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In spite of its name, which refers to the role the building that rises above the square played during Imperial Russia, Senate Square is actually home to Russia's presidential administration, currently helmed by Vladimir Putin. In order to see where Russia's legislature operates from, walk just outside Red Square to the Duma parliament building. Dating back to the year , the gold-domed Dormition Cathedral pays homage to an Orthodox religious feast that commemorates the death of the Virgin Mary.

As is the case with St. Basil's, it is curious that such a conspicuously religious structure was able to survive through the Soviet period.


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Though it takes its name from the fact that it housed Russia's royal arsenal when it was built in the 16th century, the most notable resident of the Kremlin's Armoury Chamber today is the Russian Diamond Fund. The interior of the Moscow Kremlin is more beautiful and inviting than you'd expect, but the walls and towers that rise around it better live up to the intimidation with which the complex is associated.

Named to commemorate the dense forest that once stood atop the mount where it's built, this tower is extremely picturesque. Built in the late 15th century, it's visible from most places in the square, and also as you walk along the Moskva River. Also built in the year , this tower currently suffered destruction at the hands of Napoleon's army in the 19th century. What you see now is the result of an re-design and renovation, though artillery fire during the Russian Revolution also caused superficial damage to the tower, named to honor St. Known in English as the "Savior's Tower," this iconic, star-topped tower is perhaps the best-known of all the Kremlin's towers.

Built in like the other two towers on this list, it's certainly the most photographed. As a result of its proximity to St. Basil's, it often makes its way into tourists' pictures. Just as it's strange to learn how many religious monuments survived through the Soviet period, it's a bit odd to think that Lenin's preserved body still sits in a mausoleum just beneath the walls of the Kremlin on Red Square, given the lack of consensus about the ultimate impact of his Revolution, even in Russia.

It's not guaranteed that you'll be able to see the body which, believe it or not, seems to be improving with age when you go, and if you do you will likely have to wait in line, but even strolling past the outside of the Lenin Mausoleum, flanked by stone-faced guards that almost look like statues, illuminates the gravity of his body still being here.


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You might cringe, at least initially, when you realize that one of the most iconic stops on a tour of Red Square is a department store—until you see said department store, that is. A trip inside GUM is a particularly good idea during winter, when frigid temperatures outside will have you savoring the heat, the quality of souvenirs, confections and other goods sold inside notwithstanding.

It is used in some tattoo inks and is used in many products, such as soft drinks , children's medications, and cotton candy. Because of public concerns about possible health risks associated with synthetic dyes, many companies have switched to using natural pigments such as carmine , made from crushing the tiny female cochineal insect. This insect, originating in Mexico and Central America, was used to make the brilliant scarlet dyes of the European Renaissance. The red of autumn leaves is produced by pigments called anthocyanins.

They are not present in the leaf throughout the growing season, but are actively produced towards the end of summer. Their formation depends on the breakdown of sugars in the presence of bright light as the level of phosphate in the leaf is reduced. During the summer growing season, phosphate is at a high level. It has a vital role in the breakdown of the sugars manufactured by chlorophyll. But in the fall, phosphate, along with the other chemicals and nutrients, moves out of the leaf into the stem of the plant.

When this happens, the sugar-breakdown process changes, leading to the production of anthocyanin pigments. The brighter the light during this period, the greater the production of anthocyanins and the more brilliant the resulting color display. When the days of autumn are bright and cool, and the nights are chilly but not freezing, the brightest colorations usually develop. Anthocyanins temporarily color the edges of some of the very young leaves as they unfold from the buds in early spring.

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Red Square, Moscow, Russia

They also give the familiar color to such common fruits as cranberries , red apples , blueberries , cherries , raspberries , and plums. These same pigments often combine with the carotenoids' colors to create the deeper orange, fiery reds, and bronzes typical of many hardwood species. See Autumn leaf color. Oxygenated blood is red due to the presence of oxygenated hemoglobin that contains iron molecules, with the iron components reflecting red light.

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Plants like apples , strawberries , cherries , tomatoes , peppers , and pomegranates are often colored by forms of carotenoids , red pigments that also assist photosynthesis. Red blood cell agar. Blood appears red due to the iron molecules in blood cells. A red setter or Irish setter. Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein.

Red hair varies from a deep burgundy through burnt orange to bright copper. It is characterized by high levels of the reddish pigment pheomelanin which also accounts for the red color of the lips and relatively low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The term redhead originally redd hede has been in use since at least Red is associated with dominance in a number of animal species.

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Inside cave 13B at Pinnacle Point , an archeological site found on the coast of South Africa, paleoanthropologists in found evidence that, between , and 40, years ago, Late Stone Age people were scraping and grinding ochre , a clay colored red by iron oxide , probably with the intention of using it to color their bodies.

Red hematite powder was also found scattered around the remains at a grave site in a Zhoukoudian cave complex near Beijing. The site has evidence of habitation as early as , years ago.


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The hematite might have been used to symbolize blood in an offering to the dead. Red, black and white were the first colors used by artists in the Upper Paleolithic age, probably because natural pigments such as red ochre and iron oxide were readily available where early people lived. Madder , a plant whose root could be made into a red dye, grew widely in Europe, Africa and Asia. A red dye called Kermes was made beginning in the Neolithic Period by drying and then crushing the bodies of the females of a tiny scale insect in the genus Kermes , primarily Kermes vermilio.

The insects live on the sap of certain trees, especially Kermes oak trees near the Mediterranean region. A different variety of dye was made from Porphyrophora hamelii Armenian cochineal scale insects that lived on the roots and stems of certain herbs. It was mentioned in texts as early as the 8th century BC, and it was used by the ancient Assyrians and Persians. Kermes is also mentioned in the Bible.

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In the Book of Exodus , God instructs Moses to have the Israelites bring him an offering including cloth "of blue, and purple, and scarlet. In ancient Egypt, red was associated with life, health, and victory. Egyptians would color themselves with red ochre during celebrations. But, like many colors, it also had a negative association, with heat, destruction and evil. A prayer to god Isis states: "Oh Isis, protect me from all things evil and red.

Red ochre was widely used as a pigment for wall paintings, particularly as the skin color of men. An ivory painter's palette found inside the tomb of King Tutankhamun had small compartments with pigments of red ochre and five other colors. The Egyptians used the root of the rubia , or madder plant, to make a dye, later known as alizarin , and also used it as a pigment, which became known as madder lake , alizarin or alizarin crimson.

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In Ancient China, artisans were making red and black painted pottery as early as the Yangshao Culture period — BC. A red-painted wooden bowl was found at a Neolithic site in Yuyao, Zhejiang. Other red-painted ceremonial objects have been found at other sites dating to the Spring and Autumn period — BC. During the Han dynasty BC— AD Chinese craftsmen made a red pigment, lead tetroxide , which they called ch-ien tan , by heating lead white pigment. Like the Egyptians, they made a red dye from the madder plant to color silk fabric for gowns and used pigments colored with madder to make red lacquerware.

Red lead or Lead tetroxide pigment was widely used as the red in Persian and Indian miniature paintings as well as in European art, where it was called minium. In India, the rubia plant has been used to make dye since ancient times. A piece of cotton dyed with rubia dated to the third millennium BC was found at an archaeological site at Mohenjo-daro. The early inhabitants of America had their own vivid crimson dye , made from the cochineal , an insect of the same family as the Kermes of Europe and the Middle East, which feeds on the Opuntia , or prickly pear cactus plant.

Red-dyed textiles from the Paracas culture — BC have been found in tombs in Peru. Red also featured in the burials of royalty in the Maya city-states.

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Image of a bison from the cave of Altamira in Spain, painted with red ochre between 15, and 16, BC. In ancient Greece and the Minoan civilization of ancient Crete , red was widely used in murals and in the polychrome decoration of temples and palaces. The Greeks began using red lead as a pigment. Romans wore togas with red stripes on holidays, and the bride at a wedding wore a red shawl, called a flammeum. Red was also the color associated with army; Roman soldiers wore red tunics, and officers wore a cloak called a paludamentum which, depending upon the quality of the dye, could be crimson, scarlet or purple.

In Roman mythology red is associated with the god of war, Mars. A Roman general receiving a triumph had his entire body painted red in honor of his achievement. The Romans liked bright colors, and many Roman villas were decorated with vivid red murals. The pigment used for many of the murals was called vermilion , and it came from the mineral cinnabar , a common ore of mercury. It was one of the finest reds of ancient times — the paintings have retained their brightness for more than twenty centuries.

Working in the mines was extremely dangerous, since mercury is highly toxic; the miners were slaves or prisoners, and being sent to the cinnabar mines was a virtual death sentence.