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This is an extract from the Reading Materials in English that are available in the English and Education section of the website of the Liberal Party of  Sri Lanka,

The entire text of Historic Buildings by Goolbai Gunasekara, covering twelve famous constructions, is now available on that website.

Kremlin - Saint Basil's Cathedral

Whenever we think of the Kremlin we think of Russia. It is in the very heart of Moscow. The Kremlin buildings have grown along with the Russian State and they are indissolubly linked with the history of the country.

The Kremlin is situated on the Moskva river on the high left bank. The first time the Kremlin was mentioned was around 1475 when the architect Aristotele Fioravanti was invited by Czar Ivan III to plan the overall architecture of its walls and towers.

But this does not mean that the Kremlin was being built for the first time. There had been an earlier Kremlin built of white stone in the shape of a triangle. The triangle of the new walls repeated the old triangle. The old buildings and the new ones eventually became a distinctive architectural ensemble.

Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Kremlin consists of many buildings, both secular and religious. There are lovely churches like the Cathedral of Archangel Michael. There was also the old Patriarchal Palace which is now a museum. What many see as the central building of the Kremlin, the Great Palace, was built in 1838 under the direction of Konstantin Thon. To build this magnificent edifice old Kremlin buildings were torn down. The old palaces of the Czar gave way to the new one.

The Kremlin is huge. It is not possible to describe every section of it. It is enough though to say that it is of exceptional historical and engineering interest. It is also most artistic.

A 17th-century hall in the Terem Palace, as painted in the 1840s.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

August 2010
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