TODAY   |  February 12, 2014

Take a tour inside historic Kremlin

The halls of Russia’s historic palace have been the seat of power for hundreds of years: Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin runs the country from the World Heritage Site. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and welcome back to olympic park in sochi. we're getting to learn a lot about this part of russia from the black sea to the caucasus mountains , but the capital of moscow is 1,000 miles to the north. and at its heart is that huge and impressive fortress the kremlin . center of power for centuries and where president putin resides. keir, good morning to you once again.

>> reporter: hey, again, savannah. i sure did. this village in a sense could be a symbol of president putin 's power. he brought the olympics here. and this entire village was built for the olympics. but his feat of power, as you say is the kremlin . and every room you walk through is awesome.

>> reporter: for hundreds of years, the seat of russian power, the ebb and flow of history. the president runs this vast country from the kremlin . so here we are.

>> inside the kremlin palace .

>> reporter: come with us up the very same steps in the heart of vladimir putin 's government. around every corner, breathtaking splendor, a monument to russia 's path.

>> reporter: you see the names of the brave all down these walls.

>> reporter: the kremlin has been inhabited since before the birth of christ but began to take shape in the 15th century .

>> and we're entering the medieval russia .

>> through golden doors.

>> right up in that corner there is a little window.

>> well, that was for the wife. she normally did not take part in the ceremonies, but she could watch.

>> reporter: while not part of the kremlin , this beautiful church right across the square was commissioned bizarre ivan the terrible . strange to have something so beautiful through someone so infamous.

>> here they've got ground -- this was their home church . and here they got buried.

>> reporter: amazingly, even in times of turmoil and revolution, the churches were not destroyed. there is still so much gold leaf on one that it is a world heritage site . and many leaders have rose to these walls.

>> he wanted to walk in peace. it's a relatively quiet place right in the middle of the city.

>> joseph stalin walked here?

>> yes, in this very park.

>> reporter: throughout communism, the kremlin remains the heart of government, successive soviet leaders ruling from behind massive kremlin walls that few could penetrate. the history, the riches, the splend splendor, and the work of government continues. president putin walks this very corridor. and this is as far as the "today" show is allowed on this occasion. president putin 's private residence. just going to -- had to give it a go.

>> reporter: and president putin wasn't available on that day, but he's found time in his schedule, and president putin joins us -- joking. i'm kidding, savannah. sorry.

>> oh, man.

>> reporter: walking around the kremlin there, you really get a sense of the russian mentality, as well. they're a proud people on the world stage. and you can see that when you walk around the kremlin like that.

>> well, it's very impressive. stand in red square and see that. keir, thank you so much. great inside look.