Red Square

The Red Square is the main and most famous square in Moscow, located in the city center, near the north-eastern wall of the Kremlin. There are located Lobnoye Mesto (Place of Skulls), a monument to Minin and Pozharsky, Lenin Mausoleum, and Necropolis where were buried prominent figures of the Soviet State. The Red Square was built in front of the walls of the Kremlin in order to create a swept area. In 1508-1516 along the Kremlin wall, there was dug a ditch filled with water from the Neglinnaya River. In the XVII century at the beginning of Nikolskaya Street, there was built the Kazan Cathedral (1636-1637) in memory of the deliverance of Moscow from Polish invaders. The square was paved with logs, it became a market square. In the years 1679-1680 the area was cleared because of the danger of fires, the wooden churches were broken, their altars were moved to St. Basil’s Cathedral. In 1689, there were built the Resurrection Gate, a stone building of the Zemskoy Prikaz and the stone Mint. The victory in the Northern War was marked by the mounting of the Triumphal Gate on the Red Square. In the 1780s, there was a reconstruction of the Red Square: the wooden houses were removed, the facades of the Upper Trading Rows were remade, there were built two-story Trading Rows. In 1804, the Red Square was paved with cobblestones. After the destruction during the invasion of the armies of Napoleon in 1812, the Upper Trading Rows were restored in 1814-1815 by architect O. Bove. In 1818, there was mounted a monument to K. Minin and D. Pozharsky in front of the central portico of the Upper Trading Rows. The Red Square gradually lost trading function, various celebrations and festivities took place there. In the last quarter of the XIX century, the building of the Red Square had significant changes. In 1874-1883, there was built the Historical Museum, in 1888-1893 there was constructed the new building of the Upper Trading Rows, and in 1889-1891 there were built the Middle Trading Rows. In 1892, the area was illuminated by electric lights. After the October Revolution, the Red Square gained memorial value. November 10, 1917, the Red Square hosted the Funeral of the Red Guards — participants of the October fighting in Moscow. In 1918, the Red Square became the major place for parades and demonstrations. In 1924, there was built a temporary wooden Lenin Mausoleum at the Red Square, in 1930, there was built the stone Mausoleum by architect A. Shchusev. The Red Square is included in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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