Russia - Table of Contents ............... Architecture Around the World

Red Square
Moscow, Russia

St. Basil's

Historical Museum

GUM


    Kazan Cathedral

    Kremlin Wall - Coming soon

    Lenin Mausoleum  - Coming soon

    Resurrection Gate and the Iberian Chapel - Coming soon
Red Square is a city square in Moscow. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod.

As major streets of Moscow radiate from here in all directions, being promoted to major highways outside the city, Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and all of Russia.

... the name came about because the Russian word красная (krasnaya) can mean either "red" or "beautiful" (the latter being rather archaic). This word, with the meaning "beautiful", was originally applied to Saint Basil's Cathedral and was subsequently transferred to the nearby square.
- Wikipedia (April

An enormous 400 by 150 metres, Red Square lies in the heart of Moscow and on its four sides stand the Kremlin, GUM Department Store, State Historical Museum and St. Basil's Cathedral - centers of government, commerce, history and religion. The square is also home to Lenin’s tomb, a gleaming granite mausoleum to the revered founder of Socialism - a system that, like Lenin himself, is dead but not forgotten.


Red Square began life as a slum, a shanty town of wooden huts clustered beneath the Kremlin walls that housed a collection of peddlers, criminals and drunks whose status left them outside the official boundaries of the medieval city.

Towards the end of the 15th century, Ivan III gave orders for houses in front of the Kremlin to be cleared to make way for this square
to create a market square beside the Kremlin.  Behind it, trading rows were set up, each line of wooden cabins specializing in a particular item, such as icons, pans or hats.

In the 16th century, a number of boyers (noblemen), including Russia's future rulers, the Romanovs, built their estates nearby, while the presence of merchants from Novgood and as far away as England, was actively encouraged.

The current names dates from the 17th century.

Red Square was also the setting for public announcements and executions and also a stage for pageants and processions.  Before the Revolution, the patriarch (head of the Russian Orthodox Church) would ride an ass through Savior's gate to St.Basil's each palm Sunday to commemorate Christ's entry into Jerusalem.


Photos and their arrangement 2010 Chuck LaChiusa
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