Cathedral Square (The Kremlin)
The Cathedral square came into being as early as the C14th, when the first stone churches were built here. At its northern end the square is framed by the massive golden dome of Assumption Cathedral, almost filling one end of the square. The space under its huge portal is filled by the image of the Holy Virgin surround by Archangels. Adjacent to Assumption Cathedral are the Patriarch's Chambers, with their pedestrian arches and Church of The Twelve Apostles. The Southern end of Cathedral Square is filled by the Archangel Michael Cathedral, capped with a golden cupola and decorated with carved semicircles on the facade. The whole of the East side is taken up by the tall structure of the Ivan The Great Bell-Tower. Facing the bell-tower on the opposite side is a white-stone rectangular building with cut-stone decoration – The Granovitaya, or Faceted, Palace. Finally to the left of the Faceted Palace are the gold domes of the Annunciation Cathedral.
Cathedral of the Assumption. The grandfather of all the Kremlin churches, the Assumption Cathedral is the oldest and the biggest. Built in 1475 by Italian architect Aristotle Fiorovanti, this is where Ivan the Terrible was crowned Emperor in 1547 before becoming a stable for Napoleon's horses in 1812. Their soldiers made off with the chandeliers now hanging overhead, some weighing over 5 tonnes. The cossacks brought them back after they caught up with the light-fingered Frenchmen. In 1918 the last Easter service was held here. Services resumed in 1990.
The Patriarch's Palace. Once the home of the Moscow Patriarch, this grand medieval building is now a museum where ecclesiastical treasures of the Orthodox church are on display as well as various precious tableware, furniture, jewellery and clothing used in the court of the medieval Tsars. The building also often houses temporary exhibitions.
Church of the Deposition of the Robes. Taking its name from an ancient festival where the Virgin's robes are transferred from Palestine to Constantinople (now Istanbul), this is a more modest cathedral nestled in a corner. Built in 1484 - 1485 by artists from Pskov, this church notably has stained glass windows. Along with some fine icons, inside you can also find wooden sculptures from the 15th century.