The Moscow Kremlin tr. Moskovskiy Kreml, usually referred to as the Kremlin, is a fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west.
It is the best known of the kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.
The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation. The name Kremlin means "fortress inside a city" and is often also used as a metonym to refer to the government of the Russian Federation in a similar sense to how the White House is used to refer to the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
It had previously been used to refer to the government of the Soviet Union (1922-1991) and its highest members (such as general secretaries, premiers, presidents, ministers, and commissars). "Kremlinology" refers to the study of Soviet and Russian politics.
The site has been continuously inhabited by Finno-Ugric peoples since the 2nd century BC. The Slavs occupied the south-western portion of Borovitsky Hill as early as the 11th century, as evidenced by a metropolitan seal from the 1090s which was unearthed by Soviet archaeologists in the area.
Vyatichi built a fortified structure on the hill where the Neglinnaya River flowed into the Moskva River.
Up to the 14th century, the site was known as the 'grad of Moscow'. The word "Kremlin" was first recorded in 1331. The grad was greatly extended by Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy in 1156, destroyed by the Mongols in 1237 and rebuilt in oak in 1339.