Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Inside the Kremlin

The Kremlin (fortress) covers 70 acres next to Red Square and is packed with buildings and gardens, although there are certainly fewer buildings now than there were originally. Ivan III and his son Vasily were responsible for shaping the present form of the Kremlin in the 15th -16th centuries. Catherine the Great, as was her wont, drew up plans to redesign it, but luckily they were never carried out. In 1918, the capital of Russia was moved back to Moscow from St. Petersburg and the Kremlin became the permanent seat of government.

Mr. Putin's office building...

One of a number of elaborately designed cannon within the fortress

The largest cannon in existence, the 40-ton Emperor Cannon, designed in 1586 to protect the Savior's Gate on Red Square. It was never fired, probably because each cannon ball weighed one ton...

Luckily for us jewelry hounds, there was an exhibit of Cartier jewelry on in Ivan's Bell Tower when we were there:

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