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Cathedrals, frescos and lots of Ivans

November 3, 2012
Elsa Evans-Kummer , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

I know I have mentioned the Kremlin before. However, I need more space to do it justice. Inside the Kremlin, history comes alive in Moscow. The arched brick entrance opens up to a whole new kind of beauty. It is a result of the history, the people and the cathedrals (there are seven), all of which have walls painted with people and angels, as well as golden domes. The Kremlin also holds several important government buildings, along with the historic armory.

The Annunciation Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals and buildings in the Kremlin. It is very beautiful with six domed towers and five apses (domed semi-circles). Not an inch inside is without color. The Annunciation Cathedral was built in 1484 by order of Ivan III (The Great). Since 1484 the cathedral has been altered by several different princes and tsars through out the generations. Ivan IV (the Terrible) had the cathedral rebuilt in the 16th century, adding four side chapels.

The Dormation Cathedral (The Cathedral of the Assumption) is the oldest church in the Kremlin and also the most important. The church was moved from Vladimir in 1326 and has since held many important events. Royal weddings were celebrated here, and coronations took place in this cathedral. The walls are painted with fresco (painting with water color on wet clay, a technique that was popular during the Italian Renaissance) by a team of 150 icon painters. About 250 compositions were made. (We're talking big compositions!)

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The next cathedral, The Archangel Cathedral, was build in 1333 by order of Ivan the first. This particular church was dedicated to Archangel Michael (Heavenly Patron of the Russian Army) and to burying the princes of Moscow along with the first few tsars of Russia.

There are three more equally magnificent cathedrals and an armory, but I would need hours to give them credit. The architecture is truly amazing. Never have I seen such exact work. It's crazy to think how these fresco masterpieces have been through so much. If they could talk, I have the feeling they would be able to share some wisdom. No pictures were allowed to be taken inside, but I can tell you, walking in was like walking back in time. It was weird looking at one of the red velvet chairs and thinking, "Wow, Ivan the first sat there." Anyway, seeing all these great cathedrals is just another thing to add to my list of things I'll never forget ... which is about three feet long at this point!

 
 

 

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