History facts

State Department Store (GUM)

by Olga on July 22, 2013

GUM celebrates its 120th anniversary.
Red square in front of it turns into a patchwork flower carpet.

GUM

GUM

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Faberge Easter egg, 1891

by Olga on May 5, 2013

The egg “Memory of Azov” is the only one in the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, commissioned by Emperor Alexander III. It was presented to his wife, Maria Fyodorovna, on Easter in 1891 and dedicated to the journey of Tsarevich Nicholas and his brother George to the East aboard the cruiser “Memory of Azov” (Pamiat Azova). The itinerary included Greece, Egypt, India, China, and Japan. The Easter egg is made of heliotrope (a kind of jasper) and decorated with gold and diamonds in the rococo style. The surprise within is a miniature gold and platinum replica of the Imperial cruiser, fixed on a piece of aquamarine representing the water.

Faberge "Memory of Azov"

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Maxim Vorobiev «View of Manege, Kutafya tower and St. Nicholas church in Sapozhki in Moscow», 1817.
M.N.Vorobiev1817 View of Manege, Kutafya tower, and the church of St. Nickolas in Moscow

Most tourists visiting the Kremlin enter it trough the Trinity (Troitskaya) tower. This is the tower with a bridge and outer barbican, known as Kutafya tower (a white one with a “crown” on its top). Left of it the watercolor by M.Vorobiev shows us just recently completed Manege building (1817). For its long history it was used for riding horses, as a government garage, and the main state exhibition hall. The church of St. Nicholas (1648) was demolished in 1838. A modern building behind the Kremlin wall, which obstructed the view of the Kremlin ensemble, was erected in 1961, under Nikita Khruschev, for Communist Party congresses.

The square in 2013.
10 years ago the monument to Alexander II flanked by two lions (standing today beside the cathedral of Christ the Savior) was planned to put up here. The idea did not come true.

Manege, Kutafya tower, Moscow

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Arbatskaya metro station

by Olga on March 10, 2013

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful metro stations in Moscow is Arbatskaya (dark blue line). Completed in 1953, the year of Stalin’s death, it was intended to be used as a bomb shelter, if necessary. Look at that bomb shelter! The long 250 meter platform is also very deep ­- 41 meters underground. The station represents an example of Stalinist baroque style, its opera clothes include white arched ceilings, bronze chandeliers, ceramic bouquets of flowers, red marble decorations, and glazed tiles. Arbatskaya station can boast a unique design. It was not yet time for austerity and criticism of luxury in Soviet architecture. Up to 1955 metro stations were built on the individual projects. They looked like palaces. Later, between 1955 and 1970 mostly functional aspects prevailed.

Moscow metro station Arbatskaya

Before 1955 in one of the escalator vestibules one could see a mosaic portrait of Stalin (sculptor G. Opryshko).

Stalin, Moscow metro station Arbatskaya

The same place today:

 Moscow metro station Arbatskaya

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Disappeared mausoleum

by Olga on February 3, 2013

Today in Moscow instead of Lenin mausoleum on Red square you can witness a huge white hemisphere tent. The mausoleum is closed until the end of April for renovation work. Moscow officials say Lenin’s body remains inside.

Lenin Mausoleum

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The Church of the Intercession of the Virgin at Fili The church of the Intercession of the Virgin at Fili, a lithograph of the early 19th century.

 

The Church of the Intercession of the Virgin at Fili is located at Novozavodskaya Street. Fili metro station is a short walk, not more than 200m. The church was built between 1689 and 1693 by a boyar Naryshkin, the uncle of Peter the Great. Actually it consists of two churches, a winter one in the basement and a summer church above it, which was never heated. The new architectural style was formed at the end of the XVII century in Moscow. It is known as the Naryshkin Baroque and is also called Moscow Baroque style.

The Church of the Intercession of the Virgin at Fili

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Preparations for the May 7 inauguration Read more

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Chekhovskaya metro station (August, 2011) Militia

Chekhovskaya metro station (March, 2012)Police

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Tverskaya square more attentively

by Olga on March 18, 2012

If to investigate Tverskaya square more attentively, you will find there Lenin statue and the former Central Party Archives building, which changed the name to the Archive of Social and Political History.

Lenin statue, Tverskaya

Archive of Social and Political History

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Tverskaya square

by Olga on March 18, 2012

View of the Moscow governor-general house, a lithograph of L.J.Arnu

(middle of the 19th century).

View of the Moscow governor-general house, L.J.Arnu

The house was built in 1782 by the architect M.Kazakov as a 3-storey palace for the Moscow governor-general. In the 1930s, when Tverskaya was reconstructed in order to straighten the street and make it wider, the building was moved 13.5 m (42 feet) backward from the roadway. The preparation for the shifting had lasted for several months but the movement itself took just 40 minutes. Then in 1946 the building was altered significantly and an extra two upper storeys were added by the architect D.Chechykin. Nowadays the building houses the City Hall.

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