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Lobnoye Mesto, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
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The Lobnoye Mesto, a circular stone platform on Red Square not far from St. Basil's Cathedral, was built in the early 16th century and used primarily as a platform from which the Tsar's edicts were read out, special church sermons were given and the sentences of convicted criminals were aired. The platform's name derives from its location, on a steep slope or "uzlobie" in Russian. In Orthodox Moscow this place symbolized the hill of Golgotha in Jerusalem, on which Christ was crucified. In translation from the ancient Hebrew Golgotha means "lob", head or forehead, hence the connection.

Lobnoye Mesto was also a place where holy relics were displayed so that the people of Moscow could honor them, where the boyars Boris Godunov and Vasily Shuisky were proclaimed Tsar and where the heir to the throne was traditionally carried on his 14th birthday, so that the people could see their future Tsar and not allow an impostor to assume the throne. The platform was also the site from which Ivan the Terrible begged for the peoples' forgiveness in 1547, after Moscow was almost completely destroyed by a fire that the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church pronounced to be God's punishment for his barbaric actions. It is a common misconception that the Lobnoye Mesto was the square's execution site, but most executions were in fact carried out on the slope behind St. Basil's. More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

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