Where Is the Kremlin?
The Moscow Kremlin, or simply the Kremlin, is a fortified complex in the center of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west. It is the best known of the kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.
In addition, within this complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace that was formerly the Tsar’s Moscow residence. The complex now serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation and as a museum with 2,746,405 visitors in 2017. The Kremlin was the palace of the Russian Tsars in Moscow until Peter the Great 1672-1725, moved the whole imperial court to the newly-founded city of St. Petersburg early in the 18th Century. In 1922 Moscow was chosen as the capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Once again the Kremlin became the headquarters of government.
Encircled by great battlements erected in the 15th Century, the citadel covers an area of 65 acres and is almost a city itself. Around the walls are 19 towers and five gates, the finest of them being Spasskaya (Saviour’s) Tower and Gate which houses the Kremlin chimes. Men used to doff their hats as they passed by this gate in Red Square.
Within the walls are churches, four cathedrals and many palaces. In 1955 the Kremlin was opened to the public and the palaces now exhibit the riches of Tsarist days. Outside the walls is Red Square, 900 yards long by 175 yards wide, where the great military parades are held annually to commemorate the revolution of 1917. The embalmed body of Lenin 1870-1924, leader of the revolution, lies in its mausoleum in front of the Kremlin’s wall. The defensive fortresses at the centre of many medieval Russian cities were also called Kremlin, which is where the word comes from.