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Uglich Kremlin – Remains of the Lapsed Power

There is at least one instance in the history of Russia when an inanimate object was subjected to physical punishment and exile, and it is located just in the Uglich Kremlin. This is an alarm bell, which «was guilty» after the death of Tsarevich Dmitry. The local priest tolled it urging to find and condemn the Tsarevich’s killers and rebel against Boris Godunov. The bell was treated as a criminal: it was whipped, deprived of the «tongue» and «ears» and «exiled» to Tobolsk.

Today the Uglich Kremlin is a historical and architectural complex of buildings from different eras and remains of fortifications. The first fortress on this place was wooden and appeared in the 10th century. Stone chambers, currently known as the Chambers of Tsarevich Dmitry, were built in the XV century. They bear an indirect relation to him: it was near them that the prince died, after which the crisis of power and the Time of Troubles began (the period in the history of Russia from 1584 to 1613). These chambers are the oldest surviving residential building throughout Central Russia! In 1892 the first town museum was opened in the Chambers. Now it contains two expositions. One of them is the «Treasures of Ancient Uglich» which presents icons of the XVII-XIX centuries, coats of arms of the town craftsmen and coins. The other exposition is devoted to the Middle Ages and Petrine time in the history of the town: folk costumes and weapons.

Another interesting object in the territory of the Kremlin is the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood. It was built a century after the death of Tsarevich Dmitry and still preserves frescoes of the second half of the 18th century concerning the death of Tsarevich. Today the church houses a museum displaying the very same alarm bell, which was «punished» and «exiled» to Siberia. It returned from it in 1892, at the founding of the museum.

The architectural dominant of the Kremlin and the town is the Transfiguration Cathedral. A five-domed temple in the style of classicism with a separate bell tower was built in the Kremlin in the 1710s by Yaroslavl craftsmen. The temple hall is 14 meters wide and 17 meters high, that was an advance in architecture back then. The paintings of the cathedral of the early XIX century are basically copies of the works by Italian artists. For example, the «Transfiguration» is the «twin» of the same fresco by Raffaello Sanzio, which is exhibited in the Vatican. Another cathedral in the territory of the Kremlin is the Epiphany Cathedral. It dates back to the XIX century and was used for winter services. Its dome was demolished, so it does not look like a temple. Today it houses an exhibition of portrait painting of the XVIII-XX centuries.

The territory of the Kremlin also contains an exhibit that is completely atypical for such historical and cultural complexes. This is a tractor that was produced in Kharkov in 1836. There was no suitable museum for it in the town, so the tractor is kept in the ancient building of the Uglich Kremlin.

ul Kreml
152615, Uglich
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