|0672 Red Square, with Saint Basil's Cathedral and Spasskaya tower|
Often considered the central square of Moscow, Red Square separates the Kremlin from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. The name neither originates from the pigment of the surrounding bricks nor from the link between the colour red and communism. Rather, the name came about because the Russian word krasnaya, which means both "red" and "beautiful," was applied to a small area between St. Basil's Cathedral, the Spasskaya tower of the Kremlin, and the herald's platform called Lobnoe Mesto, and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich officially extended the name to the entire square.
The buildings surrounding the square are all significant in some respect. Lenin's Mausoleum contains the embalmed body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. Nearby to the South is the elaborate brightly domed Saint Basil's Cathedral and the palaces and cathedrals of the Kremlin. On the Eastern side of the square is the GUM department store, and next to it the restored Kazan Cathedral. The Northern side is occupied by the State Historical Museum, whose outlines echo those of Kremlin towers. The Iberian Gate and Chapel have been rebuilt to the Northwest.
The only sculptured monument on the square is a bronze statue of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, who helped to clear Moscow from the Polish invaders in 1612, during the Times of Trouble. Nearby is the so‑called Lobnoye Mesto, a circular platform where public ceremonies used to take place. Both the Minin and Pozharskiy statue and the Lobnoye Mesto were once located more centrally in Red Square but were moved to their current locations to facilitate the large military parades of the Soviet era. The square itself is around 330m long and 70m wide.
Red Square is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site The Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, about which I wrote here.
About the stamp
The stamp, depicting Ryazan Kremlin, is part of the series Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here.
Red Square - Wikipedia
Sender: Ksenia / Ksushencka (postcrossing) RU-1085638
Ssent from Moskow (Russia), on 16.07.2012
Photo: A. Furkova