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Here, on the opposite side of the Alexander Gardens, there's an artificial stretch of water, simulating the Neglinnaya river (which is ducted underground here these days). There are numerous fountains and sculptures of characters from Russian fairytales.
There's a dark construction in the shape of an ancient altar, next to a very old tree. This is a ventilation outlet leading down to the Neglinnaya river, which is ducted below ground.
Long ago there were no gardens here at all – the space was filled by the Neglinnaya river, also known as the Neglinka. Back in the C16th its waters formed the Kremlin's moat. Gradually the river's flow weakened and narrowed, leaving riverbanks where mills, bath-houses and smithies sprang up. A water-wheel dam was installed, that slowed the river to a series of pools, used for fish-breeding and in case of fires. Four bridges crossed the Neglinka. One of them is still here – the stone Troitsky, or Holy Trinity Bridge by which tourists enter the Kremlin. You can see it well from here.
By the mid-C18th the Neglinnaya river had become quite polluted, due to rising population numbers using it as a sewer, and the expansion of industry along the riverbanks – the water was filthy, and stank to high heaven. In the early C19th they ducted the river underground, and it was only recently that they allowed a short stretch out into the open – the part at the end of the Alexander Gardens. But actually it's a fake – it's clean water from the city drinking-water system, and not the Neglinnaya at all! The real Neglinnaya is grimly brown, and piped through a large duct. The closest you can get to the real Neglinnaya is that large black ventilation outlet – listen closely, and you can hear it roaring down below.
Moscow Kremlin is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west. It is the best known of Kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation. It is also open-air museum. Tourists can just walk outdoors there or can visit cathedrals, Big Kremlin Palace and the Armory Chamber. The Kremlin Museums were established in 1961 and the complex was among the first Soviet patrimonies inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1990.
The site has been continuously inhabited since the 2nd century BC, and originates from a Vyatich fortified structure on Borovitsky Hill where the Neglinnaya River flowed into the Moskva River. Up to the 14th century, the site was known as the 'grad of Moscow'. The grad was greatly extended by Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy in 1156, destroyed by the Mongols in 1237 and rebuilt in oak in 1339. Later in 1366–1368Dmitri Donskoy replaced the oak walls with a strong citadel of white limestone on the basic foundations of the current walls. This fortification withstood a siege by Khan Tokhtamysh.
Grand Prince Ivan III organised the reconstruction of the Kremlin, inviting a number of skilled architects from Renaissance Italy who designed the new Kremlin wall and its towers, and the new palace for the prince. It was during his reign that three extant cathedrals of the Kremlin, the Deposition Church, and the Palace of Facets were constructed. The highest building of the city and Muscovite Russia was the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, built in 1505–08. The Kremlin walls as they now appear were built between 1485 and 1495. During the Time of Troubles, the Kremlin was held by the Polish forces for two years, between 21 September 1610 and 26 October 1612. The Kremlin's liberation by the volunteer army of Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin paved the way for the election of Mikhail Romanov as the new czar. During his reign and that of his son Alexis, the eleven-domed Upper Saviour Cathedral, Armorial Gate, Terem Palace, Amusement Palace and the palace of Patriarch Nikon were built. During the Imperial period, from the early 18th and until the late 19th century, Kremlin walls were traditionally painted white, in accordance with the time's fashion. During the Soviet period the Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent, with their 16th-century cathedrals, were dismantled to make room for the military school and Palace of Congresses. The Little Nicholas Palace and the old Saviour Cathedral were pulled down as well. Now the plans of the government are to restore those lost masterpieces. And probably soon the Kremlin will return all its former buildings.