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    Главная » Статьи » ЭКСКУРСИИ ПО МОСКВЕ

    Red Square
        Red Square is 690 meters long and 130 meters wide. The thickness of the artificial ground layer  is from 4.6 to almost 10 meters. This is the size of the layer left by history.

        On one side of the square was Kremlin, where the Prince, the Metropolitan and Boyars with  their servants lived. On the other side was a settlement, which appeared later; craftsmen of all trades populated it: potters, leather-dressers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, jewelers, welders and merchants.

         Two rivers were flowing below, under the hill: Moskva and Neglinnaya, a tributary of Moskva. There was a pier at the bank of  Moskva river, where ships with goods from faraway cities and countries anchored. The goods were sold in the market square - near the Kremlin walls. The Kremlin stood close to the rivers, which served as additional de-fense barriers. The moat - dug at the approaches to the Kremlin - on the eastern side, was filled with water. When at the end of the 15th century - new brick walls and towers of the Kremlin were erected, all buildings in the market square were destroyed: houses, yards, shops and churches. Thus, in front of the Kremlin - there appeared a space, which was clearly visible and could be shot through from the fortress walls. There was nothing that could catch fire, which was also very important. Since that time the site in front of the Kremlin has been a square.

            The square was called Great Mart. As it often happened in those times  there was a fire in 1571, and all shops in the square were burnt down. After that - the square was called Fire. Stone trading arcades were built in the end of 16th century, which would withstand the fire.

          The square was gradually expanding and became more beautiful. People gave it a new name - Krasnaya (Red), that meant beautiful. Under this name - it is known all over the world.

         The oldest structures in the square are the walls and towers of the Kremlin: the Savior and the Saint Nickolai Towers - built in 1491 by Pietro-Antonio Solari. The Savior tower is the tallest. It was the main gate of the Kremlin. It acquired its present appearance in the 16th century. Then it was topped with a multi-level spire. In those days ceremonial processions of the clergy passed through the gate. It was forbidden - to drive or walk through the gate having a hat on a head. Even the tsars had to remove their hats. In the middle of the 19th century the Kremlin chimes consisting of 10 bells were installed. This chime mechanism occupied 3 floors. And now the clock on the Savior Tower chimes every 15 min, and the melody of the national anthem is played  at noon and at midnight.
        The southern side of Red Square is closed by the CHURCH OF THE PROTECTING VEIL OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ON THE MOAT (Saint Basil’s cathedral ), better known as the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed. It was built between 1555 and 1561 by  order of Ivan the Terrible - in memory of the victory of the Russian army over the Kazan Khanate in 1552. Originally it was planned to put up 8 chapels. Each of them was to be devoted to the saint, whose day coincided with the day of a given episode in the military action at Kazan. The fall of Kazan coincided with the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God. That feast was greatly venerated in Russia, and that was why the central chapel was dedicated to that feast. The architects Barma and Postnik, for the sake of symmetry, built 9 chapels - the central one and eight around it. Later on two more chapels were added - over the graves of Blessed Basil and John. Most attended was the chapel of Saint Basil the Blessed; that was the reason why the cathedral began to be called by the name of that chapel - the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed. To this day - the cathedral remains as unsurpassed example of unique fairy-tale architecture and is regarded as a symbol of Old Russia across the world.
         On the other side of Saint Basil’s cathedral is the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky. The idea of erecting this monument appeared in connection with the coming - 200 anniversary of Russian victory over Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish invaders. The sculpture group represents the military leader, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky - who headed the Voluntary Guards against the invaders, and the merchant Koozma Minin - who initiated the money subscription for the army.
         Next to the monument of Minin and Pozharsky is a gray cylindrical structure on a 'rise'. It was the place for reading the state pronouncements. For example, Ivan the Terrible publicly confessed his misdeeds here. A boy, the heir of the Russian throne, was shown to the populace of Moscow from this place. It also remembers a death sentence of the Cossack rebel Stepan Razin - who was dismembered here in 1671. Executions took place on wooden scaffoldings erected nearby. In 1698 - 2000 Peter the Great's Archers (Sharpshooters) were killed here too. A court architect Matvey Kazakov - designed the present version of this place in 1780.

        The eastern and northern parts of Red Square got their present look only at the end of the last century.
        At first sight they look like the old structures. It is the so-called Russian style (Old Russian revival) that was widespread - first in wooden - then in the late 19th century stone architecture. The elements of the Old Russian architecture are: hipped roofs, kokoshniks, barrel-shaped columns, etc. But back in the late 19th century the buildings, mentioned above, looked ultra-modern - large trading centers and the Historical Museum in the north. One of the trading centers later became GUM department store. The great building originally contained over 1000 individual shops along 3 parallel glass-roof passages.

         The Soviet period changed the look of Red Square. The main necropolis grew up at the Kremlin' eastern wall.  After two mass graves of Red Guards who were killed in October 1917 fights, all leaders of the Soviet State and the Communist Party were buried there, with the exception of Nikita Khrushchev. 

         The Lenin’s Tomb is the compositional center of the memorial that accomplishes the whole ensemble of Red Square. Initially it was wooden and built within a few days (3 days) to receive the body of the leader who died on 21 January 1924. Russian architect Alexey Schusev headed the project. The temporary wooden Mausoleum was constructed during a few days. It was built in the shape of a cube crowned with a three-story pyramid. In a few month in spring 1924, the first mausoleum was replaced by a more monumental building also made of wood (oak timber) shaped as a stepped pyramid.  This mausoleum existed till 1929, when the Government of the USSR issued a decree to replace it by a stone building and announced competition for best project. There were many different drafts presented by both, the venerable masters and the people of different professions. However, non of them could compete with the initial project by A. Schusev. The main feature of the Lenin mausoleum's architecture is its epic simplicity and monumentality.  And the present building of the Mausoleum was erected in 1930 by the design of Shusev. It is decorated with dark red granite, porphyry and black labradorite, and that emphasizes the feeling of solemnity and tragic character. Above the bronze doors the simple inscription "Lenin" was made from red quartzite. The black stripe symbolizes the band of mourning. The Victory Parade to celebrate the defeat of Hitler Germany was held on here on June 24, 1945. To the roll of drums, soldiers threw down 2 hundred enemy standards in front of the mausoleum.  Under the Soviets the Mausoleum also served as a platform (a tribune), from which party officials (leaders of the country) made speeches on important Soviet holidays and greeted festive demonstrations and military parades (the annual May Day and 7 November parades). This tradition had been initiated by Stalin. The soviet scientists were entrusted with the extremely difficult task of preserving the image of great Bolsheviks leader for the future generations. They worked out the unique embalming technology and made special equipment that created all the conditions and controlled the level of lighting, temperature and humidity for the preserving of the corpse.  After Stalin's death in March 1953 his body was also embalmed and put in Mausoleum next to Lenin's, but soon afterwards in 1961 on the order of Khrushchev Stalin's corpse was removed and buried by the Kremlin wall.       

         In the end of the 20th century, the proposals to bury the remains of Lenin and demolish the mausoleum were frequently discussed in the society. However, it was decided that the mausoleum is one of the outstanding sights of Moscow and a monument of the historical epoch that should be conserved for descendants. In October 1993 the Guard of Honor that stood in front of the Mausoleum's doors since the first days of its existence was disbanded. Since 1991 all the procedures, connected with preserving Lenin's mummy, have been financed not from the State budget, but from the Fund of Lenin's Mausoleum and private donations.  Up to now, many curious tourists and staunch communists try to take a look at  a crystal sarcophagus with the embalmed body of V. Lenin that lies inside.

         The site occupied by Historical Museum, was originally the location of Moscow University, established in 1755. The State History Museum is one of the major all-Russia scientific institutions. Its items cover a period from the Stone Age to the middle of the 19th century.

         The Historical Museum built in 1875–83 as designed by architect V.O. Sherwood continues the traditions of the Russian national heritage in architecture.
    The composition of the façade of the building fronts the Red square strictly. The elements of the side segmentation are mirror reflections of each other. Fractional tower-building tops of the structure produce complicated and broken rhythm. The walls' surface is decorated with numerous elements made of hewn brick. The main entrance to the museum was anticipated from the side that looks on the Red Square. The staircase from the gala hallway led into the museum's first floor. The stairs between floors were located in separate rooms. There were totally 25 rooms at the first floor – of the heathen, Kiev's, Suzdal's and Moscow periods. The last room – of the Smuta (Disturbance) Time – was located at the left side tower that exits to the Red square. The tower itself was intended for arrangement of the museum's director office room.

         The structure of the museum's internal rooms gives an idea of complexity and intricacy of the building's layout, and that was reasoned by the traditions of timber architecture. The first exposition was opened in the museum in 1883 and occupied 11 rooms.

         The Nikolskaya Tower is a tower on the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Red Square not far from the State Historical Museum. The Nikolskaya Tower was built in 1491 by an Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari, also known as Pyotr Fryazin.  It was named after Nikolaevsky (Nikolsky) Greek Monastery, which is no longer there. And because Nikolskaya Street starts from it (the name of the street, in its turn, is associated with an old Monastery of St. Nicholas). The Icon of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker was mounted above the gates. As with all gate towers, there was a drawbridge across the moat and protective grilles over the entrance. In 1806, the tower was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style by an architect Karl Rossi. In 1612, during the struggle with the Polish invaders, a volunteer militia led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin rushed through this gate and liberated the Kremlin.  The tower was twice restored after destruction:   In 1812, the top of the tower was blown up by the retreating French army (Napoleon’s retreating troops). It was restored in 1816 by an architect Osip Bove. Its older top replaced by a Gothic one with openwork details.   In October 1917 the Nikolskaya Tower was once again severely damaged by the artillery fire and was later restored by an architect Nikolai Markovnikov. The tower’s decorative elements together with the four small elegant Gothic turrets on the corners of its quadrangular base and arrow-shaped arches  make it unlike any other Kremlin tower. In 1935, the Soviets installed a red star on top of the tower. Its current height with the star is 70.4 m.

         The first mention of the church of Our Lady of Kazan dates back to 1625, when it was built on the initiative and money of Prince Pozharsky and made of wood. Ten years later the church was burnt and it was taken decision to erect a stone cathedral. 

         The tsar Mikhail Fyodorovish contributed his own money to the construction of the temple. In 1636 the cathedral was solemnly consecrated by all-Russian patriarch Joseph. The main altar of the cathedral was consecrated in honor of the famous and miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which gave to the church the similar name. The miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kazan traveled together with the troops of the 1st and the  2nd levies to Moscow during the Polish occupation of 1611 and 1612 and helped to throw the occupants out of the city. Then the icon became the pride of the church and was kept there. Besides, banners symbolizing victories of Russian arms hung on posts inside the cathedral. Here was a magnificent iconostasis made of silver looted by the French which the Cossacks retook back to the Cathedral.

        The building of the church was often reconstructed. In the beginning of the XIX century the old pavilion was demounted, and by 1805 a new two-storied bell tower was built. 60 years later the third storey was added to the church. In the middle of the twenties the cathedral was restored under the direction of an eminent architect Petr Baranovsky. 

        The fate of this All-Russia holy place on Red Square was tragic. In 1930s Stalin ordered to blow it up, because it impeded the flow of celebrating workers on May Day and Revolution parades. It was restored in 1993 according to the original design of the 18th century on the initiative of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov. The author of the project was a disciple of P. Baranovskiy – the architect O.Zhurin. To mark the beginning of the restoration there on November, 24, 1990, a solemn service was held.  By 1993 the restoration works were finished. 

         The Resurrection Gate was one of the seven and most beautiful existing entrance gates of the Kitay-Gorod's Wall. The name changed many times: during the long life, it used to be called Kuretnye, Neglimenskie, L'vinye, Triumphalnye and Iverskie. The final name appeared in 1689 after the icon of the Resurrection of Christ was placed on the tower facing towards Red Square.
        The Resurrection Gate, as well as the whole Kitay-Gorod Fortress, was erected in 1535-38. It was a short time period, when Elena Glinskaya ruled Russia being a regent of her minor son future Ivan the Terrible. Architect Petrok Maly (Minor) used to work at the project, though, some scientists mention Frances Annibal.

        This gate was used for protective purpose as a place for military shooting. Originally, there were no special recorations on the Resurrection Gate; it had low passage arches and wide battlements on top. In 1636, the chambers were added on the top, and in 1680, the gate was completely rebuilt and decorated with additional architectural elements – two hipped roofs.  Until 1731, the chambers above the gate were shared by the neighbouring Mint and the Central Drug Store.    Until 1731, the chambers above the gate were shared by the neighbouring Mint and the Central Drug Store. After Mikhail Lomonosov founded the Moscow University in the latter structure, the university press moved into the gate chambers. Nikolay Novikov, who ran the press in the late 18th century, turned the second storey into his headquarters.

        Since 1669, the wooden chapel in front of the gate (facing away from Red Square) has housed a copy of the miracle-working icon of Panaghia Portaitissa ("keeper of the gate"), the prototype of which is preserved in the Georgian Iveron monastery on Mount Athos. Hence is the name Iversky (that is, "Iberian"). In 1781, the Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery constructed a new brick chapel on this site. The star-splattered cupola of the structure was topped with a statue of an angel bearing a cross. Before entering the Kremlin Russian tsars stopped and prayed at the Chapel, as well as everyone visited the chapel to do honour to the shrine (to pay homage) befor entering through the gate.

    Here the rebel Emelyan Pugachev asked the Russian people for forgiveness a few hours before his execution.

        In 1931, the Resurrection Gate and the chapel were demolished by Stalin's order in order to make space for heavy military vehicles driving through Red Square during military parades. In 1995 by the decision of Moscow Government at the entrance into the Red Square the beautiful Resurrection Gate and Our Lady Of Iberia Chapel were restored and currently makes one of the Moscow downtown embellishments. A new icon of the Iveron Theotokos was painted on Mount Athos to replace the original.

        The square today is a place for public gatherings, musical concerts, and a military parade once a year on Victory Day. 

    Категория: ЭКСКУРСИИ ПО МОСКВЕ | Добавил: alef30 (23.08.2010)
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