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Red Square

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Red Square (disambiguation).
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Redsquarenight.jpg
Red Square at night, with Lenin's Tomb (center)

Red Square (Russian Красная площадь, Krasnaya ploshchad) is a famous city square in Moscow, renowned as the location for military parades during the Soviet era.

Red Square has several notable buildings within or framing the space. One of these is Lenin's Tomb, where the embalmed body of the founder of the Soviet Union is displayed. Nearby is the elaborate gold-domed building of Saint Basil's Cathedral and also the palaces and cathedrals of the Kremlin. On the eastern side of the square is the GUM department store, and next to it the State Historical Museum. The square itself is around 695 meters long and 130 meters wide.

The land that Red Square is situated on was originally covered with buildings, but was cleared in Moscow's great fire of 1493. The newly-opened area (originally known simply as the Pozhar, or "burnt-out place") gradually came to serve as Moscow's primary marketplace. Later, it was also used for various public ceremonies and proclamations, and occasionally as the site of coronation for Russia's tsars. The square has been gradually built up since that point, and has been used for official ceremonies by all Russian governments since it was established.

The name of Red Square derives not from the colour of the bricks around it, nor from the link between the colour red and Communism. Rather, the name came about because the Russian word Красная (krasnaya) can mean either "red" or "beautiful". The word was originally applied (with the meaning "beautiful") to Saint Basil's Cathedral, and was subsequently transferred to the nearby square. It is believed that the square acquired its current name (replacing the older Pozhar) in the 17th century.

See also

de:Roter Platz fr:Place Rouge id:Lapangan Merah nl:Rode Plein ja:赤の広場 no:Den rde plass sv:Rda torget zh:紅場

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