I invite you to visit an estate and house, designed by the famous Russian painter Vasily Polenov for himself and his family and built on the bank of the Oka river 130 km south of Moscow in 1892. You will love well preserved artist’s collections, the views from the house windows and from surrounding hills.
The All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VVC) known in Soviet time as Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh) is filled with the spirit of commerce today. If to remove all billboards and traders from its territory and return to pavilions their original national flavor it would be one of the most attractive places for tourists in Moscow. I can’t help admiring its architecture and fountains. They are worth to look at.
On the 18th of May Moscow will celebrate the Day of historical and cultural heritage. A lot of museums will be open for free and many historical buildings and architectural monuments that are usually inaccessible will open their doors to the public.
Once on the 18th of May I had the pleasure to visit the Morosov’s mansion at 21 Podsosensky Lane. It was built by M.N.Chichagov and the interiors were remodelled by an outstanding Moscow architect F.Shekhtel in 1895-1900. Five panels on the subject of Goethe’s “Faust” were painted by M.A.Vrubel for its Gothic study. They included “Mephisto and the student”, “Margaret”, “Faust”, “The Flight of Faust and Mephisto”, and a lost fifth panel “Faust and Margaret in the Garden”. Currently the four panels from the study are shown at the State Tretyakov Gallery. For A.V.Morozov Vrubel also painted the panel “Philosophy”.
Two days after returning from space - on April 14, 1961 - Yury Gagarin planted an oak in the Kremlin. They say when Gagarin died 7 years later and was buried on Red square, the oak became ill, and for some time gardeners didn't even believe in its recovery. However, we are lucky to see Gagarin's oak alive in Tainizkiy garden of the Kremlin. I would like you to show this 50 years old tree, which commemorates the first ever space flight.
BTW, Gagarin's eldest daughter, Elena Gagarina, is director of the Kremlin Museums starting from April 12, 2001.
January 25 is known in Russia as a holiday of the students. It is the day of St. Tatiana and the day when Moscow University was established by a decree of Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, in 1755.
Today rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University Victor A. Sadovnichy expressing deep sorrow for the victims and survivors of the Domodedovo airport attack changed the program of the holiday, canceled all entertainment events, and encouraged everyone to humanism and responsibility.
It’s not for the first time when the question of burying Lenin was raised again in January on the eve of the Lenin’s death anniversary. He died on January 21, 1924, but was not buried according to his wish next to his mother in St. Petersburg. The body was embalmed in a special way to be shown to all wishing to take a look at the leader of October Revolution and Soviet Union founder.
Partizanskaya metro station (the dark blue metro line) was opened during World War II. Originally they were going to call it “Stalin Stadium”. In fact, because of that never built stadium with 120000 sits the station was planned with unusual three tracks and two island platforms intended for crowds of fans. It was completed in 1944 and adorned with statues of heroic partizans: Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya and Matvey Kuzmin who repeated the feat of Ivan Susanin, but was renamed from Izmailovsky park into Partizanskaya only in 2005.
Today I'd like you to tell about Sts. Mary and Martha Convent of Mercy founded by the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Romanova, an older sister of Alexandra, the last Russian Empress. Both of them were granddaughters of Queen Victoria. She was married to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, who was assassinated in 1905 by a terrorist Ivan Kalyayev. After his death she sold everithing she had and devoted herself to charity and spiritual life.