"And from our window Red Square is visible" - earlier these were lines from Marshak's poem, and now it is more like an advertisement for elite housing in a white-stone building. Red Square is the central square of Moscow. It is located in front of the eastern wall of the Kremlin and is bounded on three sides by the building of the State Historical Museum, the GUM building and St. Basil's Cathedral. For many centuries, Red Square has served as an arena for important events in Russian history.
The emergence of Red Square dates back to the end of the 15th century, when, by order of Tsar Ivan III, wooden buildings around the Kremlin were demolished, which threatened the royal residence with constant fires.
In their place, near the eastern Kremlin wall, an area for small trade was organized. Initially, it was called that - Torgovaya, and in the 16th century it was called Trinity, because in the southern part of the square there was the Trinity Church. In official documents, the square received its modern name in the spring of 1661, which testifies to the assignment of the name "Red" by the decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich himself. The name of the square comes from the word "beautiful", the expression "red maiden" has the same roots.
For defensive purposes, in 1508-1516, a 12-meter-deep ditch was dug in front of the Kremlin wall, connecting the Moskva River with the Neglinnaya River. This moat, enclosed by walls on both sides, was filled up only after 1812. On the north side of the square there was the Kitay-Gorod gate, and on the east side there were rows of commercial premises. In 1555-1560, on the southern side of Red Square, on the site of the Trinity Church, the Russian architects Barma and Postnik built the Intercession Cathedral (St. Basil's Cathedral).
In the 30s of the 16th century, a platform was built on Red Square, which was named Lobnoye Mesto. This platform served as a kind of tribune for the announcement of the most important government decrees and for solemn ceremonies. Executions were sometimes performed on log platforms near the Execution Grounds. In its current form, the Execution Ground has existed since 1786, after its reconstruction according to the project of the architect M.F. Kazakov. It is a round stone elevation with a platform surrounded by a parapet and a staircase.
By the end of the 17th century, the importance of Red Square in the life of Moscow and the Russian state increased. In 1697, the Mint was erected here, in 1699 - Zemsky Prikaz, later - the Main Pharmacy. In 1755, Moscow University was opened in the building of the Main Pharmacy.
In 1786, according to the project of the architect G. Quarenghi, new shopping arcades were erected opposite the Kremlin wall. This building, destroyed during the Patriotic War of 1812, was rebuilt in 1814-1815, and in 1818 a monument to the heroes of the struggle against the Polish intervention Kozma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky was erected in front of it. In 1930, this monument by the sculptor I. Martos was moved to the Intercession Cathedral.
The appearance of Red Square changed significantly at the end of the 19th century. In 1875-1881, on the northern side of the square, on the site of the Zemsky Prikaz, the building of the Historical Museum was erected by the architect V. Sherwood, and in 1889-1893 - the Upper Trading Rows (now the GUM building) designed by A. Pomerantsev. These buildings were built in a pseudo-Russian style, echoing the towers and walls of the Kremlin.
The next stage in the formation of the Red Square ensemble was associated already with the Soviet period in the history of Russia. Red Square, like the Kremlin, has become a symbol of the new state power, and even its name has been rethought from a revolutionary point of view. Since 1918, parades and demonstrations of workers have been regularly held here on holidays. It was here that the parade took place on November 7, 1941, the participants of which left the square directly to the front line, and the Victory Parade on June 24, 1945.
In 1924, on Red Square, in front of the Kremlin wall, according to the project of A. Shchusev, a wooden Mausoleum was built, in which Lenin was buried. In 1929-1930 the Mausoleum was rebuilt in stone, and in 1930-1931 stands were created over the Mausoleum, designed by the architect V. Frantsuz. At the same time, spruce trees were planted along the Kremlin wall, and Red Square, previously paved with cobblestones, was covered with paving stones.
Since 1993, photography with the use of professional photographic equipment and (or) a tripod on Red Square and other territories adjacent to the Kremlin has been prohibited. All cameras with a body height of more than 140 mm and a removable lens diameter of more than 70 mm are banned. To obtain permission, you must contact the Commandant's Office of the Moscow Kremlin.
The necropolis at the Kremlin wall is a memorial cemetery on Moscow's Red Square, where there are urns with the ashes of the communists buried in the 1920s and 1930s.
Since December 3, 2006, an ice rink with an area of 2, 800 m² has been built every winter on Red Square, where up to 500 people can skate on ice at the same time. The skating rink's capacity is up to 5, 000 visitors per day.
On May 28, 1987, the German pilot Mathias Rust made an unauthorized flight from Helsinki to Moscow and landed on Red Square. More precisely, the landing itself actually took place on the bridge over the Moskva River, after which the plane reached almost to St. Basil's Cathedral already on the chassis and stopped there.
In December 2003, a suicide bomber and the widow of a Chechen rebel blew herself up at the entrance to the square, taking the lives of five people with her.
The body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the first leader of the Soviet Union, who died in 1924, was embalmed and has been kept in the Lenin Mausoleum since 1930. The tomb monument is located on Red Square near the Kremlin wall.
Despite the fact that the square is the symbolic center of the country, there is only one statue on its territory. It depicts Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky - patriots who suppressed the invasion of the Poles in 1612.