August 26th, 2013
On our last day in Moscow, we went on a long walking tour to enjoy the sights and the beautiful sunny day. It was 75 degrees and no clouds. We planned to visit the Kremlin, but so did 10,000 other tourists and the lines were extremely long, with no direction as to what you were allowed to see and which cathedrals you could tour, once inside. So, we blew off the line for tickets and walked around the Kremlin’s outside walls, which is no easy task. Kremlin means “fortress” and its outer walls were built from 1485 to 1495. The area within the Kremlin covers 68 acres!! We walked completely around the Kremlin walls which is equal to a mile and a half. From across the Moscow River, you can see the three famous cathedrals located inside the Kremlin. The cathedrals are, the Cathedral of the Dormition – where all Tzars were crowned, the Cathedral of the Annuciation, and the Cathedral of the Archangel. Because of the bright sun as well as its location, we got some great photos that we probably would not have gotten if we had gone inside the Kremlin. After the Kremlin, we walked to the Cathedral of Christ our Saviour, the tallest Orthodox Christian Church in the world at 338 feet. The original Cathedral was blown up by Stalin and reduced to rubble in 1931 as being inconsistent with “state atheism.” But, in 1990 permission was obtained to rebuild the Cathedral. So, what we photographed was the replica of the original Cathedral. Our final stop was St. Basil’s Basilica so that we could photograph the church with the right light and angle of sunlight to emphasize the beautiful colors of red, green, blue and gold. After a grueling day of sightseeing, we went to an outside cafe at GUM’s and wiled away the rest of our day eating and drinking. We also pondered the question: Do you think the only things we are seeing on this trip are churches, cathedrals, and basilicas? Does it seem that way to you? We would love to hear from you. We concluded that we are seeing many things other than churches, but in every city, the church was central to its development and was usually there first. They are usually one of the main attractions to each city and seem to always have such a history behind them. So, we don’t think we are only seeing and blogging about only churches, but would appreciate any input from you.
Norm and Rita