The Resurrection Gate in Moscow

Иверские ворота,Resurrection Gate,Iberian Gate, Moscow Historical Places,Red Square

You enter Red Square through two huge arches with enormous steel gates – Resurrection Gates. Personally I think people are so excited to see Red Square that they hardly notice the chapel or the massive gates. I know for a fact I did that the first time when I visited Russia. It was only during our last visit that I took time to examine the gates, exterior and the road that leads to Red Square.

Иверские ворота,Resurrection Gate,Iberian Gate, Moscow Historical Places,Red Square
Resurrection Gate in Moscow close to Red Square

Why is this gate so special?

In 1535 when it was constructed it was a normal stone gate. The Kitai-Gorod stone wall was still being erected. (The Kitai-Gorod wall is the huge stone wall that protects Red Square and the Kremlin.)

Дорога к Московскому Кремлю у Иверских ворот. Акварель начала XIX века.
Road towards Moscow Kremlin near the Iberian Gate. Watercolor from the turn of the 19th century.

In 1680 it was rebuilt. Two-headed golden eagles were added to the roofs and the Icon of  Christ’s Resurrection was placed above the gate. That is where the gate got it`s name from.

In front of the gate is a small chapel that was built-in 1990. (I will write about that in a separate article).

When Stalin took over after the Revolution many sacred sites were destroyed. In 1929 the chapel was removed. The Soviets replaced it by a sculpture of a worker that was a sight for sore eyes. The icon was also removed. By 1931 the Resurrection Gates had been completely removed. The structure was still standing. Why did Stalin do this? He wanted easy passage for the tanks during the war.

Resurrection Gate, Iberian Gate
Two-headed statue in front of Resurrection gate in Moscow

A new copy of the original Iberian icon was recently made on Athos, and in 1994 Patriarch Aleksiy II blessed the foundations of a recreation of the Iberian Chapel and the Resurrection Gate. Within a year the project, under the auspices of architect Oleg Zhurin, had been completed, and the new Resurrection Gate was officially unveiled in 1996.

Иверские ворота,Resurrection Gate,Iberian Gate, Moscow Historical Places,Red Square
The religious icons above Resurrection gate in Moscow

Many people in Russia believe that the icon has healing powers. They also believe that it protects the churches and religious residence against further demolition.

Next time when you are in Red Square stop to have a look at these magnificent gates. I could almost hear the roaring tanks, the soldiers marching, the coaches of the Tsars. A wonderful part of the Russian history.

Иверские ворота,Resurrection Gate,Iberian Gate, Moscow Historical Places,Red Square
Resurrection gate with Red Square in the background.

When: May and August 2012

Where: Moscow,Russia

If you want to read more about similar posts click here Red Square Tourist Attractions

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

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