!!!Bird Eye View of the Moscow Kremlin

by [Sergey Semenov|http://www.airpano.com/Photogallery.php?gallery=3] and
[Stas Sedov|http://rccam.livejournal.com],
members of the [AirPano Team|Geography/About/Consortium/AirPano,_Team] that is a member of the [global-geography Consortium|Geography/About/Consortium]. \\

7 September 2013

with kind permission of [AirPano|http://www.AirPano.com]

In present day AirPano team with the support of the President of
Russia,V.V. Putin, and Russian Geographic Society (RGS) carries out the
panorama shootings of historic-architectural ensemble of Moscow Kremlin
and Red Square. Even though these photo shootings still continue, and
all of the results of our work will be presented on our website only in
several months, today project AirPano.ru and Russian Geographical
Society are presenting Russian citizens a gift for Moscow City Day – a
unique virtual tour over Kremlin with five spherical panoramas!

Until now no one else managed to take photos of Kremlin from these
unique angles.

[{Image src='01_Kremlin_s star.jpg' caption='Kremlin_s star' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='476'}]

In December of last year we applied for the Russian Geographical Society
(RGS) grant to develop AirPano.ru project. Quite surprisingly, we were
invited to attend a meeting of the expert committee, and the project was
approved after we had given our presentation. The ceremonial
presentation of the RGS grants was held in April 2013 at the meeting of
the RGS Board of Trustees under the chairmanship of President Vladimir

During his presentation at the meeting our colleague Sergey Semyonov
asked V. Putin for his assistance in granting the permit to shoot Moscow
Kremlin from the air. The President supported his idea and now we’ve
completed several photo shootings over the territory of Kremlin.

[{Image src='02_President of Russia V. V. Putin handed AirPano the Grant Certificate from the RGS.jpg' caption='President of Russia V. V. Putin handed AirPano the Grant Certificate from the RGS' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='622'}]

Although it will take several months before all the photos are posted on
our website, today AirPano project has prepared a gift for the city: a
virtual tour over the Kremlin consisting of five spherical panoramas.

And now we want to tell you a few historical facts about this unique
architectural monument.

The name "Kremlin" was given to a fortified complex found in various
historic Russian cities. There are numerous kremlins in Russia that
managed to survive up to this day: the Novgorod Kremlin, the Kazan
Kremlin, the Pskov Kremlin, the Kolomna Kremlin. But only one Kremlin
speaks for itself — the world-famous Moscow Kremlin in the capital of
the Russian Federation. It's the largest fortress in Europe preserved
and functioning up to this day. The Kremlin is a major tourist
attraction, a Russian president's residence, and Russia's most famous

[{Image src='03_Cathedral of St. Vasily the Blessed.jpg' caption='Cathedral of St. Vasily the Blessed' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='704'}]

The first settlements on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin were
established during the Bronze Age in 2000 BC, but the first
fortifications appeared here much later in 1156. A 850-meter long wooden
fortification with a total area of about 3 hectares was surrounded by a
16-18-meter long and 5-meter deep moat.

During the Mongol-Tatar invasion, the Kremlin was destroyed and then
rebuilt. But only in the middle of the 14th century, during the rule of
the Grand Prince Dmitry Donskoy, the Kremlin's wooden walls and towers
were replaced by structures from local white stone. It was from that
moment on that Moscow was referred to as "Moscow made of white stone"
("Moskva belokamennaya").

[{Image src='04_Cathedral Square, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.jpg' caption='Cathedral Square, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='351'}]

However, in the 15th century, during the rule of Ivan the Great, they
had to rebuild it because its walls were falling apart. Italian
architects were invited for the Kremlin's restoration, and because of
this reason it is combined the best features of both Russian and Italian
architecture. Thus, the impregnable fortress followed the example of the
famous Sforza Castle in Milan, while its temples' architectural style
strictly followed the Russian tradition.

[{Image src='05_Red Square.jpg' caption='Red Square' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='621'}]

Brick was chosen as a base material for the construction. The central
part of the Kremlin is occupied by Cathedral Square with the Cathedral
of the Annunciation, the Cathedral of the Dormition, the Hall of Facets,
and the Cathedral of the Archangel, the burial place of Russian princes
and kings, and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.

Another major reconstruction of the Kremlin took place at the turn of
the 16th century, and since then its appearance remained almost
unchanged, except for the color.

[{Image src='06_Kremlin star.jpg' caption='Kremlin star' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='723'}]

According to historical records and pictures, the walls of the fortress
remained white for many centuries. To preserve the brickwork, as well as
the memory of the "white Kremlin of Dmitry Donskoy," burnt bricks were
carefully whitewashed. It is believed that the permission to paint the
Kremlin in red color was given by Stalin in 1947 to celebrate the 800th
anniversary of Moscow. And before that, during World War II, the Kremlin
had a unique disguise. A breakthrough project (for that time) was
developed by a group under the leadership of academician Boris Iofan:
the Kremlin's white walls were painted with house walls and black
windows, fake streets were built on Red Square, and they even put a dome
with a picture of a house above Lenin's Mausoleum. It was that disguise
that protected the greatest Russian monument from being bombed and
helped its survival to this day.

[{Image src='07_Cathedral Square, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.jpg' caption='Cathedral Square, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='441'}]

It is worth mentioning that there were some buildings on the Kremlin's
territory that didn't stand the test of time. For example, the Palace of
Queen Natalia was taken apart by the decision of the famous architect
Bartolomeo Rastrelli, and they made a parade area where Athanasius
monastery used to be.

[{Image src='08_Spasskaya Tower_s chimes.jpg' caption='Spasskaya Tower_s chimes' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='621'}]

However, since the 15th century the Kremlin's towers and walls with
their characteristic design have been and continue to be a symbol of
Moscow and Russia.

\\ \\
[5 Panoramas of Bird_Eye_View_of_the_Moscow Kremlin|Geography/Asia/Russia/Pictures/Panoramas_of_Bird_Eye_View_of_the_Moscow_Kremlin]

[{SET customtitle='Bird Eye View of the Moscow Kremlin (AP)'}]      

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