The Kremlin is one of the world’s most iconic buildings. The imposing fortress is the seat of Russian power, found in the Red Square and a true symbol of Russia. There are numerous interesting stories about Moscow’s most visited attraction. Here is our choice of the best facts about the Kremlin.
1. It’s not hard to see where this structure gets its name – the word ‘kremlin’ is used to describe a castle or an important Russian fortified complex.
2. The five stars on top of the Kremlin weigh one ton each and are made of ruby to enhance their shine.
3. The stars that decorate the towers of the Kremlin were not always there. Previously the four Kremlin towers were topped with two-headed eagles. In 1935 the Soviet government melted these down to replace them with stars.
4. The President of Russia commutes to and from the Kremlin by helicopter. A helipad was completed in 2013 in order to stop the disruption of traffic caused by a procession. The definition of arriving in style. And as of 2015, it became the home of the current president, Vladimir Putin.
5. The Kremlin is the largest active fortress in Europe, hosting five palaces and four cathedrals.
6. Together with Red Square, the Kremlin was elected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
7. The Kremlin is home to the world’s largest bell, the Tsar Bell, which has never rung as it was unfortunately broken in construction. It’s also home to the largest cannon.
8. Despite Moscow being largely attacked in World War II, the Kremlin didn’t suffer significant damage as it was cleverly disguised as housing. It was painted and decorated with fake windows and doors.
9. There are 20 Kremlin towers and all have names apart from two. These are called ‘the first unnamed’ and ‘the second unnamed’. The tallest one is called Troitskaya, standing at 80 feet tall, while the most recognizable one is the clock tower called Spasskaya.
10. The Kremlin we see today has changed dramatically from what it originally was. It was first a wooden building and used to be a city itself, surrounded by ramparts, towers, and battlements.
No trip to Russia would be complete without a visit to the Kremlin and the Red Square which is included on many of our Russia group tours.