russian Army.   Victory over what is not material to this writing.   What is important, Ivan the Terrible was so impressed with the beauty of this cathedral AND to make sure the architect never built anything of more splendor, Ivan had the eyes put out of the architect!

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As the sun was setting, we made our way toward the theater where we would attend a concert.   In the distance is a monument to Peter the Great by the modern day sculptor Z. Tsereteli.   More on this later.

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Next   —   Concert