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


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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I was asked how to get to the catholic church of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow.

It is located on Malaya Gruzinskaya, 27.

Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow, map Read more



by Olga on July 14, 2011

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.

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View from the Kremlin

by Olga on June 29, 2011

We can see the Kremlin wall, the Moscow river, the Big Stone bridge, named after the first stone bridge in Moscow, and the Kremlin Water pump tower on the right.

Moving to the left are  Christ the Savior Cathedral, the Church of Elijah the Prophet (1706), Moscow state university, 5-domed church of the Conception Convent, and so-called House on the embankment is seen on the left .
The view from the Kremlin


Novodevichy Convent

by Olga on January 6, 2011

I know a family of Americans who have lived in Moscow for many years. I was told their favorite place in this city was always the Novodevichy Convent, quiet, full of history and outstanding architecture.

Novodevichy Convent Read more


“Sokolniki” and “Sokol”

by Olga on December 4, 2010

I received the first question and a very good one:

Olga, I would like to know the orgin(s) of the name of the metro stations “Sokolniki” and “Sokol”.

Sokolniki is the name of an old settlement of falconers (sokolniks) – people who took care for falcons and trained them for hunting. Since the XV century the local forests used to be the favorite hunting place of the Moscow princes and tsars. So, Sokolniki district has inherited that historical name of the place.

The origin of the name Sokol is associated with the first communal settlements in the Soviet Union when a group of artists and painters received some land in Moscow as a private property. First it was planned to be located in Sokolniki. A lot of documents were prepared for registration, even a stamp was made with a flying falkon, when the authorities for some reason changed their minds and artists settlement received another place – near the village of All the Saints. It is not confused the artists. They decided not to change the documents, keep the name and save the stamp. Later the surrounding districts received the same name and the newly built metro station was called Sokol (Falcon) as well.

Let me show you some photos taken at Sokolniki.

The church of the Resurrection of Christ in Sokolniki (1909-1913) built by the architect P.Tolstyh is located in the vicinity of the metro station Sokolniki and the park of the same name. It was not closed even in Soviet time hence a lot of precious icons were preserved in it, some of them taken from other churches.

A rare Moscow sample of the house decorated with wood carving on Gastello St. in Sokolniki.

Holiday Inn hotel with the Fire tower of the XIX century on background.