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Author Topic: Touring Moscow, part 2: Arbat  (Read 21653 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2009, 11:53:36 AM »
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (Храм Христа Спасителя) "Khram Khrista Spasitelya" is now considered as the main cathedral of Russian Orthdodoxy. This church, built on the bank of the Moskva River, and only a few blocks west of the Kremlin has quite a history.





When the last of Napoleon's soldiers left Moscow, Tsar Alexander I signed a manifest, 25 December 1812, declaring his intention to build a Cathedral in honor of Christ the Saviour "to signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her" and as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people.

A convent and church on the site had to be relocated, so that the cornerstone was not laid until 1839. The Cathedral had taken many years to build and did not emerge from its scaffolding until 1860. Some of the best Russian painters (Ivan Kramskoi, Vasily Surikov, Vasily Vereshchagin) continued to embellish the interior for another twenty years.





After the Revolution and, more specifically, the death of Lenin, the prominent site of the cathedral was chosen by the Soviets as the site for a monument to socialism known as the Palace of Soviets. This monument was to rise in modernistic, buttressed tiers to support a gigantic statue of Lenin perched on top of a dome with his arm raised in blessing.

On 5 December 1931, by order of Stalin's minister Kaganovich, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was dynamited and reduced to rubble. It took more than a year to clear the debris from the site. The original marble high reliefs were preserved and are now on display at the Donskoy Monastery. For a long time, they were the only reminder of the largest Orthodox church ever built.


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The construction of the Palace of Soviets was delayed owing to a lack of funds, problems with flooding from the nearby Moskva River, and the outbreak of war. The flooded foundation hole remained on the site until, under Nikita Khrushchev, it was transformed into the world's largest open air swimming pool, it was called the Moskva Pool.

Heated to 27 degrees C year around, the result was a thick fog much of the year which led to the KGB using the pool as a convenient way to "eliminate" certain undesirables by taking them for "a swim" while out of sight of the public and even other swimmers.

With the end of the Soviet rule, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February 1990. A temporary cornerstone was laid by the end of the year. The restorer Aleksey Denisov was called upon to design a replica of extraordinary accuracy.

A construction fund was initiated in 1992 and funds began to pour in from ordinary citizens in the autumn of 1994. In this year the pool was demolished and the cathedral reconstruction commenced. About one million Muscovites donated money for the project.





In addition to being the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, there is the smaller Church of the Transfiguration on a lower level as well as the Chapel of the Derzhavnaya Icon. In the basement there a large hall for church assemblies, a small convent for nuns who serve the church, and underground parking.

This church served as the venue when the last Russian Tsar, and his family were glorified as saints in 2000. On 17 May 2007, the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was signed there. The full restoration of communion with the Moscow Patriarchate was celebrated by a Divine Liturgy at which the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexius II and the First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Laurus, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy for the first time in history.


At night, from a Trolleybus window.


The first Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who died of heart failure on 23 April 2007, lay in state in the cathedral prior to his burial in Novodevichy Cemetery.

The Cathedral holds around 5,000-6,000 at one time and is the tallest Eastern Orthodox church in the world and currently the largest operating Orthodox Church in the world.


ila_rendered


Offline Chris

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2009, 12:01:42 PM »
Good information Jim about The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, here are some pics I took of it a few years ago.

ila_rendered


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Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2009, 12:12:24 PM »
Very nice!

Some websites say that the Cathedral is closed except for group tours. If you are not Orthodox that is perhaps the best way to go as a guide can make sure you stay in certain areas and that certain traditions are respected. If you know your way around Orthodoxy however you can usually go in as a worshipper.

Women wear scarfs as a head covering and short miniskirts would not be acceptable, neither would shorts on either men or women. "Dressy casual" clothing, like you're going to church shouldn't be a problem. Enter quietly, no laughing, etc. Just so you know, in an Orthodox Church the focus is on God not man so its not considered as appropriate to hold hands with a sweetheart, etc. You can pick that back up when outside.  :)

There is a nice gift shop to purchase Icons, crosses, books and Christian jewelry on the lower level.


From Moscow River.


Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2009, 08:02:57 PM »
Now make certain to carry your passport with visa and migration card on you at all times. You must register in a city within 72 hours of arrival.

We don't wish to be hassled like this couple. They could be Georgian or Kazakh, etc, and perhaps that is why they were chosen. Russian authorities are very tough on non-white immigrants.



Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2009, 09:59:27 PM »
A page or so back Chivo made the suggestion that we post some of the words used when ordering from a Russian McDonalds. That is a good idea and to follow up, it has been started here: http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,2257.new.html#new

Offline Chris

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2009, 05:07:39 AM »
A page or so back Chivo made the suggestion that we post some of the words used when ordering from a Russian McDonalds. That is a good idea and to follow up, it has been started here: http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,2257.new.html#new

Advertising Fast Food and Cola to Children in Russia to be Banned


Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2009, 11:12:03 PM »
Since we're so close, let's visit the Музей изобразительных искусств им. А.С. Пушкина (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts).





The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1912. While it has gone by other names, its current name exists in honor of Alexander Pushkin, the father of Russian literature and historical Russian icon. The museum stands in the historic street Volchonka, in the center of Moscow, within a 5-minute walk of the Kremlin and Red Square.

Served by Kropotkinskaya Metro.

English website: http://www.museum.ru/gmii/defengl.htm


Museum logo.


Many globally appreciated collection of paintings and sculpture works are preserved in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Today, the museum occupies second place in size, after the Hermitage, in Saint Petersburg, and it is, therefore, one of the largest museums of foreign and national art in Russia.





Technically the museum complex consists of 6 building, 4 at this location. To visit all four at once you can buy a Guest Pass. Normally the museum complex is open until 7 p.m. daily; Opening hours: Daily 10 a.m. — 7 p.m. (entrance till 6 p.m.)
Closed — Mondays.

However now (autumn 2009) the museum is closed for renovations and is open only on a limited basis on Thursdays. However new exhibits will open on December 18 according to the museum website.   

It's possible to visit each of the four buildings individually or to purchase a guest pass for all four buildings.

1 person is 130 Euro, 2 persons is 70 Euro and 3-4 people just 50 Euro each.

Museum telephone: +7952037998






Famous for its impressive collections of impressionist and post-impressionistic paintings, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum also houses works by some of the old masters such as Rubens, Rembrandt and Botticelli, and excellent exhibitions of Eygptian and Hellenistic art. Classicists amongst you can come over all moist in Room 7, where the legendary 'Treasures of Troy' are on display. These ancient artefacts were excavated by the German, Schliemann, in the 19th Century, smuggled out of modern day Turkey to Berlin, and subsequently appropriated by the Russians in 1945.

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2009, 05:56:15 PM »
We've added more menu items to the thread about how to read and order at a Russian McDonalds. The latest menu item are the "big tasty" and the цезарь ролл.

http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,2257.msg128634.html#msg128634

Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2009, 07:00:06 PM »
Since we're standing here in the locale of both Pushkin Museum and Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, now is a good time to point out that much of Moscow is defined by the numerous 'Ring Roads' that circle the city at various distances from the centre, roughly following the outline of the walls that used to surround Moscow.

Red Square and the Kremlin forms the very centre and the innermost ring road is the (Boulevard Ring) Бульва́рное кольцо built in the 1820s where the 16th centuries walls used to be. The Boulevard Ring runs from the Christ the Savior Cathedral in south-west central Moscow, to the mouth of the Yauza in south-east central Moscow.

There are other ring roads (similar to "loops") which we'll discuss later. Don't let the names confuse you as the names of the rings don't stay consistent. In other words, a Ring Boulevard may have a name but the name of the boulevard will change as it progresses thru Moscow. Same ring, different name. The confusion comes from having more than one ring when the sections of each ring are changing names based on geography.

Also don't confuse the Ring Roads to what is commonly called Moscow's Golden Ring. Yes, you'll take a Ring Road to get to the Golden Ring  :) but the term Golden Ring refers to a number of ancient towns surrounding Moscow.

It is called the Golden Ring because of historic and architectural wonders that are preserved in these towns. Some of these towns, like Yaroslavl, were centers of powerful principalities, subjugated by Moscow on its rise as the center of Russian lands. Others, like Uglich, have never been large or powerful, but they still have played an important role in the Russian history. The Golden Ring of Russia offers a glimpse at Russia as it was 800 years ago. It is on the Golden Ring that you will find the oldest churches of European Russia and some of its most famous monasteries.

For now, we'll stay here in Moscow.





Above: A nice view along Gogolevsky Blvd, part of one of the ring roads.


Offline mendeleyev

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Touring Moscow, part 1: Arbat
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2009, 08:52:03 PM »
As we prepare to do some walking there is something you should keep in mind: Moscow is a giant city, Europe’s largest in fact, and its traffic jams are just as big. In Moscow, it seems that all of the world’s black expensive cars are here. It also seems that Russians do not understand the difference between sidewalks and parking lots.

You've been warned.   :chuckle:



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Re: Touring Moscow, part 2: Arbat to Red Square
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2010, 11:29:25 PM »
As of May, the "Touring Moscow" series had grown to 25 pages with thousands of readers. So to make things more managable as a travel and touring resource to RUA readers we've split the topic into more "bite size" segments:

Touring Moscow, part 1: Metro & Transportation
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=9049.0


Touring Moscow, part 2: Arbat to Red Square
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=12015.0


Touring Moscow, part 3: Red Square & Kremlin
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=12016.0



Touring Moscow, part 4 is in development stages and coming soon. It will focus on leaving Red Square and touring more of some of the central parts of this magnificant city.