Lobnoye Mesto

Lobnoye Mesto

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Lobnoye mesto also known as the Place of Skulls, is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. 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...

 in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral
Saint Basil's Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat , popularly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral , is a Russian Orthodox church erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–61. Built on the order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the...

.

Its name is derived from the Russian words for "forehead" (lob) and "place" (mesto). In old Russian lob meant a steep river bank. The platform, believed to have been constructed in brick in the 1530s, was first mentioned in 1547, when Ivan the Terrible addressed the Muscovites from there. Subsequently, it was primarily used for announcing the tsar's ukazes and for religious ceremonies. Despite a common misconception, the circular platform itself was never a place for executions. Sometimes scaffolds were placed by it, but usually public executions were carried out at Vasilevsky Spusk behind St. Basil's Cathedral.

In Tsarist Russia, during Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

, the Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels. ....

 procession called "donkey walk
Donkey walk
The donkey walk is a Russian Orthodox Palm Sunday ritual reenactment of Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The best known historical donkey walk was practiced in Moscow from 1558 until 1693. The Metropolitan and later Patriarch of Moscow, representing Jesus Christ, rode on a "donkey" , while the...

" would end at the Lobnoye Mesto where a depiction of Calvary
Calvary
Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. Calvary and Golgotha are the English names for the site used in Western Christianity...

 had been erected. The Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 himself, on foot to show humility, would lead the Patriarch of Moscow, who was seated on a donkey, in a procession from the city gates to Red Square.

The nearby Monument to Minin and Pozharsky
Monument to Minin and Pozharsky
Monument to Minin and Pozharsky is a bronze statue on Red Square of Moscow, Russia in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral. The statue commemorates prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who gathered the all-Russian volunteer army and expelled the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from...

 commemorates the events of 1612, when Prince Pozharsky ascended the Lobnoye Mesto to pronounce Moscow free from Polish aggressors. In 1786, the architect Matvei Kazakov had the Lobnoye Mesto rebuilt in white stone, while keeping its original location and proportions.