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   July 24
 Survival Guide
Krasnaya Presnya
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the area developed as a craftsmen's and trade center. Presnya became a large arts and craft shopping centre of the city and a favourite vacation spot for Muscovites. Now it is a very popular location where structures of federal and city value are located: the House of the Government of the Russian Federation, the World Trade Centre, the Moscow Zoo, the Cinema House, ITAR-TASS, Expo Centre. The construction of the large business centre "Moscow City" will cause an active development of this area, eventually turning it into a modern Manhattan. This area is not on the elite areas list despite the fact that one of the very first and well-known elite houses in Moscow - Agalarov House - was erected here. On the other hand, the affinity to Kutuzovsky prospect makes it very attractive to many people. Krasnaya Presnya has some very good, modern apartment buildings, especially on Zoologicheskaya street. Bolshaya and Malaya Gruzinskaya streets are also popular with expatriates, as is Novinsky boulevard.

Despite its revolutionary past (the first strikes that preceded the October Revolution began here), famous American millionaire Armand Hammer built Moscow's first modern skyscraper here in the 1970s. Today it is referred to as the International Trade Center and Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Bolshaya and Malaya Nikitskaya
Bolshaya Nikitskaya street is hard to stick to one Moscow area, as it stretches along from the very center and adjoins Barrikadnaya street in Krasnaya Presnya. Both Bolshaya ("Great") and Malaya ("Small") Nikitskaya streets take their names from the old Nikitsky Monastery founded here in the late 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries they were mostly inhabited by the aristocracy. Luckily, narrow and densely built Bolshaya Nikiskaya was not reconstructed in Soviet times and kept a lot of remarkable buildings.

At the beginning of Bolshaya Nikitskaya one can see the building of Zoological Museum of Moscow State University, constructed after Bykovsky's project especially for this unique collection of zoological rarities. The facade is decorated by zoological mouldings; the light and airy interiors designed by famous animalists design in the same style.

The next attractive building here is the Moscow Conservatory. Vasily Bazhenov designed it in the late 18th century for princess Catherine Dashkova; in I860 it was bought for the Moscow section of the Imperial Russian Music Society headed by outstanding musician Nikolay Rubinstein.

In 1954 a monument to Tchaikovsky, the famous Russian musician and one of the conservatory's founders, was put up in front of the building. In 1940 the Conservatory was named in his honour and since 1958 the Tchaikovsky International Competitions have been held here.

In the 16th century the area to the south from Bolshaya Nikitskaya street was mostly inhabited by the royal cooks; no wonder that the word "povar" ("cook") became an origin of the street's name. The names of many neighbouring lanes are also connected with the kitchen: Stolovy ("Table"), Khlebny ("Bread"), Nozhovy ("Knife") and others.

In the 18th century Povarskaya was densely populated by Moscow nobles; till the revolution it was considered to be the most aristocratic street in the city. After the revolution luxury mansions of the nobles were either occupied by the State institutions or put at the disposal of foreign embassies.

The church of St. Simeon Stolpnik is situated right in the beginning of the street, at the corner of Novy Arbat and Povarskaya streets. Former parish church of Nikolay Gogol, it's the only 17th-century building on Novy Arbat not touched by the Soviet reconstruction.

Mindovsky's house on the corner of Povarskaya street and Skaryatinsky lane is considered to be one of the best examples of Russian Art Nouveau. Now this architectural masterpiece is occupied by the embassy of the New Zealand. A picturesque mansion with a colonnade on the facade in the end of the street formerly belonged to Sollogub family. But it's much more widely known to Muscovites as the "Rostov House", as Lev Tolstoy "settled" here the heroes of his world-famous novel "War and Peace". The imaginary story of the great writer somehow affected the real destiny of this building: since 1932 it houses the Union of Writers organization.
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