Saturday, December 15, 2007
Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, St. Basil is one of the best known icons of Moscow. Legend has it, Ivan was so amazed the beauty, that he had the architect blinded so that he could never design anything as exquisite again. It was closed for renovation, but the outside is stunning enough.
Red Square and the lights of Christmas. In the center is a tree and a large ice skating complex. In the distance, you see the Russian Historical Museum, and one of Moscow's largest and poshest malls - GUM all lit up. There are also pictures of the reconstructed Kazan Cathedral, and the Resurrection Gate.
A surprising winter sunset over Moscow, and a look at some of the 27 towers that surround and protect the Kremlin. Red Square was first and foremost a market square, and the Kremlin was where the village went when invaders came. Also above is the "Yellow House" - Moscow's version of the White House - where Putin works, and I believe resides.
I am told that Moscow often has no more than 10 days of blue sky during the long Winter months, so I consider myself very luck that on my first visit I find a sunny yet bitter cold day. -3 below is -30 in other places. My face was so numb at times I couldn't talk. But the Kremlin provided some shelter in the form of amazing churches and the famous armory, where there was an endless display of royal outfits, weapons, and one of the largest collections of carriages in the world.
In the center of the Kremlin there are at least 6 churches, all form different centuries, showing off the amazingly different architectures and design. Included in the photos are the Cathederal of the Annunciation, and The Great Bell Tower of Ivan the Terrible
The Germans don't play around when it comes to their cars. Don't mistake that to mean that Germans can drive well - but that's another story. Approx a half kilometer from our temp appartment is the Mercedes Munich Headquarters, and they've traditionally displayed mercedes models in the windows, but for Christmas they've turned their window showroom into a bigger than life Advent calendar, and each day they reveal a new toy. Of course they also light up the side of the building to show a Christmas tree with a Mercedes ornament on top as the star.