The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. A symbol of Russia’s victory over Napoleon, it took over 40 years to build, but was demolished by the Bolsheviks in 1931. You will learn the amazing story of the Cathedral’s rebirth, and admire the spectacular interiors, carefully and painstakingly recreated from the original plans. You will also enjoy one of the greatest panoramas of central Moscow, from the balcony around the cathedral’s dome. Then we will take you to discover one of the city’s oldest streets, Varvarka Street, with its colorful parade of historic mansions, churches and monasteries the old covered market place, Gostiny Dvor, and, at the end of the street, the incomparable Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin wall. You will learn the stories of tsars, holy fools and revolutionaries, the first English merchants in Moscow and their relationship with tsar Ivan the Terrible, and how the street was almost destroyed to make way for a giant Soviet skyscraper that in the end, was never built. After supper in a traditional Russian restaurant, the show will continue into the evening with an after-dark coach tour of the city. As the sun goes down and the streetlights and illuminations come on, Moscow is transformed into a magical and mysterious place. We will take you round the city’s most spectacular sights, from the Kremlin and the Bolshoi theater to the iconic ‘Gothic’ tower blocks and the futuristic skyscrapers of the Moscow City development, and much more! Discover the beauties of Moscow, ancient and modern, day and night, on this unique excursion!
- Transportation (4 hours for the sightseeing tour)
- English-speaking guide for the entire programme
- Entrance fees to museums
- Guided tours as per the programme
It was pitilessly demolished by Bolshevists in Stalin’s times and later restored as a replica using citizens’ funds. The Cathedral was consecrated on Transfiguration Day, 19 August 2000, as a symbol of the transformation of Moscow and Russia and the renunciation of its theomachic past.
Moscow’s cathedral of Christ the Saviour was under construction and embellishment for as long as 44 years (from 1839 to 1883). Its designer Konstantin Thon was a pioneer of the “neo-Russian” architectural style. Apart from him, the best sculptors and artists worked on the project. The ingenious Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote his 1812 Overture for the consecration ceremony, attended by veterans of the Patriotic War of 1812.
In 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was dynamited to make way for the Palace of the Soviets, a new cathedral for the new era. The era that challenged the past and the present and wanted to immortalise itself in the highest building in the world, a gigantic ziggurat palace crowned with a 100-metre statue of Lenin. Eventually, communists abandoned their utopian idea and built a swimming pool on the site (Moskva Pool) – a sign of the modest and “warm” Stagnation Period of the 1960s–1980s. Next followed the Perestroika and repentance for the crimes of the past, and the cathedral, restored in the 1990s, became a symbol of putting the historical record straight.
In the Zaryadye Park one can visit both the ice cave and the media center, listen to concerts in the Philharmonic Hall, and taste unique Russian dishes at the Vkus Rossii (taste of Russia) restaurant, where the walls are replaced by stained glass windows with nature views. Here one can simultaneously see the birch grove and the tundra with its laying bushes and lakes with reeds. They principally did not make tracks in the park, as tiles, wood and grass surfaces are much more pleasant than asphalt. An unusual idea is the floating bridge. From this springboard, which really hovers over the Moskva River, there are amazing views of the river, the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the embankment. One can walk in the park at any time of the day or night as everything is lit up in the dark.
Zaryadye Park is one of the five best parks in the world! But first of all it is unique as this place has preserved the most ancient history. After all, since the XVI century mainly merchants and salespeople settled here. Central street of Zaryadye led from the Konstantin-Eleninsky gate of the Kremlin directly to the pier of the Moskva River through which goods were delivered here. Most of the historic wooden houses of Zaryadye were destroyed by the fire of 1812, when during the Patriotic War the city was set on fire by Napoleon's troops. The stone three-story houses were built on the place of the burned down ones, which housed small shops, and craftsmen lived there. But in the 30s of the XXth the trading settlement Zaryadye was destroyed. In the 1940s Moscow began the grandiose construction of eight metropolitan skyscrapers in the style of the Soviet Art Deco. Seven of them were built. However, the eighth skyscraper in Zaryadye was not completed because of Stalin's death, and the grand Palace of Soviets on the site of the blown up temple of Christ the Savior was not completed either. In the 60s the building of the Rossiya Hotel was erected in Zaryadye. For most native Moscow residents this building remained in the memories as a beautiful concert hall, where wonderful concerts of pop stars of that time were held and a summer Moscow Film Festival was held. And Hotel Rossiya stood there till 2006 when it was dismantled.
A chronicle refers to the site as "behind the marketplace, opposite the Pansky Court". Soon after it was built, this Church became very popular in Moscow. In the 16th century, not only the street was named after it, but also Kitay-Gorod's corner tower, St Barbara's Tower. Until the 16th century, Varvarka Street was called Vsekhsvyatskaya Street (All Saints Street), after the All Saints Church in the neighbourhood of Kulishki.
The exterior appearance of Aloisio's white-stone Church may only be imagined based on the old master plan. The St. Barbara's Church had a square architectural plan, with semicircles protruding from all the four sides; it may have been similar to the Church of Metropolitan Peter at the St. Peter's High Monastery.
In 1795, the Moscow metropolitan Plato ordered the disassembling of the old building of the Church, which at that time was still "strong and fully equipped", because, in his opinion, it did not correspond to the general appearance of the area.
The new Church was constructed from 1796 to 1804 to a design by Rodion Kazakov, on the Aloisio's foundation. The money for the construction was allocated by Ivan Baryshnikov, a major of artillery, and by Nikolay Samgin, a Moscow first-guild merchant. The Church was consecrated on 26 June 1804.
Its main part has a cross architectural plan and features porticoes with their pediments based on Corinthian columns. Inside, the Church is full of light, thanks to its two layers of windows and the small daylight windows of its dome's drum. With its exterior decor featuring clear lines of the entire main part and with its wide round dome featuring a small spire, this Church is a good example of mature Moscow Classicism.
In 1812, Napoleon's troops used the Church as a stable. The building suffered a lot of damage. It was restored in the 1820s.
The Church's bell tower is not so tall and is crowned by a small semicircle with a cross. The upper tier of its belfry has wide archways framed with pilasters featuring a Corinthian capital and pediments. Its second tier was demolished after the 1917 Russian Revolution, later being rebuilt in 1967 during restoration works (supervised by the architect G. Makarov).
Inside the Church, 19th-century painting and choir stalls in its western part have survived.
As was the case with many churches, the St. Barbara's Church housed a warehouse during Soviet times. Later, it was used as an office building.
By 1980, the Church was housing the Council of the Moscow Region Department of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.
In 1991, the Church was handed back to the congregation.
The museum halls house themed displays and reconstructed interiors dedicated to the former estate residents’ life. Entering the museum feels like a trip to the 16th century, and it is worth a visit for all Russian history lovers.
The family estate of the Romanov boyars was reconstructed in the 19th century on Emperor Alexander I’s orders. Following this, all the emperors from Alexander II to Nicholas II visited the chambers to pay tribute to their ancestry. The restoration work conducted under architect F. Richter’s supervision brought back the chambers’ original look of an affluent boyar house of the 16-17th centuries. The museum was opened here in 1859. Both the lost architectural elements and the interiors of the building were reconstructed: glazed tile stoves, a wooden additional storey called gornitsa, the “boyar’s study”, the “dining chamber”, and others. The work conducted by F. Richter pioneered scientific building restoration in Moscow.
At present, the Romanovs’ chambers are decorated with dynasty symbols: the Romanovs’ family coat of arms – a griffin – was restored on the northern and the eastern facades by architect A. Chernousov. The genuinely historic exhibits impart a unique character to the museum. Here you can see authentic 16-17th century weapons (harquebuses, spikes, and cavalry swords), trunks, books and engravings, stationery and household objects such as furniture, clothes, fabric, trinkets, children’s toys, and silverware.
Take a tour of these chambers, and you will have a clear idea of what stone buildings looked like in medieval Moscow. The official opening of the Old English Court Museum took place on 18 October 1994 in the presence of and with the participation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Each room in the Old English Court Museum is devoted to a particular aspect of Anglo-Russian trade, diplomatic and cultural relations in the 16th-17th centuries. Excursions in the house provide an overall introduction to the history of the English Court and its inhabitants. The museum is also famous for its attractive selection of unusual educational activities in Russian.
Thanks to its unique acoustics the Main Hall of The Old English Court is used for concerts of early music played on Renaissance and Baroque instruments
Monumental building, occupying a substantial portion of Kitai-gorod quarter, represents a classical variant of bazaar. The project was created by a famous architect from Saint Petersburg G. Quarenghi. Moscow skilful architects S. Karin and I. Selikhov were raising it, adapting to the actual place. They've realized the architectural decoration of large arches and solid Corinthian semicolumns of the general plan. Nevertheless the level difference between Ilyinka and Varvarka streets have defined some changes of the altitude and dimensions of some parts of the building. Until quite recently this perimeter-closed building had a vast inner court surrounded by open galleries.
The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin (St. Basil's Cathedral) is one of the most significant monuments of Old Russian architecture of the 16th century. The cathedral was built in 1555-1561 at the behest of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in honor of the conquest of the Kazan kingdom.
The central church is consecrated for the sake of the Protection of the Holy Virgin. Four churches are consecrated for the sake of the saints, whose memorial days occurred to be in the decisive battles for Kazan.
Other churches were consecrated for the sake of such events of the second half of the 16th century, as an appearance of a new image of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the Vyatka lands and the glorification of the Reverend Varlaam Khutynsky and Alexander Svirsky.
The Eastern Church is dedicated to the basic dogma of the Christian faith - the Holy Trinity. The Western Church of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem connects the cathedral with the image of the Heavenly City.
The Intercession Cathedral has unique wall paintings, an impressive collection of Old Russian icon painting and masterpieces of church art.
In 1918 the capital of the Soviet State was moved back to Moscow. As a result lots of government employees were moved to Moscow and settled in so-called houses of Soviets (hotels the National, the Metropol ). However, there was a lack of living space to provide all of them. It was decided to construct a huge building in the vicinity of the Kremlin to provide apartments to members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Later the house on the embankment completed in 1931 was populated by high-rank officers, writers, artists and old Bolsheviks. According to the original project the house had to be made of red bricks to match the Kremlin walls. However, due to scarcity of tangible assets it was faceted with gray concrete. 12-storey building with 505 apartments became the biggest house in Europe. All apartments had oak parquet, painting on the ceilings. There was a movie theater for 1500 spectators, a gym, a department store, a laundry, a bank, a post-and-telegraph office, a kindergarten. There were also a few cafeterias where residents might have their meal for free. One of the blocks was non-residential, it was used to wire tap other blocks. As a result many residents of this house were repressed.
The old photo shows the building of Wine and Salt Court, an old distillery and excise warehouse which used to stand on on Bersenevskaya embankment. It was called so since"bersen", an old Russian name for gooseberry, was growing here. This name was attached to this site and still preserved in the name of the embankment.
Right in front of the park, The Luzhniki Olympic Complex, the biggest in Russia and Europe with its impressive Luzhniki Stadium, is a place not only for sports but also for other activities, as musical and cultural ones. In 1980 the stadium became a place for The Summer Olympics; The Olympic Mishka was send to the night sky from here, with the sad song and spectators` tears. And now football fans are exited about The 2018 FIFA World Cup. As for the international musicians, there were such stars with the concerts as U2, Moby, Muse, Depeche Mode, Korn, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and many others…
The Complex can offer different services, paintball and golf, for example. You can visit the museum of Russian sport, eat in some café or stay in the hotel.
The panoramic view can show not only some magnificent buildings, but also an amount of common dwelling houses, also known as "boxes", so typical for any Russian town.
Many visitors, as well as tourists come to this place throughout the year, In addition, it has become a nice tradition for newly married couples to visit the place. You can`t leave Vorobyovy Hills without some souvenirs, thus there are many shops with the biggest possible variety of folk things, such as traditional matreshka and lapti (bast shoe).
It`s possible to take an elevator up to the hill and down. While going to the hill one can embrace oneself with an amazing view, take some photos. If you are feeling hungry while on the way to the observation deck, you pop in a really nice restaurant, which has a lovely summer terrace. If you are not up for a nice dine-out, then you will have a chance to eat at a fast food place, which are nearby as well.
Nowadays, the memorial complex on the Poklonnaya Hill is an architectural ensemble and a park area, which includes the following objects: the Obelisk of the Victory 141.8 meters (465.2 feet) high (opened in 1995), the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 with an exposition and an archive (1995), the Temple of Martyr George the Victorious (1995), the Shuhada Memorial Mosque (1997), the Memorial Synagogue and the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Holocaust (1998), the Monument to Defenders of the Russian Land (1995), the Monument to Missing Soldiers without Graves (1995), the Spirit of the Elbe Memorial Plate (1995), the Peoples Tragedy Sculptural Composition (1997), the Monument to the Spanish People Fallen in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 (2003), the Monument to Peace Keepers (2004), the Memorial in Honor of Participant Countries of Anti-Hitler Coalition (2005), 15 Memorial Stelae in Honor of Main Fronts and Naval Forces of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 (2005), the Eternal Flame (2010), the “We Were Together in Our Fight against Fascism” Monument (2010), the Monument to Heroes of World War I (2014), the Hero Cities Memorial Complex (2016), the War Roads Monument (2017), the Monument to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Liquidators (2017).
The Victory Park is a symbolic place wh ere dozens of thousands of people gather annually on May 9 to honor the memory of participants of the Great Patriotic War.
The Years of War Main Avenue includes five terraces, symbolizing five years of the war, and 1418 fountains represent the number of war days. The exposition of military equipment, engineering and fortification structures operates in the open air. Over 300 samples of heavy weapons used during the war are displayed here. There are 15 rides for young visitors in the style of the period of the Great Patriotic War: Air Fight, Victory Transport, Armored Train, Heavenly Slug and others.
The Victory Park is also a popular place to spend winter and summer holidays for Moscow citizens and guests of the capital. The sports area is located between the Alley of Partisans and the Alley of Soldiers and is open all day. It includes a multi-functional sports ground for football, volleyball and basketball, three courts, a table tennis court and a workout area with a series of pull-up bars, benches and inclusive equipment.
The Neglinnaya River, blocking the way to the Kremlin from the West, had became polluted and shallow by the 18th century, so in 1819, beneath the Resurrection Gate of China Town, it was enclosed under vaults and covered with earth. On this place in 1819 - 1823 the park was destroyed, which was called the Kremlin (from 1856 - Alexandrovsky) garden. We go into the garden from the side of the Resurrection Square through a large cast-iron gate. The park's decoration was built near the Central Arsenal Tower on an artificial hill, designed by the architect J Bove, a cove with four columns, which still exists today.
In 1913, a 20-meter obelisk was erected in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov's house in the garden, which in 1918 was converted into a monument to the great thinkers and revolutionary-socialists.
In 1967, the obelisk was moved to the south, and in its place a simple and majestic memorial ensemble "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" was built, dedicated to the heroic deeds of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. In the center of the complex is the Eternal Fire of Glory, next to the red porphyry blocks with the land of heroic cities.
The Bolshoi Theatre is one of the oldest and biggest theatres in Russia. It is also one of the most renowned opera and ballet theatres in the world. People sometimes call it shortly "The Bolshoi" and it is situated in the central part of Moscow. Originally it was an Imperial theatre.
The architect who designed the building of The Bolshoi was Joseph Bove. It was built between 1821 and 1824. Since then, the building was renovated and rebuilt several times. However, it kept its original imperial decorations. Today, it’s not simply the building of the theatre but it is also an outstanding landmark of Moscow. The neoclassical view of The Bolshoi can be seen on the Russian 100-ruble banknote.
The theatre is always associated with opera and ballet. It has been the site for many notable premiers. Among them, Rachmaninoff’s “Aleko”, Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”, Tchaikovsky’s “The Voyevoda” and “Mazeppa”. Ballet repertoire includes Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Adam’s “Giselle” and several others. Many productions are based on classical works of Russian composers. However, the works of such Italian composers as Verdi, Rossini and Puccini are also staged.
The Bolshoi is well-known throughout the world. It is frequently visited by tourists and guests of Moscow. The Bolshoi’s sibling – The Maly Theatre – situated right next to it, is also frequented by visitors from all over the globe. The Maly Theatre specializes in dramas.
Now the Russian State Library stores in its holdings more than 47 million books, documents and artefacts. More than 800 thousand people visit the library annually and about 100 thousand new library tickets are issued. There are 36 reading rooms in the RSL, where more than one and a half thousand people can work at the same time. Any citizen of Russia or other state above 14 years old can become a user of the Library.
It is important for the Library not only to enlarge its collections, but also to make them as accessible as possible, paying attention to the preservation of rare and valuable editions. Digitization and placement of materials in the RSL electronic library solve these tasks. More than 90% of dissertation abstracts, early printed books, documents from the Cartographic collection and the Universal collection, and more than 80% of the Music collection are in the public domain. Access to copyrighted documents is only possible from the Library premises.
At the end of 2014 by the decision of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation the Russian State Library was appointed the operator of the National Electronic Library (NEL). NEL is a modern project aimed at free access of readers to the collections of key Russian libraries through the integrated portal and search system.
Since January 2017 the RSL started to receive electronic legal deposit copies of printed publications and dissertation theses.
The Library is developing and looking for new forms of interaction with the reader. The best and the most interesting of the RSL collections is demonstrated at exhibitions. In 2016 the Russian State Library opened the new museum space for major exhibitions Ivanovsky Hall. Each exposition is accompanied by lecture tour and excursion program. You can also have a tour to the Book Depository, Pashkov House, Book Museum and walk through the premises of the main building. On traditional events of LibraryNight, LibraryDay and Open Doors Day experts and everyone are welcome to acquaint with the work of the Library.
The Annual Public Report demonstrates in detail how the Russian State Library is changing.
In 1932, after the adoption of the plan reconstruction of the center of Moscow, work began on the construction of the complex to the Council of Labor and Defense. Architect AL Langman constructed building combines elements of strict classicism constructivism and twenties XX century. Pylons and Atyk ten-house indicate kinship with the classical architecture of the XIX century, but the original designs and the overall style typical of the period of Soviet architecture, which later would be called Stalin. Granite plinth and severe wall cladding, made of limestone, and later will form the basis of many buildings in Moscow thirties.
In 1969 the Council of Ministers of the building was built the second building, which is now called the new building of the State Duma. This sixteen-house of glass and concrete.