Monday, October 13, 2008
Red Square & St Basil's Cathedral
Bright and cheery picture of the boys in Red Square, with St Basil's Cathedral behind them. We went there right after Gorky Park last month (I was testing out my then-new DSLR remember?), but was too lazy to organise the pictures.
St Basil's Cathedral, built in the 16th century, is probably Moscow's best-known icon and it's as beautiful in real life as it is in pictures. Its design comprises nine individual chapels, each topped with a unique onion dome. The next two pictures were taken from the south side of the cathedral while the picture above was taken from the Red Square side, which I think is prettier and more vibrant. The cathedral is located on the south side of Red Square, and it is NOT part of The Kremlin, as many mistakenly think.
In front of the cathedral stands this bronze statue of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky (picture below), who rallied Russia's volunteer army and drove out invading Polish forces during the Time of Troubles (late 16th and early 17th centuries).
So standing on Red Square and facing south, you see St Basil's Cathedral. Turn right and you'll see the Kremlin Wall (see picture below), the defense wall that surrounds The Moscow Kremlin. Originally designed as a medieval fortress, the Kremlin is the current seat of the Russian government and home of the President. There are churches, palaces, armories, watchtowers, beautiful gardens and a forest in the Kremlin.
One day I will take pictures inside The Kremlin; again the Red Square is NOT The Kremlin, even though many news reporters stand on Red Square in front of the cathedral when reporting news out of Kremlin.
See the 3 ladies (well one is cropped out of the picture) on the right? They kept looking at the boys, amused at their obsession with walking on lines/patterns. These ladies are from the US and in their vibrant coloured jackets, just remind me of the colourful fairies in the Sleeping Beauty cartoon, don't know why :)
The picture above is when the ladies first spotted the boys. Seelah, these boys, so uncultured, surrounded by history and all they want to do is compete with each other not to step out of the yellow line.
Anyway, imagine you turned right again after facing the Kremlin Wall (still on picture above), now you'll be facing the north side of Red Square. At the end of the Kremlin Wall is Lenin's mausoleum and next to this, on the right of the picture is a red building, the State Historical Building.
This red building has nothing to do with how Red Square was named. The Red Square is actually the 695 meters long and 130 meters wide city square that the boys are walking on.
From Wikipedia: The name of Red Square derives neither from the colour of the bricks around it 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 meaning is archaic).
After playing "Let's not step out of the yellow line", now it's "Step only on white lines or you're out". Tak boleh tahan them.
Next to the red building is the Kazan Cathedral (you can barely see it in the photo) and on the right is GUM, a shopping centre.
Closer look at GUM which is beautifully ornate both on the outside as well as the inside.
So how? Does it feel like you've already been to Moscow? And you didn't even have to take the 10+ hour flight here. But if you think my review was crap, do make your way here, Singapore Airlines flies daily to Moscow, 4 times weekly direct flights and 3 times weekly via Dubai. The seats on the direct flights are extra comfortable and spacious. Come lah...