Novy Arbat street 15, bld.1
Moscow, 119019
Telephone: +7 495 690-20-03
 +7 495 690-20-14
Fax:   +7 495 690-20-62

Orthodox churches

Address:15 Volokhonka Str.
Work hours:The cathedral is opened everyday from 08.00am till 08.00pm
Telephone:+7-495-203-38-23, +7-495-637-47-17
The Cathedral of the Moscow diocese, and the Russian Orthodox Church. The decision to build it "in commemoration of our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from threatening to it death" was adopted by Emperor Alexander I in 1812. The temple was laid in1839 on the site of Alexis nunnery. In 1883, it was regarded as the highest building in Moscow and the biggest church in Russia. In 1931 the cathedral was blown up by order of Stalin. It was rebuilt only by the 2000 year.

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In detail

The Cathedral of the Moscow diocese, and the Russian Orthodox Church. The decision to build it "in commemoration of our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from threatening to it death" was adopted by Emperor Alexander I in 1812. The temple was laid in1839 on the site of Alexis nunnery. In 1883, it was regarded as the highest building in Moscow and the biggest church in Russia. In 1931 the cathedral was blown up by order of Stalin. It was rebuilt only by the 2000 year. Shrines of the Temple: the revered icon of Smolensk Mother of God, the icon “the Saviour Almighty”, the Icon of St. Nicholas, written at Bari, the relics of Apostle Andrei Pervozvannyi the relics of Apostle. Jacob.


Храм Христа Спасителя

The Red Square
From the Cathedral of Christ the Savior to Bolotnaya Square

The station has two exits. Yours is towards the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Leaving the station you find yourselves in Volkhonka Street. Several museums are to be found here. The best-known is the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (to your left) founded one hundred years ago by I. Tzvetayev, the father of a prominent Russian poet Marina Tzvetayeva. The museum’ s collection boasts of 670 thousand pieces of West-European art. The collection of the works of French impressionists and post-impressionists displayed in the museum is considered to be one of the world’ s most notable.

As for us, let’ s proceed to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. In the old times, the Moscow’ s oldest convent named Alexeyevsky was located here. In its memory the Catherdal’ s lower Church of Transfiguration was consecrated. It was already in December 1812 that the emperor Alexander I issued a decree by which he took oath to erect “ a church in the name of Christ the Savior” in Moscow as a tribute to the memory of the Napoleonic war heroes. The place for the construction was chosen up on Sparrow Hills. By force of circumstances, the erection of the cathedral started only in 1839 under the reign of a new monarch, Nicolas I, in a new location at Volkhonka Street. The construction works spread over fifty years, during which services were still ministered here. In December 1931, the Cathedral was leveled to the ground by an explosion leaving the space vacant for the construction of a monstrous 420-meter Palace of Soviets with a gigantic figure of Lenin on top. This project was never implemented, and in 1960 an open-air Moskva swimming pool was opened in the place of the demolished cathedral. Incidentally, the pool was a great attraction for Muscovites. The cathedral was re-erected in the 1990s. The first solemn liturgy was ministered here in 2000 on the Christmas night of January, 6 – 7. The cathedral can accommodate the congregation of up to 10,000 people. The cathedral complex incorporates the museum of the history of the cathedral. An elevated observation platform was installed under the cathedral’ s dome.

As you walk around the cathedral, you’ d find yourselves entering a pedestrian bridge across the Moskva River. It was officially called Patriarshy (Patriarch’ s) Bridge soon after Most Holy Patriarch Alexius II passed away. The view of the city center from the bridge is the most splendid. Looking to the right across Soymonovsky Passage you can notice a “ fairy-tale” house with a saddle-back roof, “ terem”-like (V-roofed) balconies and tiled faзade panels depicting the magic Sirin Bird, peacocks and Jarilo the Sun (a Proto-Slavic deity of fertility and vegetation) (1, Soymonovsky Passage). The house was built in 1907 for a Russian engineer P. Pertzov in accordance with the drafts of the artist S. Maliutin – the creator of the Russian matryoshka doll. From 1908 till 1912 the basement of the house was used as premises of the “ Bat” artistic cabaret, whose stage witnessed performances of the Moscow Art Theatre actors.

Cast a glance across the river. In ancient times the territory on this bank used to be called Sadovniky (Garden place) due to imperial gardens located here ever since the end of the XV century. What you see is one of the six large Moscow islands, this particular being hand-made. It was dumped in the XVIII century during the laying of the drainage canal.
To the left you can see the soaring colossus of the House in the Embankment with crosses of the Church of St. Nikolas in Bersenevka in the foreground glittering behind the trees. The Chambers (Palaty) of Averky Kirillov are nearby. To the right is Krasny Oktyabr (Red October), the former “ Einem” confectionary that has extended its workshops along the embankment. The odour of chocolate has always been here in the air. The “ sweet” production was recently shifted to a new location, and the factory shops were rebuilt. Today, the factory comprises a whole range of galleries, photo shops, comparatively inexpensive hostels, restaurants, bars and night clubs frequented by young people. The whole of the area is being referred to as the “ Art-spit”. The enormous monument to Peter the Great gives the finishing touch to the panorama.
The chimneys of MOGES-2, the municipal power plant, dominate the horizon. It was used as a power supply station for the Moscow tramway system. It has remained operational until nowadays. It is worth coming closer to see the ship-like building with its funnel-like chimneys.

Descend into Bersenevskaya Embankment and turn left towards the ancient “ palaty” (palace, palazzo) of the XVI century. Its first owner is unknown, however, one hundred years later it was owned by the Kirillov family. Averky KIrillov, the Duma (old-Russian parliament) clerk was the best known family member. He was killed during the “ streltzy” (regular army servicemen) uprising of 1682. In the 1650s he rebuilt the ancient edifice. Half a century later, the building was reconstructed again and ever since has not been changed. It is probably the best-preserved XVII century secular building in Moscow outside the Kremlin wall.

To the left from the “ palaty “, further in the courtyard stands the Cathedral of St. Nicolas on Bersenevka. It was accomplished in 1657 raised with the funds of the mentioned Averky Kirillov. The cathedral is unusually exquisite – architraves, plaster tiles, “ plummets” and “ melons” garnish its faзade. In Soviet times, it was turned into a warehouse and later was occupied by some scientific institutions. Since 1992 it has been an active church again.

Now, let’ s go back to the embankment. To your right is the famous “ Government House” more often called “ The House in the Embankment”. The house got the name after Yuri Trifonov’ s book, published in 1976. Trifonov lived here in the pre-war period.
The building was designed by B. Iofan. It took four years to build it. It was erected in the place of a former salt and liquor warehouse where from the so called “ monopoly vodka” was delivered to Moscow saloons.
For a long time the house had been the biggest block of flats in Europe. In different periods of time its tenants had been six Politbureau members, sixteen Marshalls and Admirals, more than sixty Peoples’ Commissars (ministers) and their deputies as well as prominent workers of art. The faзade of the house is faced with numerous memorial plaques.
Before the war, the courtyards of the House used to accommodate fountains, a kindergarten, a preschool institution, a laundry and a club (the present-day Variety Theatre) – everything for private use of tenants. Not forgetting to mention the “ Udarnik” (shock-worker) cinema which was the largest in Europe for the time as well as the apartment house. The cinema was equipped with a sliding roof, however, this engineering device was never used due to the fear of rain and mosquitoes.
There is a museum of the House on the Embankment housed in the premises of the former commandants office (in the court next to the Variety Theatre). Take a walk through the courtyards of the house towards Serafimovicha Street named after the Soviet writer Serafimovich in 1933, who once lived here. Cross the street by a pedestrian underpass towards a five-storey apartment house (5/16 Serafimovicha Street). This house was mentioned in a poem by a popular children’ s author Agnia Barto: “ There was a house in this place, but it disappeared with all of its tenants overnight…” In fact the house did not disappear at all, however, in 1937 it was moved 74 meters aside to vacate the construction area of new Big Stone Bridge.
Passing by the “ travelling” house you enter the park at Bolotnaya (Boggy) Square. 

The area around the place was marshy, hence the name of the square. The swampland was drained in the XVIII century on the order of Catherine II.
The legend has it that fist fights were organized here in XVI – XVII centuries. They were so popular that even the tzar would attend the show once in a while. The bog was also the venue of public executions and festive fireworks.
In the XIX century “ The Bog” had finally acquired the status of a peaceful trading square. In winter, the main grain market in Moscow was operating here. From summer until late fall, fruits were sold in the square. In Soviet times the trading was stopped here. In 1940 a park was placed here. In commemoration of Moscow’ s 800-th anniversary in 1947 lanterns were installed in the park, as well as flowers were planted, and a fountain was put in operation. In the course of time, a monument to the prominent Russian artist I. Repin was unveiled here. In 2001 another sculpture appeared in the park. It was a work by M. Shemyakin “ The Children — victims of Adults Vices”.

The present-day park is a popular venue for young people. At night fire poi performers congregate here. They stage real shows of “ fire dancing” swaying their poi in sophisticated bright red patterns in growing dark. Amateur drummers, guitarists and violinists are frequent visitors here as well.
There is a Luzhkov bridge spanning the Drainage Canal. Its popular name is Love Bridge. It is the place of newly-weds’ pilgrimage. The Canal’ s embankment is always full of wedding limousines. The explanation for this notion is the fact that the first Tree of Love was installed in the bridge in 2007. Newly married couples arrived here to hang a padlock on a branch of the tree and cast the key in the waters of the Canal. By doing so they would express their wish of a long and inseparable love. As the first tree was filled up to the capacity, new trees started to appear on the bridge. At present, Trees of Love are ‘ planted” alone the embankment.

It is here in Bolotnaya Square, that our tour comes to an end. The nearest Metro Station is Tretyakovskaya. To get there, you need to cross the Canal by Love Bridge and walk along Lavrushinsky Side-Street with the famous Tretyakov Art Gallery in it. A visit here may be a good final touch.

Monuments of the War of 1812: Triumph Square - Volkhonka
«Kievsky railway station» pier — Novospassky Bridge

Among the vast variety of river trips, we have chosen a route that allows you to see the main attractions of the capital. So, you begin your route from the “Kievsky railway station” pier. Do not forget to look around. Behind you is Borodinsky bridge, a remarkable monument to commemo­rate victory over Napoleon, the “White House”, or  the House of the Government of Russian Federation, and one of Stalin‘s skyscrapers, the “Ukraina” hotel. To your right, there is the building of the Kievsky railway station, and in front of you, the pedestrian Bogdan Khmelnitsky bridge.

The cruiser begins to move forward, and soon you will see on your left some temples of the Novodevichy Convent. On your right, you will see another one of the skyscrapers, the building of Moscow State University. If you turn back, from this perspective some presently construct­ed buildings of the business center of Moscow City and the House on Mosfilmovskaya street will be visible.

The building of Moscow State Uni­versity and the Luzhniki Stadium go slowly by, and here, is our first stop, the Vorobyevy Gory. A beautiful nature reserve is located here. Here, you may also see the unique Luzhnetsky metro bridge.


Ahead is a noteworthy building of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which is well marked by its crowning golden feature of an original design, nicknamed by locals as “golden brains.”

You pass under the bridge, and your next stop shall be Frunzenskaya embankment. On the right side, Neskuch­niy garden and an approaching pier are visible.

The Central Park of Culture and Relaxation named after Gorky. It is always very lively here. If you have time, you can get off at this stop and take a walk at the newly landscaped park.

Disembarking again from this pier, you will be floating under the Pushkinsky bridge, and soon see a beautiful bright church on your right, the church of St. Nicholas in Khamovniki. It was built in the late XVII century, and represents the Rus­sian ornamental style quite popular in Moscow. Incidentally, the area that you pass is called Khamovniki not because being inhabited by poorly educated people. In the old days, khamovniki were weavers, and this profession gave its name to the area where they settled. There are several places named after craftsmen in Mos­cow, such as Textilshiki, Kozhevniki, Pechatniki, etc.

Here, in front of you, is one of the most famous bridges of Moscow, –Krimsky bridge, with same name pier right in front of it. If you leave here and go across the bridge, you can visit the Central House of Artists, a branch of the State Tretyakov Gallery on Krim­sky Val, and Museon Park of Arts.

Directly in front of you is one of the most criticized Moscow‘s monuments, a monument to Peter the Great. And on your left, you already see the golden dome of the Christ the Savior Cathedral. But first, do pay attention to the two buildings which will appear in front of you a little earlier.

The first house (Prechistenskaya embankment, 29), a red brick building looking like a gingerbread house, was built in 1901 to the design of the famous Russian artist V.M. Vasnetsov. During World War II, there was the headquarters of the Normandie-Niemen squadron, and now, this house is the residence of French Ambassador, as indicated by the flags of France and the European Union.

A little further, there is another build­ing (Kursovoy side street, 1), made by mixing two seemingly not combin­able architectural trends: modernism and neo-Russian style. However, the building has turned out wonderfully harmonious and very beautiful.

Majestically swims past you Christ the Savior Cathedral, or Cathedral of the Nativity. The current building was created between 1994-1997, on the site of the church demolished in 1937. The old church was erected in honor of the victory over Napoleon‘s army, and was being built for almost 44 years. Now, this is where the main celebra­tions worship services are held.

Vodootvodny channel moves to the right and you continue your journey on the Moskva river. The next pier, the Estrada Theater, is located behind the Patriarshy bridge.

Between two Bolshoy bridges, the Kamenny and Zamoskvoretsky, you will see a panorama of Kremlin. Ancient walls and towers, churches, glittering domes, gold-sparkling Grand Kremlin Palace, all parts of this panorama is symbolic of Moscow and Russia. Following the Moskvoretskaya corner tower, a Red Square view opens up.

Then, almost opposite to each other, are two architectural monuments. On the left is the building of the Imperial Orphanage, which was built in 1764, and reinforced and rebuilt up until 1960, and on the right is the church of St. Nicholas in Zayaitskoye. Its name has long been giving a cause for pondering to the toponymy specialists. Indeed, the fact that Ural river was formerly called Yaik is known to all, so, obviously, Zayaitsky means located across the river Yaik, which is also clear. But what is the connection between the Urals and Zamoskvorechye? The explanation is most often found in the fact that people migrated from those places came to settle here. This church was built in the years 1749- 1759 in Baroque style. Now you are floating under Bolshoy Ustinsky bridge, so note that the left side of Moskva river branches off as a lesser stream – this is Yauza. There on the left is one more “Stalin‘s” skyscraper, the house on Kotelnicheskaya embankment. At various times, there lived many fa­mous people, including actress Faina Ranevskaya, ballerina Galina Ulanova, director Yuri Lyubimov, and many others. The cruiser makes the penultimate stop here.

On the right, you will soon see another beautiful building with col­umns – the building of the New Krigskomissariat (institution for the supply of the army). It was built in 1776-1780.

And on the Bolshoy Krasnokholmsky bridge, on the right, a glass building with a treble clef sign on the roof will be seen. This is Moscow International House of Music.

The last, and, for non-looping routes, the final stop of this way is called Novospassky bridge. It was named after the nearby Novospassky monastery. If you choose to see it, do not forget that there is another monument, Krutitskoe Podvorye, nearby. 

Golden Island
Bridges of Moscow
History Lesson
Moscow on a double-decker bus (Route City Sightseeing №1)
Entire Moscow

Sightseeing tour – it is a great opportunity to get acquainted with Moscow, its ancient history and contemporary realities. In the morning and afternoon, in the evening and night, in summer and winter the City looks different, every time telling something new about itself. You will see: the Garden Ring, the embankments of the Moscow River, Red Square, the Kitay-gorod wall, the Christ the Savior Cathedral, the Vorobyovy Gory, the Poklonnaya Gora and the Business Center "Moscow-City"


Moscow from a steam-ship board

The Moskva River – the city trunk main, the major element of a city composition, the keeper of live city history. Not casually on its coast erected temples, monuments, cultural and sports constructions.

During excursion you will see majestic historical buildings the Temple of the Christ of the Savior, the New Spassky monastery based by Ivan Kalitoj, the Kremlin, Church of Revival Christ's in Kadashah; modern constructions: a monument to Peter I, on a pedestal – a copy of the ship "Apostle Peter" (architect Z.Tsereteli), the central house of the artist, the House on quay – a complex 10-11-этажных buildings, where a vein party elite, writers, actors.

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