Unique Places in Moscow

  • The old English court yard, Moscow
    The old English court yard, Moscow
    by kris-t
  • The Church of the Ascension 2013
    The Church of the Ascension 2013
    by kris-t
  • The old English court yard
    The old English court yard
    by kris-t

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Moscow

  • dlandt's Profile Photo

    Lubyanka

    by dlandt Updated Mar 17, 2009

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    This is the former KGB headquarters and prison, seen from the window of a limousine. There is no particular reason for a tourist to visit, and it might even still be in use by the FSB, but I thought given all the stories and myths it might be interesting to show.

    Lubyanka

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    Catherine's folly

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Feb 19, 2009

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    Guidebooks describe Tsaritsino as "the eerie shell " of a summer palace commissioned by Catherine the Great, 14km from the centre of the city set down in the middle of beautiful wooded parkland. Well, the parkland surrounding the palace is still beautiful but Tsaritsino is no eerie shell anymore - restored, roofed, windows sparkling and its soft pink brick- and white stone-work immaculately cleaned, as you approach the palace the exterior looks just as it would have done had it been finished back in the 18th century.

    All this work has not been for an empress to take possession however, the addition of a modern glass visitors entrance around the side from the grand main door gives the game away. Tsaritsino is now a people's palace - a museum and a function centre, on the ground floor, the beautifully restored great ballroom, with its lashings of gilt, stunning parquet floor and crystal chandeliers, the venue for grand receptions and elaborate weddings.

    The middle floor museum tells the history of the palace and has displays devoted to Catherine and her successor Anne. Walk up to the top floor and it all becomes rather more plebian with a gloomy restaurant and a rather nice recital room. The most interesting feature for me was the collection of 19th century photos of the estate, showing families picnicking in the roofless shell of the palace and the dachas built in the grounds. I'm rather sorry I never got the chance to see it before the restoration!

    10 years labour went into the palace before it was abandoned. Why was it never finished? The story is Catherine was enraged when the architects included a matching palace for her estranged son in his plans and halted the work. Another architect was appointed but war with Turkey and Catherine's death saw the project finally abandoned. A modern statue in the grounds depicts the architects, there's no statue of Catherine.

    The grounds, with their suite of matching structures - among them an opera house, a bakery and two elaborate bridges - plus a church, fountains, follies and a boating lake, set among an English-style landscape of woods and lawns, are beautifully maintained. A walk over the Bolshoy most (the Big Bridge) will bring you to a little wooden dacha, just the place for lunch or tea - the mushroom soup is definitely to be recommended as are the blinis.

    Metro: Orekhovo (Green line)

    Tsaritsino (photo of a poster) The newly restored main palace Church of the Icon of Divine Mother of the Source Bolshoy most - the Big Bridge What does she expect us to do now?
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    • Castles and Palaces

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    No fishing nowadays

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Feb 18, 2009

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    Tucked away in a quiet square not far from Pushkinskaya ploshchad, Patriarch's Pond is a reminder of the great estates once owned by the Russian church. Once there were three ponds here, created from the original swampy land in the 17th century to provide fresh fish for the Patriarch's household and where there are now streets full of apartment buildings all around once there were the vegetable gardens and living quarters of his household servants.

    I don't know if there are any fish still living in the pond but swans glide across it these days and the children of the affluent local residents children play on the bright swings and rub shiny spots on the sculptures of storybook characters under the shady trees that line the four sides of the square. The stories depicted are the fables of Ivan Krylov, Russia's Jean de la Fontaine, whose bulky statue presides over the pond.

    Across the other side of the pond, a pretty yellow pavilion houses an elegant restaurant that serves the most delicious cakes (a pity the coffee isn't as good) whilst the new, also yellow (and no doubt very expensive ) highrise Patriarch's Apartment looks down on the scene.

    Metro: Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya or Mayakovskaya - the latter is regarded as the most beautiful of all the Moscow Metro stations, with wonderful mosaic panels in the ceilings.

    Tranquil scene Krylov the fabulist There's a moral in there somewhere Yummy strawberry tart time Rooms with a view

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    Moscow's version of the State Fair?

    by etfromnc Updated Jul 22, 2008

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    Growing up, trips to county fairs were often the highlight of the fall season for my friends and myself. As I got older, I began to collect state fairs, first North Carolina, then later, Arizona, Texas, Alaska, Virginia. Once, I had a goal of attending the state fair in all 50 states. That went by the wayside but on my first trip to Moscow, I had the privilege of a brief visit to what I think may be their equivalent of the state fair site. I never did ascertain whether they actually have expositions such as we used to have but my conversations and research lead me to believe that the All-Russia Exposition Center is a cross between the site for a state agricultural exposition and a world's fair, though I have only been to two of those, in Tennessee and San Antonio.
    This center was begun early in 1935 and, after several delays, opened in late 1939. The number of fountains at the center is unbelievable but my favorite is the Friendship of Nations, which I love because of its optimistic name as well as its beauty. Among its 82 permanent exhibition pavilions which contain over 700,000 square meters of exhibition space are many developed by and/or in honor of former Soviet satellite countries, including Armenia (near the top of my list of places where I must go next), Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Siberia. In another series of pavilions, each one is dedicated to a particular field of learning or business, such as Atomic Energy, Space, and Soviet Culture.
    There are also a few permanently located rides including a huge ferris wheel which has multi-axis seats.
    The total land area of the exhibition center is greater than that of the entire principality of Monaco.
    The most convenient way to get there from central Moscow might be to take the subway to the VDNKh stop.

    Friendship of Nations Fountain
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    Upper St. Peter Monastery

    by bijo69 Written Jan 20, 2008

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    This monastery is situated at the Northern end of Petrovka street. It was founded in the 14th century and originally part of a defensive ring around Moscow. The main churches here are younger though, dating back to the 17th century.
    The monastery is open from 9am-7pm daily and admission is free.

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    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    for candy lovers

    by Skripa Written Jan 7, 2008

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    on the picture behind me u can see a red building. hey no.... thats not a red square. thats a candy plant "Red October". And it smells so amazing all around it! even being this far from it i could smell a tasty chocolate smelling.
    situated behind the bridge near christ the savour church

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  • Skripa's Profile Photo

    for candy lovers

    by Skripa Written Jan 7, 2008

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    on the picture behind me u can see a red building. hey no.... thats not a red square. thats a candy plant "Red October". And it smells so amazing all around it! even being this far from it i could smell a tasty chocolate smelling.
    situated behind the bridge near christ the savour church

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  • brazwhazz's Profile Photo

    Perlov Tea House

    by brazwhazz Written Nov 25, 2007

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    On Myanitskaya Ulitsa, one building stands out from all others: it is the Perlov Tea House, decorated in an unusual (for Moscow) Chinese fashion, with bronze dragons and pagoda-like flourishes. Inside, the first floor, which is still a teashop, has lacquered columns and Chinese vases.

    The Perlov Tea House was built in 1890. According to legend, in 1893, the wealthy tea merchant Perlov, wanting to impress a representative of the emperor of China during his visit to Russia, had his teashop decorated in a Chinese style. Unfortunately for him, the Chinese representative is said to have visited a rival tea merchant instead.

    The Perlov Tea House is located at Myanitskaya Ulitsa 19, near the Chistye Prudy / Turgenevskaya metro station. It is open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Unique architecture in Moscow
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    Underground shelter from the times of the Cold War

    by tashka Updated Oct 9, 2007

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    In May 2007, one of the civil defense facilities of Moscow was opened for tourists. The GO-42 underground shelter was built in 1951-1956 at the depth of about 60-65 meters! Its area is more than 7000 m2. The interesting fact it was build in the center of Moscow, near the Taganskaya metro station, and nobody of local residents in the area did not notice the construction activities!

    The purpose of the shelter was to defend as much as 2000 people in the event of a nuclear strike. People could enter the shelter from the ground or from the Taganskaya metro station.

    Currently the place is called "the Standoff Exhibition Complex", and it can be visited, although the restoration is still ongoing. The company that acquired it is planning to open here the Museum of the Cold War, a disco, a bar... Well, there is enough space down there :)

    So far there's not much to see, but you will get the impression of the scale of military and civil defense activities in the times of the Cold War. You can also see the movie about the Cold War down there. From time to time the place hosts exhibitions and special topical tours are organized, e.g. on the Victory Day.

    The price for foreigners is USD 40-80 (USD 80 is with an individual guide, and the group will be no more than 10 people)

    This telephone number must be of an English speaking operator.

    If you go there, wear sensible shoes.

    GO-42 underground shelter, Moscow Myself at the GO-42 underground shelter Some equipment from the Cold War time Restoration in progress at GO-42
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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Menshikova Bashnya

    by kris-t Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    The Church of Saint Gabriel the Archangel - the Menshikova Bashnya (tower) - is the father of the European Baroque style of Peter's era. It is the roseate sunrise of the Golden Age, and the Menshikov Palace was the premature apparition of the remote future of Classicism. At this climactic moment in Moscow's development, everything stopped! St. Petersburg was built, and its construction halted the growth of Moscow.

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Donskoi Monastery

    by kris-t Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    When in 1591 the Crimean Khan was already approaching Moscow, Tsar Fyodor loannovich ordered that a religious procession with the Donskaya Icon should make its way round the city walls, and then the icon should be placed in the field chapel in the middle of the Russian camp. The pious Tsar then spent a sleepless night praying before the icon, and in a vision it was revealed to him that he would gain a victory 'through the strength of Christ and the protection of His Mother'. A fierce battle raged for almost 24 hours, and at its very height the Tatars suddenly turned tail and ran off in panic. Such an event has occurred several times in Russian history: the fiercesome Tamurlane ran away from Moscow in terror, as did the Tsarevich Mazovsha, Khan Akhmet and many other warriors, and each time it happened when Muscovites were praying to the Mother of God to help them.
    In gratitude for prayers answered and the miraculous help given, that same year Fyodor loannovich erected a cathedral where the Russian camp had been, and placed the Donskaya Icon within it. The cathedral may have been the work of the Moscow architect Fyodor Kon, who built the walls of the White City. Almost 100 years later a new Cathedral of the Donskaya Icon of the Mother of God was put up next to it. The new cathedral was much bigger than the first and therefore called Bolshoi ('great') to distinguish it from the first, which was known as Maly ('small'). The walls and towers of the Great Cathedral are very similar to the walls of the New Maiden Convent, which was built between 1686 and 1711.

    Donskoi Monastery Donskoi Monastery
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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Donskoi Monastery

    by kris-t Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    Donskoi Monastery was founded by Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich in honour of the Donskaya Icon of the Mother of God in gratitude for delivering Moscow from the attacks of the Crimean Khan Khazi - Girei in 1591-1593. The monastery was built on the site where the Russian soldiers camped to ready themselves for battle with the Tatar horde. At that time a field chapel of St. Sergei Radonezhsky was set up at the camp, and the revered Donskaya Icon of the Mother of God was placed there.
    It is said that St. Sergei Radonezhsky blessed Grand Prince Dmitri Ivanovich and his warriors with this icon before the battle of Kulikovo, which took place near to the banks of the Don. The icon was with the Russians on the field of battle, and after a brilliant victory the Grand Prince came to be known as Donskoi, and the icon was similarly described. From that day forward, whenever Moscow was besieged by the horde, people would pray before the icon for victory.

    Donskoi Monastery Donskoi Monastery, entrans
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    Sretenskyi Monastery

    by Irinna Written May 17, 2007

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    Sretenskyi Monastery is a real marvel - a picture of rapt meditation in one of the busiest and noisiest streets of the center of Moscow.
    This monastery was found in XIV cent. in the place where miracle-working icon Vladimir's God Mother called to protect Moscow from tatar-mongols' armies was met by Muscovites (the ward 'sretenie' in old Slavonic meant 'meeting').
    In 20th of XX cent. the Monastery was closed, some of it's buildings were destroyed, various institutions were located in the others. In early 1990th it reopened as a monastery again. By now restoration works here are mainly finished and the results are amazing!

    Sretenskyi Monastery is located at the end of Bolshaya Lubianka street (the nearest metro station is Turgenevskaya)

    Sretenskyi Cathedral View from B. Lubianka str. A fragment of the wall The domes In the garden
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    Railway Transport History Museum

    by tashka Updated Apr 9, 2007

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    Few people know that in Moscow, at the Riga Railway Station, there is quite a large museum of railway transport history, where you can see old locomotives, carriages and other railway machinery and take a trip on an old locomotive.

    The excursion is really very entertaining. At first you have some time to have a look at the exposition and take some pictures, then you have a guided tour and learn about the old locomotives and carriages. This part lasts about an hour. Then again you have some time to take pictures, and after that you board on the carriaged pulled by an old locomotive. This train takes you to a small railway station, where you can see the old depot with a water tower, water hydrant and a turn-table. You'll see how the locomotive is turned on a turn-table and filled with water, and then you'll have a chance to go up to the motorman's cabin and have a look at the furnace and other parts of the locomotive.

    The museum is quite young, it was opened on the 1st of August 2004, but the exposition is good.

    The admission fee to the exhibition costs 25 roubles (about USD1), but if you want a guided tour and a trip on the old locomotive, it will be about 500 roubles (about USD20). The prices mentioned are for the Russian citizens. For foreigners the prices are higher (not 20, but 30 dollars, approximately). If you don't speak Russian, please arrange for an interpreter in advance or ask if the museum provides any interpreters.

    The museum is located at the Riga Railway Station. The closes metro station is Rizhskaya.

    It is "strictly forbidden" to climb the exhibited locomotives and carriages, but everyone does it anyway :))

    Old locomotive, still in operation One of the old locomotives Exhibition of locomotives Myself at the wheels of a locomotive Exhibition of locomotives
    Related to:
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    • Family Travel

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    Spanish Center

    by jorgejuansanchez Written Dec 23, 2006

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    This club and cafeteria is open for everybody, but especially for Spanish speaking people.
    It was founded by the Spaniards that during our Spanish Civil War (from 1936 to 1939) were sent to the URSS when children. Now they are all well over 70. They meet in this club and serve coffee, tea, play cards, organize flamenco shows and give Spanish language lessons.
    Drinks are cheap.
    It is located in Kusnetski Most 18/7

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