Monday, May 12, 2014

Marching Through History

Today we walked ourselves to exhaustion. We were warned that we would be on our feet for four hours without a rest, and it was true! We visited the grounds within the Kremlin walls.  The word Kremlin means "a town within a town and a place of power."

It began as a small village, around which a wall was built. Soon, people began building homes outside the walls, and thus, a second wall was raised to protect those homes. After awhile, the Prince of the village decided he wanted the original town to be "exclusive" and began enforcing heavy taxes on those who lived inside the original walls, hoping to force them to move outside. It took 100 years, but, the plan was successful.Hummmm . . .  I'm wondering if high taxes in our country might have the same effect!

Our first stop was the Armory Museum. Not a place to house military artifacts, but all things royal. I likened it to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. It houses the treasures of Russia.

Unfortunately, I have no photos, because photography was forbidden. And it killed me not to be able to share its treasures with you. But, I will mention a few.

It never occurred to me that gifts given to royalty from foreign ambassadors were meant to be prime examples of items suitable to trade. No wonder they were so beautiful. We saw silver and gold plates and goblets, jewels, Faberge eggs (56 were created for the Tzar's wife, or Tzarina, to be presented at Easter) and so many others. There was even a functional gold fountain used for wine, but suitable for liquid chocolate! Nothing new under the sun.

There were golden carriages, gold and fur crowns, armor, ceremonial gowns, and two samples of the 15,000 dresses (that's right) Elizabeth, Peter the Great's daughter owned. She never wore one twice! She brought culture to Russia, but also loved parties. When she died, she left huge bills, so they had to be sold.

Did you know that the word Czar came from Caesar? Kaiser is also from the same source. Each leader had the idea of restoring the Roman Empire within their country.

Here are some interesting facts we learned in our tour:

Ivan the Terrible was called so because each of his seven wives (he truly loved them) died mysteriously. He was so distraught that he was hard on the people. The more accurate word to use is "severe" not terrible.

In the Russian Orthodox Church, only women are believed to have original sin, and therefore can never go up to the altar for communion. Only the Tsarina is allowed when she is crowned. The verse that came to mind was  
Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" I'm so thankful that God had a plan to restore us through the work of Christ on the cross!

(The church where all the emperors/czars were crowned)

Stalin destroyed all church bells because he considered the chimes the voice of God. At one point, he destroyed many churches, and was about to demolish St. Basil's, when two architects went on a hunger strike, which forced Stalin to change his mind.

And here are a few photos for you:

Three photos of the Grand Palace where dignitaries are received, and state functions are held. The holders on either side of the door hold flags of the visiting dignitaries country.

Senate building where Putin works. . . 

Now, we have departed Moscow, and sailing towards St. Petersburg. In a few minutes Wifi will be shut off, as we go through the locks, so here is a parting photo:


  1. Neat info! Are u getting some nonfiction pb ideas?

    1. I've been so busy taking photos and notes, that I haven't had time to think about them, Tina. Thanks for the reminder to look for tidbits of info!!


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Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel