back to the 12th century to find out that during that time
Moscow was only a small wooden town.
Today the capital of Russia is one of the biggest cities
of Europe with the population over 13 million people.
Moscow is a political, scientific, historical, architectural
and business centre, from which power and might of the Russian
If you've heard of Moscow, you've probably heard of
the famous Red Square and the Kremlin.
Kremlin. The Intercession Cathedral.
There are, currently, about 200 hundred active
churches in Moscow. In the beginning of the 20th century there
were, totally, 677 churches within the city borders, but they
were distroyd during Revolution.
Moscow today, April 2003.
Today Moscow is a tourist city. Many people in Moscow speak,
or understand English. It is quite normal if you stop any stranger
on a street and ask for directions. Most people will spend all
the time needed trying to help you.
Click here to learn more about traveling
Moscow, Red Square, View from the airplane.
The Arbat is Moscow's most charming and lively pedestrian
street. Once a bohemian quarter of the city, littered with cafes
crammed full of the capital's intellectual elite, the Arbat
still retains a vibrant and artistic air today, with souvenir
stalls selling traditional Russian gifts, artists offering original
canvases and street performers entertaining the shoppers.
Street performers on Arbat.
The street boasts an impressive selection of cafes, restaurants
and bars, where you can sample everything from a decent cup
of coffee and a French pastry, to a genuine Lebanese shawerma
(kebab) or a tasty thick milkshake in a genuine 1950s American
Diner. The Arbat is a symbol of old Moscow and its name is mentioned
in the city chronicles as far back as 1493. In that year the
whole city was engulfed in a terrible fire, thought to have
been sparked by a candle in the Church of St. Nicholas in Peski,
which is situated on the Arbat.
the second half of 18th century the Arbat became the most
aristocratic quarter of the city. The Muscovite intelligentsia
settled in this area. There have never been any factories
here, nor any workers' huts. Muscovites used to say: 'For
money, go to Zamoskvorechye, for a career, go to St. Petersburg,
but for knowledge and memories, go to the Arbat.'
House number 2 features the famous Prague Restaurant,
opened in the 1870s by the merchant Tararykin and famed as one
of the best dining establishments in Moscow. It was here in
1901 that Chekhov toasted the first performance of his play
"The Three Sisters", and here in 1913 that
the famous Russian painter Ilya Repin celebrated the restoration
of his painting "Ivan the
Terrible and his Son Ivan",
which had been slashed by an icon painter of the Old Believer
sect whilst hanging in the Tretyakov Gallery.
the other side of the Arbat stands Kaloshin Lane, where the
residence of a Madame Malinovskaya used to stand, the aristocratic
lady who stood in as the mother of the bride in the poet Alexander
Pushkin's marriage. The same house was later owned by the geologist,
geographer and member of the Academy of Sciences, Obruchev,
the principal designer of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Just around
the corner stands the "Wall of Viktor Tsoy", built
and adorned with messages to honor the famous Russian rock legend
who died tragically in a car accident in 1990.
At the junction of Krivoarbatsky
Lane and the Arbat stands the oldest building in the area, a
mansion dating form the 18th century. In the 1820s it came under
the ownership of Count Bobrinsky, the grandson of Empress Catherine
the Great and her lover Count Grigory Orlov, and who came under
secret police scrutiny for failing to disclose information about
the early 19th century Decembrist
along the Arbat, Nikolopeskovsky Lane was home to the composer
Alexander Scriabin between 1912 and 1915. It was here that he
composed his famous Divine Poem and Prometheus and died at the
age of 43.
He was buried in the neighboring Church of St. Nicholas
At number 5 along the same street lived Pavel Nashchokin,
one of Pushkin's closest friends
and the man who lent the poet the dress coat in which he was
married and later buried.
At the end of the lane used to stand a small square,
where in the 16th and 17th centuries the Tsar's hunting hounds
number 53 on the Arbat was built in the mid-18th century and
was home to the newly married Pushkin
and his young wife. It was here that the poet held his stag
night, to which he invited his friends Denis
Davydov and Pavel Nashchokin. The flat was later home
to the cousin of the great composer Tchaikovsky. Between 1920
and 1921 the building housed the avant-garde Red Army dramatic
theater. In February 1986 after considerable reconstruction,
a museum was opened in the mansion to celebrate the life and
works of Pushkin. Click
here to see Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts official site.
Sivtsev-Vrazhek Lane used to be the residence of Pushkin's
eldest daughter, Maria Gartung,
on whom Tolstoy modeled his famous
character Anna Karenina. The house just around the corner,
at the junction of Plotnikov and Bolshoi Mogiltsevsky Lanes,
is adorned with a marble sculptured frieze depicting the Pushkin,
Gogol and Tolstoy surrounded by mythological characters, that
was originally intended to decorate the portico of the future
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
Not far from the Arbat in Glazovsky Lane at the junction
with Smolensky Boulevard there is a magnificent mansion #
32. In the late 18th century General Glazov lived here, and
his name is perpetuated in the name of the street. At the
end of the last century the mansion was bought by Mikhail
Morozov, a renowned patron of the arts and founder of the
Morozov picture collection. He graduated from the history
and literature faculty of Moscow University, and was a highly
educated man with refined tastes. While still a student he
started collecting paintings by European and Russian masters.
Morozov was highly regarded in artistic circles. His wife,
Margarita is depicted in Vrubel's paintings Venice and The
Swan Princess (which are kept at the Tretyakov's Gallery).
Morozovs financed the Moscow Conservatoire and the Stroganov
Art School, and it was his funds which were used to build
the hall of Greek sculptures in the Museum of Fine Arts. However,
Morozov's fame and prestige pale in comparison with his remarkable
wife, Margarita. She was a splendid woman with an extraordinary
intellect who was able to gather brilliant people around her.
The poet Andrei Beliy and the statesman Milyukov worshipped
her. After the death of her husband in 1903 she continued
to live in the mansion and opened a salon. It had nothing
in common with the high society salons where people merely
indulged in idle chatter. The meetings at Madame Morozov's
house were a place for political discussions and literary
readings. Her guests embraced a broad political spectrum,
from the liberal Milyukov to Bolsheviks, who used to read
their lectures on Marxism.
Together with the philosopher Trubetskoi she founded
a Religious and Philosophical Society in memory of Vladimir
Solovyov. The best Russian philosophers like Berdyayev, Florensky
and Bulgakov became members. The group advocated the moral
cleansing of the personality on the basis of religious consciousness,
and looked for the sources of its philosophy in the works
In 1910 in conjunction with the Society Margarita
Morozova set up a publishing house called Put ('The Way').
That same year in accordance with her husband's will she gave
his collection of paintings to the Tretyakov Gallery (later
some of the paintings were transferred to the Hermitage
and some to the Pushkin Museum).
To the right of Arbat runs Spasopeskovsky Lane. At
#10 there is a sumptuous mansion in the neo-Empire style.
It was built in 1914 by the architects Adamovich and Mayat
for the millionaire financier Vtorov. Vtorov's mysterious
death in his study gave rise to various rumours: it was suggested
that he had been murdered by the Red Guards, or that his own
son killed him in order to get his hands on his father's money.
Whatever the truth was, the mansion had a bad reputation,
and appeared in the pages of Bulgakov's "The Master and
Margarita" as the house in which Satan's ball was held.
After the revolution the mansion was expropriated and
used as an office for the People's Commissariat of Foreign
Affairs. Today it is the American Ambassador's official residence.
In the second half of 19th century Yelizaveta Kiselyova,
nee Ushakova, lived at No. 42. Pushkin
had been deeply in love with her and in her album he wrote his
famous "List of Don Juan's Women".
Moscow, the Twin Towers.
The foundation of Bolshoi Theatre traditionally dates
back to the 6th of January of 1825, when a fine classical building
with 8-columned portico crowned by the carriage of Apollon appeared
in the Theatre's Square. The new theatre is considered to be
the second largest of Europe after the famous "La Scala"
Theatre of Milan.
Moscow. Bolshoi Theater at night.
The late 19th, the early 20th century was the golden
age of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. Its repertoire boasted best
operas and ballets by Russian and foreign composers. All productions
were unique with the settings designed by Konstantin Korovin,
Alexandr Golovin, Appolinary Vasnetsov, Mikhail Vrubel and other
well-known painters. Choreographers Marius Petipa and Alexandr
Gorsky worked wonders on stage. Despite the turbulent political
developments of the first two decades of the 20th century -
World War I, the 1917 revolution and the subsequent civil war
- the Bolshoi was at the peak of its fame.
most favorite operas of that time were works by Michael Glinka
"The Life for the Tzar" and "Ruslan and Lioudmila",
which could survive and win the italianomania tendency of that
time. And till now traditionally every Theatre season begins
one of the operas of Glinka.
For 24 years, since 1898 and until his emigration in 1922, Shaliapin
sang in two theatres - the Mariinsky
Theatre in St.-Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Before the revolution both theatres were administered by a joint
board of directors.
As for the Ballet the performances based on Russian themes
were replaced by Western romantic themes in the middle of the
19th century. "Sylphide", "Gizel", "Esmeralda"
were performed in Russia very soon after premieres in Europe.
Interior of the Bolshoi Theater.
season usually began in September and lasted till the end of
May (as now). However, the performances used to be presented
twice a week. And only in the middle of the winter when all
the nobility came back to Moscow, the operas and ballets were
put on the stage more often. That was also a time of masked
the ballet and opera fans attend the theatre every night. The
radical turn of the tastes of public happened in 1870, when
gradually appeared the Russian operas "Demon" by Rubenstein
(1881), "Eugeny Onegin" by Chaikovsky (1881), "Boris
Godunov" by Mysorgsky (1888), "The Prince Igor"
by Borodin (1893) and other. In 1899 Fedor Shaliapin, great
Russian singer, became a member of the company.
Great Russian Opera Theatres are not only musical cultural
centers, but also academies of professional acting technique.
To learn more about Bolshoi Theater please visit their
official website at www.bolshoi.ru
Moscow's subway ( Metro) is not the oldest one in the world,
its stations welcomed their first passengers in 1930 only. However,
the architectural style and the fascinating design of many Metro
stations deserved the name of the "Underground Palace".
Nearly all stations are decorated with various natural
stones having unique structure and beauty.
natural stone materials used for the Moscow's Metro stations
(about 3/4 of the total area of walls and more than half of
the area of floors) contribute to the architectural expression
and, moreover, make the stone decoration of the underground
palaces practically eternal.
The most ancient decorative material used to fascinate the "Underground
Palaces" of Moscow is a coarse-grained pink marble from
the southern shore of Baikal Lake. The age of marble is about
2 billion years, i.e. about half of life of our planet.
The Moscow Metro is the most popular and, that is why, the most
overcrowded public transport facility of the city.
first line of the Moscow Metro covered the distance from Sokolniki
to Gorky Park and included 13 stations. Currently, there are
over 150 stations (including transition stations) of the Moscow
here to view Moscow Subway map.
owns great historical, literary and artistic treasures, not
only of national, but of world importance. They are represented
in the museums covering the history of the revolution, the natural
sciences, the history of art, literature, and the memorial museums.
The Tretyakov Gallery is a national treasure of Russian
visual art. The best of various periods and schools can be seen
here. Works by Rublev and Dionysius,
Ivanov, Brullov, Fedotov, Venetsianov,
Perov, Aivazovsky, Kramskoi, Vasnetsov,
Vereshchagin, Vrubel, Savrasov, Levitan and Yaroshenko.
a month children under the age 18 can visit Tretyakov Gallery
To learn more about Tretyakov Gallery please visit their
update in Moscow
You can see the current weather
conditions in Moscow and the forecast for the next day.
International country code:
+ 7 (Russia)
Area code: 095 (Moscow)