The Golden Gate
Соловых Наталия, 11 "Б" класс,
гимназии №23, г. Владимир
Almost every Russian city has got a symbol which is associated with it. The symbol of Moscow is the Kremlin, the symbol of St.Petersburg is the Hermitage, etc as for my native city Vladimir its main symbol is the Golden Gate - a rare monument of Old-Russian military architecture. It was built in white stone in 1158–1164 by Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky of Vladimir and was the main entrance and a defensive tower of the new fortress. In those times the city had 5 outer gates, but only the Golden Gate has survived to the present.
The Golden Gate is a mighty tower with an archway 14 meters high and a cross-piece. An enormous oaken gate covered with gilded copper was fitted into this cross-piece. Two defensive platforms were constructed in order to protect the approaches to the gate. On the top of the tower there was a church of the Deposition of the Robe. The steps inside the southern wall of the tower led up to the church. Earthen ramparts of the city fortress adjoined the Gate on both sides. In 1238 the Golden Gate survived the assault of the Mongol-Tartars. The enemy could get inside the city not through the Gate, but through the breaks in wooden walls over the ramparts.
Despite numerous fires and wars and several repairs the original appearance of the Golden Gate had been preserved up to the 18th century when the building was seriously altered. The earthen ramparts were removed; semi-circular towers were added to the four corners of the building; the gateway church was re-built in brick; the platform around the church was turned into a covered gallery.
There are many city traditions connected with the Golden Gate, e.g. on the wedding day the bridegroom should carry his bride in his arms through the arch of the Golden Gate for happy marriage.
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