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13-Oct-2017 12:11

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The 40-ton Tsar Cannon, built during the reign of Ivan the Terrible's imbecilic son Fyodor in 1586, possesses a barrel in excess of five meters long and a calibre of 890 mm.

The gun should in theory have been capable of smiting foolish attackers with projectiles the size of wine casks.

Petersburg in 1710, Cathedral Square was the focal point of political power in the country--coronations, assemblies of the nobility, and all of the associated ceremonial rituals of state took place here.

If one ignores the statue of Lenin that still looks out across the square from its eastern edge, Cathedral Square provides an unparalleled atmosphere of old tsarist Russia.

The palace's most prominent feature was its huge auditorium (6000 seats), the stage of which was surmounted by a monumental bas-relief head of Lenin surrounded by gilded rays.

Today the palace is used for performances by the Kremlin Ballet Company, and the once familiar relief of Lenin is gone.

Its stone walls were graced by the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption, where Ivan defiantly tore up the charter binding Moscow to Mongol rule.

Over the next two centuries, until Peter the Great transferred the capital of Russia to St. However, the Bolsheviks' choice of Moscow as their capital in March 1918 returned it to preeminence, and during Soviet rule the Kremlin experienced its second life as a great center of power.

The Arsenal is now the headquarters of the Kremlin Guard.

If one thinks of Russia as a traditional matryoska doll, with Moscow contained within the country and the Kremlin similarly nested inside Moscow, then Cathedral Square is the final solid figure contained within the Kremlin.