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1.3.1. Kremlin grounds and Cathedrals and Armory Chamber
Moscow Kremlin - a symbol of Moscow and Russia. It’s the former residence of Russian tzars and patriarchs. It holds a unique collection of historical, architectural and cultural items. The Kremlin contains such unique masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture as the Cathedral of the Assumption — once the main cathedral of Rus, where tzars were crowned and patriachs buried; the Cathedral of Archangel Michael, the burial place of Russian tzars and Grand princes; the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the royal chapel. The Armory Chamber, established in 1720 by order of Peter I, is the oldest Russian museum and a treasure house of Russian artistic craftsmanship from ancient times till our days.
1.3.2. The State Diamond Fund
The State Diamond Fund holds fabulous collection of Russia's state jewels. The idea of collecting jewels that belonged specifically to the Russian state - rather than to the ruling family - originated with Peter the Great, who had seen similar collections on his travels in Europe. He issued a proclamation that ordered each of his successors to leave a number of their jewels to the state, and declared that the state's fund was inviolate: the jewels could never be sold, altered or given away. The fund was housed in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, in a secure room called the Diamond Chamber, and grew rapidly, with a particularly large contribution from Peter's granddaughter, Empress Elizabeth, who was notorious for her love of expensive costumes and jewelry. With the threat of German invasion looming, the collection was transported from St. Petersburg to Moscow in 1914, to be kept safe in vaults beneath the Kremlin.
1.3.3. Tretyakov Gallery
For most Westerners, Russian art is something of a closed book up until the 20th century and the appearance of giants such as Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich. The Tretyakov gives you the chance to discover the rich tradition from which these great artists sprang onto the world stage. Often referred to as the Old Tretyakov to differentiate it from the annex next door, the gallery has 62 rooms and 100,000 works charting the development of Russian painting from the 10th to the end of the 19th Centruy. Icons are an acquired taste - although the Tretyakov collection is impressive - and it's hard to get excited over the derivative, Italian-influenced portraits and landscapes of the 18th Century, but the rejection of the Imperial Academy's restrictive diktats and the attempt to create a national art for the people that gained momentum as the 19th century progressed produced some fascinating results. Fans of Russian literature can entertain themselves by seeing how the concerns and ideals of the great 19th century writers were reflected by the artists of the same period.
1.3.4. Trinity-St.Sergius Lavra
75km to the northeast of Moscow lies the town of Sergiev Posad (Zagorsk in the Soviet era). Although it is nowadays an industrial centre with a population of over 100,000, its fame rests on the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergii (a Lavra is the highest rank of Orthodox monastery, and there are only four in all Russia), the Russian Orthodox equivalent of the Vatican, which has a complex of medieval buildings to rival those of the Kremlin. The monastery is named after St. Sergii of Radonezh, a 14th century monk from Rostov whose pious, ascetic existence attracted numerous followers to the hermit's retreat he had established in the forests around Moscow. The wooden monastery built by Sergii and his followers was razed by the Tartars shortly after his death, but his tomb survived and, in 1422, the year of his canonization, work began on the construction of the Trinity Cathedral. This imposing, white-stone building, with unusual sloping walls and gold dome, became a blue-print for Russian church architecture and the inspiration for the Kremlin's Cathedral of the Assumption. In 1458 a brick chapel was added to house the tomb of Sergii's successor, Nikon of Radonezh. Inside the Cathedral there is a silver shrine containing the relics of St. Sergii, and an iconostasis with many works by Andrei Rublev.
In 1476, Ivan the Great instructed craftsmen from Pskov to build the graceful Church of the Holy Ghost, a rectangular structure of white brick, topped by a slender, blue and gold domed bell-tower, which also acted as a lookout post. In the decade after 1540, the monastery's wooden fortifications were replaced with the mile-long brick walls that stand to this day. They were made higher in the mid 17th century, and tent-roofed spires were added to six of their ten defensive towers, as happened at the Kremlin at about the same time. The towers have names such as the Drying Tower and the Beer Tower, which refer to their former functions. Ivan the Terrible's successful assault on Kazan in 1552 was prompted by the advice of Abbot Bassyan, head of the Trinity Lavra, and the Tsar expressed his gratitude by ordering the construction of the Cathedral of the Assumption. It was completed in 1585, during the regency of Boris Gudonov, who lies with his family in a modest tomb beneath the Cathedral walls. The Cathedral is similar in structure to its namesake in the Kremlin - and equally impressive - the major difference being in the colour scheme: Here the white walls contrast with four azure domes and a larger central gold one. Inside the Cathedral, a two-headed eagle stands as monument to the time in 1685 when the future Peter the Great took refuge here with his mother and brother from the marauding Streltsy. The boy Tsar was only saved by the sanctity of the place and the fortuitous arrival of a loyal cavalry regiment.
There are several other churches and chapels within and just outside the monastery walls, but the other main architectural attractions are the Refectory, a palatial building with intricate and brightly coloured decorations, completed in 1692, and the ornate Tsar Palace of the same period, which later became the Theological Academy.
We are offering a wide range of the different vehicles for the airport transfers and excursions – De luxe coaches 49 seaters, limousines 9 – 11 seaters, luxuries minivans 8-16 seaters.
Airport transfer by coach – from 150 Euro
Airport transfer by limousine – from 150 Euro
Airport transfer by minivan – from 100 Euro.
To save precious time in the traffic Moscow Bureau of Voyage provides Blue Light Fast Track with the police escort – from 600 Euro.