July 01, 2006

Travel Notes

Changing the Guards

A ceremonial changing of the Kremlin guards on Saturdays – a new tourist magnet in Moscow – has revived traditions dating back to Peter the Great. When the 15-minute-long ceremony was reinstated last year in the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square, some compared it to the changing of the guard at London’s Buckingham Palace.

With guards dressed in uniforms styled after tsarist livery from 1913, and military choreography accompanied by the flutes and drums of the Presidential Orchestra, which has played in the Kremlin since 1938, the ceremony contrasts favorably with the somber, Soviet-era changing of the guard at Lenin’s Tomb. A more remote prototype was the changing of the guard at Peterhof Palace, near St. Petersburg, during tsarist times. 

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