Today is mine and my dad’s second day in Moscow and we plan on spending it all in the Kremlin.
If you are like me, you may have heard of the Kremlin all your life but curious as to what exactly it is. Well, I can now explain it to you. A kremlin is a Russian term for a fortified city center, similar to a citadel for us Americans. Lots of Russian cities have a kremlin, but when you talk about THE Kremlin you are speaking of Moscow’s. It is still the seat of power for the national government and there are building off limits to tourist, but the idea that my dad and I were standing in the middle of where the Soviets made decisions during the Cold War was chilling to say the least.
The Kremlin is a large triangle shaped walled area with 20 or so towers. One side faces the Moscow River, another Red Square (Saturday’s blog will talk about this), and the third side is where you need to go to buy tickets and enter. Be warned, buying tickets is exhausting because you have to buy a regular tick and then extra tickets for the Armory, Diamond Fund, Bell Tower, Churches, and tours. No big deal except you have to get each at different windows and at different times. With this said you want to try and get them as soon as you can because the Bell Tower, Armory, and Diamond Fund do sell out. Find more of our jewelry here: http://www.diamondcuts.com
Now that we have our tickets the Armory is just inside the gate. Here you will find two different exhibits, both of which I highly recommend. The first is the standard Armory area where you will see treasures from Russian History including 13th century jewelry, decorative arms and armor, historic thrones, Fabergé eggs, amazing carriages, and so much more. The other exhibit is the Diamond Fund held in two rooms. Here you will be baffled by the sheer size, amount, and creativity of the Russian diamonds, regardless of whether they are raw, cut, jewelry, or the crown. They also display any very large gold and platinum nuggets found. To be honest, I did
not know gold nuggets could be found so big. To try and express the total dollar value of what we saw is unimaginable. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed in the Diamond Fund, but they do offer free audio tours for this and the Armory. Score!!!!
The other area to explore is the churches. Within this square there are five churches, a belfry and tower, the largest bell ever forged (and broken before even used), and a big old cannon. The churches are old and very nice but after a while you can get churched out (to use my dad’s expression) and Russians apparently love their historic churches, because they are way more numerous in each town than you would expect given the population.
Other than these two places, and some of the open park area, the rest of the Kremlin is off limits to tourist since the government is still run from here. Still it was very cool to be in such a historic place and so close to the Russian President’s residence and office.
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