Sheremetyevo International Airport otherwise
known as Sheremetyevo-2 was constructed
particularly for the 1980 Olympic Games. It is
located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest
of central Moscow. Among the other five airports
situated outside Moscow Sheremetyevo is Russia’s
main gateway to the wider world. Most
international flights arrive here. The airport’s
carrying capacity is 3,600 passengers per hour.
The infrastructure of the airport includes two
runways, two passenger terminals (international
and domestic) and 20 gates. ATM machines and
Exchange facilities are available in the
international terminal but the exchange rate is
normally higher than in exchanges located in the
city. There’s a selection of cafes and bars. The
main attractions of the airport are duty-free
shops selling tax-free alcohol, caviar,
souvenirs, and some travel junk. However, you’d
better not give in to the shopping fever and
rush spending all of your money in the first
airport store. You’ll have plenty of shopping
opportunities in Moscow’s best stores and
markets offering a much wider variety of
high-quality caviar, vodka and souvenirs at
constructions – Antitank Hedgehogs
In December 1966 a solemn opening ceremony of
the monument commemorating the glorious victory
of the Russian arms over the Nazi Germany was
held at the 23d kilometer of Leningrad highway
leading to Moscow. The 6 meters high
monument-memorial was constructed on the spot
where in autumn 1941 a most important
counteroffensive near Moscow took place. It
represents a marble copy of defensive
constructions a.k.a. antitank hedgehogs made of
rails. These simple but very reliable
constructions served as major fortifications
against the Nazi military hardware. The memorial
rests on a huge stone platform decorated with a
bar relief depicting soldiers and guerillas –
the heroic defenders of the Russian capital. The
inscription at the bottom of the memorial is a
line taken from a song devoted to Moscow: The
enemy will never see you fall!
Northern River Port
The Moscow Northern River Terminal surrounded by
a picturesque park was built in 1937 in "Stalinist
Gothic" style to resemble a passenger ship. The
red ruby star atop the 85-meter-high spire
supposedly was taken from the walls of the
Kremlin itself. With the completion of the
impressive MOSCOW-Volga Canal in 1937, the
capital was finally linked to the great system
of waterways that runs from St. Petersburg on
the Gulf of Finland all the way to Astrakhan on
the Caspian Sea. Thus, Moscow became the port of
five seas: the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the
Caspian Sea, the White Sea and the Baltic Sea.
The river port is the arrival-departure point
for numerous tourist boats cruising in all
directions all around the European part of
Russia. The white beauties with Russian
tri-colors set sail to the Farewell to Slavyanka,
a march composed more than a hundred years ago,
and the happy tourists paying tribute to a
centuries-old leaving tradition assemble on the
decks waving their hands to their friends on the
pier wishing them an enjoyable journey.
Byelorussian Railway Terminal
None of Moscow railway terminals has changed its
name as many times as Byelorussian railway
station – the former Smolensk, Alexandrovsk,
Brest, Byelorussian-Baltic Railway Terminal.
Built in 1870 in eclectic style and redesigned
in 1909 nowadays it connects Moscow with the
European regions of the Russian Federation,
Byelorussia, Lithuania, and Central and East
European countries. Byelorussian Railway
Terminal witnessed a lot of historic events. In
1941 at the beginning of World War Two the
Soviet irregular army departed from here to the
front, in 1945 the first echelons with soldiers
arrived in Moscow from Berlin defeated by the
glorious Soviet Army.
Triumph-Palace, a new Stalinist-style 40-storey
high-riser, has been nicknamed the Eighth Sister
of the earlier Seven Sisters or Wedding Cakes
constructed in Moscow over 50 years ago. The
seven Sisters were constructed on order of
Stalin just after World War II to prove that
Russia could keep up with the West. More
significantly, the high-rises were built to
embody the glory of Muscovite culture and the
superpower of the Communist state. The design of
the buildings and the decoration recall
17th-century Russian churches, and the ornate
exteriors are drawn from Gothic cathedrals.
Similar the Seven Sisters in exterior design,
the Eighth Sister is different from them in
interior having all modern conveniences and
extensive facilities which can’t but influence
At the beginning of the 18th century Peter the
Great transferred the Russian capital from
Moscow to St. Petersburg. However, Russian
rulers kept paying visits to the former capital
and on these occasions before the ceremonial
entry to the old capital they would make a
stopover at the so-called Journey Palaces
located on the way from St. Petersburg to Moscow.
Peter’s Palace was built in 1776-1796 by a
renowned Russian architect Matvei Kazakov on
order of Catherine the Great. She stayed at the
palace before the festivities held in Moscow on
the occasion of Russian victory over Turkey. In
1812 Napoleon, retreating from the Moscow during
the fire, spent several days at the palace.
Combining the architectural techniques of
neoclassicism, the Old Russian ornamental style
and the romantic features of Gothic the palace
is the first eclectic construction in the
history of Russian architecture. The interior
decoration of the palace features the Louis XVI
With the transferral of the capital to St.
Petersburg in the 18th century, the Tzar and his
court left Moscow. Even so they paid frequent
visits to the former capital and on these
occasions the Tsars and Tsarinas would make a
stopover in the village of Vsekhsvyatskoye.
Wooden "journey palaces" had been built here
where the royal family would rest before making
ceremonial entry into Moscow. In 1776-1796, the
Petrovsky Stopover Palace, to be used in place
of the old wooden palaces, was built by the
noted architect Matvei Kazakov on the site of
the village of Petrovskoye. Surroundedby brick
fortress walls with towers, the palace combines
the architectural techniques of neoclassicism
with the vivid ornamental style of Old Russian
building and the romantic features of Gothic.
The interior decoration of the palace used to
feature the Louis XVI style before being
renovated in empire style.
The palace has been home to different people. In
the XX century it housed the Air Forces Academy
named after Zhukovsky. At present Peter’s Palace
is under reconstruction. According to Moscow
Mayor’s ambitious plans it will turn into a
gorgeous de-luxe hotel.
Built in 1928 Dynamo stadium has been redesigned
several times. Throughout its 70 year old
history it has seated 120 million spectators.
Over 30 thousand competitions in over 20 kinds
of sport with over 30 million partakers have
been held here. Soccer matches took place here
during the 1980 Olympics. At present the stands
can seat 54 thousand spectators.
The Old Believers’ church of St. Nicholas is one
of the few found in Moscow.
In the mid-17th century the Russian Orthodox
Church engaged in an internal conflict began to
tear apart. For centuries the bible and all text
on riots and expressions had been translated and
copied by hand. In different parts of Russia the
scriptures differed. Seeking a single liturgy
universal for every Russian Orthodox believer
Patriarch Nikon adopted the practices of the
Greek Orthodox Church including the Greek
religious vestments and the Trinity cult. Thus,
the believers were required to cross themselves
with three fingers instead of two as was a
traditional ritual before and sing three
alleluias when praying which according to the
Greek tradition symbolized God Father, God Son
and the Holy Spirit. Some clergymen and lay
people refused to accept the liturgical reforms
introduced by Patriarch Nikon. Traditional
believers headed by clergyman Avvakum revolted
against the church authority in an attempt to
restore the traditional rituals. This was how
the Old Believers' schism emerged. The nation
was split into two warring camps – the New and
the Old believers. Eventually the Old Believers
were suppressed by the church authorities and
forced to flee Central Russian. Many of them
settled in Siberia and managed to preserve the
old ways. Nowadays Old Believers are viewed by
the official Russian Orthodox Church as a legal
confession within Orthodoxy. There Old Believers’
Churches in Moscow catch one’s eye immediately
by their simple and somewhat austere exterior.
As far back as the 14th century there was a road
linking Moscow and Tver, which at that time one
of the most powerful Russian principalities, and
by the 17th century Tverskaya had become the
main street of Moscow. One hundred years later
it became the beginning of the road to Russia's
new capital, St. Petersburg. At that time
Tverskaya was occupied by the high society of
Moscow: magnificent palaces and mansions of
Catherine the Great's high officials were
erected here. With time the appearance of the
old street changed: in the late 19th century
Tverskaya was bright with the signboards of
luxurious Moscow shops, confectioners,
fashionable hotels, and the best barbers and
Everything that was new and best in Moscow
started at Tverskaya.
In the late 19th century the first electric tram
in Moscow went along Tverskaya Street.
Now it is the major street in Moscow. On the
left ant on the right you can see shops,
boutiques, hotels, cafes and reastaurants.
Electric lights appeared on Tverskaya earlier
than on other streets.
Some buildings are in granite captured from the
Germans in December 1941. The Fascists had
brought the granite to Moscow to erect a
monument to the victorious German soldiers in
the capital's centre, but this 'memorial' stone
was destined for a different purpose.
Now on both sides of the street you can see
blocks of flats with shops and boutiques on the
ground floor. Different Russian and foreign
companies sell their goods there.
Sheraton hotel was built in 1993 and became one
of the first Moscow hotels of international
class. Located in the historical center of
Moscow in the main trade street of the capital
close to the most famous landmarks it’s
attracted many well-known people – Denis Tito,
Christopher Lambert, Andron
Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, Anna Kurnikova, Marat
Safin, and others.
The Marriott Grand hotel opened in 1997 in one
of the most prestigious areas of Moscow –
Tverskaya Street. The Marriott Grand is among
the few Moscow hotels, which can offer all the
luxuries and services on a level with the
highest world standards. Among the famous
visitors of the hotel are: Presidents of the USA
Bill Clinton and George Bush, Vice-President of
the USA Albert Gore, State Secretaries of the
USA Madlen Albright and Colin Pauel, Prime
Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon, Vice-President
of Brazil Marco Antonio de Oliveira Masiel,
Catrin Denev, Patricia Kaas, Milen Farmer,
Natalia Oreiro, Enrique Iglesias, Eros Ramazotti,
the bands A-HA, Eagles, Depeche Mode, Modern
Talking, and others.
Publishing Agency of Sytin built by Erickson
The fascinating building of the 19th century
publishing agency owned by Sytin is and
outstanding example of Russian art nouveau.
The architect Erikson, one of the most famous
art nouveau adherents, designed many buildings
in Moscow – mansions, apartment houses, railway
stations, banks, and publishing houses. He used
unusual materials for both interior exterior
decorations – mosaic tiles, glazed bricks, plate
glass panels and metal. His gorgeous
masterpieces still strike Muscovites and guests
of the capital with their vibrant original
The period from 1820 to about 1835 is known as
the "Golden Age" of Russian poetry lit by the
genius of the greatest poet of the period –
Aleksandr Pushkin. Still today, Pushkin is as
revered by Russians as Shakespeare is by
speakers of English.
The opening ceremony of the monument to Pushkin
designed by sculptor Opekushin took place on 6,
June, 1880. The four children of the poet, as
well as outstanding Russian writers Dostoyevsky,
Turgenev, Ostrovsky were present at the solemn
ceremony in Tverskaya Street. The funds were
raised from public subscription and the bronze
statue of the greatest Russian poet was
installed in Moscow downtown.
biggest McDonald’s in Europe
In 1990 the first McDonald's was opened in
Moscow, and thus the first McDonald's restaurant
in the Soviet Union, which could seat 700 and
serve up to 50,000 customers a day. This
restaurant in Pushkin Square is believed to be
the largest McDonald's in the world. Back in
1990 McDonald’s seemed the symbol of the
long-awaited “happy future” with its bright
colors and glass walls looking weird in the gray
constructivist environment. This sparkling
“wonder” attracted crowds of Muscovites. On its
opening day thousands of people rushed to taste
miraculous burgers, delicious fries and
incomparable milk cocktails. Although the
standard set cost a lot of money for most of the
customers they were ready to queue for hours to
get into the Golden Arc Paradise. Things have
changed ever since and now most Muscovites still
appreciate McDonald’s but for a different reason
– for the clean and comfortable restrooms which
are in addition absolutely free of charge.
Yeliseev Food Store is among the main
attractions in Tverskaya Street. If you drop in
you’ll hardly believe it’s a store – the
interior resembles a magnificent palace with
elegant chandeliers and ornate moldings. The
Elise’s were famous merchants – Petersburg
millionaires who owned a provision store on
Nevsky Prospect, which was the biggest in Russia.
In the late 1890s G. Yeliseyev bought the
building and opened 'Yeliseyev's Emporium and
Wine cellar of Russian and Imported Wines.'
After the revolution the food store remained the
same. Only the Yeliseyev name was removed and it
became known as Grocery Store No. I, retaining
the same popularity as earlier. And Muscovites
still called it by its former name, Yeliseyev's.
A wonderful late 18th century mansion behind a
wall decorated with statues of lions now houses
the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia. In
the 18th century the members of the first secret
mason society had their rallies here. In 1831
the mansion became home for the English club.
For over 70 years the Museum of the Revolution
was located here in the Soviet period of the
Russian history until it was slightly
reorganized and got a different name in 1991.
Designed by the architect Jiliardi at the turn
of the 18-19th centuries the mansion has
preserved the empire exterior with a symmetrical
façade and white marble Doric columns.
The majestic equestrian monument to Prince Yury
Dolgoruky constructed on Tverskaya Square in
1954 has become a distinctive symbol of the
Russian capital. The first written record of
Moscow dates back to the year of 1147 when Great
Prince of Kiev Yuri Dolgoruky had a meeting with
the Prince of Novgorod Svyatoslav in a place
called Moskva, at that time a small fortified
wooden settlement on a hill (where the Kremlin
is located now) surrounded by two rivers and a
moat. Yuri Dolgoruky was the founder of
Moscow-Suzdal principality which became strong
and independent under his rule thanks to his
wise unification policy. Being a man of property
he struggled for control over neighboring
principalities and even distant southern
territories. For his passion for accumulation of
land and property Grand Price Yuri was nicknamed
Dolgoruky or The-Long-Armed.
The magnificent building of the Mayor’s Office,
formerly the residence of the Moscow
governor-general, was constructed in the late
18th century by an outstanding Russian architect
Kazakov. Ever since it has been the City Hall.
Hundreds of years ago merchants and craftsmen
settled in Manezh square and the place developed
as the trading center with lots of stores
selling different wares. Later on the area was
occupied by banks and shops remaining the
commercial heart of the capital. At the turn of
the 19th-20th centuries the square started
acquiring its present day looks with the
construction of the History museum in 1883, the
City Hall remembered by many as the Museum of
Lenin and the luxurious National hotel in 1903.
In 1932 all pubs and shops located in the square
were removed and Moskva Hotel was erected on
their spot. It’s hard to imagine that for over
fifty years Manezh square looked like a deserted
grey parade ground that was animated by the
lines of Soviet officers and soldiers and heavy
machinery during the annual parades before their
entry to Red Square.
An ambitious project of Moscow Mayor was set up
in 1994 and in three years later a lavish
underground shopping mall adjacent to Red Square
was opened to public. Manezh square has become
an inseparable part of the present day downtown
landscape combining modern design with the
architectural features of the historic part of
Moscow. Manezh square is a recreational zone
with lots of greenery, fountain cascades, and
park sculpture. Every day 66 thousand people
visit the huge 3 storey underground shopping
mall. The interior of each level shows is
designed to show a historical retrospective.
Going down the stairs the visitor travels in
history moving from art nouveau through
classicism down to the medieval art of Russia.
The History Museum was built in the 19th century
by the architect Sherwood. The architecture and
the colour of the building repeat the
architecture and the colour of the Kremlin walls
and towers and thus this building does not break
the harmony of the Red Square architectural
ensemble but on the contrary contributes to its
unique composition and style. The Historical
Museum contains a rich collection of icons, Old
Russian arms, archaeological items, gold-,
silver-, metalwork, etc. and is worth visiting,
indeed. Alongside with permanent collections one
can find here temporary exhibitions devoted to
different problems and events.
National was built in 1903 and has since been a
premier hotel with an incredible restaurant and
In 1918 the hotel was turned into one of Soviet
Union's prime venues for official events. It
permanently hosted members of the Bolshevik
Government, including Lenin.
In 1991 National was closed for restoration to
reopen four years later as one of the capital's
most fashionable and prestigious hotels. The
Russian colouring and exquisite interiors
combined with the modern international standards
of hospitality and the highest level of service
make this hotel truly unique. National is an
associated member of hotel chain Le Meridien and
is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World
organization, which unites the highest class
hotels around the world.
National is located in the very centre of the
capital, its windows open a matchless view at
the Kremlin and the Manezh Square. 5 minutes of
walking time away are the Bolshoy Theatre and
the Red Square. Distance to Sheremetyevo-2
airport is 32 km.
Theatre square (in Soviet times – Sverdlov
Square) took shape in 1817 after Neglinnaya
river was piped underground and the hilly and
marshy area was drained and leveled. Transected
by Petrovka Street the square was known as
Petrovka Square up to the 19th century. Later on
it got another name – Florist square after the
florist market that was located here. The modern
name appeared in the 1820s when the architect
Beauvais built the Bolshoi and Maly Theatres.
The world famous Bolshoi Theatre is designed in
neoclassical style and decorated with a
monumental Corinthian columns and a portico with
Apollo in a luxurious chariot driven by four
bronze horses. The five-tiered auditorium that
can seat about three thousand spectators is well
known for its excellent acoustics and rich
ornamentation. A gorgeous giant crystal
chandelier hangs from the ceiling decorated with
A lot of renowned artists have performed on the
stage of the Bolshoi – Fyodor Chaliapin sang
here and Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya
danced on its boards.
This year the theatre has opened its 236th
The hotel Metropol in Moscow is a monument of
architecture and history of highest importance.
Hotel Metropol owes its birth to the famous
patron of art Savva Mamontov. Such famous
artists as Korovin, Vrubel, Polenov together
with the engineer Chokolov and the architect
Kekushev worked at the project. As a result a
magnificent art nouveau architectural ensemble
decorated with unmatched ceramic panels appeared
in the heart of Moscow. The Muscovites would
come in crowds to see the "Tower of Babel of the
20th century": that was how Hotel Metropol was
nicknamed those days. None of the other hotels
in Russia except the Metropol could boast of hot
water, refrigerators, elevators, and telephones.
A legend says that Sergey Esenin spoke about his
love to Isadora Duncan in the central restaurant
of the Metropol. It was here that M.
Rostropovich met G. Vishnevskaya; scenes for
American ‘Doctor Jivago’ were filmed; the
fashion designer V. Yudashkin demonstrated his
For the last years such noble political leaders
as President of France J. Shirak, Vice-President
of the USA A. Gore, King of Spain Juan Carlos
have visited the Metropol. Among the famous
guests of the hotel there are Montserrat
Caballier, Catrin Denev, Patricia Kaas, Julia
Ormond, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Pierre
Carden, Arnold Schwartsnegger, Steven Segal,
Silvestre Stallone, Luck Besson, Mila Iovovich,
Gerrar Depardie, President of the International
Olympic Committee Antonio Samarantch.
Lubyanskaya Square is one of the most famous
squares in Moscow. For the Soviet people it was
synonymous with the NKVD and KGB, which had
their headquarters at the huge mustard-colored
building faced with grey granite. Now it is
official headquarters of FSB the Federal
Security Bureau. In the middle of the square the
Solovetsky Stone brought from Solovetsky labor
camps was erected in 1990 in order to
commemorate the victims of the communist terror.
A popular joke says that it’s the highest
building in whole Russia because even from its
basement one can see Siberia.
The ornate yellow building of the Polytechnic
Museum was constructed in Neo-Russian style at
the end of the 19th century. Various exhibitions
taking place here are devoted to the greatest
achievements of the human thought beginning from
the first electric bulb and the latest high
Chapel-monument to Russian Grenadiers
The chapel in the shape of a huge bell is a
Memorial to the Heroes of Plevna. It was put up
in 1877 in memory of the Russian grenadiers who
fell in the battles near Plevna in order to
liberate Bulgaria from the Turks. The architect
Sherwood built the monument from subscriptions
given by the heroes' comrades-in-arms.
Monument to St. Cyril and Methodius
The smallest square in Moscow is Slavonic square.
In May, 24 Muscovites celebrate the holiday of
the Slavic culture here at the monument to St.
Cyril and Methodius who are famous for
introducing the first alphabet and spreading
literacy in Russia. The Russian alphabet (Cyrillic)
was named after St. Cyril, a Greek missionary
invited by a Slavic Prince to help convert the
Slavic people to Christianity in the 9th century.
At that time the Slavic people did not have a
written language of their own and very few of
them could understand Scriptures in Latin, Greek
or Hebrew. Cyril and Methodius were apparently
very cunning guys who wouldn’t take pains to
create a completely new alphabet. Instead, they
just borrowed a number of letters from Latin, a
number of letters from Greek, and a number of
letters from Hebrew and mixed them with a few
letters they had to create for most likely they
didn’t find appropriate symbols for some Slavic
sounds. Moreover, they appeared to be very
naughty men confusing the whole world by using
the Latin “B” to indicate the sound [v], the
Latin “C” to represent the sound [s] and so on
an so forth. As a result, the Cyrillic alphabet
appeared, as misleading, confusing, unusual, and
incomparable as the endless labyrinths of the
Stalin skyscrapers a.k.a. the Seven Sisters or
the Wedding cakes are historical and
architectural wonders fascinating Russians and
foreigners. These majestic high-risers were
built on order of Stalin as a symbol of Moscow's
status as capital of a powerful Soviet state,
victorious over Nazi Germany. Actually, the
construction of these gothic-like skyscrapers
served different purposes. They were meant to
overpower the US imposing high-risers of the
same period. Besides, they were residential
complexes for the elite Party members who were
conveniently housed together for Stalin to keep
an eye on “potential dissidents.” The designs
were conceived in the 1930s but the last weren't
completed until after Stalin's death in the
1950s. Of the Seven Sisters, two are hotels with
apartments (Ukraine Hotel and the Leningradskaya
Hotel), two house government ministries (the
Ministry of Water Transport and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs), two are residential buildings
(at Barrikadnaya and Kotelnicheskaya Embankment)
and the last is Moscow State University. The
34-storey Ukraine Hotel was the first skyscraper
to be completed, in 1951, and the 36-storey
University was the last, in 1954.
All the Seven sisters are located in the most
important parts of the City. Viewed from a
distance their silhouettes emphasize the
picturesque city panorama.
In old times Zaryadye literally translated as
the area behind the Trading Stalls was part of
old Moscow famous for the many beautiful
churches which once stood here. Unfortunately,
it was almost completely demolished to make way
for the building of the Hotel 'Rossiya.' This
huge building designed by the architect
Chechulin was erected between 1964 and 1969. It
is considered the biggest hotel in Europe and
the second biggest hotel in the world which can
accommodate 6000 people in its 4000 rooms.
According to the Mayor’s reconstruction plans
the hotel will be demolished and a number of
smaller hotels of higher quality will be built
on the spot.
Red square has always been the spiritual center
of Russia. Millions of tourist visit it very
year. Luckily enough, they do not arrive at the
same time, particularly if you come to explore
the wonders of Moscow in low season, so there’s
always room for you to look around and feel the
heartbeat of the great city on the seven hills.
Hundreds of years ago Red Square used to be the
main Market Place. In the 16th century it was
called Troitskaya (Trinity) Square after Holy
Trinity Church which stood where St. Basil's
Cathedral is now to be seen. In the Middle Ages
there were often raging fires here, and so it
got an alternative name: Fire Square. From the
mid-17th century it became known as Krasnaya (Red)
square, and in Old Russian this simply meant 'beautiful.'
Red square is widely known as the place where
military parades took place in the Soviet Union
era. During the time of Gorbachev parades were
cancelled and now only once a year on Victory
Day the parade takes place here but military
hardware no longer participates in it, only
cadets of military academies and universities.
Red Square is also the centre of festive events:
different celebrations and festivals, concerts
and shows take place here.
Mesto (Forehead Place)
The oldest construction in Red square is Lobnoye
Mesto or Forehead Place. It was built in the
first half of the 16th century and served as a
platform from which the Tsar's edicts were read
out, and also the sentences for convicted
criminals. Lobnoye Mesto was also a place where
holy relics were displayed so that all the
people could honour them. The Tsars also used
Lobnoye Mesto on special occasions: in 1547 Ivan
the Terrible appealed to his people from this
spot, and the boyars Boris Godunov and Vasily
Shuisky were proclaimed Tsar from Lobnoye Mesto.
The heir to the throne would be shown to people
at the age of 14, so that the people could see
their future lawful Tsar There is a wide-spread
opinion that Lobnoye Mesto was the site of
executions, but it is false. Scaffolds were
erected close by, but executions were most often
carried out on the slope behind St. Basil's
Spasskaya (Savior) tower is indeed the symbol of
the Kremlin. The Spasskaya Tower is crowned with
a stone spire for the main clock in Russia – a
chiming clock. The Chimes on the Savior Tower
ring every half an hour. They play the Russian
anthem at 12 a.m. Every year on the 31st of
December as New Year is already on the doorstep
about to knock on the door every Russian waits
with the heart pounding for the Chimes to strike
12 making a wish with every strike. Broadcast on
TV the main Clock strikes for everyone in Russia
from Kaliningrad in the West to Vladivostok in
the East letting people hope that their dreams
will come true.
The Cathedral is actually called The Cathedral
of the Intercession of the Mother of God. It was
built in the mid-16th century by the architects
Barma and Postnik by decree of Ivan the Terrible
in honour of the capture of the Kazan Khanate,
part of the former Golden Horde. There is a
story that Ivan the Terrible was so impressed by
the cathedral that he had the men blinded so
that they could never create a miracle like that.
The cathedral got its second, more widely known
name of St. Basil’s Cathedral after a small
church of Saint Basil that was built later on
the grave of a Fool in Christ’s Sake who was
much respected in Moscow.
The Cathedral actually comprises nine individual
churches each crowned by a unique tower. The
spire of the central church unites the other
eight churches, with their onion domes, as if
binding them to itself. The eight towers are
positioned around the central, ninth spire, and
on plan they form an eight-pointed star which
symbolizes the entire Christian Church as a
guiding star showing mankind the way to the
Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky
The memorial to Minin and Pozharsky which was
erected in 1818 to the design of the sculptor I.
Martos. Kuzma Minin and Prince Pozharsky were
the leaders of the second group of Russian
irregular soldiers in 1612 that defeated the
Poles occupying the Kremlin. The inscription
reads: To Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky.
From Grateful Russia.
The Cathedral of the Mother of God of Kazan was
the first of Moscow's churches to be restored.
It was originally built in the second quarter of
the 17th century in honor of the Kazanskaya Icon,
in thanks for deliverance of Russia from the
invasion of Poles and Lithuanians which took
place in 1612, and also in memory of those
Russian soldiers who fell in battle.
After the revolution the cathedral shared the
sad fate of most Moscow churches celebrating its
300th anniversary by being blown up in 1936.
Later a cafe was opened on its site.
Moscow City Council decided that the Kazansky
Cathedral should be restored and in 1990 his
Holiness Patriarch Alexy II laid the foundation
stone, and three years later he re-consecrated
the newly-built cathedral.
The Resurrection Gates were erected at the end
of the 17th century and served as the Tsar’s
ceremonial entry to Red Square. During the
Soviet period the Gates were removed to make way
for parades and vehicles. The Resurrection Gates
were built anew again only in 1995.
The famous State Department Store (GUM) that up
to the Revolution was known as Upper Trading
Stalls was built after the design of Pomerantsev
and Klein in 1893. Although it’s no longer owned
by the state Muscovites still call it State
Department Store. Now GUM Joint Stock Company is
not only an architectural masterpiece, but also
a wide network of shops in Moscow. A lot of
boutiques on the most part selling foreign
brands are located on both levels of this huge
The building is constructed in the Russian style.
The design of the building's front side,
decorated with cut rustic, is similar to that of
the Kremlin and the Historical Museum
The unique glass-roof designed by engineer V.
Shukhov looks light but it is a firm
construction made of over 50,000 pounds (about
819 tons) of metal.
GUM Shopping Mall is located on the spot with a
centuries long history of trading. For many
years there were simply narrow trading stalls
with small counters. At the time the cries of
street traders filled the air, inviting everyone
to buy goods: “Our wares are of good quality,
but cheap; buy from us and get a souvenir!” When
a passer-by entered a shop, the seller rushed to
him and used all his methods to make the man
choose something. It was possible to hear even
such phrases as: “May God give you good health
to the extent our jacket suits you!”
Few companies have such a long and rich history
as GUM, and only a few malls in Russia can
proudly say that they were opened over a century
ago and are successfully working now.
The first mausoleum made of wood was built right
after the death of Lenin to preserve his
embalmed body in 1924. The present one (the
third one) is made of red granite and black
labradorite. Lenin wished to be buried near his
mother in Volkov cemetery in St. Petersburg.
Krupskaya, Lenin’s widow, his brother and sister
protested against this blasphemous form of
burial, however, the party leaders insisted on
displaying his body for communist propaganda.
That is why Lenin’s tomb was turned into a
platform from which state leaders could address
Behind the Mausoleum there is a necropolis of
state leaders and ministers of soviet government.
Some remarkable political figures were buried in
the earth near the Kremlin wall. They are Stalin,
Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko. Cosmonauts,
military men, heroes of the WWII, ministers, etc.
were cremated, and the urns with their ashes
were buried in the wall.
To the right and to the left of the Mausoleum
there are Common graves where those who perished
in the revolutionary events of 1917 were buried.
1) Kremlin walls and towers
The Kremlin in Old Russian meant “fortress” and
many Old Russian cities used to have their own
Kremlins or fortresses which formed the center
of any settlement. The Moscow Kremlin is
considered the best preserved one and is by
right called the major attraction of the capital.
The Kremlin is built in the form of an irregular
triangle. It was originally washed by the
Moskva-river and the Neglinka-river which was
later channeled into a tube. The Kremlin has 20
towers, three of which – the round ones – are
placed at the three corners.
In the old times the Kremlin was the residence
of the royal power and the center of Russian
2) Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square is the oldest preserved part of
The Moscow Kremlin walls carefully protect the
unique architectural ensemble of the Cathedral
Square. The golden-dome cathedrals and
white-stone churches occupy special places among
the historical monuments of the Kremlin. They
are both masterpieces of ancient architecture as
well as museums bearing ancient Russian painting
and decorative and applied arts. In 1999 the
Moscow Kremlin was included on UNESCO list of
monuments of global heritage as a historical and
culture museum and preserve. The monuments of
the Kremlin acquire the status of world property
and the Russian government has assumed the
responsibility before the international
community for the care and preservation.
3) Assumption Cathedral
The Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral used to be
Moscow's main church that was the focal point of
religious activity. It was built in the 14th –
15th centuries by Aristotle Fiorovanti. Russian
Tsars beginning with Ivan the Terrible (16th
century) and Emperors were crowned here. The
ritual installation of metropolitans and
patriarchs of the Orthodox Church also took
place in this cathedral, and their tombs are
also to be found in the Assumption Cathedral.
This church is the principal link of the
Cathedral Square architectural ensemble. In 1475
famous Italian architect Fiorovanti came to
Moscow to build the Assumption cathedral.
Initially the church of the Assumption of the
Virgin Mother was located here which was built
in the 14th century by commission from Peter,
the first Moscow metropolitan. Within 4 years a
new cathedral was consecrated and opened for
Muscovites. Thus Moscow became the center of the
uniting the Russian lands. The Assumption
cathedral symbolized the might of the unified
Russian state. “Like a single stone” is how one
historian characterized the wholeness and
majesty of the new church. The cathedral has 3
entrances: south, west and north. The southern
entrance facing the Cathedral Square was
intended for parades and other grand events and
it is especially bright. 2 angels guard the
entrance; above them in white-stone arches are
figures of Russian saints. And above those
figures is the image of Our Lady of Vladimir who
was the primary saint of Russia. Since it was
founded the Assumption cathedral has been the
main church of the state. The pulpit for the
heads of the Russian church is here. This is
where they were ordained and finally they were
buried. All grand ceremonies took place in the
Assumption cathedral including coronations. Ivan
the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Mikhail Romanov and
young Peter I, also known as Peter the Great,
were all crowned here. Even when Peter I
declared St. Petersburg a new Russian capital
the Kremlin maintained its significance as the
court of Russian state power. As such, all
Russian emperors and empresses traveled to
Moscow for coronation at the Assumption
cathedral. The coronation ceremony entailed the
tsar leading a procession and walking around
wards covered with red cloak to the Assumption
cathedral. Following the solemn liturgy at the
Assumption cathedral the tsar went to the
Archangel cathedral where he paid tribute to his
ancestors by bowing in front of their tombs and
asking them for the blessing over his reign. The
procession then went to the GKP stopping at the
Annunciation cathedral which was the domestic
chapel for Moscow tsars.
4) Archangel Michael Cathedral
The Archangel Michael Cathedral designed by
the Italian architect Alevis Novij in the early
16th century is the burial place of the Grand
Princes and Tsars. It’s the vault for Moscow
male rulers among them Ivan the Terrible, the
first Tsar of Russia and his youngest son Dmitri
of Uglich, the last representative of the first
Russian dynasty who at the age of 9 allegedly
committed suicide playing with a knife – he fell
on it eight times and died as a result,
presumably he was murdered on order of his
regent Boris Godunov. The first Tsar from the
Romanov dynasty Mikhail and his son Alexi who
was father of Peter the Great found their
resting place under the vaults of the cathedral.
The church houses 54 tombs, all graves are in
the ground and above them stand white
gravestones from the 17th century.
In olden times the Archangel cathedral was a
much revered church. Princes and tsars regularly
visited the church, as it was considered an
essential part of court ceremonies and rites.
The fathers’ tombs were worshipped. Prayers for
divine interventions and aid and thanks were
given for victory. In the middle of the 16th
century during the reign of Ivan the Terrible
the cathedral was decorated with wall painting.
5) Annunciation Cathedral
The charming gold-leaf nine-dome church –
the Blagoveshcnsky (Annunciation) Cathedral
built in the late 15th century by masters from
Pskov was the family church of the Tsars. It was
here that they got married and had their
new-born heirs to the throne baptized, and the
cathedral's senior presbyter was the Tsar's
The cathedral was an integral part of the Grand
Princes Palace and was connected to it by an
overpass. Since its construction the AC has not
changed its outward or interior appearance.
Gradually the church became a remarkable
historic and artistic monument of medieval
After revolution of 1917 it was turned into a
museum. Since 1992 the church’s services were
held on the day of the celebration of
Annunciation that is April, the 7th.
6) Ivan the Great Bell Tower
The tallest building in the Kremlin ensemble
is Ivan the Great’s Bell Tower – 81 meters/ 266
feet. Ivan the Great's Bell Tower was built for
the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation
Cathedrals which did not have their own belfries.
The bell-tower complex consists of 3 parts. If
you look at the complex from right to left you
will see the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower, then the
Assumption belfry and finally the Filaret’s
annex. The complex was constructed over the
course of 120 years. The Ivan the Great
bell-tower was built at the beginning of the
16th century for Tsar Ivan III bell. It was
approximately 60 m. in height and was named St.
Ivan. Later at the end of the 16th century the
tower was heightened to 81 meters and was given
the name “Ivan the Great”. In 1812 Napoleon
ordered the complex to be destroyed. The only
thing standing after the destruction was the
pillar from the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower.
Currently the Assumption belfry has the biggest
bell among Moscow towers which survive from the
past – the Uspenskij bell. This bell was silent
for many years but on Great Russian Orthodox
holidays the ringing of the bell can be heard
far beyond the walls of the Moscow Kremlin as it
used to be in the past. Each Moscow tsar aspired
to create a bell with a lower tone than the one
created by the previous leader. Thus each new
bell needed to be heavier and bigger than its
predecessor. This tradition accounted for the
casting of giant bells. The biggest one, the
so-called Tsar-Bell, was cast at the first half
of the 18th century.
7) Faceted Chamber
To the right of the GKP is the Hall of
Facets. This was the grand reception hall for
Moscow princes and tsars. It was constructed at
the end of the 15th century under the leadership
of the Italian architects Friasin and Solari.
There was an open staircase outside the building
that was later named the Red Porch. Foreign
councils were met here. Its original
construction was not preserved. Instead the
porch was reconstructed according to the 19th
8) Church of Holy Robe Deposition
An elegant one-dome is the Church of Laying
our Lady’s Holy Robe. The church is named after
the Russian orthodox holiday of laying our
lady’s holy robe. Initially the church was the
domestic chapel for Moscow metropolitans and
patriarchs. In the middle of the 17th century
the church was connected to the Tsarina’s
chambers by an underpath and since then it has
been considered part of the palace.
9) Terem Churches
The Golden Tsarina Palace was constructed at
the end of the 15th century. This building is
one of several that make up the women’s quarters
of the Tsar’s court and is the reception hall
for Russian noble women. Above the Golden
Tsarina Palace one can see the painting of the
17th century of 11 domes of the Terem churches.
They were constructed at the behest of Tsar
Mikhail Fyodorovich, the first tsar of the
10) Patriarch Palace
The Patriarchal Palace was built during the
time of Patriarch Nikon and was used as his
residence. The Patriarchal palace completes the
ensemble of the Cathedral Square on the north.
The PP was commissioned by patriarch Nikon and
constructed during the years 1653 through 1655.
Today the museum of decorative arts and daily
life of the 17th century is located here. In the
past the first floor was occupied by a variety
of official rooms. The reception hall and
private chapel and the dining room were on the
second floor. The living quarters and the
patriarch’s office occupied the third floor.
11) Tsar Bell
The biggest one, the so-called Tsar-Bell,
was cast at the first half of the 18th century.
According to an old Orthodox tradition bell
casting was a sacred craft. The bigger the bell
was the lower voice it had. Russian people
believe that the low voice of a bell reaches God.
Thus, every ruler considered it a sacred duty to
cast a bigger bell than the bell of his
predecessor. No one has ever heard the voice of
the Tsar-Bell because it cracked and a large
piece broke off weighing over 11 tons that broke
off. The Tsar-Bell itself weighs about 200 tons.
12) Tsar Cannon
The Tsar-Canon had the same fate as the Tsar
Bell – no one has ever seen it in action. It was
cast by craftsmen Chohov in the 17th century and
originally placed on Red square was used as a
powerful deterrent for the Russian enemies. The
total weight of this secret weapon is 40 tons.
13) Grand Kremlin Palace
The Grand Kremlin Palace was constructed in
the mid 19th century by the architect K. Ton as
a temporary residence for Tsar Nicholas I. In
ancient times Tsar’s mansions were located here.
For centuries this place was considered the
residence of power.
It used to be a temporary imperial residence of
the Russian Emperors on their visits to Moscow,
when St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia.
Five reception halls are situated on the first
floor – St. Valdimir Hall, St. Alexander Hall,
St. Andrew Hall, St. George Hall and St.
Catherine Hall. Their names correspond to the
names of the main Russian orders. The present
Grand Kremlin Palace used to house the Supreme
Soviet of the USSR. The interiors of St. Andrew
and St. Alexander Halls were completely ruined.
350 million dollars were spent on their
The ground floor of the Grand Kremlin Palace
presents the apartments of the official
residence of President, although neither Yeltsin,
no Putin have ever spent an overnight here.
14) State Armoury
The Armory houses the world’s largest
collection of Russian and foreign objects of
applied art from the fifth to the twentieth
century. The basis of the collection is the
treasury of the Grand Princes and Tsars which
began its collection in the Moscow Kremlin
beginning in the 14th century. Until the 18th
century works of the Kremlin masters were added
to the treasury including the Silver Chamber,
the Gold Chamber and the Stables. The largest of
these was the Armory which opened in the early
19th century. The kernel exposition is displayed
in the building which was built specifically for
the museum by the architect Constantine Ton in
1851. The Armory which is Russia’s original
treasury offers a glimpse into the richness of
Russia and Russian history. It’s a museum of
history and art which preserves the unique
monuments of world and local culture. A
significant number of these works are items of
Russian national art made in the Moscow
15) Diamond Fund
The Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation was
founded in 1922 on the basis of royal treasures
that had been previously kept in the Diamond
Room of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg
hidden from people’s eyes.
Only few people managed to see the treasures of
the Diamond Room, even courtiers chanced to look
at them from the distance during different court
ceremonies. There were neither photos nor
drawings that depicted them. The only exception
was portraits of the members of the royal family
with the state regalia and the post cards issued
in 1913 on the occasion of 300 anniversary of
the Romanovs’ House.
It is worth mentioning that the treasuries did
not personally belong to the royal family but to
the state and after ceremonies regalia and
empress’s jewelleries were to be returned to the
During WWI the treasures of the diamond room
were evacuated from St. Petersburg to Moscow
where they were kept in the Armoury Chamber.
Fortunately the major part of them survived in
the turbulent years of WWI, the revolution and
civil war and then, for the first time, was
presented to public in 1925 on the temporary
exhibition. The permanent exhibition has worked
The exhibition features the collection of
diamonds, historical relics, such as state
regalia, unique precious stones and the
outstanding works of jewellery art of the
18th-19th centuries, jewelleries made by
contemporary masters and the collection of gold
Designed by a noted architect Osip Beauvais
Alexander Garden was laid out almost 200 years
ago. Before, there, was the Neglinka River that
protected the Kremlin from the north. The river
was piped underground and now flows under the
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located in
Alexander Garden is the main memorial to the
heroes of the Second World War. The remains were
brought from the common grave located in the
Moscow region, and buried in the Garden on the
25th anniversary of the defeat of the German
army. On 8 May 1967 the Eternal Flame brought
from St. Petersburg was lit on the Tomb. At the
Tomb, fire comes from a bronze, five-pointed
star situated on a red granite gravestone. Above
it one can see a sculptural composition in the
form of a banner, a branch of laurels and a
soldier’s helmet. The inscription under the star
on the monument says: “Your name is unknown,
your deeds are immortal”. On the left of the
Tomb on the granite wall we read: “1941. To
those who died for the fatherland. 1945.”
There are monumental blocks of red porphyry with
the names of city-heroes along the Kremlin wall
in the Alexander Garden. Inside them there is
earth brought from Brest, Kiev, Minsk, Volgograd,
Tula, Murmansk, Smolensk, St. Petersburg,
Sevastopol, Odessa, Novorossiysk and Kerch.
The Russians remember the heroes of the Great
Patriotic War who saved the world from the
Fascist aggression and often come to Alexander
garden to pay tribute to the glorious deeds of
those who fell in battles.
Balchug Kempinsy hotel has a long history
beginning in 1898 when a house for rent was
built on the spot of the present day hotel.
Merchants and traders often chose to stay here
for the hotel was very close to the main market
located on Red Square. The hotel acquired its
present day appearance after a reconstruction
held by a German company Kempinsky in 1992. Ever
since it’s been very popular among Russian and
foreign guests of the capital. Gerhard Schroeder,
Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti have stayed at
Balchug Kempinsky Hotel during their visits to
Peter the Great
The monument devoted to the 300 anniversary of
the Russian Navy is more widely known as the
monument to Peter I. Created in 1997 by the
present Head of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts
Zurab Tseretely it depicts Peter the Great at
the wheel of a huge ship. The attitude of
Muscovites towards the sculpture is far from
favorable as the monument due to its impressive
size won’t fit in the surrounding architectural
platform at Sparrow Hills
Poklonnaja Mountain or Bow Hill is the most
significant monument constructed in honor of the
victory over Nazis in the Great Patriotic War of
1941-1945. The solemn opening of the Victory
Memorial in Moscow was held in May, 9, 1995 and
marked the 50th anniversary of the victory.
The central part of the memorial is taken by
Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War. Its
exhibits tell about the key battles, the heroic
deeds of rank-and-file soldiers and prominent
military leaders and officers.
The museum workers put a colossal effort into
collecting documentary evidence, memoirs,
clothes and weapons of those days. In spite of
its relatively short existence, it includes a
variety of material and documentary items.
There’re about 100.000 of them. Among them are
letters from the frontline, newspapers and
posters of the war period, photos, examples of
military uniform, weapons, personal belongings
of high commanders and privates.
The main monument of Victory is an obelisk with
a bronze statue of Nike, the goddess of Victory.
In the park of the Memorial complex that spreads
over 135 hectares there are open-air exhibitions
displaying weapons, tanks and armored vehicles,
fighters and helicopters, submarines and
warships used by the Soviet Army during the WW2.
The Memorial complex also includes an Orthodox
Church, a Mosque and a Synagogue reflecting that
the struggle against Fascists united the people
of different confessions.
Museum of Fine Arts
Founded by a professor of Moscow State
University Tsvetayev in 1912 as a museum of
casts representing masterpieces of antique,
medieval and renaissance sculpture it gradually
turned into the most outstanding museum of fine
arts in Russia. Now it comprises all most
prominent national schools of painting in
Western Europe – Italy, Spain, Holland, Flanders,
France from the 13th up to the beginning of the
20th century. No doubt the highlight of the
highlights on display is an absolutely unique
collection of French impressionists.
The New Maiden Convent is one of the city's most
beautiful architectural ensembles with a long
history behind its toothed walls. Founded as a
fortress in the south of Moscow it gradually
became a place of political activity. This is
where Boric Godunov was elected the Russian
ruler in the turbulent Time of Troubles. Since
the 17th century it was the place of seclusion
for Tsarinas and other noble women thus becoming
the richest convent in Russia.
The adjacent New Maiden Cemetery is Moscow's
most prestigious resting place after the Kremlin
wall, containing the tombs of Chekhov,
Shostakovich, Stanislavski, Khrushchev, Gromyko,
Molotov, Raisa Gorbachev and others.
Not long ago the sculptural composition “Make
way for ducklings” was reopened in the part at
New Maiden Convent. It features Mother-Duck and
her eight ducklings – Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack,
Nack, Quack, Pack, Kwack from the famous
fairy-tale by Robert McCloskey. The first
opening of the composition took place in 1991
when Barbara Bush presented to Raisa Gorbachev
and to all Russian children the exact copy of
the sculpture from the Central Park of Boston.
In the same 1991 one of the ducklings was
kidnapped but as he was walking at the end of
the line its absence wasn’t really noticeable.
In February 2000 an unknown criminal sawed off
Mrs. Mallard and two central ducklings. The
composition was totally spoiled. Children cried
and demanded the ducklings back. Americans
living in Moscow decided to sponsor the
restoration of the sculptural composition which
is the embodiment of the far-away Motherland for
them in Russia. Six American companies donated
money for the restoration works supervised by
Nancy Schoen who is the author of the sculptures
in Boston and Moscow. To be on the safe side the
sculptures were insured (the insurance companies
estimated each duckling at six thousand American
dollars and Mrs. Mallard at twenty-four thousand
In September, 2002 a new square was opened in
front of Kiev railway terminal in Moscow. A
sculptural composition on the theme of a
mythological subject “The Rape of Europe” by a
Belgian sculptor Olivier Strebel was given to
Moscow by Brussels government as a symbol of
Russian-European friendship and cooperation. The
avant-garde fountain with the sculpture of
curved steel pipes resembling the bull’s horns
and featuring Europe carried by the bull
occupies the central part of the square.
All in all there are 9 railway stations in
Moscow connecting the city with many parts of
Russia and the world. The Kiev railway station
connects Moscow with the Ukraine, Moldavia,
Hungary, Italy and Greece. Built at the
beginning of the 20th century the Kiev railway
station is still considered one of the best
architectural masterpieces with wonderful glass
roofing above the platform and with a gorgeous
façade decorated with a tall clock tower.
The Arbat is a true symbol of old Moscow, and
has recently celebrated its 500th anniversary.
The name of the street was first mentioned in
the chronicles of 1493. The word Arbat is linked
with the Arabic word “rabad” which means
“suburb” – in the 15th century only the Kremlin
itself was regarded as the city proper. In those
days Arbat was the place where caravans with
goods from the East stood and an Arabic word
could assimilate into the local tongue.
In the second half of the 18th century Arbat
became the most aristocratic area of the city
where Moscow intelligentsia used to settle.
Among them was the great Russian poet Alexander
Pushkin who brought his young wife to his
mansion in Arbat street right after their
wedding on the eve of which he’d arranged a stag
In 1986 the Arbat was repaved as the first
pedestrian street in Moscow. Nowadays it’s a
vibrant street with a lot of nice souvenir
stores and cafes, street vendors and artists, a
popular place among the youth.
Prague restaurant owes its birth to a merchant
called Tararykin. In the 1870s the Prague was
opened on the ground floor as an inexpensive
eating house. Its customers were mainly cabmen
working in this neighborhood, and it is no
surprise to find that they nicknamed it the 'Braga,'
which means home-brewed beer. In 1896 Tararykin
won the whole building as a wager on his playing
billiards with his left hand. The industrious
player decided to turn the Prague into a first
class restaurant, exploiting its advantageous
position on the Arbat. He thought that he could
earn large profits. And he spared no expense on
the renovation, which was carried out by
Kekushev and Ericson, the best Moscow architects
in the Art Nouveau style.
The restaurant was magnificently decorated with
gilded stucco moldings, shining bronze figures
and a multitude of mirrors. The premises were
split into separate dining halls and small
booths where one could relax in comfort. A roof
garden was made where guests could dine in the
fresh air and admire the panoramic views.
The new restaurant was noteworthy for its
refined cuisine which combined the traditions of
Moscow's best specialist chefs – the Frenchman
Olivier, who had worked at the 'Hermitage'
restaurant, and the renowned Testov from Okhotny
Ryad. Tararykin himself even surpassed Testov's
skills with his celebrated open-topped sterlyat
pasties, for he cooked them with equal portions
of sterlyat and sturgeon. All the restaurant's
crockery was decorated with the golden
inscription: 'A Warm Welcome from Tararykin!'
Nor did Tararykin forget how the restaurant had
come into his possession – it had the best
billiard tables in Moscow.
Service in the Prague was kept at the highest
possible standards. In accordance with the
custom in high-class restaurants of that time,
Tararykin paid no salary to the waiters, and
their sole income came from the tips left by the
customers. The total tips of the day would be
pooled together, and then shared out equally. If
someone was caught trying to conceal a tip he
would be dismissed.
In no time the restaurant acquired a reputation
as one of the best restaurants in Moscow, and
official banquets were often held here.
Elki-Palki is a popular brand of a wide
chain of Russian cuisine restaurants located in
the city centre. Girls with braids and guys
wearing Russian national costumes will wait on
you and serve the famous borsh, pancakes or
“blini” with caviar or salmon and vodka. The
Moscow youth and tourists enjoy the cozy
atmosphere of the tavern which is good both for
a meeting with friends and a business talk.
New Arbat is a wide avenue of 1970’s Soviet
architecture: tall buildings, a bit like open
books at an angle, line both sides of the avenue.
They house offices of different home and foreign
companies. A lot of bars, cafes, restaurants,
shopping malls, huge stores, beauty salon, and
casinos are located here.
This area has been historically one of the most
prestigious residential areas of Moscow despite
all the damage which was done to it during the
Soviet Era it has preserved its status.
Late at night New Arbat Street is brightly
illuminated with street lamps, casino and
Moscow Metro (still named after Lenin) is
considered to be one of the best in the world.
Its stations impress with their architectural
solutions, the trains are fast, the cars are
comfortable, and the traffic organization is
The first test train was set in operation on
October 15, 1934, and on May 15, 1935, the first
thirteen stations were opened for public use.
This day is now celebrated as the birthday of
the Soviet Metro.
In 1932 construction of Moscow's metro began as
a piece of art with elegant and huge stations.
Today the Moscow metro seems to be the busiest
in the world, carrying an average of 8-9 million
passengers on a normal weekday, i.e. some
3,000,000,000 (!) a year.
The Moscow Metro is 269.5 km long and has 165
stations (including transition stations).
Although there are line numbers on some maps
lines are identified by names referring to the
areas they serve. There's also a 20 km long ring
line connecting all other lines. The system is
almost entirely underground although some lines
cross the Moskva river and line 1 also the Yauza
river on a bridge.
The stations of the Moscow Metro are open since
5:30 a.m. The last train leaves its final
route-point at 1:00 a.m., late at night, that's
the time, when passengers are not allowed to
make transitions from one line to another.
Many Muscovites go to work and back home by
Metro, that's why you should be aware of the
rush hours in the Moscow Metro on working days.
Try to avoid using Metro during peak hours in
the morning, between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m.,
and in the evening, from 4.00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
However, many stations are always overcrowded.
In most cases, these are the stations located
close to railway and bus terminals, biggest
department stores and market places.
The Metro stations were designed and embellished
by prominent Russian architects, artists and
sculptors. Their great talent and decorative
skills created a peculiar underground network of
great artistic value. The gamut of original
materials, which were used to ornament the
stations, is so wide that the Moscow Metro may
be called a unique Museum of Geology or even a
peculiar Museum of Arts.
Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine Moscow
without the Metro. It has become an inalienable
part of the city, and it is the most convenient
and the fastest city transit.
Kolomenskoye museum estate
The former summer residence of Moscow Grand
Princes and Russian Tsars Kolomenskoye Estate is
an invaluable museum preserve of a unique
architectural ensemble created in the 16th-17th
centuries. Magnificent tent-roof churches –
unique cultural treasures of Old Russian
architecture – are amazing in their towering
Founded by a Russian millionaire and benefactor
of the 19th century Pavel Tretyakov the
Tretyakov gallery is a unique museum of Russian
art beginning from the 12th century icon
painting through to the 20th century masters
such as Lentulov, Malevich and Kandinsky. It
displays an excellent collection of Russian
realism, impressionism and art nouveau
masterpieces absolutely different from anything
you have ever seen in the world giving a
wonderful insight into the Russian history, the
Russian mentality and the Russian soul.