The Kremlin (Russian : Кремль) is a fortified complex in the heart of Moscow city and overlooks the Moskva River. Kremlin is the most famous historical and political landmark in Russia and has several museums, palaces, churches and government offices inside the large complex.
The Kremlin is a popular tourist destination for two major reasons – the complex has many of Russia’s main museums and also acts as the Official Residence of the President. Most of the buildings inside the complex are open and accessible for the visitors, except the Kremlin Senate which is a highly secured area and is closed to the public.
Inside the Kremlin Complex
Spread across 28 hectares, it lies at the center of Moscow city. Buildings and structures inside the Kremlin complex reflect the rich Russian and Soviet heritage. It makes you appreciate the architecture of the structures that the designers have put in place. You can take a tour of the museums, palaces and churches that are inside the complex.
State Kremlin Palace
It is a concert hall that was added to the complex in the 1960s. State Kremlin Palace is a popular concert hall in Russia which can accommodate six thousand guests. The most popular show at the State Kremlin Palace is of the Kremlin Ballet. You can buy the tickets of their show from the palace’s website or from Kutafya tower, located near the main entrance of Kremlin.
The Kremlin Armory Museum is one of the oldest museums of Moscow. It used to serve as a royal arsenal in the 15th century. The royal arsenal has now been transferred to St Petersburg. The museum is one of the top five Royal Treasure Houses in the world. You can have a look at the rich collection of Russian gold and silver artwork, arms, weapons, ambassadorial gifts, coronation dresses and the State Regalia. You can even walk into the Diamond Fund exhibition. This particular exhibition that runs inside the Armory Museum displays a collection of royal diamonds.
A visit to the Kremlin is incomplete without having a look at the churches. There are several churches located in the Cathedral Square, behind the Kremlin Walls. These include Assumption Cathedral, Annunciation Cathedral, Church of Deposition of the Robe of Holy Virgin, Archangel Michael Cathedral and others.
Exhibitions in the Kremlin complex
There are several exhibitions that take place at halls and buildings located inside the Kremlin Complex. An exhibition hall inside the Assumption Belfry displays temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Different museums and countries from around the world display items that are of cultural and historical significance of their country at these exhibitions.
It is an urban park located within the walls of the Kremlin. There are beautiful flower beds, fountains and lush green space inside this garden. A special feature about this garden is that, Yuri Gagarin who was the first human to go in space, planted an oak tree named Cosmos just two days after his outer- space voyage in 1961.
Grand Kremlin Palace and President’s buildings
This palace is used for official receptions and for inaugural celebrations of the Russian President. It is also sometimes called the Great Kremlin Palace. Grand Kremlin palace used to serve as the Royal Residence of Moscow. The interiors of the palace are luxurious. The only way you can have a tour of the palace is on an invitation from the President.
- The word kremlin means a fortified complex and is not only limited to the particular region in Moscow, as it is generally perceived. Apart from the Moscow Kremlin there are around 20 Kremlins in Russia.
- The Kremlin Museums were among the first Soviet properties that were included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1990.
- The Kremlin also has some private churches that are accessible only by the President and his administrative staff. These are not open to the public.
- There is a Helipad in the Kremlin Garden right next to the fence that borders the Moskva river. This helipad is used by the President to commute to and from Moscow Kremlin. It was built in 2013.