The Moscow Kremlin, Research Paper Example
Words: 2634Research Paper
The Moscow Kremlin is a unique and complex structure that has withstood many changes since it was first constructed. This structure is considered to be the symbol of Moscow and has many towers that engulf its walls, similar to a fortress to protect the compound from a variety of risks. The Moscow Kremlin also houses a number of buildings within its structure that are symbols of its presence and authority, and demonstrate its historical presence in Moscow. This unique yet complex structure has served as a symbol of growth and change in Moscow for many centuries, and continues to serve as a premier architectural masterpiece.
Throughout world history, there have been many examples of historical buildings and structures that are memorable to people throughout the world in many different ways. As Athens is known for the Acropolis and Rome is known for the Capitolium, Moscow is best known for the Kremlin, a symbol of its unique government voice and structure (Voyce 1). This structure is well known and recognized for its contributions to Moscow as the “nucleus and citadel of the ancient Russian capital” (Voyce 1). This is an essential component of any historical site, and by definition, the Kremlin is the equivalent of a citadel (Kirk 17). The Kremlin’s history dates back many centuries to 1147, when the tomb of the Great Prince Yuri of Kiev was housed there (The History of the Moscow Museum). The Kremin has been highly influential as a symbol of Russia and of the changes that this country has experienced, particularly over the last several decades. These efforts demonstrate that the Kremlin is the cornerstone of Russian politics and society in many ways, and it is also an attractive tourist attraction for many visitors to this city rich in cultural history.
The Kremlin is often noted as the center point of the city of Moscow (Voyce 4). One of its primary boundaries is the Moskya River to the south, Red Square to the east, and Alexander Park to the west (Voyce 4). In one depiction of the structure, the Kremlin is described as a “rudely fortified village surrounded by wooden stockade and within its walls took place the main events of Russian history” (Voyce 1). The Moscow Kremlin serves as a visual reminder of the rich history of Russia and of the city of Moscow, as this structure has been highly influential in facilitating many of Russia’s most significant events, which have represented a means of preserving the structure and its walls for as long as possible. The Kremlin also serves as a symbol of the ability of Moscow to preserve its history through the different elements of architectural design in different ways. It is important to recognize these efforts and how they contribute to effective outcomes, because these issues reflect the importance of this visually relevant structure.
Another perspective notes that the Kremlin “since time immemorial, has been the center of Russian statehood, the residence of Russian tsars and the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church” (The History of the Moscow Kremlin). Within the Kremlin, many different types of buildings are present, which reflect a number of perspectives, including convents, monasteries, and churches, now utilized for government functions. In addition, palaces are present which sponsor Supreme Soviet meetings for various purposes. Finally, the Kremlin Museum is also located within this structure, which reflects some of the rich history that is present within the compound (The History of the Moscow Kremlin). Throughout its history, the Moscow Kremlin has experienced many reconstruction efforts, each of which reflect different changes, including the addition of new buildings, and these changes have reflected a means of expanding and redesigning the structure to accommodate the needs of local residents and of the city as a whole.
How it was built
The Moscow Kremlin was originally constructed from logs made of wood until the year 1571, which denotes a change to a brick structure (Kirk 17). However, it is also depicted that the Kremlin was constructed of “white-stone walls and towers” around 1367-1368 by Dmitry Donsky. In the article “The History of the Moscow Kremlin,” it was noted that between the years of 1485-1495, the Kremlin was converted to a brick construction, making it the first building in Kremlin history to be made of this material. This is an important consideration to make because it provides a basis for the development of new architectural opportunities for the Kremlin as the need warrants. As time passes and structures gradually decline due to age, weather, and erosion, it is important to recognize how to best overcome these concerns and to take the steps that are necessary to preserve the Kremlin as best as possible.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why the Kremlin is said to represent “splendor and magnificence in addition to the fact that it is built with white stone, rich marbles, varicolored tiles, and shining metals. Surrounded on all sides buy walls, rivers, and a moat, it had the appearance of a powerful and picturesque fortress” (Voyce 2). Located in such a way that people can look up to it and the Kremlin as if looking after the people, it has achieved one of the purposes to which the Kremlin has been built; which is for defense.
The Moscow Kremlin is located on a hill above the Moskya River, approximately 125 feet over the river itself (Voyce 2). The shift to a different form of construction was chosen to provide a greater sense of architectural discovery and strength, These materials, which included brick, marble and white stone, signified a sense of the lush interior and of a regal presence. In observing the Kremlin, the structure is unique in that it is reminiscent of a pentagon, as its sides to the south are concave and its sides to the east and west are convex (Voyce 4). The Kremlin covers approximately one mile and a half, and it is noted that “except for some irregularities, the outline of the Kremlin can be thought of as an almost equilateral triangle whose southwest angle is obtuse” (Voyce 4). Furthermore, the Kremlin’s walls are designed as “straight, short lines with definite breaks” (Voyce 4). The walls on the structure’s south side hover approximately 65 feet over the Moskya River and are curved, reminiscent of an “almost crescent-shaped river bend” (Voyce 4). These walls are unique in that they are less than traditional, but the structure itself is designed to provide a unique framework that is memorable to the visitor. This is the primary reason why the structure is recognized throughout the world for its architectural presence in many different ways.
Within the current structure, the walls which surround the compound are comprised of “nineteen towers; three massive circuit towers-one at each angle of the triangle; five steepled gate towers; and eleven watch towers and barbicans of various shapes” (Voyce 5). From a dimensional perspective, the Kremlin is described as follows: 1) the Kremlin walls enclose a span of 275,000 square meters, or 68 acres; 2) The length of the Kremlin is 2,235 meters, or 2,444 yards, with varying ranges of height; and 3) Each wall is anywhere from 3.5-6.5 meters thick. There are currently 20 separate towers within the Kremlin walls, each with square dimensions, with the exception of three circular towers. The Spasskaya is the tallest tower at 71 meters, and the towers were changed to brink tents in the late 1600s (Essential Architecture – Moscow). Within the walls of the Kremlin, arches are present, which legend has it, house different secret passages and hideaways, one of which was only very recently discovered (Voyce 5). Each of the Kremlin’s walls was constructed with military-level strength, which represents a means of defying intruders and advanced gun technologies. Throughout its history, the Kremlin has served many different purposes, including its service as a defense fortress to ward off intruders. This option has been particularly useful in demonstrating the overall capacity of the structure to improve the lives of the local community through its structure and its capabilities. These efforts are important because they provide a basis for other considerations and reflections on how the Kremlin was intended to be used in the past and in the future.
Each of the rampants is approximately eight feet wide, and each houses battlements on their external sections. The function of these rampants was originally to provide battle stations to release weapons during military battles, but they now serve as a scenic walking path (Voyce 5). These rampants provide much lush scenery and serve as a means for visitors and residents to enjoy remarkable city views (Voyce 5). Furthermore, the Kremlin houses an underground infrastructure which provides a water system to the compound (Voyce 5-6). The ability of the Kremlin to serve as a valuable water-based resource also supports its many dimensions, and its overall ability to provide many different benefits to the people of Moscow and beyond. With this framework in mind, it is inevitable that the Kremlin is an opportunity to explore the different dimensions of its actual structure in an effort to provide a variety of resources to the city and to the community as a whole. The Kremlin’s historical presence in Moscow also serves as a symbol of the different elements that prevail in supporting Russia and its rich and unique political and cultural history.
How it could be built nowadays
Today, the Kremlin would be constructed very differently in many ways, using materials of lighter weight with a more simplistic approach. When it was first constructed, the Kremlin was considered to be a means of defense for the city of Moscow; however, times have changed and there is a necessity for the compound to be used for other more practical purposes. It is known that “Due to the shock of war, the walls and towers of the Kremlin have been damaged and rebuilt, but they have remained substantially unchanged in form (Voyce 5). If there was ever a necessity to change the structure of these walls in the future, it would be best accomplished through the utilization of cement, which is a more structurally sound option. The use of wooden logs in modern times is not the most feasible option because it is more expensive and less structurally sound.
In constructing the Kremlin to meet today’s standards, steel is another feasible option, and this provides a different approach. A steel form of construction would be used to surround the Kremlin similar to that of a fence or a wall, which would add to the unique appeal of the compound. In addition, if different colors were chosen to paint the steel, it would provide a more dramatic visual representation of the structure and would be largely appealing to the eye. Steel could also be used on the interior as a means of reinvigorating the internal structure of some of the buildings. Choosing this alternative may be effective in improving the design of the Kremlin in a more modern way.
In other areas, it is likely that the use of fences to surround the Kremlin would be a viable approach, while also using concrete to construct the inner buildings. This would serve as a fresh perspective of the Kremlin, while also preserving its longevity. Other options may include arched walls and gates constructed of steel, while also expanding the height of each building are all viable choices.
In modern times, the Kremlin serves as one of the most recognizable architectural delights in Moscow and throughout the world. Its structure is very sound so the only necessary choices are to conduct a cosmetic restructure in different ways. Modern architects serve as a reminder of the potential cosmetic improvements that could be made to the Kremlin to preserve its architectural beauty and presence in Moscow and beyond. However, a nod to its historical roots is also important because it demonstrates a capacity to preserve the original intent of the compound while also adding modern flair and design to the mix. It should be noted that “for more than two hundred years, nothing of great architectural significance was added to the Kremlin. On the contrary, there was a constant process of destruction and vandalism. Additions were made in many styles, alterations and pious restorations in questionable taste”(Voyce 3). This statement demonstrates that the architectural methods originally selected for the Kremlin must be preserved at all costs.
With the ongoing expansion of various materials and technologies, the Kremlin is likely to continue to serve many different purposes, as its expansive size and infrastructure are ripe for continuous change and improvement. The utilization of modern structural materials is essential to its ongoing contributions to Moscow and to Russia, and in enabling the preservation of its initial purpose and its current focus. This requires the knowledge and efforts of many people to make this happen, and to continue to explore new insights and options for the Kremlin to exist in different forms. At the same time, its history must also be preserved and acknowledge for its vale and contribution to Russian culture in many different ways.
The Kremlin in Moscow is a valuable and distinguished architectural find that continues to stun people with its remarkable presence and design. This structure will always be noted as an “impressive and never-to-be-forgotten sight. It has beauty and terror, not only because of its association, but because the whole effect is striking with the gold domes of the churches and the massed blocks of buildings within” (Kirk 18). Therefore, this structure and its massive size and scope will continue to influence new generations in different ways, as its history, current presence, and future purpose are evaluated and explored for the foreseeable future. With this comes progress and change, which must be developed in conjunction with other perspectives to ensure that these needs are met according to plan. It is expected that with an ongoing effort to preserve these ideas and concepts, there will also be an effort made to integrate historical concepts with new ideas to ensure that the Kremlin’s original intent and purpose are never forgotten. At the same time, this will also ensure that the Kremlin’s future needs and considerations are met with open arms, and with the intent to create new forms of functionality as the need permits. The Kremlin is a driving force in Moscow’s architectural progress, and it continues to be considered one of the premier structures in all of Russia and throughout the world. Therefore, its presence and the commitment to the local community must be consistent with the objectives of its leadership team. By refurbishing the structure as needed to accommodate change and other requirements, it is expected that these efforts will be most effective in supporting the growth and preservation of the Kremlin for many years to come. With these perspectives in mind, it is likely that there will be considerable impact on the ability of the Kremlin to be supported by the community of Moscow, as well as the rest of the world for its clear and distinct beauty and strength as the cornerstone of the Moscow community. These efforts will also provide a basis for determining when and if structural updates or changes are required to facilitate any and all preservation efforts at the desired level. With this framework in mind, it is likely that with a continued focus on the Kremlin to modernize its structure to withstand environmental damage, while also considering how to preserve its history in the appropriate manner, many benefits will be observed and will be recognized by people throughout the world.
Essential Architecture- Moscow.Quest.Spt 26, 2010 <http://www.essential-architecture.com/EUROPE/EUROPE-EAST/eur-russia/RUS-MOS-001.htm>.
Kirk, Lydia. Postmarked Moscow. New York: Scribner, 1952. Quest. Oct 9, 2010<http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=197819>.
“The History of the Moscow Kremlin.” Oct 3, 2010<http://www.kreml.ru/en/main/history/>.
Voyce, Arthur. Its History, Architecture, and Art Treasures Its History, Architecture, and Art Treasures. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1954. Quest. Oct 15, 2010 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99004574>.
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