Secrets of the Kremlin underground. History, excursions, photos and reviews
The Kremlin dungeons, which amaze the imagination not only with their size, but also with the many mysteries they have kept, have become the legacy of the last princes of the Rurik dynasty: Ivan III, his son Vasily III and finally the first Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible. In them were built and the royal treasuries, and gunpowder warehouses, and gloomy dungeons, not inferior to those that were created in the castles of medieval Europe.
Secrets hidden in the dungeons
Over the past three centuries, attempts have repeatedly been made to penetrate the secrets of the dungeons lying in the heart of the capital. The occasion at times was not only curiosity, but also purely mercantile interest. Tradition says that the dungeons of the Moscow Kremlin hide in their hidden rooms chests full of gold that belonged to the treasury or were the personal reserves of its rulers.
But not only the "despicable metal" always attracted the researchers of the underground labyrinths, there are reasons to believe that the greatest historical and spiritual value of antiquity - the library of Ivan the Terrible - is hidden in them and for many years. Containing several thousands of valuable scrolls and volumes, it belonged once to the Emperors of Byzantium, and in the 11th century to the Great Prince of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise. It is believed that Ivan the Terrible, shortly before his death, ordered to hide this treasure in the depths of the dungeons.
The first known attempt to open the veil of the unknown was undertaken in 1718 by the ponor of Presnensky church of John the Baptist Konon Osipov. The impetus for this was the story of the deacon of the Kazennyi order of Vasily Makariev, who, following the orders of Princess Sophia, had first descended to the caves of the Kremlin near Tainitskaya Tower, and saw there vast rooms filled with darkened chests. The deacon himself had already died by that time.
In the Taynitskaya tower Osipova managed to find the entrance to the gallery, littered with earth. Moving along it was possible, only after unearthing the passage. But as soon as he and the soldiers allocated to him were deepened a few meters, like a gallery of donkeys, threatening to collapse at any moment. Not wishing to risk neither his life nor the lives of soldiers, the sexton refused to conceive.
He had to resume the expedition six years later, but not by his own will, but on the orders of Peter I. The tsar, as is known, did not like to joke, and, refusing, the unfortunate sexton could part with life without going down into the underground of the Kremlin. This time, not soldiers were allocated to help him, but convicted criminals: they will die under the rubble, and all right. However, he did not dare to repeat the attempt in Taynitskaya Tower.
This time, Osipov began with the Arsenal corner tower and soon managed to find the entrance to the dungeon there. But it was impossible to move on it because of the spring water, to which it was completely flooded. I had to return with nothing again. The last attempt was made by the sexton after another ten years. He tried to repeat the route, passed in due time by the official deacon Makariev, however, even here the dungeons of the Moscow Kremlin were unapproachable.
Prince Shcherbakov's research
For the next hundred and sixty years, expeditions to the dungeons were not undertaken. In any case, there is no information about them. The story told above was continued only at the end of the 19th century, when mysteries hidden under the walls of the Kremlin became interested in Prince Nikolai Shcherbakov, a scientist who at that time was acting as an official for special assignments.
At the base of the Watchtower, he discovered a walled entrance to the gallery leading to the neighboring tower of the Konstantin-Elenin tower. After disassembling the masonry, the prince found himself in a vaulted underground corridor and, moving along it, discovered a room in which dozens of cannonballs were stored. Subsequently, to this secret arsenal, the prince found another passage leading from the same Tower of Alarm, but on the other hand.
Discoveries made by the prince
The prince tried to explore the Corner Arsenal Tower, in which Osipov's sexton had failed, but as well as the one, he retreated without risking entrusting his life to the decrepit vaults ready to crash at any moment. Later, already under the Borovitskaya tower, he managed to unearth a chapel, an underground passage leading to the Imperial Square of the Kremlin, as well as a number of rooms that had a fortification purpose.
With the help of imperfect photographic technique for those times, the prince captured all the dungeons he studied under the Kremlin. The photos were then kept in his personal collection until the revolution.
The need, dictated by life
After the Bolsheviks came to power, the new owners, first of all, made sure that potential enemies could not use the Kremlin's dungeons to carry out terrorist acts. With this purpose, at their disposal, photographs and plans made by Prince Shcherbakov were seized and, apparently, destroyed, and most underground passages and premises were immured.
However, in 1933, near the Armory Chamber, the Red Army soldier unexpectedly fell under the ground. This was evidence that the dungeon under the Kremlin requires detailed study, otherwise it may conceal the danger of collapse.
By the way, this case was not the first. Back in 1882, on the site between the Tsar Cannon and the wall of the Chudova Monastery, the ground suddenly collapsed, revealing an unknown underground room until then. In September 1933, a decision was taken to conduct research and the necessary preventive measures. Lead them was entrusted to the famous archaeologist Ignatius Stelletskiy.
Several lines of underground communications were opened and studied, one of which had an exit directly to the Alexander Garden. However, the main interest for scientists was the entrance to the dungeons of the Arsenal corner tower. As it turned out during the works, the flooded spring was enclosed in a wide and deep well, equipped with a spillway. It was his clogging that caused the overflow of the well and the subsequent flooding of the whole room.
At that time, the works were not completed, they were completed only in 1975 year. Having reclaimed the water and cleared the way to the bottom of the well, the scientists found two military helmets, fragments of chain mail and several stone cannonballs. All these findings were dated to the 14th century.
But not only the share of scientists who studied the caves of the Kremlin, fell various discoveries. There were absolutely unexpected finds. For example, in 1930, during the excavation work on Red Square, workers found an underground passage at a depth of five meters, in the depths of which several skeletons were dressed in armor. Forever will remain the mystery of the reason that made these warriors end their lives in the darkness of the dungeons.
There is also a case where an insignificant crack that appeared in 1960 on the wall of the mausoleum prompted a study of the soil on which it was erected. As a result, at a depth of fifteen meters, an underground passage was discovered so spacious that an adult could move along it in full growth.
Death, hidden in the dungeons
Almost a hundred years before (in 1840), during the digging of the foundation pit for the foundation of the Cathedral of the Annunciation Monastery, a very sinister find awaited the builders: the earthen wall suddenly collapsed and an underground passage filled with a heap of human remains opened before them. About what kind of tragedy that cost the lives of these people, we will never know either.
But there are dungeons, the terrible destination of which has become the property of history. It is documented that under the corner Beklemishevskaya tower, which leads to the Vasilievsky Descent, there were dungeons in the depths of the earth in which for centuries martyrdom was found for those who were attacked by the prince's wrath. Here, on the orders of Ivan III, for boyish speeches, the boyar IN lost his tongue. Bersenyu-Beklemishev, and here after long tortures Ivan the Terrible, accused of treason, died in treason. Khovansky.
Legends and legends of the underworld
The Kremlin dungeons, the photos of which are presented in this article, contain many places connected with blood and torment. Is it any wonder that they are connected with the most incredible legends about natives from the other world, wandering in underground corridors and sometimes terrifying random witnesses.
Most often they mention the spirit of Ivan the Terrible, deprived for his evil deeds of eternal rest and doomed to endless wanderings. About the meeting with him, a record was kept, made in May 1896 by Nicholas II personally, who was in the Moscow Kremlin on the occasion of the coronation. He and his wife Alexandra Fedorovna in those days was a blood-soaked ghost of a tyrant king, which subsequently gave reason to many to see in this omen the future collapse of a three-hundred-year dynasty.
The Spirit of the Pretender
But not only the spirit of the terrible king violates the night peace of the Kremlin. After in May 1606 a furious crowd there was torn to pieces by an impostor, who went down in history under the name of False Dmitry I, his ghost began to appear between the teeth of the ancient walls from time to time. Curiously, the last time his appearance was seen on the night of August 1991 the year just before the beginning of the well-known events.
Sentinel, graying for the night
The mysticism and the underground of the Kremlin have long merged. Evidence of this was a story that gained wide popularity forty years ago. One night a young guard, who was on duty in an old building near the Patriarch's Chambers, raised alarms, where in the old days
The apartment was occupied by the apartment of the infamous People's Commissar of Internal Affairs NI. Ezhova.
Arriving in a couple of minutes, the team found their colleague sitting on the asphalt near the entrance in a state of deep shock. His hair was absolutely gray, and his face changed so much that he could hardly guess the familiar features.
Coming from a different world
Only a few days later, in the ward of the military hospital, the guard was able to give the first testimony. As it became known from his words, at about midnight he distinctly heard the sound of steps descending the stairs. After that, the key in the lock of the locked and sealed outside door rang. Without doubting that an unauthorized penetration took place on the object guarded by him, the guard pressed the alarm button, and himself, unfastening his holster on the move, rushed after the offender.
Having jumped out into the street, he saw, a few paces from himself, a small figure retiring in a long-skinned overcoat. At his cry, the unknown stopped and turned around. In the moonlight in front of him stood the bloody People's Commissar of the NKVD, familiar from old photographs.
Such a striking resemblance to Yezhov, the young and the strong nerves of the sentry, perhaps, could withstand. But when he became, slowly dissolving into the air, falling into the ground, with a guy there was a nervous shock. Three months later, he was commissioned.
Excursions to the world of the unknown
The secrets of the Moscow Kremlin, the dungeons and all the streets adjacent to it attract not only scientists but also those who cherish our history. And there are many such people in the country. In addition, there are simply fans of thrill and excess adrenaline in the blood. Their imagination is full of stories about what is hidden in the Kremlin cave, about those otherworldly forces that guard these treasures. They are not afraid of fatigue or financial expenses.
For them in these days it is possible to personally visit the underground of the Kremlin. The tour can be booked at any of the travel agencies specializing in this direction. Pre-equipped teams are headed by professional diggers and speleologists - specialists in the field of studying underground communications and artificial caves.
Delight and the horror experienced in the dungeons
On the websites belonging to the agencies you can see the records of those who have already visited the dungeons of the Moscow Kremlin. Reviews, as a rule, the most enthusiastic. Despite the fact that each agency organizes excursions in its own way and submits material in different ways, the tourists generally have an unforgettable impression, which remains for a long time in memory.
The only thing many people pay attention to is the fatigue-causing physical strain associated with walking through the underground labyrinths. But the pleasure received from contact with the mysterious world is worth it.