Kremlin visitors will see the restored Kutafya Tower, which is almost 500 years old. After the completion of the year-long renovation work, the passage through the tower to the Kremlin will be opened, ITAR-TASS reports.
The site, one of the main entrances to the Kremlin, was renovated "at repeated requests" of visitors, the chief Kremlin manager's press secretary Viktor Khrekov told ITAR-TASS. Visitors complained that they had to wait sometimes for hours in any weather to pass through checkpoints to go on an excursion or for a Kremlin Palace concert. Now, it will take less time and will be more comfortable, Khrekov assured.
The major repair with the modernization of the checkpoint at the Kutafya Tower was carried out by the Kremlin management and the Federal Guard Service. Before the repair, seven check points were opened to enter the Moscow Kremlin. There are 16 now, and all are in buildings with heating, ventilation and other appropriate systems.
According to specialists, up to 6,000 people can pass through the new check points in an hour and a half, for example to go to the State Kremlin Palace. The Federal Guard Service says that the examination procedure is improved. There is everything necessary for people with disabilities for comfortable visits to the Kremlin, Khrekov noted.
The Kutafya Tower was built by Milan architect Aleviz (Aliosio) Fryazin in 1516. Its height is 13.5 m at present. It was surrounded by a ditch and the Neglinka River with one gate, which was closed tightly with a drawbridge. The tower prevented intruders from entering. In 1685, the tower was decorated with the white stone openwork "crown".
© Russkiy Mir. 21 December, 2012
On Sunday the Grand Kremlin Palace hosted a glamorous ball inspired by Napoleon’s 1812 defeat at the hands of the Russian army and dedicated to the traditions of military valor, in its St. Andrew Hall, St. Alexander Hall and St. George Hall, RIA Novosti reports.
It is the first ball to be held at the palace since 1903. Young couples demonstrated historic dances such as the polonaise, minuet and quadrille. The couples had a chance to dance a waltz to the live music of the Presidential Orchestra. Costumes for the guests as well as their hairstyles were based on the designs from the early 19th century.
The ball is the last in a series of events celebrating the 200th anniversary of Russia’s victory in the 1812 war. The ball organizers hope the event will become a tradition.
© Russkiy Mir. 25 November, 2012
Aside from visiting heads of state, few foreigners ever get to see the beautiful interiors of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. Today it serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.
Before the Russian Revolution, the palace served as the official residence of the reigning sovereign and family while they were visiting the city. The palace is rich in Romanov history and was the venue for magnificent balls, sumptuous state dinners, and more.
Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia standing in St. Andrew's Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, 27th October, 2000
I was very fortunate to visit this historic palace on my 44th birthday on October 27th, 2000. I had organized a tour that year to Moscow and the Crimea, in which a group of 15 people from Canada and the United States took part. I had been negotiating with the Kremlin administration for several years prior to allow me to include the Grand Kremlin Palace as part of one of my group tours. Permission was finally granted that year and it was well worth all the red tape that went with it.
This video comes from a Russian media source and offers views of the State Halls which were restored to their original during the Yeltsin years, as well as the former private apartments of the Romanovs.
© Paul Gilbert. 27 October, 2012
The Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin has reopened for visiting after restoration. For many centuries, the palace played a significant role in the country’s life: sessions of the Zemsky Sobor, which was the 16th and 17th century Russian parliament, were convened there and Russian noblemen met there to take crucial decisions. At present, the Faceted Chamber is one of the Russian president’s reception rooms. The building has survived numerous fires and reconstructions. The architects’ goal was to restore the 17th century interiors when the frescoes were painted by icon painter Simon Ushakov.
The Faceted Chamber was laid down by Italian architect Marco Fryazin as a throne room for ceremonial receptions in the new palace of Grand Prince Ivan III. The construction was completed by Lombardy architect Pietro Antonio Solari in 1491. The palace is built of bricks and the reception room is located on a high basement level. The Holy Vestibule adjoins the reception room from the west and the Red Porch is on the southern side of the Holy Vestibule.
The name of the palace comes from the design of the main eastern façade facing Cathedral Square in the Kremlin. The facade is covered with white stone blocks each of which has four facets. This stone dressing was typical of Italian architecture of the Renaissance period.
Restoration lasted for a year. The previous restoration was carried out in the 1960s, representative of the Federal Security Service Sergey Deviatov said.
“It was necessary to examine the foundation on which the palace rests and to prevent possible deformation and destruction. Certainly, it was important to preserve the unique appearance of the palace,” Sergey Deviatov said
All the vaults, ceilings, interiors and the inner volume of the palace have been restored according to the 15th century descriptions. The building has suffered from fire and has been reconstructed many times. Now it has assumed its original appearance, we can see it as the Italian architects built it.
In the 16th century the walls and arches of the palace were covered with frescoes which were painted over later on. Before painting his icons over the old patterns, painter Simon Ushakov made a detailed description of these patterns which was used by today’s restorers. As for the restoration of unique carpets and parquet floors, it required the effort of a large team of researchers. The parquet was made of over 10 kinds of wood according to samples which experts found in pictures and photographs. Experts from the UK were employed for the restoration of furniture fabrics.
The restorers have also reconstructed the secret room from which members of the royal family watched solemn events held in the Faceted Palace, Sergey Deviatov said.
“A window was cut in the wall for the children to be able to watch all ceremonies and acquire experience,” Sergey Deviatov said.
While the restorers painstakingly refurbished the interior décor, construction workers fortified the supporting frames and installed climate-control equipment.
During the restoration, architects discovered over 3,000 unique artifacts which are now at the disposal of Kremlin researchers.
© The Voice of Russia. 31 July, 2012
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