The ringing of bells accompanied the whole life of Moscow in ancient days. Bells rang for invasions and during the frequent fires, in cases of popular uprisings, and to announce victories or holiday celebrations.
Even today bells ring from the Kremlin's Spassky Tower.
At present there are 29 ancient bells in the Moscow Kremlin. Some of them hang in the Belfry of "Ivan the Great" and in its surrounding buildings.
The biggest bell weighing 65 tons 320 kg can be seen in the embrasure of the "Filaret building" which rises next to the Belfry under a golden dome. The bell is called the Assumption Day Bell. It was cast by Yakov Zavyalov with metal taken from an even older bell which used to hang in the building and was broken when the Bell Tower blew up in 1812.
The most famous of all bells, the Tsar Bell, stands on the ground at the foot of the Belfry of "Ivan the Great", and is surrounded by people from morning till night. Its history, in brief outline, is the following. In 1730 Empress Anna Ivanovna ordered that a bell weighing 9,000 poods (126 tons) should be cast. Germain, the casting master of the French king, thought it was a joke. Ivan Motorin, the most famous casting master in Moscow in those days, declared that it was possible.
A special casting pit was dug in Ivanovskaya Square in the Kremlin. The pit was 10 metres deep. Much copper, tin and sulphur, as well as 72 kg of gold and more than 500 kg of silver were used.
Ivan Motorin failed to finish the casting, and it was completed by his son Mikhail. Apart from all kinds of ornaments found on the bell, there is the following inscription: "This bell was cast by Russian craftsman Ivan Motorin, the son of Fyodor Motorin, and his son Mikhail Motorin."
The casting was successful and finally the bell stood ready for lifting on an iron grating. During a very bad fire that raged in the Kremlin on May 29, 1737, the wooden building above the pit caught fire. People ran to extinguish the flames and poured water onto the burning log that had fallen into the pit. Due to uneven and fast cooling, the metal cracked and a fragment weighing 11.5 tons fell out.
The bell remained in the pit for a hundred years. In the 19th century it was hoisted onto a white stone pedestal for public observation.
Here are a few figures about the dimensions and weight of the giant. It is 6 metres 14 cm tall, has a diameter of 6 metres 60 cm, and weighs 202 tons 924 kg. Hence its name —the Tsar Bell.
Moscow is the capital of Russia. It's an ancient historical city. It was founded in 1147 by Russian prince Yuri Dolgoruki. Now Moscow is the fifth largest city in the world, its population is over 9 million people. Moscow is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The centre of Moscow is the Kremlin which was built on the left bank of the Moskva River. Among the historical monuments inside the Kremlin there are the Cannon Tsar, the Bell Tsar, made by Russian masters, the Armoury Chamber, the Archangel, the Assumption and the Annunciation Cathedrals.
Visitors, can find a lot of other places of interest in Moscow, such as the Moscow University area and the observation platform from which you can see a panorama of Moscow and all the monumental buildings like the Ukraine Hotel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the apartment house in Krasnaya Presnya and others. Other places of interest that attract tourists are Arbat Street and the Exhibition area. There are also a lot of museums and art galleries in Moscow. The most famous and popular art museums are the Tretyakov Art Gallery and the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum.
Moscow is the centre of political, cultural and educational life in Russia. There are a lot of theatres and concert halls in Moscow. The most popular theatres are the world-famous Bolshoi Theatre, the Maly Theatre, the Puppet Theatre named after Obraztsov, the Chaikovsky Concert Hall and others.
There are over 50 institutes and universities in Moscow, among them Moscow State University named after Lomo-nosov, one of the first higher educational institutions in Russia.
Moscow is growing day after day and is becoming more and more beautiful. Some old buildings are being repaired, a lot of new buildings appear in different districts of Moscow. Among the new sights that have appeared recently are the Monument in Poklonnaya Gora and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in the centre of Moscow.
Of course, like all big cities, Moscow is a noisy city. The traffic is heavy both in the day time and at night. During rush hours buses, trolleybuses and trams are overcrowded, but Muscovites prefer to travel by the Metro which is the fastest and the most reliable means of transportation.
capital — столица ancient — древний
prince — князь cannon — пушка
bell — колокол
the Armoury Chamber — Оружейная палата
the Archangel, the Assumption, the Annunciation Cathedrals — Архангельский, Успенский, Благовещенский соборы place of interest ( = sight) — достопримечательность
area — место, пространство
observation platform — смотровая площадка
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — Министерство иностранных дел
appartment house — жилой дом
educational — образовательный, учебный
concert hall — концертный зал
the Puppet Theatre — кукольный театр
named after — имени
higher educational institution — высшее учебное заведение
to repair — ремонтировать
to appear — появляться
district — район
recently — недавно
the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour — Храм Христа-Спасителя
noisy — шумный
traffic — уличное движение
both...and — как...так и
rush hours — часы (пик)
overcrowded — переполненный
to prefer — предпочитать
reliable — надежный
means — средство
When was Moscow founded?
What historical monuments are there inside the Kremlin?
Who was the founder of Moscow?
When were Moscow Olympic Games held?
5. When did Moscow celebrate its 850 anniversary of its foundation?
6. When did the Metro begin to work?
1. What monumental buildings are there in Moscow?
2. What is Arbat Street famous for?
3. What are the most famous art museums of Moscow?
4. Where is the Tretyakov Art Gallery situated?
5 Why is it named after Tretyakov?
6. When did the bells ring in ancient days?
7. What is near Alexandrovsky Gardens.
8. Now it is the Central Exhibition Hall.
9. What theater is one of the most theatres in the world?
10. When was the gallery founded?
1. Why is Moscow considered to be the educational centre of Russia?
2. Where is the observation platform located?
3. What is the most famous bell?
4. How large is the Tsar Bell?
5. Where was the bell located till the 19th century?
6. Why was it placed on the stone pedestal?
7. Where are the bells situated now?
8. What metals were used for Tsar Bell?
9. What channel connects Moscow with 5 seas?
1. Who agreed to cast the bell weighting 126 tons?
2. The finest musicians in Russia and Europe, including Hector Berlioz, played at gala concerts there.
3. Who was the founder of Moscow State University?
4. Whose monument was erected in the centre of Red Square in 1818?
5. What historical leader was buried on the Red Square?
6. Who was the first Russian printer?
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