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   October 24
 Survival Guide
Prechistenka-Ostozhenka
The area has a rich historical background and several exceptional sides: it is situated on the river bank near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Kremlin, Red Square and some of the most popular museums. The architecture of the area corresponded to the unpretentious tastes of its inhabitants: modest apartment houses were side by side with taverns and bars. Over many centuries of its existence, it has earned the reputation of the most expensive, prestigious and fashionable area of the city. Moscow's guests are attracted by its proximity to the historic walls of the Kremlin and the domes of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The area is very calm and cosy.

Prechistenka and Ostozhenka streets seem to be twins: their names are always mentioned together but their role in Moscow history was different.

Prechistenka was popular among nobility and it is still well seen in local toponyms: many streets wear names of famous noble families (Gagariny, Lopukhiny, Naschekiny). Best architects were invited to design patrimonial palaces for them. Luckily many of the mansions survived through all the fires and historical cataclysms and today allow us to enjoy this corner of old Moscow. In the beginning of Prechistenka an old house called Krasnye Palaty ("Red Chambers") is hiding behind the monument to Engels. Built in the end of the 17th century former residence of prince Lopukhin was completely forgotten. Only in 1972, partly ruined and partly reconstructed, it was discovered by accident among the houses prepared for the demolishing due to president Nikson's visit. House No 11 which is now Tolstoy museum and house No 12, Pushkin Museum, have more in common than just being museums of great persons: these former noble mansions were both built after projects of architect Grigoriev and they are both known as masterpieces of Moscow Empire style.

The Academy of Art occupies house No 21; until 1917 it belonged to a member of the famous manufacturer family - Ivan Morozov. Love to art was in the blood of this family and Ivan was not an exception: being a true admirer of Impressionism, he possessed one of the best collections of modern European art in Russia (Manet, Sisley, Van Gogh, and Renoir). He was also the first patron of Mark Chagall.

Prechistenskiye Vorota Square
If you go around the Cathedral than at the corner of Soymonovsky passage and Prechistenskaya embankment there is one house that stands out among others - Pertsov's house (No 1). This unusual apartment house was designed by Malutin, the official author of "matreshka". He attempted to revive the world of pagan antiquity and tried to create the spirit of pre-Christian times by using the symbols of the chief deity of the pagan pantheon and mysterious sombre colours. From 1908 to 1915 it housed a legendary cabaret "The Bat" and remembers Stanislavsky, Nemirovich-Danchenko and many other actors as its visitors. Now Pertsov's house belongs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ostozhenka
Ostozhenka appeared as part of the old road from "Kievan Rus" to "Vladimir-Suzdal Rus", directly adjacent to the crossing of the Moscow River, the so-called Crimean bridge. In contradiction to Prechistenka, Ostozhenka was rather modest street. Apartment houses, inns and cheap eating places - that is Ostozhenka of the 19th century. Moscow aristocracy disliked decent Ostozhenka and began to settle there only in the 18th century and in the first quarter of the 19th century. Although the fire of 1812 demolished most mansions, the spirit of ancient medieval times still lives on in the narrow winding quiet lanes, old yards and houses that stretch down to the Moscow River. Today Ostozhenka is a beautiful, safe and very convenient neighbourhood adjacent to the Arbat area. Within walking distance, you will find Kremlin, Pushkin Museum, Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

As every street Ostozhenka has its legends. According to one of them merchant Filatov decided to quit drinking and as a result of this crucial decision we see a symbolic wine-glass turned upside-down on the top of his apartment house (house No 3 at the corner of Ostozhenka and Obydensky lane). One of Moscow's most interesting styles in architecture was Art Nouveau, or Modern, and Ostozhenka is a proud "owner" of such a beautiful sample of it as Kekushev's mansion (No 21). Kekushev together with the architect of Moderne Fedor Schechter created true architectural masterpieces in the beginning of the 20th century.

Matvey Kozakov designed an impressive residence for P. Eropkin, Moscow Commander-in-Chief during the reign of Catherine the Great. He suppressed a "plague riot" in 1771 when frightened people were about to destroy the city. Today his house is an alma mater for future polyglots: the Moscow University of Linguistics. Pozharny lane boasts proudly rising bronze Peter the Great surrounded by fogs of the Moscow River. This surreal sight sometimes shocks foreign visitors.
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