Visiting Moscow

Today we visited the Kremlin and the Red Square, or at least the parts that we were allowed to visit. The inside of the Kremlin is very nice with a central place on which you can see a lot of churches (unfortunately we are starting to get a little bit fed up with all the church thins everywhere, in some way they all start looking the same) and other nice buildings. Directly on the left after the entrance there is the arsenal with some captured canons of Napoleon times.

There was also some very big Russian canon standing inside the Kremlin, which never fired for some reason and the biggest bell of the world, the Tsar Bell (200 tons, 15 times bigger than the Big Ben at London) which actually never rang. The 19th century philosopher and dissident Pyotr Chaadayev mused that:

“In Moscow every foreigner is taken to look at the great cannon and the great bell – the canon which cannot be fired and the bell which fell down before it was rung. It is an amazing town in which the objects of interest are distinguished by their absurdity, or perhaps that great bell without a tongue is a hieroglyph symbolic of this huge, dumb land.”


Well we don’t think Russia is a dumb land, but it is huge for sure and we think for the moment that it is very nice.
The insides of the Kremlin are well overseen by a lot of guards that whistle for everything you should and especially should not do: for example, you should walk exactly inside the white lines, no not with one foot on the line, INSIDE the line. If not you win a free whistle-concert and if you really don’t listen an official warning in Russian (which of course you do not understand). :-)

The same inside the churches, musea and other public buildings: there is always some Babuschka (grandmother) taking there that you do not take pictures of stuff you should not take pictures of, don’t rest against a wall you should not be resting against, don’t sit on stairs you should not be sitting on, don’t touch windows you should not be touching… (those are all things we involuntary tried of course).

The Red Square is quite impressive as it is really big, with the Kremlin walls on one side, the Gym, a fancy shopping centre on the other side, the Russian state Museum and the Basil’s Church. Oh and of course Lenin’s tomb, which is a good example of Soviet art, big blocks of marble in black and brown colors. The Red Square is actually called the Red Square because the word “red” in Russian ist the same word for “beautiful”. So the name has nothing to do with the red buildings on the square or communism (its name was given long time before communism came, when the place still served as a market place mainly).

We also visited the Gym. Not to do some shopping but to have a look at the building. From the outside it looks like the Parisien Hotel de Ville and from the inside it looks like the shopping centre in Brussels all covered with glass. It was a state supermarket before, built at the end of the 19th century, now it is private of course and probably one of the most expensive in town.

So far for Moscow!

Vera & Jean-Christophe


  1. Posted August 13, 2007 at 15:18 | Permalink

    Hey Vera en J.C. Niet geshopt Vera?? Ongeloofijk..Leuk hoe jullie Moskou beschreven. Ben geschiedkundig weer wat wijzer geworden door je uitleg over het ‘Rode’ Plein. Benieuwd naar jullie volgende stop! Have fun…


  2. Posted February 24, 2011 at 16:02 | Permalink

    Was daar in 2009, enorme stad , en een overvloed aan kerken en musea’s, na een paar dagen heb je je part wel gehad en dan zijn we ook maar verder afgereisd naar St Petersburg.