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The Lobnoe mesto

The Lobnoe mesto in Moscow Kremlin The circular stone platform which stands before St. Basil's was constructed in 1598, on the site where a wooden dais had previously stood. The platform and its predecessor were used for proclamations to the crowds gathered on Red Square and not, as is often claimed, for public executions. The most famous of these - the quartering of Cossack rebel Stepan Razin, Ivan the Terrible's gruesomely inventive torture of hostile boyars, and Peter the Great's mass execution of the Stresltsy Kremlin guard, all took place nearby.

From here the orders of the Grand Princes were announced by criers. It was also here that Ivan the Terrible, with quite a flare for drama, performed public penitence and several times declared his abdication. It was also traditional for heirs to the throne to be presented to the people here on their fourteenth birthdays. On religious holidays, a lectern was placed on the Lobnoe Mesto, turning St. Basil's into the altar of a vast open-air cathedral comprising the whole of Red Square.

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