Museums and Galleries
From icons to Kandinsky, this is the premiere collection of
Russian art; most of it unjustly neglected or excluded from the Western
canon of art history.
10-12 Lavrushinsky Pereulok
Tel: 230-7788, 951-1362, 238-1378
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Tues - Sun, closed Mon.
Pushkin Museum of
This is to Moscow what the Hermitage is to St. Petersburg - - the
major collection of Western art and antiquities. In 1995, it confessed to
owning hundreds of works seized from Germany by the Red Army after World War
II. These revelations fueled worldide debate regarding their restitution. In
1997, the Russian parliament passed a bill that made the art property of the
12 Volkhonka Ulitsa
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tues - Sun, Thurs. to 8 p.m., closed Mon.
Museum (inside the Andronikov Monastery)
The museum is named for the monestary's most celebrated monk -
fifteenth century icon painter Andrei Ryblyov. Strangely, there are not any
of Rybylov's own icons here, but visiting is worthwhile to see the
collection from the Moscow, Rostov and Novgorod schools of painting.
10 Andronyevskaya Ploshchad
Metro: Ploshchad Ilicha
Hours: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mon, Tues, Thurs - Sun. Closed last Friday of the
Moscow hosts numers private galleries that are open for
public viewing. Most feature free admssion, and many retain the provocative
style of Soviet art venues. The Gelman Gallery (7/7 Ulitsa Malaya Polyanka,
Tel: 238-8492, Metro: Polyanka) has exibitions that are usually incorporated
into some kind of "happening."
This is the principal Kremlin museum, with a rich collection that evolved
from the royal weaponry and armour workshops once located here. Court
carriages, thrones, crowns, and extensive ambassadoral gifts to Russian
tsars are on display here. The "pieces de resistance" of the collection are
undoubtebly the Faberge eggs, including one that bears a scale model of the
trans - Siberian train in gold, by the famous miniaturist.
Kremlin, Troitsky Most
Metro: Okhotny Ryad
Hours: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon - Wed, Fri - Sun.
Museum and Community Center
Located in a handsome park across the Garden Ring from the Andrei
Sakharov Archives, the museum is a memorial to human rights activist and
Nobel Laureate, Andrei Sakharov. It is funded by several Russian and U.S.
based foundations dedicated to the development of civil society in Russia
and promotes Sakharov's ideals of tolerance, democracy, and civil liberties.
57 Zemlyanoi Val, Bldg. 6.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Mon.
The development of Russian civilization, from the early Neanderthal
stirrings to the formation of the Kievan Rus, is exhibited here, giving a
good idea of what the first and most ferocious tribes to roam the Russian
plains actually looked like.
1 Krasnaya Ploshchad
Metro: Ploshchad Revolutsii, or Okhotny Ryad
Hours: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Mon, Wed - Sun.
Central Museum of
This is the best twentieth century museum in Moscow. Exhibits
range from stones thrown at policemen during the 1905 Revolution to a
complete and level headed account of the revolution and coups of the early
21 Tverskaya Ulitsa
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mon - Sat, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sun.
Celebrated futurist poet Vladimir Myakovsky moved into a room in
this modest communal appartment in 1919, and lived here intermitantly until
1930. Some rooms are preserved as they were when Mayakovsky committed
suicide, and others illustrate a futurist chaos strewn with comics drawn by
the poet, first editions of his poems and love letters to Lila Brik, with
whom he lived for some time.
3/6 Lybyansky Proyezd
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mon, Tues, Fri - Sun, 1 - 9 p.m. Thurs.
A spectacular example of the style moderne complete with ceramic tiles and a
cascading marble staircase, this was the home of Maxim Gorky from 1931 - 36
after he was persuaded by Stalin to return to Russia, but before he was
allegedly poisoned by Yagoda, one of Stalin's henchmen.
6/2 Malaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa
Hours: 12 - 7 p.m. Wed, Fri, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thurs, Sat, Sun. Closed last
Friday of the month.
Russian Museums and Galleries Website
This pink neo - classical building was built of wood in the 1770s
by the serfs of Count Sheremeyev, one of th richest landowners in Russia and
also responsile for Ostankino. It is th only building of its kind to survive
in Russia, and also features extensive gardens fashioned in classical
eighteenth century style and marble sculptures imported from Italy. Also
hosts a porcelian collection, some hand - decorated with Bolshevik slgans
and portraits of the great leaders.
2 Ryazansky Proyezd
Metro: Pervovo, then a 10 minute walk, or Metro Ryazansky Prospekt, then bus
133 or 208.
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wed - Sun. Closed last Wed of the month.
Built between 1792-98, this is another one of Count Sheremetyev's
serf - built palaces. The interior boasts richly adorned ceilings and walls,
and an oriental atmosphere in the main hall. The grounds often host summer
concerts, and there is a separate pavillion that houses temporary exhibits.
51-ya Ostankino Ulitsa
Hours: 18 May - 1 Oct 10 a.m. - 5p.m. Tues - Sun, Closed when it is raining,
or when humidity is over 80%.
Most of all, Kolomenskoye is a wonderful expanse of park that
attracts many people but never gets crowded. Part of the area is taken up by
the Museum of Wooden architecture, as which Kolomenskoye began life in 1667
when Tsar Alexsei erected a wooden palace on the premises. The haphazard
arrangement of connecting corridors and bulbous domes was pulled down by
Catherine the Great, but not before she ordered an exact model to be made,
which is now housed in the museum.
Metro: Kolomenskaya, exit at the front of the train, turn left in the
underpass, then right and walk straight ahead up the hill.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mon.
Volkov - Yusupov
The Volkov - Yusupov chambers are a rarity for the fact that they
have weathered the test of time. Resembling a fairy - tale castle, the stone
house at 21 Bolshoi Kharitonyevsky Pereulok dates back to the 16th century,
with reconstruction and redesign continuing up until the 19th century. The
powerful and influential have resided in its rooms and wandered in its
gardens, including Ivan the Terrible and a very young Alexander Pushkin.
21 Bolshoi Kharitonyevsky Pereulok
Metro: Krasnye Vorota
Established in 1524 to commemorate the recapture of Smolensk by
Russian forces, Novodevichy (New Convent of the Maidens) is one of the most
beautiful in the city. While the monastery is beautiful, Novodevichy
Cemetary is one of the most fasinating spots in Moscow. Pre-revolutionary
artistic luminaries, Communist generals and politicians who didn't quite
make it ibto the Kremlin wall, as well as Soviet scholars and scientists.
Many twentieth century giants are found here, such as, Mikhail Bulgakov,
Vladimir Myakovsky, Sergei Eisenstein, Shostavich and Nikita Khrusckev.
1 Novodovichy Proyezd
Hours: (summer) open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (winter) 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.,
closed Tues. and the first Mon. of the month.
Founded in 1591 by Tsar Fyodor Iannovich to house the Donskaya
Icon of the Mother of God as a mark of gratitude for victories over Crimean
warlords, the Donskoi Monastery has been plundered three times over the Time
of Troubles, Napolean and the Revolution - after which it became a museum to
atheism. Russian tours by one of the monks are extremely rewarding, the
charge being a contribution towards upkeep. Visitors should recognize that
it is a working monastery and exercise respectful behaviour and modest dress
1 Donskaya Ploshchad
Hours: 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily.
Red Square and the city of Moscow were created simultaneously.
While Moscow has changed dramatically, Red Square remains one of the city's
constants. Sandwiched between Yury Dolgoruky's new Kremlin walls and the
medieval shopping precinct that later became upper trading rows, the new
Kremlin is just a little bigger and GUM just a little further back than the
tangle of stalls that preceeded it.
Metro: Okhotney Ryad
Hours: Lenin's Mausoleum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1
p.m. Access to the normally wide - open Red Square is restricted during the
embalmed Soviet leader's visiting hours.
Confusion still exists over who actually built the catherdral.
The legend goes, that Ivan the Terrible, who commissioned the construction
to celebrate the victory over the Golden Horde, was so overcome with its
beauty that he put out the eyes of its architects so that they could never
create something to rival it's beauty. The twisting cupolas and clashing
colors of the onion domes that make it the best known landmark in Moscow, is
also said to exemplify the enigmatic spirit of the Russian people.
2 Krasnaya Ploshchad (Red Square)
Metro: Ploshchad Revolutsii
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Visitors who wish to understand Russia and her long struggle for
freedom should make a point to walk the Arbat. The street existed as early
as 1493, as records of a great fire that began in a church once located
there confirm. During the reign of Ivan the Terrible it was the home of his
sixteenth century secret police. By the seventeenth century it had become
the chosen home of aristocrats, and later artists seeking patronage made it
their home. It took on its current appearance at the turn of the twentieth
century when elegant two and three story buildings were built for bourgeois
families. After 1917, these were converted into communal appartments where
several working class families lived.
The Church of Christ
No other site in Moscow chronicles the successive changing of the
guard more than the site of the recently rebuilt Church of Christ the
Saviour. The original cathedral was commissioned by Tsar Alexander I to
honour Napolean's expulsion in 1812. It took 40 million bricks and 45 years
to build and only one day to destroy. In 1931, the monument was imploded on
Stalin's directives to make was for the grandiose monstrosity, the Palace of
Soviets. Fortunately, this most resented construction never really got off
of the ground, and by the late 1950's and Khrushchev's thaw, it had become
one of the biggest swimming pools in the world. The original design was
reconstructed as colsely as possible, although this time concrete was used
and a huge parking lot was added.
4 Volkhonka Ulitsa
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Pushkin, on par with Shakespeare and Goethe, was too great ever
to be affected by changes in political fashions and was respected in
communist and non - communist times alike. The square has been the site of
pro - democracy demonstrations in the dying days of communism. Now it is a
popular place to meet or rest one's feet after treading along the trendy
shopping district of Tverskaya Ulitsa.
The Moscow Zoo has recently been rennovated and is worth a visit.
It is not as large as most city zoos, and is often crowded on pulic holidays
1 Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Ulitsa
Tel: 254 - 4693
Metro: Barrikadnaya or Krasnopresnenskaya
Hours: May - Sept. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday - Sun.
The "old" circus is the smaller of the two, and produces fabulous
shows that usually have a central theme. The show includes a variety of
acts, from clowns to acrobats. The intricate costumes and colorful acts are
second to none.
13 Tsvetnoi Bulvar
Metro: Tsvetnoi Bulvar
Performances: 7 p.m. Mon, Wed, Fri; 3 p.m, 7 p.m. Sat and Sun.
Circus on Sparrow
This new - ish circus has five interchangeable arenas. The acts
change constantly, and guarantee a great spectacle for very little money.
7 Prospect Vernadskogo
Performances: 7 p.m. Wed - Fri; 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., Sat and Sun.
All of the matrioshka dolls, lacquer boxes and Soviet memorabilia
that you can handle, as well as some truely beautiful linens and crafts.
Vendors are friendly and many speak English.
Metro: Izmailovski Park, from here follow the crowds.
Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.
Spectacular look - out point, with a view of Moscow from the
south side of the river, overlooking Luzhniki Stadium and Moscow Staue
University behind. Sparrow Hills features largely into the devil scenes of
Mikhail Bulgakov's most famous novel "The Master and Margarita."
In winter, Gorky Park is a good place to go ice skating. In
summer, it hosts an amusement park.
Metro: Oktyabrsksya or Park Kultury
This vast establishment was completed in 1995 to celebrate the
50th anniversary of the Soviet Union's World War Two victory. It is worth
noting that is it located on the spot where Napoleon stood as he watched
Moscow burning. On May 9, Victory Day, Muscovites gather here to celebrate
the triumph over Nazi Germany The while crescent shaped building contains
the Great Patriotic War Museum (open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tues - Sun).
Metro: Kutuzovskaya, then trolly bus to Victory Park
Moscow River Cruises
A two hour cruise on one of the boats on the Moscow River is
truely a nice way to spend a hot summer day in Moscow. There is an open air
top deck and an enclosed bottom deck with a snack bar. You can embark and
disembark from any number of docks along the way.
Piers are located at: Moscow State University, Gorky Park (both sides of the
river), Bolshoi Karmeny Most (by the Estrada Theater opposit the Kremlin),
Hotel Rossiya, Bolshoi Krasnoholmsky Most and the Novospassky Monastery
Hours: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily at 30 minute intervals.
There are also overnight cruises from 1 to 20 days departing from the
Severny Rechnoy Vokzal (Tel: 458-9163/9624) and from the Yuzhny Rechnoy
Vokzal (Tel: 118-7811).
Established in 1937, and containing of more than 80 pavillions each
representing one aspect of the great economic, industrial and technical
might of communism, the Exhibition of Economic Achievements functioned as
such until the 1980s. Today, miniature trains ferry shoppers around this
Hours: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sat, Sun, public holidays.