January 01, 2009

Travel Notes

Ivan Opens

A new museum opened in the Kremlin’s Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Exhibitions feature architectural and decorative elements from ancient Kremlin buildings, like the first Dormition Cathedral and Chudov monastery – the latter destroyed after the Revolution. The panoramic view from the tower allows visitors to see Moscow from what was the city’s highest vantage point for 300 years, from the 16th  until the 19th century, when Christ the Savior Cathedral was built.

The tower will likely only be open in summer, Kremlin museum director Yelena Gagarina told Interfax. The 81-meter-high bell tower was erected in the 1530s; its final level was added in 1600, under Boris Godunov. The bell tower is home to 32 bells, the oldest of which dates to 1501.

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