At the Moscow Kremlin, battling the cold: Photo Story

We struggled to enter the Kremlin one cold day. Or rather, it was me struggling.

I was falling ill with mucus running uncontrollably down my nose. Battering an upcoming flu, amid the cold, drizzles of rain and strong wind, my head and nose felt an acute ache.

The queue to the ticket office is located some distance behind the entrance. It was formed by travellers from different nationalities, with PRC Chinese being the most “prominent”. One of them, a guy was wearing a long cloak – cut queues to proceed with his never-ending enquiries for a tour group. I got irritated.

The lady at the ticket office was aloof and haughty. I guess it’s because everyone had to get pass her to get into this World Heritage site, hence the attitude.

It was drizzling and we did not bring an umbrella. To get in, you had to pass security clearance and that took especially long, when a school group entered the queue ahead of us. Thankfully, they opened more security queues to let us in.

Any a short brief description about the Kremlin.

 A kremlin (Russian: кремль, tr. kremlIPA: [ˈkrʲemlʲ]fortress is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the most famous one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there.

Which means to say that apart from the most famous one, the Moscow Krelim, there are others including the Novgorod Kremlin, Solovetsky Monastery and Kazan Kremlin which are located around Russia. There are also Kremlin type of buildings that were established during the USSR, which are located outside the borders of modern Russia. They are found mainly in Ukarine and Belarus.

The Moscow Kremlin is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, a stone’s throw from Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Red Square. That being said the entrance is quite a distance away, so you have embark on a 15 minute walk to get to the Kremlin from St Basil’s should you want to visit both attractions consecutively.

It is the best known of kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation (who is Valdimir Putin at the time of writing). We did not get a chance to visit the palaces and armoury (cos I was sick and begged to leave). Also I’m not sure but a number of places were closed when we were there.

I do sidetrack but since I have mentioned Valdimir Putin, he’s known to be quite a macho man, engaging in macho sports such as bear hunting and judo. A testament to that is number of souvenir mugs which I saw at a shop featuring Valdimir Putin topless, with rippling muscles and some sturdy six-pack abs. Will share more in a later post.

Anyway if you’re wondering why Kremlin is used synonymously as a place and as a term to describe the Russian government, here’s why:

The name Kremlin means “fortress”, and is often used as a synecdoche to refer to the government of the Russian Federation in a similar sense to how the White House is used to refer to the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Indeed, even the Russian President’s official website is Kremlin.ru. It had previously been used to refer to the government of the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and its highest members (such as general secretaries, premiers, presidents, ministers, and commissars). “Kremlinology” refers to the study of Soviet and Russian politics.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures that my companion, Xiao Huo Zi took while my nose was dribbling and all I wanted to do was hide in a warm place.

Moscow Kremlin entrace
On the way in, to Kremlin after a 10 min queue to pass the security checkpoint.
Kremlim Moscow guard
Stationary guard, reminds me of one of those big hat British soldiers. For Singaporeans, Istana guards are stationary too (FYI).
Moscow Kremlin government
Probably a government office – access is restricted here.
Assumption Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral
Moscow Kremlin courtyard cathedrals
Courtyard of the Kremlin, surrounded by Cathedrals
Kremlin Cathedral
The Assumption Cathedral was closed. But what remain in sight was the murals, which was just lovely.
Kremlin courtyard
Empty alleyways, free from tourists
Moscow Kremlin Cathedral
One of the Cathedrals of the Kremlin – I am not sure of the name, to be honest.
Annunciation Cathedral Moscow Kremlin
The Annunciation Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral Kremlin
Assumption Cathedral
Kremlin Archangel Cathedral
Resting by the steps – Archangel Cathedral
Moscow Kremlin
Could look much better in sunlight!
Assumption Cathedral Moscow Kremlin
Grand art murals of the Assumption Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral Moscow Kremlin
Check out the intricate pieces of artwork done to the door frame
Archangel Cathedral Moscow
Inside the Archangel Cathedral
Archangel Cathedral Moscow
Chandeliers light up the Archangel Cathedral
Archangel Cathedral Kremlin
Each mural tells a different story. Unfortunately, we did not engage a tour guide and had to use a bit of imagination
Annunciation Cathedral Moscow
Inside the Annunciation Cathedral. Some parts of it were undergoing restoration when we arrived.
Domes of the Kremlin – a highlight of Russian architecture
Tsar Cannon and Bell, Kremlin
The Tsar Cannon and Bell. Apparently it was too big to serve it’s intend purpose, according to Lonely Planet. Makes a good photo monument though.
Working quarters of the Kremlin – no access for tourists
Singaporeans Moscow
On the way back, we spotted some Singaporeans, behaving like Singaporeans. (The two girls on the left). Honestly got quite annoyed by them, (perhaps cos I was sick) cos they kept stopping to take photographs every two minutes. GRR!
A government building, not accessible to the public

 

I must admit that the trip to the Kremlin was rather short-lived. I was nursing a bad cold, and had persuaded my companion to leave after 2 hours for a hot nice meal (of which 30 minutes were spent trying to get in). The Kremlin deserves more than that. Look back, I would have like to wander around the grounds of one of the most powerful governments in the world. I would like to look at Bell Towers and pose a picture (albeit a sickly one) with the Tsar Cannon and Bell.

But it’s over. And there’s no room for regrets. It’s just a reminder to myself that when travelling, it’s best to try to make the most out of an attraction or a sight. Because once that cold is over and the discomfort has passed, what’s left are beautiful pictures and memories of a place and the time spent with people you’re with.

I’ll be stronger next time. Hopefully, less complainy too. 🙂

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St Basil’s Cathedral: A Photo Story

This is a continuation from: Four top sights to visit around Moscow’s Red Square If you, like me mistook the colourful...

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