Highly recommend to visit an excellent exhibition “Moscow Metro. Subterranean Monument” at Schusev museum of architecture (Moscow, Vozdvizhenka str., 5/25, 17 March – 17 July 2016). It represents the Moscow metro as a unique achievement of architecture and art in the variety of projects embodied and unrealized.
Metro station project “Novoslobodskaya”, 1950
GUM celebrates its 120th anniversary.
Red square in front of it turns into a patchwork flower carpet.
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.
Maxim Vorobiev «View of Manege, Kutafya tower and St. Nicholas church in Sapozhki in Moscow», 1817.
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.
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.
Before 1955 in one of the escalator vestibules one could see a mosaic portrait of Stalin (sculptor G. Opryshko).
The same place today:
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.
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.
Konstantin Yuon “Moscow university” (1911).
The old building of Moscow university on Mokhovaya street in 2012.
An exhibition dedicated to the 120th anniversary of one of the most famous Soviet architects Boris Iofan at the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Vozdvizhenka St., 5 (M. Biblioteka imeni Lenina, Alexandrovsky sad, Arbatskaya) will be opened until February 26, 2012.
Boris Iofan is mainly known as an author of the “House on the Embankment” and the Soviet Pavilion with a sculpture of the “Worker and Collective Farm Girl” by V. Mukhina created for the World’s Fair of 1937. Although never realized, the ambitious Palace of Soviets, became the project of his life. For me, the initial project of Moscow State University and those interior designs for the Palace of Soviets halls looking like Pantheon or a Christian church proved to be particularly interesting.
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Konstantin Yuon “Lubyanskaya square in winter”, 1905
Lubyanka in 2012.
The walls of Kitay-gorod, the Vladimir tower, St. Panteleimon chapel, and an old fountain with drinking water no longer exist.
The Iron Felix (statue of KGB founder F.Dzherzhinsky erected on the square in 1958) was pulled down in 1991.