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Behind the Mausoleum, but in front of the Kremlin Wall, stands a row of granite busts – and the graves of revolutionaries. In all there are two mass graves, one to each side of the mausoleum, plus twelve individual graves behind it, and still further caskets set into brick-chinks in the Kremlin Wall itself.
The first burials in this area of revolutionary graves occurred during the 1917 Revolution itself – more than 200 workers died in the pitched battles to take the Kremlin. The funerals were purposely arranged to raise revolutionary spirit and spite the displaced regime. On the first anniversary of the revolution a memorial plaque was unveiled, reading “to those who fell in the struggle for peace and brotherhood among peoples”.
From the 1920s burials began here of dead leaders of the international communist movement. Still later they placed a so-called Columbarium – a resting-place for the funerary urns of prominent communists, which were set into the Kremlin Wall itself. The top elite of soviet society were buried thus, and the tradition continued for many years. The last urn to be set in the Wall was that on Field-Marshall Ustinov, who died in 1984. There are 150 urns altogether.
The urns entombed in the Kremlin Wall are not only those of political leaders and generals, but also scientists, authors, cosmonauts, and other heroes of socialist life. Among those remembered here are the author Maxim Gorky; the father of the soviet nuclear weapons program Kurchatov; chief engineer of the soviet space program Korolyov; first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin; WW2 hero Field-Marshall Zhukov; French communist and feminist Inessa Armand, a possible romantic liaison of Lenin's; and the American communist John Reed, whose book of “Ten Days That Shocked The World” related the story of the Revolution. There are many more prominent people from the socialist era buried here also.
Burial in the Kremlin Wall was considered the highest of honours. Here too are buried soviet leaders of different generations – each of these burials is marked by a granite bust behind the Mausoleum. Today, however, the graves here have lost their significance as «Cemetery №1» and remain only a memorial.
Moscow is the capital of the ancient and modern Russian state. It has been playing crucial role for centuries. Here you can face all episodes of rich and gorgeous Russian history.
The city is full of historical buildings, monuments, cathedrals, museums and parks. It started many centuries ago from the Kremlin – medieval city-fortress overlooking the Moskva River. Now it is not only the government seat but open air museum. Behind the tall red brick walls palaces, cathedrals and museums are hidden. You can get there through one of the gates and walk along the streets that saw Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Peter the Great and all other Romanovs, and the Soviet leaders.
You can visit all the cathedrals on Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square, climb Ivan the Great Bell Tower, take photos of the Tzar Bell and Tzar Cannon, see state regalia, ceremonial vestments and gold and silver relics in the world-known treasury-house – the Armoury Chamber. To say more, the Kremlin and its vicinities are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
We would like to advise you not to concentrate on the Kremlin only. Now you can get out of the Kremlin through the Spasskiye Gate and find yourself on Red Square – the main square of the country where Victory Day parades take place. In winter there is a skating rink with some kind of souvenir bazar. Red Square is famous for being the part of so called Kitai-Gorod – the second ring of fortified walls. Here you will see the beautiful fairy-tale St. Basil’s Cathedral. It is open for tourists and it’s worth visiting. Other places that pay tourists’ attention are GUM (the main center for shopaholics), Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State History Museum and the small Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady. If you go along Nikolskaya Street, you will get to Lubyanka Square with the imposing buildings of former KGB and the biggest in Russia Children's World Department Store.
If you decide to go through the Resurrection Gate you will find yourself on Manezhnaya (Manege) Square at the entrance to the Alexander Garden. It’s a large pedestrian open space and a nice place to walk and relax near the fountains. Underground Trade Centre ”Okhotny Ryad” or “the Hunter’s Row” is a paradise for shopping. You can continue your walk towards Arbat or Tverskaya Street. There are also fine buildings to visit and to take pictures of: The Shilov Art Gallery, hotels “Moskva”, “Nationale”, Pashkov's House, The Former House of the Moscow State Duma etc.
If you decide to turn round Georgy Zhukov’s horse monument you’ll occur on Revolution Square where you can visit the Museum of Patriotic War of 1812. From there it’s very easy to get to Teatralnaya or “Theatre” Square limited by the Metropol Hotel, The Bolshoi and the Maly Theatres. In the center you will find a beautiful fountain by Vitali.
All these sites and even more you will be able to visit and explore with knowledgeable audio excursion with offline map from Your Audio Guide “Attractions around the Kremlin”. You will find Moscow very pleasant for spending holidays.