Wednesday, October 9, 2019 (continued)
Next in Red Square:
|Kent and Tamiko selfie attempt in Red Square|
with St Basil's Cathedral behind them
|Храм Василия Блаженного/St Basil Cathedral|
(1555-1561, on orders of Ivan the Terrible)
Ivan (IV) the Terrible erected a wooden memorial church for every victory in the Russo-Kazan War, each along the walls of the existing Trinity Church. The final and eighth was the Church of the Intercession, as Kazan was captured on that feast day. Ivan then ordered a stone cathedral to be built in its place to commemorate his campaigns, and is correctly named the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Mother of God. It was unique to dedicate a church to a military victory, to have a church outside the Kremlin walls, and to design it with a central chapel surrounded by eight chapels. Also the church was built mainly with bricks, so that the exterior decoration was the pattern of bricks. A tenth sanctuary was built in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily/Basil.
|Church of St Vasily/Basil the Blessed with|
the canopy-covered tomb of St Basil
Because the Church of St Basil was the only one of the churches to be heated, and because St Basil was so popular, the whole complex became known as St Basil's Cathedral.
|Dome of the central Church of the Intercession|
|Church of the Three Patriarchs (KSS)|
In the Russian Orthodox Church, the archbishop is called a Metropolitan (bishop of a metropolis), and the Patriarch is the bishop of the country ('patria' meaning country, 'patriarch' meaning father of the family). The Three Patriarchs are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the fathers of the people of Israel.
|Church of Sts Cyprian and Justine, Iconostasis|
|Church of St Gregory, Iconostasis|
|Church of St Varlaam of Khutyn, Iconostasis|
|Church of Entry of Our Lord in Jerusalem, Royal Doors|
|Church of St Nicholas Wonderworker, Royal Doors|
|Church of St Alexander of Svir with|
spiraling symbol of eternity
|Church of the Holy Trinity, Royal Doors|
Russian Orthodox churches all have an iconostasis/icon stand which acts as a wall between what we know as the nave/temporal world and chancel/spiritual world of the church. The people stand in the nave and only the clergy (and tsars) are allowed through the Royal Doors in the center of the iconostasis. The 'royal' refers to the royalty in heaven. Usually the Royal Doors depict the four Evangelists. In a museum such as St Basil's Cathedral, the Royal Doors are sometimes open for us to see what is behind.
The iconostasis also holds many icons/paintings that have been blessed. Most Russian icons are in Byzantine style and the subjects can be of single holy figures or scenes from the Bible. The lowest row of icons is the Local Tier, with an icon of the Mother of God to the L of the doors, and of Christ to the R. To the R of Christ is the name icon of the church (i.e., in the Church of St Nicholas, the icon is St Nicholas). There may be a small tier above with icons of the months of the year. The next level is the Deesis Tier, with icons of the apostles, archangels, and saints, with Christ on the Throne always in the center. If there is a small tier above this, it has icons of feast days and church holidays. The top row features icons of the Old Testament prophets and patriarchs.
Back out in Red Square:
|Лобное место/Place of Skulls, a platform first mentioned in 1547|
where Ivan the Terrible addressed the people; used for announcements
and religious ceremonies; 'skull' is another of those mis-translations
|GUM - initials for Государственный универсальный магазин/|
State Department Store but is now the Главный универсальный магазин/
Main Department Store (same initials)
(1889-1893 by Aleksander Pomerantsev in Russian Revival style)
|GUM glass roof|
|GUM interior that was once dusty and gray with|
few products available for sale, but now
bustling with high end merchandise
|Казанский собор/Kazan Cathedral (est 1612, 1636 brick church demolished|
under Stalin in 1936 to make space for military parades, rebuilt 1990-1993)
|Replica icon of Virgin of Kazan that supposedly|
helped Prince Dmitri Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin
drive the Polish invaders out of Moscow in 1612
The Virgin of Kazan icon is also credited with helping Russia against the Swedish invasion of 1709 and Napoleon's invasion in 1812. The original icon was stolen in 1904, and some people attributed the miseries of the Revolution of 1905 and loss of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 to the disappearance of protection by the icon.
We left Red Square and walked around to Alexander Garden.
|Gates to Alexander Garden at the NW corner of the Kremlin Wall|
|Могила Неизвестного Солдата/Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (1967)|
contains the body of a soldier who fell in 1941 at the point where the Nazis
came the closest to Moscow (Km 41/25.5 miles on Leningradskoe Hwy.) (KSS)
|отель четыре сезона/Four Seasons Hotel, a 2014 reconstruction of|
Moskva Hotel (1932-1934, by Alexey Shchusev), which accurately
replicates the façade of the original hotel with the iconic
difference between the wings on each side of the main building
Rejoining our group, we walked past Manezhnaya Square that sits on an underground shopping mall.
|The course of the Neglinnaya River (that now flows underground) is|
imitated by a rivulet dotted with fountains and statues of
Russian fairy-tale characters (1996, by Zurab Tsereteli)
|Moscow sewer cover|
|Памятник патриарху Гермогену/Monument to|
Patriarch Hermogenes, a leader of the Russian
Orthodox Church who refused to support a False Dmitri
and thus was made patriarch by the new proper tsar;
later he defied Polish invaders and was martyred in 1612
|Российская государственная библиотека/Russian State Library|
(1930-1941 with further additions, by Vladimir Shchuko and
Vladimir Gelfreikh, in modernized Neo-classical style) is the
largest library in Russia and fifth largest in the world
|Fyodor Dostoevsky Monument (1997) to the|
Russian novelist known for Crime and Punishment
and The Brothers Karamazov
|Памятник князю Владимиру/Prince Vladimir Monument (2016, by|
Salavat Scherbakov); the patron saint of the Russian Orthodox Church (KSS)
The 16m/52-foot tall statue of St Vladimir is controversial in that is it said: "advocates of the new monuments, led by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church, consist mainly of conservatives and nationalists eager to reaffirm a sense of Russian identity that they consider to have been lost in the collapse of the Communist state," according to the New York Times. Hmmm, is this like the loss of identity of the Confederates after the Civil War?
|And now a mural of Prince Pozharsky and Kuzma|
Minin, our heroes who freed Moscow from the Poles (KSS)
|See that upside-down wine goblet? The House Under the Wine Glass|
(1908, by Valentin Dubovsky in Art Nouveau style); rumor suggests
the owner, Yakov Filatov, an Old Believer, commissioned the
"wine glass" to announce his abstinence from alcohol (KSS)
At 103 m/338', Christ the Savior Cathedral was the tallest Russian Orthodox church in the world until 2018 when the People's Salvation Cathedral was built in Bucharest, Romania, at 135 m/443'.
We walked from the cathedral to the Patriarshy pedestrian bridge over the Moskva River for a view.
|A view of the Kremlin and rush hour traffic (KSS)|
|Across the river is the former House of Government (1928,|
by Boris Iofan in Constructivist style), with
offices and apartments for the Soviet Union’s governing élite:
commissars and Red Army generals, and vaunted Marxist scholars (KSS)
The early residents of the House of Government (with all its communal services) forgot their ideals of collective living and began to live the life of the bourgeois. Thus in the late 1930s, they were the victims of Stalin's purges; nearly 30% of the residents were arrested and either imprisoned or executed. Now it is home to a theater as well as apartments.
|Peter the Great Statue (1997, by Zurab Tsereteli); at|
98 m/322' it is the eighth tallest statue in the world (KSS)
The Viking Truvor staff do not consider 'Peter the Great' a statue (rather a memorial), or else they refuse to acknowledge that their beloved 'The Motherland Calls' (1959-1967) has been topped by 13 m/43'!
The tour groups were collected by the motor coaches, and we were driven up into Sparrow Hills near Moscow State University. A stop for a panoramic view over the city of Moscow, at dusk.
|Well, supposedly we can see some of the seven Stalin-era skyscrapers,|
and that is the Luzhniki Stadium in the center (KSS)
Luzhniki Stadium was the main stadium of the 1980 Summer Olympics and hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is the largest stadium in Russia and is home to several soccer teams. Viking passengers were accompanied by many men in kilts when flying into Moscow yesterday, as the guys were coming to support Scotland vs Moscow in a soccer game tomorrow, for a spot in the Euro 2020 championship. (Moscow won 4-0.)
Rather than getting stuck in traffic if we were to return to our ship for dinner, the plan was to go directly to an evening event. For this reason we were given a "snack box" for our evening meal. This snack box held a ham and cheese sandwich, apple juice, banana, apple, granola bar, potato chips, and a candy bar. We were also given bottle of water. It was more than enough!
And being dark, I have no idea where we went for our "special performance of original Russian music and dance" (no dancing, although there was singing) featuring traditional Russian folk instruments! We felt like we were walking into the community center of an apartment complex, which had a decent concert hall.
|Russian folk instrument orchestra (KSS)|
Whatever, the performance was outstanding, and involved audience participation!
Next: Sergiev Posad.