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 Survival Guide
Pushkinskaya Square
Pushkinskaya Square
Pushkinskaya square is situated at the intersection of Tverskaya street and Tverskoy boulevard. Up to 1932 Pushkinskaya square was called Strastnaya after Strastnoy Monastery, which was demolished after the revolution, like all other churches on Tverskaya. Now on the place of the former monastery one can see a monument to the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin; it is beloved all over Moscow and serves as a usual place for meetings. The idea to create it appeared already in 1837 just after Pushkin has lost his duel with Dantes. It required three competitions of sculptors to choose the finally realized project by A. Opekushin.

Now "Pushka" (informal name of the square) is in not only the place of historical interest; it is literally filled with different cafes and small restaurants. The huge building of Pushkinsky cinema never leaves cinema-lovers in peace: it possesses the biggest screen in Western Europe, and almost every show here is a national premiere. If you prefer noisy and fussy meals, the first and the biggest MacDonald's restaurant in Russia is waiting for you here.

Bolshaya Dmitrovka
Bolshaya Dmitrovka street runs parallel to Tverskaya from Okhotny Ryad to Strastnoy boulevard. The part of the ancient road to Dmitrov, it was named after this old Russian town. In the 18th-19th centuries members of aristocracy, who didn't grudge money for their sumptuous mansions, chose to settle here. Unfortunately, few of their houses survived till now; nevertheless the remnant part still provides an opportunity to imagine how this street looked like before.

In 1970s the entire pavement was covered with special black glass. It looked like a regular asphalted pavement, but it was quite a special affair. Unfortunately, later for some reasons glass was removed. In the 1990s various boutiques, shops, restaurants and small cafes rapidly spread around it, and the spirit of luxury returned to Dmitrovka.

Before the revolution House of Unions was occupied by quite an opposite organization - Moscow Assembly of Nobility. Balls given here were famous all over Moscow; Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Liszt and other remarkable composers used to arrange their concerts here. Magnificent building in Classicism Style was erected in 1780 by Matvey Kozakov; in 1790 it was completely reconstructed, enlarged and the celebrated Column Hall was added.

Bolshaya Dmitrovka is lucky with theatres. One more home of Melpomena is located at No 17: it is the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko musical theatre. Originally built for count Saltykov, governor-general of Moscow, in 1839-1909 it was a place where the members of the Merchants' club had their meetings. Merchants' club was second in popularity after the famous English club; here rich merchants used to gamble their money and eat out in luxury restaurant, famous all over Moscow for outstanding cuisine. After the revolution this building was occupied by the Dmitrovsky theatre; since 1926 troupes of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko used this stage together; these two troupes finally united in one musical theatre in 1941.

Malaya Dmitrovka
Passing two blocks from Bolshaya Dmitrovka via Bolshoy Putinkovsky lane, you get to Malaya Dmitrovka, a cosy narrow street, although a bit noisy. White hip-roofed Church of Nativity in Putinky stands right in the beginning of the street. Despite rather small size, it usually arrests attention of architecture lovers with a splendid lightness of the snow-white walls. It was the last church in Moscow employing the spire architectural style, before it was banned by Patriarch Nikon.

The building next door to the church is one of the best Moscow theatres - Lenkom (Theatre of Lenin's Komsomol). The building was erected in 1909 by Ivanov-Shitz for the Merchants' club, which moved here in 1909 from Bolshaya Dmitrovka.

Bolshaya Sadovaya
Not far from the corner of Tverskaya and Bolshaya Sadovaya streets there is a charming "Aquarium" garden. Formerly there was a "Chicago" garden here; after its reconstruction of 1896-1898 a lot of little fanciful fountains, artificial springs and waterfalls appeared here. All of them flowed into a big aquarium, from which the garden took its name. In the Soviet time after constructing a new building of the burnt Mossovet Theatre all of the water inventions disappeared, and the name Aquarium lost its sense. During the preparations to the Moscow's 850th anniversary the garden was at last rebuilt and now houses two theatres: the above-mentioned Mossovet Theatre and the Variety-Theatre.

The house No 10 on Bolshaya Sadovaya street has the well-known flat No 50. Mikhail Bulgakov lived here in 1921-1924, and this very flat he described in his famous novel "Master and Margarita". The walls and the doors of the porch are covered with very interesting inscriptions and the flat itself is a place of endless pilgrimage. There is a kind of Bulgakov's museum there, supported by alms and kept by enthusiasts.

Petrovka
Petrovka street was once a bank of Neglinka river and it was not exactly a pleasant place for a walk: in the spring overflowed river would make this street a big puddle of mud. But Neglinka was put under the ground and Petrovka became a fashionable shopping street. Petrovka was named after Vysokopetrovsky monastery which looks a bit lonely surrounded by 19th and 20th-century buildings. Prince Dmitry Donskoy founded it in 1380 after the legendary "Battle of Kulikovo". As the legend goes Donskoy had a vision of a high mountain covered with white snow; he considered it to be a divine sign and decided to build a cathedral which later became the main church of the monastery. Vysokopetrovsky monastery was under special patronage of the Naryshkiny family, in particular mother of Tsar Peter the Great Natalya Naryshkina. And the architectural style of the monastery is known as "naryshkinskoye" baroque.

House No 25 is one of the best samples of Moscow Classicism. Build in 1790 by architect Matvey Kozakov, this beautiful mansion was occupied by Kreisman's gymnasium which was famous for accepting students that had been expelled from other schools because of their free-thinking. Today it is a museum of Modern Art headed by Zurab Tsereteli.

Probably the most famous building on this street is house No 38. The phrase "Petrovka, 38" brings to mind signals of police cars and oaths of captured criminals. This used to be Moscow Criminal Investigation Department immortalized in one of the most popular Russian movies "Place of a Meeting is not to be Changed" starring Vladimir Vysotsky.

Karetny Ryad
Karetny Ryad street is Petrovka's continuation. Once it was a street where wagons were made. Progress went on, crude wagons were replaced by elegant carriages ("karety") and this street got its name. The main sight here is Hermitage Garden. It was opened in 1894 by Jakov Shchukin, former servant who had become an entrepreneur, and used to be a place where theatre performances, shows and fetes were arranged. It was here that in 1896 Muscovites could see the famous train arrival in the first ever movie by Lumier brothers. And in 1898 the premier of the play "Tsar Fedor Ioannovich" commemorated the beginning of Moscow Arts Theatre. Today there are several theatres, one opera theatre in "Hermitage" and in winter a skating rink with several cafes.
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