The first records of the city of Moscow in history were from 1147 when Moscow was only a small town near the boundary of Vladimir-Suzdal. The original tale of Moscow which we know now was started when Kremlin fortress was built. Either from the ancient maps of Moscow or the modern ones, we can confirm that the Kremlin complex is at the center of the city in Red Square. There are several significant squares and streets inside the Kremlin complex, which currently recognized as major historical tourist attractions. The two significant squares of the Kremlin complex are the Cathedral Square and Ivanovskaya Square, which are separated from each other by the once tallest structure in all Russia, Ivan the Great Bell Tower.
Each of these squares has its own stories and history behind them which for tourists to know them and their history will help to have a better understanding of Russian history, especially when we know that these two squares have played critical roles in Russian history as well.
The Sobornaya Square or the Cathedral Square is the central square of the Kremlin complex and acquired its name from three cathedrals of the Archangel, Assumption, and Annunciation which are located around it. There are several other structures around the Cathedral Square beside these three cathedrals such as the Palace of the Facets, the Church of Twelve Apostles, the Church of Deposition of the Robe, and Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Cathedral Square always regarded as one of the most important places of the Kremlin complex from the times of Dukes to the tsarism era, and the current federal government. The square was where people attended the funerals of several influential people of Russia such as tsars, Grand Dukes, patriarchs, and Russian military generals. The coronation ceremonies of tsars were also taking place there. The square is playing the same role as of today since the inauguration ceremony of the Russian President is taken place there beside several major festivals and concerts. However, Cathedral Square is not the only important square inside the Kremlin complex. The other famous square of the Kremlin complex which is separated from the Cathedral Square by the Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the Ivanovskaya Square.
The Ivanovskaya Square is the largest square of Kremlin which received its name from the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. This square housed several government offices during the 16th and 17th centuries. There was an office called Prikaz from the 15th to the 18th centuries that did all the administrative and executive tasks on behalf of the palace, military, and church. The Prikaz office was located at Ivanovskaya Square. The Prikaz is identified as the father of the modern government, which has several ministries instead of Prikaz. The tasks that the Prikaz had done in the past is now divided between several ministries. Since Prikaz was also responsible for the official letters, the first Moscow postal address was at the Ivanovskaya square where the Prikaz located.
Ivanovskaya Square might seem to have fewer tourism attractions compare to Cathedral Square, but both of these squares have a rich history. The Ivanovskaya also lost several of its historical structures during the Soviet Union era such as the Starodevichy Convent and the Little Nicholas Palace.
These two main squares of the Kremlin complex attract tourists’ attention toward themselves. The squares are also hosted several formal ceremonies and festivals as well. One of the tourist attractions of the Cathedral Square beside the structures is the Horse Guard’s shift changes which happens daily and is one of the tourists’ favorite things inside Kremlin. Ivanovskaya Square offers a unique view over the facade of the Presidium and the Kremlin Senate.
When you travel to Russia and visit Moscow, Red Square and the Kremlin complex is one of the certain places to include in your Moscow tour. It’s more helpful to know your tourism targets, especially the Kremlin before traveling to Moscow since this is the only way that tourists can schedule a suitable Russia tour plan for themselves.