Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Onions and Eggs of Russia

I've been exploring again. You know that's always dangerous. lol

So this time, I wandered over to Red Square. No really. I'm serious. RED SQUARE. Home to military parades hosting the Soviets, the Nazi's and now Russians. Mathias Rust landed a light aircraft on the square in the 80s. And most recently, not only was Red Square one of the first sites in the USSR added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List, but in happier times, welcomes visitors in the winter for ice skating as well as some of the world's top musicians from Shakira to Pink Floyd.

Upon teleporting, the first thing you notice is how empty it is... then you take note of the total and complete lack of cops. You will however notice the swank cars - leaves you with the impression that if you wait long enough, Vin Diesel will screach around the corner and sweep you off your feet. I landed near Lenin's Mausoleum and wandered inside to find a guy in a box. That's it. So I left.

Other sites on the square were lovely on the exterior. One is St. Basil's Cathedral (also known as Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat) known for it's beautifully coloured onion domes. Commissioned by Ivan the IV, the Cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 by Russian architects Postnik and Barma (although there was rumor of an Italian that I have been unable to confirm). St Basil is said to be burried in one of the chapels and the cathedral itself is said to have been built upon a temple constructed to commemorate the victory of Ivan the Terrible over Kazan and Astrakhan khanate.

If you get a chance, wander on over to Red Square. Take a snapshot or two. But keep your expectations under control. Just like the good ol USSR back in the day, everything is a front - the interiors are as shallow and empty as a hollowed out Easter egg. That's a big difference when you are expecting Fabergé.

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