The Russian Kremlins

Many people think that in Russia there is only one Kremlin and this Kremlin is in Moscow. But it is not correct. Kremlin is a common word meaning fortress or castle. Russia has a large collection of Kremlins.

What is Kremlin

Kremlin – is the common name of the fortifications that protect the city, is a strong wall with towers and moats. In many cities outside the Kremlin used to build more houses, markets, shops and etc. For their protection later the governors built second and in some cases third lines of walls. In this case, the name Kremlin had only the fortress that protected the central part of the city. In ancient Russia, the village could have a title of the city only if it had a Kremlin.

Currently, the name “Kremlin” is also used for some fortresses that protect monasteries, bishop’s residences and some palaces. Kremlins you can see as well in the cities like Vologda, Alexandrov, Rostov and others.

There are some theories of the origin of the word “Kremlin”. But the most appropriate theory says that the word “kremlin” came from the Turkic word “kärmän”, meaning “fortress”.

The oldest Kremlin in Russia

Originally the Slavic built the wooden fortresses. No wonder that the Scandinavians in ancient times named the Russian territories “Gardarica”, which means “country of fortresses”. In Russia, before the invasion of the Mongols (in 1237-1240) there were around 400 Kremlins.

lubshanskiy kremlin

In the VIIIth century was built the oldest kremlin it was made of wood and stone:  the Lubshanskaya fortress on the Volhv and Lubsha rivers which is near Staraya Ladoga in Leningradskaya oblast near Saint Petersburg. The fortress was found in 1960. In 1996 was organized the second expedition in which archaeologists began the excavation in the course of which was found this outstanding monument.

Some parts of the fort are preserved as fences, parts of walls of a height of 2.2 meters, and some remains of complementary walls and buildings.

Nowadays, in the territory of Lubchansky kremlin are held archaeological excavations so you can see the monument only from afar.

The most well-known Kremlins of Russia

Here is a list of the best-known Kremlins in Russia.

These kremlins are marked on the map below.

Visit the Kremlins

You can visit the Russian’s Kremlin on your own or with some tour company. About the Kremlin of Kazan, you can read more here.

Kremlin of Moscow on the outside can be visited with Free Tour Moscow during the free tour. If you wish to visit the Kremlin on the inside we recommend you to contact the company GuiaRus to contract a professional guided.

To visit other Russian kremlins with a guide, we also advise you to write to GuiaRus they will be glad to organize a private tour for you.

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