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Photographer's Note

One of the most symbolic constructions in Russia's history can be traced back to the 12th century when Moscow was founded in 1147. The original outpost was surrounded by the first walls in 1156, which was most likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers.

Destroyed in 1238 by the Mongol-Tartar invasion, the Moscow Kremlin was rebuilt by the Russian Knyaz Ivan Kalita. In 1339-1340 he erected a bigger fortress on the site of the original outpost which was defended by massive oak walls. Thought to be an impenetrable defence from raids, it was proven to be useless from fire which burned Moscow in 1365.

In the following centuries Moscow expanded rapidly outside the Kremlin walls and as Russia's borders became more and more secure their defensive duty has all but passed. During the reign of Tsar Alexei Romanov, the towers were built up with decorative spires and the walls were restored. However their historical mightiness was dampened as the material became brick not stone. Successive restorations during the reigns of Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Alexander the first as well as the later Soviet and Russian times took place each time preserving their original character and style.
With an outer perimeter of 2235 metres, the Kremlin appears as a loose triangle, deviating from the geometry ideal on the southern side where it instead repeats the contours on the original hill on which the Kremlin rests. Because of this the vertical profile is by no means uniform, and the height at some places ranges from no more than 5 metres quadrupling to 19 metres elsewhere. The thickness of the walls also varies from 3.5 to 6.5 metres.

This part of the wall from "Aleksandrovskyi sad" (Aleksander garden).

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Additional Photos by Julia Smirnova (Ulishna) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 326 W: 68 N: 251] (2268)
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