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The Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin is in the heart of Moscow: major thoroughfares of the city either converge on the Kremlin, or form a series of concentric circles around it. Kremlin's Great Palace and the Palace of Congress are the meeting places of the congresses of the people's deputies of Russia.

The Moscow Kremlin was built by Russian builders by the order of Ivan III in the 15th century and supervised by Italian architects.

The twenty towers of the Kremlin, which give it a unique aspect, were built for decoration and have no military significance. They were constructed in the 17th century when Moscow ceased to be a fortress. Among the ancient buildings in the Kremlin are the churches and a tall bell tower built in 1600 by Russian architects and known as the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great. In the largest cathedral of the Kremlin (Assumption), there are some very fine frescoes. It was there that the Russian tsars and emperors were crowned.

Among other historical monuments in the Kremlin are the Tsar Cannon (the 16th century) and the Tsar Bell (the 18th century), both of enormous size and made by Russian masters.

The collections of the Kremlin museums are unsurpassable in their variety: they comprise early Russian paintings, icons, 12th - 17th century frescoes, side and firearms made by Russian, Oriental and Western European masters of the 14th - 19th centuries; carriages, sledges, coaches and ceremonial horsecloths of the 16th - 19th centuries; Oriental carpets and Western European tapestries, articles by Russian and Western European silversmiths; illuminated manuscripts, books, porcelain, and carved stones.

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