Today we went to The Kremlin, Red Square, and The Armory. It was our first day of touring in Moscow and I felt really happy! I was happy because we saw many landmarks and exhibits that I’ve heard about and read about, but have never seen.
First, we went to the Kremlin. It had only five buildings but they are all HUGE. Once it was made of wood and the Mongolians came and burnt it down so someone said, “Take whatever you want, but don’t burn our town down.” So, the Mongols took the money and women for wives. Kremlins were once known as fortresses. The Kremlin in Moscow was first built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 15th century and at one point it even had a moat around it to protect it. In the 12th century it was made of wood and white limestone, but in the 15th century it was rebuilt of brick. An interesting fact is that there is a 3 km wall, or fortress, around the outside of the red brick walled Kremlin.
Inside the Kremlin there are many churches. The churches all have the onion shaped architecture on the top. In the churches our guide told us that you walk in from the west (hell) and the gates to paradise were on the east side (heaven). In one of the churches (Church of The Archangel Michael) many of the ancient Tsars (pronouced “Zaaar”) are buried there. A funny story about one of the Tsars, called Ivan The Terrible, who was very bad and killed many people. He knew one day that he was dying and decided to became a monk just before he died, so he could be buried in paradise to go to heaven when he probably should’ve been buried in a grave instead.
After the Kremlin we visited The Armory. The Armory is the place where the crown jewels are located. Russia is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to natural resources. In The Armory, we saw the crown jewels, some gold ingots, and so many diamonds! I thought that it was all so pretty. My favorite jewel was a crown made out of sapphires that would go around your head and that had a pearl that would sit right in the middle of your forehead. I kept telling Mamma how heavy everything must be to wear. Some of the earrings looked like they weighed 20 pounds. In the Armory we also saw some of the Faberge eggs. The Faberge eggs are just like Kinder chocolate eggs and they have surprises inside of them, but you can’t eat them. The egg itself is made out of gold, rubies, diamonds, emeralds, you name it! There were also bibles with covers made with rubies, diamonds, and many different jewels too. Everything was super beautiful and looked super expensive!
After we left the Armory we got to see the largest cannon in the world. It had a lion engraved on it. The cannon was built so that people would know they could come to Russia and be friends with them, but that they should not fight them because they could protect themselves. Every cannonball weighs one ton (2200 lbs).
We also saw a bell that looked similar to the Liberty Bell, but had a big chunk sitting next to it, because it cracked and broke apart. After the bell was made it did not cool down properly and it cracked! So, the bell was never rung. It was said that the bell was made so big it could contact God directly and it weighs over 200 tons. If you talked into the bell your voice would echo through it.
Our last stop for the day was Red Square. It is a big square surrounded by the Kremlin on one side and buildings all around the square open space. There we saw St. Basil’s Cathedral. The Cathedral looked like you could eat it because of the way the onion domes were colored they looked like candies. All the beauty of St. Basil’s is outside because it was meant for people to pray in front of it, and not inside. Ivan the Terrible ordered the cathedral to be built in 1561.
After our first day in Moscow I felt really happy, because everything we saw was really amazing!