Red Square at the beginning was a slum of wooden huts grouped under the Kremlin walls that housed the peddlers, criminals and drunks who were left outside the official boundaries of the medieval town. On the orders of Ivan III in late 1400, it became the site of public executions. The name of the place has nothing to do with communism or the color of many of its buildings. In fact, it comes from the word "Krasnyi" which once meant "beautiful" and now means "red" in Russian contemporary. During the Mongol and Tartar invasions, it was the site of fierce fighting, until the late 17th century guns were ready to defend the place. In the 20th century, the Red Square is famous for its official military parades in the world demonstrating the power of the Soviet armed forces. Since perestroika, however, the focus has shifted, and Red Square is used for rock concerts, major concerts of classical music and a variety of major events, fashion shows to circus arts festival. Today, it is difficult to think of a more important place in the hearts of Muscovites and visitors of the city. The varied beauty of the architecture and the magical atmosphere belies the history of the place often brutal and bloody, but the combination makes the Red Square a truly fascinating place you'll find it hard to leave.
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