Inside the Kremlin: Religious and Historical Buildings

This post is part of my Russia travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

Annunciation Cathedral

Annunciation Cathedral (Благовещенский Собор)

Standing next to the Great Kremlin Palace is the Annunciation Cathedral built in 1489 as a private chapel for the royal family. There are several old murals and paintings inside the church. Ivan the Terrible, who was disqualified from Orthodox Christianity after his fourth wedding, built a small extension so that he could watch the services from a gallery.

This was the first Russian Orthodox Church I saw. I was impressed by gigantic paintings all over the walls, depicting hundreds of saints and godly figures.

Assumption Cathedral

Assumption Cathedral (Успенский Собор)

Standing on the north side of Sobornaya pl (Cathedral Square) located inside the Kremlin, this Cathedral was the focal point of worship of pre-revolutionary Russia. The church was built in 1479 and operates as a museum today. The iconography was very impressive.

View of Secrets Tower (first tower to be built) and Cathedral of Christ the Savior (located outside Kremlin) looks pretty from palace grounds

This Cathedral, located close to the Kremlin, is one of the most important Cathedrals in Moscow. Its pretty big and beautiful (details later). The secrets tower is called so because there is believed to be a secret passage from here down to the river.

Hall of Facets (Грановитая Палата) housed the Tsar’s throne and was a place for ceremonies. Entry was closed, unfortunately.

I wonder why the Soviet leaders did not destroy these religious structures located right within the Kremlin walls, while they tried to subvert religion elsewhere…

World’s biggest Bell

Tsar Bell

Sadly, this 202 tonne monster never rang. The current Tsar bell was cast in 1737 CE from the shattered remains of the previous 130 tonne bell. When the bell was cooling off, it accidentally came into contact with water, and a small chunk (which was 11 tons!) fell off.

Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Tsar Bell

This bell tower is the tallest structure inside Kremlin and was, ages ago, visible from all over Moscow (since it buildings taller than this were banned).

Tsar Canon

The Tsar Canon was cast in 16th century CE. This Canon or the canon balls around it have never been used either!

This ends the tour of the Kremlin. It was very interesting to see a cluster of old and new, religious, historical and administrative buildings standing next to each other. Budget 3-5 hours to thoroughly see all the structures.

This post is part of my Russia travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery