A kremlin is a Russian fortress that was built around big cites for defence during the Middle Ages. It had a wall and towers that separated it from other parts of a city. The inner part of kremlins contained churches and cathedrals, as well as government and office buildings.
The most famous Kremlin lies in the centre of Moscow. It has been the centre of power for many centuries. First built by a Russian prince in the 12th century it was rebuilt and extended with cathedrals, towers and palaces centuries later. Today's Kremlin walls were built by Italian artist.
Although the Kremlin was the centre of government until 1712 it lost its defence function. It was the centre of tsarist Russia until Peter the Great moved the Russian capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The Kremlin became the centre of power in the early 20th until Communism collapsed in 1991.
The Kremlin has a length of almost 2.5 kilometres and is triangular in shape. The walls are up to 20 meters high. It is the home of famous paintings, jewels and crowns of Russian tsars. Many buildings have been turned into museums.
The fortress overlooks the Moskva River, the Red Square and Saint Basil's Cathedral. It is the official home of the Russian president. In the 1600s the Kremlin’s towers and buildings were redecorated. During the 20th century new buildings were added. Cathedral Square lies at the heart of the fortress, where all streets of Moscow used to come together. It is surrounded by three cathedrals.
The Kremlin in Moscow
- although = while
- cathedral = very large church
- century = a hundred years
- contain = have in them
- crown = metal circle that a king or queen wears on their heads
- defence = protection
- extend = to make larger
- fortress = a large strong building used to defend important places
- heart = centre
- jewel = valuable and expensive stone, like a diamond
- redecorated = to make something look more attractive by putting paintings or other objects in it
- separate = split, divide
- shape = form
- surround = to be around something
- triangular = shape that has three sides
- tsar = ruler of Russia until 1917