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RUSSIA: THE KREMLIN

The Kremlin is Moscow's city within a city.  It is made of palaces, armories, cathedrals, and a medieval fortress.  Each building and structure has its own history.  The construction has taken many centuries.

Assumption Cathedral is the oldest, largest, and most important of the churches.  It stands on the site of a small Cathedral that was built in 1330.  In 1479 the cathedral that now stands was completed.  Since that time, it has been the scene of all coronations, funerals, and victory services.  Many visitors come to admire the architecture and frescoes.

The Bell Tower of Ivan the Great stands 257 feet tall and the tallest structure in the Kremlin. At one time, 21 great bells tolled here.  The famous Czar's Bell rests at the foot of the tower.  Cast in 1735, it crashed 2 years later.  It is 21 feet in diameter and weighs 230 tons.

The Armory was begun in the early 16th Century for the sole purpose of housing weaponry.  Before long, it began to house the country's treasures.  Today it is home to the armor of Boris Godunov and fifty Faberge eggs.

The State Kremlin Palace is a modern glass and concrete structure that was completed in 1961.  It is the newest building of the Kremlin.  It contains a huge auditorium that holds 6,000 seats.  The stage once held a large head of Lenin.  Today it is used for performances by the Kremlin Ballet Company.

Cathedral Square is the the very center of the Kremlin.  For centuries, it was where ceremonies of the state took place.

1. How many years did it take for the Kremlin to be built from Assumption Cathedral to the State Kremlin Palace?  How old is the Kremlin?

2. To get an idea how tall the Bell Tower is, think of each story of a building as being about 10 feet high.  How many stories high would the Bell Tower be?

3. To get an idea of how heavy 230 tons is, (the weight of one bell), figure out how many 110 pound students would be equal in weight.

4. Although many of the Kremlin's palaces and churches are closed to the public, it is estimated that 60,000 visitors walk the halls and courtyards each day.  Assuming that it is open every day, how many visitors come in a week?  a year?

5. St. George's Hall is 60 feet wide and 200 feet long.  Using your own scale, draw an aerial view of this building.  What is the area of the building?

6. Use graph paper for this.  Draw a building that is 100 feet long and 80 feet tall.  On either side, draw a tower that is 20 feet wide and 120 feet tall.  Draw an onion shaped dome on top of each tower.  Make sure to identify your scale.

Kremlin Solutions

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