Red Square

Red Square

Overview
Red Square is a city square 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...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The square separates the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod
Kitai-gorod
Kitay-gorod , earlier also known as Great Posad , is a business district within Moscow, Russia, encircled by mostly-reconstructed medieval walls. It is separated from the Moscow Kremlin by Red Square. It does not constitute a district , as there are no resident voters, thus, municipal elections...

. 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
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.


The rich history of Red Square is reflected in many artworks, including paintings by Vasily Surikov
Vasily Surikov
Vasily Ivanovich Surikov was the foremost Russian painter of large-scale historical subjects...

, Konstantin Yuon
Konstantin Yuon
Konstantin Fyodorovich Yuon or Juon was a noted Russian painter and theatre designer associated with the Mir Iskusstva. Later, he co-founded the Union of Russian Artists and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia.-Biography:...

 and others.
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Encyclopedia
Red Square is a city square 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...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The square separates the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod
Kitai-gorod
Kitay-gorod , earlier also known as Great Posad , is a business district within Moscow, Russia, encircled by mostly-reconstructed medieval walls. It is separated from the Moscow Kremlin by Red Square. It does not constitute a district , as there are no resident voters, thus, municipal elections...

. 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
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

Origin and name



The rich history of Red Square is reflected in many artworks, including paintings by Vasily Surikov
Vasily Surikov
Vasily Ivanovich Surikov was the foremost Russian painter of large-scale historical subjects...

, Konstantin Yuon
Konstantin Yuon
Konstantin Fyodorovich Yuon or Juon was a noted Russian painter and theatre designer associated with the Mir Iskusstva. Later, he co-founded the Union of Russian Artists and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia.-Biography:...

 and others. The square was meant to serve as Moscow's main marketplace. It was also used for various public ceremonies and proclamations, and occasionally as the site of coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 for Russia's 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...

s. The square has been gradually built up since that point and has been used for official ceremonies by all Russian governments since it was established.

The name Red Square derives neither from the colour of the bricks around it (which, in fact, were whitewashed at certain points in history) nor from the link between the colour red and communism. Rather, the name came about because the Russian word красная (krasnaya) can mean either "red" or "beautiful" (the latter being rather archaic
Archaism
In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done deliberately or as part of a specific jargon or formula...

; cf. прекрасная, prekrasnaya). This word, with the meaning "beautiful", was originally applied to 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...

 and was subsequently transferred to the nearby square. It is believed that the square acquired its current name (replacing the older Pozhar, or "burnt-out place") in the 17th century. Several ancient Russian towns, such as Suzdal
Suzdal
Suzdal is a town in Vladimir Oblast, Russia, situated northeast of Moscow, from the city of Vladimir, on the Kamenka River. Population: -History:...

, Yelets
Yelets
Yelets is a city in Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, situated on the Sosna River, which is a tributary of the Don. Population: -History:Yelets is the oldest center of the Central Black Earth Region. It is mentioned in historical documents as far back as 1146, when it belonged to the Princes of Ryazan...

, and Pereslavl-Zalessky
Pereslavl-Zalessky
Pereslavl-Zalessky or Pereyaslavl-Zalessky , is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow on the main Moscow Yaroslavl road and on the shores of Pleschevo Lake. It was called Pereyaslavl until the 15th century. The town is located on the southeastern shore of the Lake...

, have their main square named Krasnaya ploshchad.

Before the 18th century




The east side of the Kremlin triangle, lying adjacent to Red Square and situated between the rivers Moskva
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

 and the now-underground Neglinnaya River
Neglinnaya River
The Neglinnaya River , also known as Neglimna, Neglinna, Neglinka , is a 7.5-km long underground river in the central part of Moscow and a tributary of the Moskva River. It flows in the tunnels under Samotechnaya Street, Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Neglinnaya Street and Alexander Garden and Zaryadye...

 was deemed the most vulnerable side of the Kremlin to attack, since it was neither protected by the rivers, nor any other natural barriers, as the other sides were. Therefore, the Kremlin wall was built to its highest height on this side, and furthermore, the Italian architects involved in the building of these fortifications convinced Ivan the Great to clear the area outside of the walls in order to create a field for fire shooting. The relevant decrees were issued in 1493 and 1495. They called for the demolition of all the buildings within 110 sazhens (234 metres) of the wall.

In 1508–1516, the Italian architect Aloisio the New
Aloisio the New
Aloisio the New, known in Russian as Aleviz Novyi or Aleviz Fryazin, was an Italian Renaissance architect invited by Ivan III to work in Moscow...

 arranged for the construction of a moat in front of the eastern wall, which would connect the Moskva
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

 and Neglinnaya
Neglinnaya River
The Neglinnaya River , also known as Neglimna, Neglinna, Neglinka , is a 7.5-km long underground river in the central part of Moscow and a tributary of the Moskva River. It flows in the tunnels under Samotechnaya Street, Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Neglinnaya Street and Alexander Garden and Zaryadye...

 and be filled in with water from Neglinnaya. This moat, known as the Alevizov moat and having a length of 541 meters, width of 36 meters, and a depth of 9.5–13 m was lined with limestone and, in 1533, fenced on both sides with low, 4-meter thick cogged brick walls. Three square gates existed on this side of the wall, which in the 17th century, were known as: Konstantino-Eleninsky, Spassky, Nikolsky (owing their names to the icons of Constantine and Helen, the Savior and St. Nicholas which hung over them). The last two are directly opposite the Red Square, while the Konstantino-Elenensky gate was located behind Saint Basil's Cathedral. In the early 19th century, the Arch of Konstantino-Elenensky gate was paved with bricks, but the Spassky Gate was the main front gate of the Kremlin and used for royal entrances. From this gate, wooden and (following the 17th century improvements) stone bridges stretched across the moat. Books were sold on this bridge and stone platforms were built nearby for guns – "raskats". The Tsar Cannon
Tsar Cannon
The Tsar Cannon is a huge cannon on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. It was cast in 1586 in Moscow, by the Russian master bronze caster Andrey Chokhov. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never fired in war...

 was located on the platform of the Lobnoye mesto
Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye mesto , also known as the Place of Skulls, is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square in Moscow in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral....

.

The square was called Veliky Torg (Great market) or simply Torg (Market), then Troitskaya by the name of the small Troitskaya (Trinity) Church, burnt down in the great fire during the Tatar invasion in 1571. After that, the square held the name Pozhar, which means "burnt". It was not until 1661–62, when it was first mentioned by its contemporary Krasnaya – "Red" name.

The Red Square was the landing stage and trade center for Moscow. Ivan the Great decreed that trade should only be conducted from person to person, but in time, these rules were relaxed and permanent market buildings began appearing on the square. After a fire in 1547, Ivan the Terrible reorganized the lines of wooden shops on the eastern side into market lines. The streets Ilyinka and Varvarka were divided into the Upper lines (now GUM department store), Middle lines and Bottom lines, although Bottom Lines were already in Zaryadye
Zaryadye
Zaryadye is a historical district in Moscow established in 12-13th centuries within Kitai-gorod, between Varvarka Street and Moskva River. The name means "the place behind the rows", i.e., behind the market rows adjacent to the Red Square.-History:...

).

After a few years, the Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin, commonly known as 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...

, was built on the moat. This was the first building which gave the square its present-day characteristic silhouette (Pyramidal roofs had not yet been built on the Kremlin towers). In 1595, the wooden market lines were replaced with stone. By that time, a brick platform for the proclamation of the tsar's edicts, known as Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye mesto , also known as the Place of Skulls, is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square in Moscow in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral....

 had also been constructed.


The Red Square was considered a sacred place. Various festive processions were held there, and during 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. ....

 the famous "procession on a donkey"
Parading on donkey
Parading on a donkey is a traditional psychological punishment, consisting in a public humiliation.-Scope:* In rural areas of India, it is intended to humiliate those guilty of minor crimes, and usually meted out by village elders or the local panchayat system of justice...

 was arranged, in which the patriarch, sitting on a donkey, accompanied by the tsar and the people went out of Saint Basil's Cathedral in the Kremlin.

During the expulsion of Poles from Moscow in 1612, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky
Dmitry Pozharsky
For the ship of the same name, see Sverdlov class cruiserDmitry Mikhaylovich Pozharsky was a Rurikid prince, who led Russia's struggle for independence against Polish-Lithuanian invasion known as the Time of Troubles...

 entered the Kremlin through the square. In memory of this event, he built the Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral, Moscow
Kazan Cathedral , also known as the "Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan", is a Russian Orthodox church located on the northeast corner of Red Square in Moscow, Russia...

 – in honour of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, followed his army in a campaign.


At the same time (1624–1625) Spasskaya tower received contemporary tent roofs. This was done on the proposal and the draught of Englishman Christopher Galloway, who was summoned to design the new tower's clock (clock watch it there with the 1585) and suggested the arrangement of the tent roof over the clock. In the mid-century on the top of the tower was set up a gilded double-headed eagle. After this, the square became known as Krasevaya – «beautiful».

In the late 17'th century the square was cleared of all wooden structures (1679–1680). Then all Kremlin towers received tent roofs, except Nikolskaya. One tent was even erected on the wall above the Red Square (the so-called Tsarskaya Tower, intended so that the tsar could watch from this spot the various ceremonies in the square). Tent roofs were also constructed at Voskrerensky (Iberian) gates
Iberian Gate and Chapel
Resurrection Gate is the only existing gate of the Kitai-gorod in Moscow. It connects the north-western end of Red Square with Manege Square and gives its name to nearby Voskresenskaya Square . The gate adjoins the ornate building of the Moscow City Hall to the east and the State Historical Museum...

, arranged in the wall of Kitai-gorod
Kitai-gorod
Kitay-gorod , earlier also known as Great Posad , is a business district within Moscow, Russia, encircled by mostly-reconstructed medieval walls. It is separated from the Moscow Kremlin by Red Square. It does not constitute a district , as there are no resident voters, thus, municipal elections...

. These were the fortified gates at Voskresensky Bridge over the River Neglinnaya.

In 1697 and 1699, gates were built on both sides of Voskresensky onto large stone buildings: the Mint and Zemsky prikaz
Prikaz
Prikaz was an administrative or judicial office in Muscovy and Russia of 15th-18th centuries. The term is usually translated as "ministry", "office" or "department". In modern Russian "prikaz" means administrative or military order...

 (department in charge of urban and police matters). Zemsky prikaz, then, was known as the Main Pharmacy (on-site new Historical Museum
State Historical Museum
The State Historical Museum of Russia is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty...

). In the building of Zemsky prikaz in 1755 was organised by first Russian University. At the same time in the Alevizov moat, where there was no water, a state Pharmacy's garden (where the growing of medicinal plants) was arranged.

18th century



In 1702, the first public theater in Russia was built near the Nikolsky gate; It stood until 1737, when it was destroyed in a fire.

In the 1730s, a new mint building, called the Gubernskoye pravlenie (Provincial Board), was built in front of the old one

During her reign, Catherine the Great decided to make improvements to the square. In 1786, the upper floor of the market lines was made of stone. This line was built on the opposite side of the square—at moat between the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya towers. Then architect Matvey Kazakov
Matvey Kazakov
Matvey Fyodorovich Kazakov was a Russian Neoclassical architect. Kazakov was one of the most influential Muscovite architects during the reign of Catherine II, completing numerous private residences, two royal palaces, two hospitals, Moscow University, and the Kremlin Senate...

 built (in the old forms) the new Lobnoye mesto of hewn stone, slightly west of the place where it was before.

19th and early 20th centuries


In 1804, at the request of merchants, the square was paved in stone. In 1806 Nikolskaya Tower was reconstructed in the Gothic style, and received a tent roof. The new phase of improvement of the square began after the Napoleonic invasion and fire in 1812. The moat was filled in 1813 and in its place, rows of trees were planted. The market Line along the moat, dilapidated after the fire, had been demolished, and on the eastern side, Joseph Bové
Joseph Bové
Joseph Bové was a Russian neoclassical architect with Italian roots who supervised reconstruction of Moscow after the Fire of 1812.-Biography:...

 constructed new building of lines in Empire style. In 1818 the 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...

, was erected, symbolising the rise in patriotic consciousness during the war.
In 1874, the historic building of Zemsky prikaz was demolished. In its place was built the Imperial Historical Museum in pseudo-Russian style. After Bové's lines were demolished, new large buildings were erected between 1888–1893 in the pseudo-Russian style: upper lines (Gum department store) and middle lines. The upper lines was intended for retail sale and were in fact the first department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

 in Moscow; middle lines intended for the wholesale trade. At the same time (in 1892) the square was illuminated by electric lanterns. In 1909, a tram appeared on the square for the first time.

Contemporary age


During the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 era, Red Square maintained its significance, becoming a focal point for the new state. Besides being the official address of the Soviet government, it was renowned as a showcase for military parades. Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral, Moscow
Kazan Cathedral , also known as the "Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan", is a Russian Orthodox church located on the northeast corner of Red Square in Moscow, Russia...

 and Iverskaya Chapel with the Resurrection Gates were demolished to make room for heavy military vehicles driving through the square (both were later rebuilt after the fall of the Soviet Union). There were plans to demolish Moscow's most recognized building, 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...

, as well. The legend is that Lazar Kaganovich
Lazar Kaganovich
Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich was a Soviet politician and administrator and one of the main associates of Joseph Stalin.-Early life:Kaganovich was born in 1893 to Jewish parents in the village of Kabany, Radomyshl uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire...

, Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's associate and director of the Moscow reconstruction plan, prepared a special model of Red Square, in which the cathedral could be removed, and brought it to Stalin to show how the cathedral was an obstacle for parades and traffic. But when he jerked the cathedral out of the square, Stalin objected with his rather famous quote: "Lazar! Put it back!".


Two of the most significant military parades on Red Square were the one in 1941, when the city was besieged by Germans and troops were leaving Red Square straight to the front lines, and the Victory Parade in 1945
Moscow Victory Parade of 1945
The Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 was a victory parade held by the Soviet army after the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War. It took place in the Soviet capital of Moscow, mostly centering around a military parade through Red Square...

, when the banners of defeated Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 armies were thrown at the foot of Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924...

. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 held many parades in Red Square for May Day, Victory Day, and the October Revolution which consisted of propaganda, flags, a labor demonstration, and a troops march and show-off of tanks and missiles. On Victory Day in 1945, 1965, 1985, and 1990 there were military marches and parades as well.

On May 28, 1987, a West German pilot named Mathias Rust
Mathias Rust
Mathias Rust is a German aviator known for his illegal landing on May 28, 1987 near Red Square in Moscow. As an amateur pilot, he flew from Finland to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors...

 landed a light aircraft on St Basil's descent next to Red Square.

In 1990, the Kremlin and Red Square were among the very first sites in the USSR added to UNESCO's
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage List.

Red Square has also served as a venue for high-profile concerts. Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

, The Prodigy
The Prodigy
The Prodigy are an English electronic dance music group formed by Liam Howlett in 1990 in Braintree, Essex. Along with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, and other acts, The Prodigy have been credited as pioneers of the big beat genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s and 2000s...

, t.A.T.u.
T.A.T.u.
t.A.T.u. was a duo formed in Moscow, Russia in 1999 by Ivan Shapovalov. The group consisted of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova.Their debut single "Ya Soshla S Uma" was released in December 2000. The single had a huge success in Russia and Eastern Europe...

, Shakira
Shakira
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll , known professionally as Shakira , is a Colombian singer who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s...

, Scorpions
Scorpions (band)
Scorpions are a heavy metal/hard rock band from Hannover, Germany, formed in 1965 by guitarist Rudolf Schenker, who is the band's only constant member. They are known for their 1980s rock anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and many singles, such as "No One Like You", "Send Me an Angel", "Still...

, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

, Roger Waters
Roger Waters
George Roger Waters is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. He was a founding member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, serving as bassist and co-lead vocalist. Following the departure of bandmate Syd Barrett in 1968, Waters became the band's lyricist, principal songwriter...

, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk, hip hop and psychedelic rock...

, and other celebrities performed there. For the New Year 2006, 2007 and 2008 celebrations, a skating rink was set up on Red Square. Paul McCartney's performance there was a historic moment for many, as The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 were banned in the Soviet Union, preventing any live performances there of any of The Beatles; the Soviet Union also banned the sales of Beatles records
Music Album
Music album is the name of:* Music Album , a 1970s Canadian television series* Album, a collection of music tracks...

. While McCartney's performance was historic, he was not the first Beatle to perform in Russia. Former Beatle Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band performed at Moscow's Russia Hall in August 1998.

In January 2008, Russia announced that they would resume parading military vehicles through Red Square, although recent restoration of Iverski Gate complicated this, by closing one of existing passages along Historical Museum
State Historical Museum
The State Historical Museum of Russia is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty...

 for the heavy vehicles.

In May 2008, Russia held its annual Victory day parade
Victory Day
Victory Day is a common name of many different public holidays in various countries to commemorate victories in important battles or wars in the countries' history.- April 30 in Vietnam :...

, marking the 63rd anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. For the first time since the collapse of the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1991, Russian military vehicles paraded through the square. On December 4, 2008, The KHL announced they would be holding their first ever all-star game outdoors on January 10 at the Red Square.

On May 9, 2010 to commemorate the 65th anniversary
2010 Moscow Victory Day Parade
The Moscow Victory Day Parade of 2010 was held on 9 May 2010 to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945. The parade marks the Soviet Union's victory in the Great Patriotic War....

 of the capitulation of Germany in 1945, The armed forces of France, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States marched in the Moscow Victory Day parade for the first time in history.

Main sights


The buildings surrounding the Square are all significant in some respect. Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924...

, for example, contains the embalmed body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

, the founder of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Nearby to the south is the elaborate brightly-domed 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...

 and the palaces and cathedrals of the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

.

On the eastern side of the square is the GUM department store, and next to it the restored Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral, Moscow
Kazan Cathedral , also known as the "Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan", is a Russian Orthodox church located on the northeast corner of Red Square in Moscow, Russia...

. The northern side is occupied by the State Historical Museum
State Historical Museum
The State Historical Museum of Russia is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty...

, whose outlines echo those of Kremlin towers
Kremlin towers
The following is a list of towers of Moscow Kremlin. The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its towers...

. The Iberian Gate and Chapel
Iberian Gate and Chapel
Resurrection Gate is the only existing gate of the Kitai-gorod in Moscow. It connects the north-western end of Red Square with Manege Square and gives its name to nearby Voskresenskaya Square . The gate adjoins the ornate building of the Moscow City Hall to the east and the State Historical Museum...

 have been rebuilt to the northwest.

The only sculptured monument on the square is a bronze statue of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry 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...

, who helped to clear Moscow from the Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 invaders in 1612, during the Times of Trouble. Nearby is the so-called Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye mesto , also known as the Place of Skulls, is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square in Moscow in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral....

, a circular platform where public ceremonies used to take place. Both the Minin and Pozharskiy statue and the Lobnoye Mesto were once located more centrally in Red Square but were moved to their current locations to facilitate the large military parades of the Soviet era. The square itself is around 330 meters (1100 ft) long and 70 meters (230 ft) wide.

World Heritage Listing


The Kremlin and Red square were together recognized as a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site in 1990, due to their inextricable links to Russian history since the 13th century.

See also

  • Alexander Garden
    Alexander Garden
    Alexander Gardens was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow, Russia. The park comprises three separate gardens, which stretch along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for between the building of the Moscow Manege and the Kremlin.-History:...

  • Kremlin towers
    Kremlin towers
    The following is a list of towers of Moscow Kremlin. The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its towers...

  • Kremlin Wall
    Kremlin Wall
    The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its Kremlin towers. The original walls were likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers built in 1156.-History:...

  • Kremlin Wall Necropolis
    Kremlin Wall Necropolis
    Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930...

  • Lubyanka Square
    Lubyanka Square
    Lubyanka Square in Moscow is about north east of Red Square. The name is first mentioned in 1480, when Ivan III settled many Novgorodians in the area. They built the church of St Sophia, modelled after St Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, and called the area Lubyanka after the Lubyanitsy district 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...


External links



Sources

  • Юрий Федосюк. Москва в кольце Садовых. М., Московский рабочий, 1991. ISBN 5-239-01139-7
  • П.В.Сытин. Из истории московских улиц (очерки). М.. Московский рабочий, 1958