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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

I loved the Kremlin.  That realization came as a shock to me.  I hadn't expected to love Moscow, but it turned out that I did.   Moscow's modern  history began around 1147, when Yuri Dolgoruky, Grand Duke of Kiev, built a wooden fort at the point where the Neglina and Moskva Rivers converge. The city grew rapidly, but wood was just not the best structure to defend.   It was  razed by the Mongols in 1208, however the city recovered.  The city was soon powerful enough to attain primacy among the Russian principalities, acknowledged in 1326 when the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church moved there from Vladimir.
At the same time, stone buildings began to appear in the Kremlin and, by the end of the 14th Century, the citadel was fortified with stone walls. Under Ivan the Great (1462 - 1505), the Kremlin became the center of a unified Russian state, and was extensively remodeled, as befitted its new status. Meanwhile, Moscow spread outside the walls of the citadel, and the Kremlin became a world apart, the base of the twin powers of state and religion.
Peter the Great moved the capital to Petersburg in order to strengthen ties with Europe. It wasn't until after the 1917 Revolution, the Kremlin regained its rightful place as the seat of the Russian government, and the legacy of the Communist era is still visible in the large red stars that top many of the defensive towers, and in the vast, modern State Kremlin Palace, originally the Palace of Congresses.

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