New Wonder of the World Runner-Up: Red Square

St. Basil's

Red Square, a city square in Moscow (Russia), is a New Wonders of the World Runner-Up and a World Heritage Site. Red Square (the name actually meant “beautiful” in early Russian) separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and the current official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter.  Red Square which measures 1100 feet by 230 feet (obviously not square) is surrounded by significant buildings including: Lenin’s Mausoleum, the ornate onion-domed Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the palaces and cathedrals of the Kremlin, Kazan Cathedral, the State Historical Museum, and the Iberian Gate and Chapel. 


Red Square Parade

(A note from Rita Bay: When researching the posts for Rita Bay’s blog, I use several internet sites, as well as my personal library.  I generally include an overview, the history, interesting facts and the current status of the subject, keeping it really short).  Occasionally, I discover something that shouldn’t be excerpted, edited or otherwise touched.  Check out the following summary of the early historical development of Red Square from “Red Square began life as a slum, a shanty town of wooden huts clustered beneath the Kremlin walls that housed a collection of peddlers, criminals and drunks whose status left them outside the official boundaries of the medieval city. It was cleared on the orders of Ivan III at the end of the 1400’s, but remained the province of the mob, the site of public executions, and rabble rousing, until much later.”

Red Square began to take on its current shape in the late Middle Ages with the construction of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Red Square became the center of government and landing stage and trade center for Moscow. After the deposition of the Russian Czars, the Square served as a showplace for the Russian might and Lenin’s mausoleum.  Today, Red Square remains a center of Moscow and Russian life.

Tomorrow, The Statue of Liberty   Rita Bay

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