The throne was vacant, the great nobles quarrelling among themselves, the Catholic Poles in the Kremlin of Moscow, the Protestant Swedes in Novgorod, and enormous bands of brigands everywhere.
The Troitsk or Trinity monastery is the most sacred spot in " middle Russia, the Great Russians regarding it with more veneration than even the cathedrals and relics of the Kremlin at Moscow.
Napoleon passed the night in a house in the western suburb and next morning rode to the Kremlin, the troops moving to the quarters assigned to them, but in the afternoon a great fire began and, continuing for two days, drove the French out into the country again.
It was the occupation of Moscow and the desecration of the Kremlin, the sacred centre of Holy Russia, that changed his sentiment for Napoleon into passionate hatred.
Nizhniy-Novgorod consists of three parts: the upper city, including the Kremlin; the lower town, or Nizhniy Bazaar; and "the Fair," with the suburb of Kunavino.
The Kremlin, or old fort, occupies one of these hills facing the Volga.
The Kremlin is adorned with a square, containing a monument to Minin and Pozharsky erected in 1826, and pretty boulevards have been laid out along its lower wall.
The view from the Kremlin of the broad Volga, with its lowlying and far-spreading left bank, is very striking.
Besides the Kremlin, the upper town contains the best streets and public buildings.
Above the banks of the Oka and the Volga, and in the centre of a very lively traffic. Piles of salt line the salt wharves on the Oka; farther down are the extensive storehouses and heaps of grain of the corn wharves; then comes the steamboat quay on the Volga, opposite the Kremlin, and still farther east the timber wharves.
In 1221, the people of Suzdal, under Yuri Vsevolodovich, prince of Vladimir, erected a fort on the hill now occupied by the Kremlin of Nizhniy.
In Moscow as soon as he entered his huge house in which the faded and fading princesses still lived, with its enormous retinue; as soon as, driving through the town, he saw the Iberian shrine with innumerable tapers burning before the golden covers of the icons, the Kremlin Square with its snow undisturbed by vehicles, the sleigh drivers and hovels of the Sivtsev Vrazhok, those old Moscovites who desired nothing, hurried nowhere, and were ending their days leisurely; when he saw those old Moscow ladies, the Moscow balls, and the English Club, he felt himself at home in a quiet haven.
But the farther he went and the more his attention was diverted by the ever-increasing crowds moving toward the Kremlin, the less he remembered to walk with the sedateness and deliberation of a man.
As he approached the Kremlin he even began to avoid being crushed and resolutely stuck out his elbows in a menacing way.
When the carriages had all passed in, the crowd, carrying Petya with it, streamed forward into the Kremlin Square which was already full of people.
He did not go straight home from the Kremlin, but called on his friend Obolenski, who was fifteen and was also entering the regiment.
He said the people had been getting arms in the Kremlin, and that though Rostopchin's broadsheet had said that he would sound a call two or three days in advance, the order had certainly already been given for everyone to go armed to the Three Hills tomorrow, and that there would be a big battle there.
The man told him that arms were being distributed today at the Kremlin and that tomorrow everyone would be sent out beyond the Three Hills gates and a great battle would be fought there.
From the height of the Kremlin--yes, there is the Kremlin, yes--I will give them just laws; I will teach them the meaning of true civilization, I will make generations of boyars remember their conqueror with love.
While the troops, dividing into two parts when passing around the Kremlin, were thronging the Moskva and the Stone bridges, a great many soldiers, taking advantage of the stoppage and congestion, turned back from the bridges and slipped stealthily and silently past the church of Vasili the Beatified and under the Borovitski gate, back up the hill to the Red Square where some instinct told them they could easily take things not belonging to them.
Several French officers superintended the placing of the guns and looked at the Kremlin through field glasses.
The bells in the Kremlin were ringing for vespers, and this sound troubled the French.
A few instants after the echo of the reports resounding over the stone- built Kremlin had died away the French heard a strange sound above their head.
Some of them were sabered and the Kremlin was purged of their presence.
Other detachments passed through the Kremlin and encamped along the Moroseyka, the Lubyanka, and Pokrovka Streets.
No residents were left in Moscow, and the soldiers--like water percolating through sand--spread irresistibly through the city in all directions from the Kremlin into which they had first marched.
And even had he not been hindered by anything on the way, his intention could not now have been carried out, for Napoleon had passed the Arbat more than four hours previously on his way from the Dorogomilov suburb to the Kremlin, and was now sitting in a very gloomy frame of mind in a royal study in the Kremlin, giving detailed and exact orders as to measures to be taken immediately to extinguish the fire, to prevent looting, and to reassure the inhabitants.
The Kremlin, which was not destroyed, gleamed white in the distance with its towers and the belfry of Ivan the Great.
Then he gave careful directions about the fortification of the Kremlin, and drew up a brilliant plan for a future campaign over the whole map of Russia.
The fortifying of the Kremlin, for which la Mosquee (as Napoleon termed the church of Basil the Beatified) was to have been razed to the ground, proved quite useless.
The mining of the Kremlin only helped toward fulfilling Napoleon's wish that it should be blown up when he left Moscow--as a child wants the floor on which he has hurt himself to be beaten.
The theaters set up in the Kremlin and in Posnyakov's house were closed again at once because the actors and actresses were robbed.