2018/02/17 @ St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia.
There are so many places that I want to but have yet to visit, and the St. Basil’s Cathedral was one of the locations on my bucket list.
The onion shaped roofs (there’s nine of them in total) vaguely remind me of gumdrop candies and candy canes, so I’ve always had a dreamier impression for this place, but they were actually white when the cathedral was built. Allegedly, Ivan the Terrible ordered his men to gouge out eyes of all of the architects so the cathedral cannot be emulated (which reminds me of the Taj Mahal, when Shah Jahan allegedly ordered his men to cut off the hands of the architect and the builders of Taj Mahal so no one could replicate the mausoleum. The Taj Mahal was a byproduct of love. Sounds romantic as long as you eliminate all other factors).
The color red in Russia symbolizes beauty. The word red is derived from krasyni, which used to mean “beautiful” in Russian. And it’s no surprise that some of the most breathtaking and iconic architectures in Moscow are located at the Red Square. There’s Lenin’s Mausoleum (unfortunately closed for renovation at the moment), Kremlin, Kazan Cathedral, and St. Basil’s Cathedral as well as a mix of modern with the GUM department store. The Square is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s no surprise as the location is robustly colored with Russian history, politics, and culture.
Pictures cannot do this place justice, and as cliché as I risk sounding right now, what landed before my eyes made me awestruck and perhaps this is the definition of love at first sight. I could take my eyes off of my surroundings, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to stare at it a little bit longer despite the bone chilling temperature and the never ending snow. My greed to linger is / was like a never ending well. As much as I’m absorbing and taking in at the moment…I wanted, no, perhaps needed and demanded more. It’s not enough. I don’t know how much will be enough. This was the moment where I wanted to possess the power to stop time, so my eyes can trace and sketch every single edge of this place and burn the image and intensity and feelings into my mind. It’s the selfish type of love that’s all about me and my wants, and I love this kind of love. My fingers were frozen to the extent that they turned pink and started hurting, but I just needed that extra picture. And another one. And just one more. It wasn’t the scenery I was capturing, it was also the immense array of fleeting emotion I was trying to grasp.
I also realize how pretentious I’m sounding right now, but even words cannot do my feelings justice this time. The whole experience is magnificent, and I’d definitely (and will) come back within a heartbeat.
I realize that there’s so many places I have yet to discover here but will do so in the future, but: Moscow, I love you.
State Historical Museum, Red Square, Moscow, Russia.
Kremlin, Red Square, Moscow, Russia.