Wednesday, June 28, 2006




"Let's start this first day rainy tour of Moscow with the MOSCOW UNIVERSITY, established in 1755 by Decree of the Empress Petrovna. The Decree stated in its preamble that the university was to educate commoners; serfs however were not admitted. In 1940, it was named after Lomonosov (1711 – 1765). It's main building – the one on these bad photos - is 240 meter high, said to contain a total of 33 km of corridor, and is one of the city's Seven Sisters (the enormous gothic skyscrapers commissioned by Stalin in the 1950s)"

“Then, you may go to the BOLSHOI. Imagine you’re listening to the music of Borodin, Glinka, Khachaturian, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Prokofief, Shostakovich, or Tchaikovsky, just to name a few. Or, even better, remember the Ballets Russes - Diaghilev, Fokine, and dancers Nijinksy, and Anna Pavlova – or the theatre’s stars, among them Rudolf Nureyev and Maya Plisetskaya..."

"This huge outdoor SWIMMING POOL occupied, till the early 1990s, the site of the former Christ the Saviour cathedral, built between 1839 and 1881 to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon. The church was demolished in 1933, in order to free the land for the construction of a House of Soviets. The building was to be topped with a 100-meter-tall aluminium statue of Lenin. However, the building was never actually constructed!"

"The GREAT KREMLIN PALACE, commissioned in 1837 by Emperor Nicholas I. Successor of the first stone palace built on the site during the reign of Ivan the Terrible (1462-1505) and later rebuilt, restored and developed as repeated fires and enemy raids damaged the buildings. No tourists allowed"

"RED SQUARE earned its name not from the red walls of the Kremlin, but from the Russian word for «red», which centuries ago also meant «beautiful». The square, from the end of the 15th century, is located on the site of the city's old market place, and served as Moscow's equivalent of the ancient Rome’s Forum. The National Historical Museum can be seen at the western end of the Square, and charts the development of Russian civilization”

"RED SQUARE: The GUM, Moscow's «State Department Store», built between 1890 and 1893 by Alexander Pomerantse, the largest shopping mall in Moscow. The original hall contained some 1,200 separate shops. Theoretically, this was a shopper’s paradise for all these Saturday afternoon “just married” couples. The problem was when you saw the goods available for sale…"

"RED SQUARE in the afternoon, after the closure of Lenin’s mausoleum. The mausoleum, one of Moscow's most curious tourist attractions, is a step-pyramid of cubes, covered with red granite. You can read «Lenin» over its bronze doors, and see his embalmed body inside”

"ST.BASIL’S CATHEDRAL was built between 1555 and 1561 to commemorate Ivan's victorious campaign against the Tartar Mongols in 1552, in Kazan. Legend says that, the church once completed, the Tsar ordered the architect, Yakovlev, to be blinded to prevent him from ever creating anything to rival its beauty. The extravagant domes of the cathedral's exterior disguise a much less spectacular interior”

“KREMLIN - the citadel – founded by Prince Yury Dolgoruky, in 1147 AD, is the spiritual and political heart of Moscow and the city's most famous tourist attraction.
The Cathedral of the Annunciation, the private church of the Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars, is an incredible amalgamation of churches and chapels from the 14th to the 16th centuries and is the second oldest cathedral in the Kremlin. The Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, built between 1505 and 1508, completed the Cathedral Square ensemble"

"The VDNKh - Exhibition of Economic Achievement - began in 1939 as the Agricultural Exposition and became a permanent Expo of the accomplishments of the Soviet state. It offered informative displays on everything from agricultural products to space tools.
Among the most interesting sights were:
The Main Entrance monumental archway surmounted by the statues of a tractor driver and a farm girl;
The Fountain of Friendship;
The monumental Soviet realist sculpture "Worker and Woman Collective Farmer”

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