The Plaza de las Calaveras
Many architectural monuments are concentrated in the Red Square in Moscow, a special place among which is the Lobnoe place, a small rounded elevation with a stone fence. In the distant past, this building was used by kings and other dignitaries during festive events to announce decrees or proclamations of solemn speeches.
Initially, the building was a low platform made of bricks, surrounded by a wooden lattice. After repeated reconstructions, Lobnoye Mesto became an elevated structure surrounded by low stone railings with a pedestal in the center of the structure. In the western part of Forefront there is a door with an iron grid, through which eleven steps lead to the upper platform.
The origin of the name “frontal” is not yet 100% clear. One suggestion is that this name is associated with executions made earlier here, which in ancient times were called “folding fronts” or “cut fronts.”
Another version of the explanation is that this is a common translation of the Hebrew word “Golgotha”, which in itself is associated with collapsible skulls at the place of the death penalty in ancient Jerusalem (if you observe the execution camp plan , you can see that it resembles a skull with its contours).
The most acceptable version is the following: the frontal place is where the Vasilyevsky Descent begins, which descends steeply down to the Moscow river. Places with such elevations in Russia were called “fronts.”
History of the frontal place
The frontal place in Moscow appeared, according to historians, in the 16th century. According to the most common version, the metropolitan Makarios proposed to the sovereign the idea of organizing Frontal Place. The frontal place, by design, would become part of the complex that symbolizes the heavenly Jerusalem: the center of the complex was the Cathedral of the Intercession, which also included the Spassky Gate.
The object was first mentioned in 1549. According to the annals, Tsar Ivan IV (who had not yet received his formidable nickname) addressed the Zemsky assembly from the Place of Execution. During the following centuries, the place was used for religious purposes, during religious processions on the dates of Orthodox holidays. The decrees of the highest authorities were also read publicly here. Foreign travelers were especially shocked by sight during the feast of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem. The rite was called “Procession on the foals”: the king walked and drove the horse on which the Metropolitan sat. This ceremony was held until 1648. The ceremony was repeatedly portrayed by foreign guests. For example, the Dutch engravings “Procession in donkey” have been preserved.
At the time of the problems, the religious purpose of the stone platform in the Red Square changed to a political one. Several parties gathered their supporters here. From this place, the appeal of False Dmitry read to people. A little later, the false heir himself spoke to the crowd and then went to the Kremlin.
During the riot, the bodies of the associates of the false prince were thrown into the Execution Camp. Also at the time of trouble, Vasily Shuisky was broadcasting from Frontal Place, and later two religious processions, led by the liberators of Rus Minin and Pozharsky, met at Frontal Place. The last time he obtained the approval of the people of Moscow, the stone pedestal was used when Mikhail Romanov was elected as the new king.
Executions in front place
The Red Square and the Front Place were subsequently associated with the Strelets riots and the schismatics rebellion. A terrible reprisal can be seen in the painting “The Execution of the Strelets Morning” by Vasily Surikov. There were rumors of the city that Stepan Razin was brutally murdered here, although, in fact, this happened in Bolotnaya Square.
During the reign of Peter I, the Front Place on the Red Square in Moscow became increasingly the place where the demonstrative murders of state traitors were carried out. In 1697, a wooden table with knitting needles was installed on which the heads of the executed conspirators were hung.
After the rebellion of 1698, some of the hundreds of convicted rebels were killed exponentially in the Red Square. According to historical documents, the scaffold was installed in the southern part of the square, but many eyewitnesses still called the place of execution the Front.
After Moscow lost its status as a metropolitan city, the history of Frontal Place on the Red Square did not stop. The place ceased to be a platform for public execution, but until 1917 orthodox celebrations were held here. The frontal place acquired a modern appearance during the restoration of 1786.
After the interpretation of old documents, several investigators believe that the Frontal Place was established in 1521 in honor of the liberation of the city from the invasion of the Tartars. He was mentioned for the first time in a manuscript of 1549, when in the place of Lobny, Ivan the Terrible, twenty years old, spoke with the townspeople, urging the reconciled boyars to reconcile. Since then, the place has often been called “Tsarev,” as the royal pulpit or royal court.
The frontal place in the Red Square is also mentioned in the Chronicler Piskarevsky of 1599 and the Drawing of Peter from the reign of Boris Godunov of 1600. According to the descriptions of that time, the building was fenced with a wooden fence, had a tent or canopy on poles and was facing Frolovsky (today – Spassky) doors of the Kremlin.
All the time later, until the transfer of the capital of the Russian state to St. Petersburg, the construction was the main gallery of the city in which the most important decrees of the Tsar were announced to the people; here, twice a year, the sovereign presented an heir to his people (until he reached adulthood); he announced the election of a patriarch, the beginning of the war and the signing of a peace agreement; Peter I’s rebel archers were executed near the Execution Camp, and in his footsteps lay the disfigured body of False Dmitry I.
In 1753, the avant-garde was restored by architect D.V. Ukhtomsky, and in 1786, according to the project of Russian architect Matvey Kazakov, the building was displaced to the east and partially rebuilt.
From antiquity until the October Revolution, the processions stopped near Lobny’s place; from its top, the bishop eclipsed the townspeople with the sign of the Cross. When the “Entrance to Jerusalem” was celebrated, the patriarch ascended to Lobnoye’s place and from there distributed the willow consecrated to the Tsar, the boyars and the clergy, and at the end of the ceremony he left the square on a donkey led by the Tsar himself .
In 1919, a wooden monument “Stepan Razin with a car” was erected at the forefront, which, in order to save it from the harmful effects of the environment, decided to dismantle it and transfer it to the Proletarian Museum (now the Museum of the Revolution).
In 1936, a sculpture of workers was installed at Forehead Place, which was here for several years (in 1941 photographs it was no longer here).
Near the Execution Camp in 1942, deserter S. Dmitriev, taking A. Mikoyan’s car by I. Stalin’s car, shot him with a rifle. Subsequently, he was sentenced to death.
In 1968, a sitting at the forefront was held against the introduction of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia, which rebelled against the socialist system
Today, the Front is an integral part of the Red Square architectural complex and is protected by the state.
An interesting fact is known: until recently, there was a tradition among tourists: to throw coins into the structure, so that they would return here again. Now that place has become the “Zero kilometer of Russia” sign.
Front Place – Moscow, Red Square
Revolution Square, Theater, Okhotny Ryad