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Ivanovskaya, or Ivan Square, is the second-largest in the Kremlin. At the South end it leads to Grand Kremlin Square and the Moskva River. The Eastern side of the area is taken up by the long yellow building of the Kremlin Administration, while on the West side there's the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower complex. The North end seamlessly connects to the Troitsky, or Holy Trinity, and Senate Squares of the Kremlin.
There's a famous historic relic standing on Ivan Square – the Tsar Cannon and its accompanying cannonballs. Towering above the cannon we see the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, although it's frankly better viewed from Cathedral Square.
You're obliged to stand on the pavement on the cannon side on Ivan Square. If you attempt to step into the road, some rather threatening policemen will usually start blowing their whistles at you.
A footpath leads to the Tainitsky Gardens – a haven of peace and quiet within the Kremlin.
The area and appearance of Ivanovskaya, or Ivan Square have changed with the ebb and flow of time. The square was named Ivan Square since the time the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower was built – in the C15th.
During the 16th and 17th centuries government offices of different kinds sprang up here – the state agencies of the time, the judicial service, and the offices of various departments. For example the square was the first address of the Moscow Post-Office – there was a stage-coach office, from which private letters could be sent.
In olden days Ivan square was the place where town criers would announce the Tsar's decrees. They did it so loudly that the turn of phrase ‘to shout so all Ivan Square can hear you’ entered the vocabulary. This was one of the busiest and most crowded places in Moscow. Petitioners came from every part of the country, and clerks did a brisk business for illiterate people, writing up their petitions in a literate form.
This long square is called Ivanovskaya, or Ivan Square. It lies to the East of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. One corner of the Senate Palace extends out on it, along with the long yellow building of the Kremlin Administration.
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.