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Moscow - the Kremlin

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Anyone brought up during the Cold War, as we were, will think of the Kremlin as the dark and threatening centre of the Soviet machine. Indeed, the word Kremlin means 'fortress'. However, when we visited as part of our holiday cruise, we were amazed at how beautiful the Kremlin was. It is in fact a walled 'town' of 68 acres (28 hectares) right in the centre of Moscow, set in a lovely, green park. It features several gold-domed cathedrals, museums and historical artifacts, some dating back to the 15th century. It is a very popular place to visit and you are advised to start queuing early. .

There are, of course, the huge buildings in which the work of Presidential government takes place. These are guarded by soldiers and whistle-carrying officials. They are out of bounds to tourists and any transgression from the approved routes - even stepping off a zebra crossing - leads to a rebuke. Despite that, there are many places to visit including four cathedrals, two museums and ten historic buildings and monuments.

We went into the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, and , and marvelled at several others. We learned that during the Communist era these beautiful buildings had been turned into store-rooms or even museums of anti-soviet activity.

Entrance to the Kremlin in Moscow Archangel Cathdral in the Kremlin, Moscow
The 76m (249ft) high Trinity Tower is one of the public entrances to the Kremlin The 16th century Archangel Cathedral contains tombs of some of the Tsars
Cathedral of the Annunciation, Kremlin, Moscow Several of the many churches and cathedrals in the Kremlin, Moscow
These beautiful golden domes adorn the Cathedral of the Annunciation The Kremlin has many lovely buildings within easy walking distance of each other
The Tsar Bell in the Kremlin, Moscow The Tsar Canon in the Kremlin, Moscow
Two giants in the Kremlin grounds: the Tsar Bell and the Tsar Canon
Part of the gardens of te Kremlin
A small part of the surprisingly lovely gardens inside the Kremlin



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