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Manège Street leads from the Borovitskaya Kremlin Bastion, along the Alexander Gardens, via the north-west Kremlin Walls to Manège Square. At the end of the C15th Tsar Ivan III decreed that the whole area which is now Manège Street should be cleared of all wooden buildings. Two centuries later we would find a trading market where timber, hay and moss were sold – the main materials for building houses. Once the Neglinnaya River was ducted underground in the 1820s they began to lay out the street (then named Neglinnaya Street), and the Alexander Gardens. At the same time Neglinny Lane – named after the river now below it – appeared. Neglinny Street was subsequently renamed Manège Street, allowing Neglinnaya Lane to be renamed as Neglinnaya Street, and avoid confusion.
The former mansion of the Shakhovsky family is the low beige-coloured building on the small hill. The mansion's main facade looks towards Mokhovaya Street, parallel with Manège Street.
From the mid-C18th the Shakhovsky Grand-Princes owned this mansion, and then in the C19th it was bought by merchants. After the Russian Revolution it became the Russian Public Library, and in the 1930-40s the State Literature Museum. It's now the Centre for Asiatic Literature of the Russian State Library.
The hillock on which the former Shakhovsky Mansion stands is still popularly known as Nixon's Front Lawn. Long ago, the hill had other C18th buildings and a Apothecary’s Garden on it. But in 1972, with the visit of U.S.President Nixon looming, the authorities quickly pulled-down buildings they believed gave an unpresentable impression for the VIP guest – so that all he'd see on arrival at the Kremlin would be the merchant Pashkov's mansion – the large white one with white columns and the stairway.
Moscow is the capital of the ancient and modern Russian state. It has been playing crucial role for centuries. Here you can face all episodes of rich and gorgeous Russian history.
The city is full of historical buildings, monuments, cathedrals, museums and parks. It started many centuries ago from the Kremlin – medieval city-fortress overlooking the Moskva River. Now it is not only the government seat but open air museum. Behind the tall red brick walls palaces, cathedrals and museums are hidden. You can get there through one of the gates and walk along the streets that saw Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Peter the Great and all other Romanovs, and the Soviet leaders.
You can visit all the cathedrals on Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square, climb Ivan the Great Bell Tower, take photos of the Tzar Bell and Tzar Cannon, see state regalia, ceremonial vestments and gold and silver relics in the world-known treasury-house – the Armoury Chamber. To say more, the Kremlin and its vicinities are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
We would like to advise you not to concentrate on the Kremlin only. Now you can get out of the Kremlin through the Spasskiye Gate and find yourself on Red Square – the main square of the country where Victory Day parades take place. In winter there is a skating rink with some kind of souvenir bazar. Red Square is famous for being the part of so called Kitai-Gorod – the second ring of fortified walls. Here you will see the beautiful fairy-tale St. Basil’s Cathedral. It is open for tourists and it’s worth visiting. Other places that pay tourists’ attention are GUM (the main center for shopaholics), Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State History Museum and the small Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady. If you go along Nikolskaya Street, you will get to Lubyanka Square with the imposing buildings of former KGB and the biggest in Russia Children's World Department Store.
If you decide to go through the Resurrection Gate you will find yourself on Manezhnaya (Manege) Square at the entrance to the Alexander Garden. It’s a large pedestrian open space and a nice place to walk and relax near the fountains. Underground Trade Centre ”Okhotny Ryad” or “the Hunter’s Row” is a paradise for shopping. You can continue your walk towards Arbat or Tverskaya Street. There are also fine buildings to visit and to take pictures of: The Shilov Art Gallery, hotels “Moskva”, “Nationale”, Pashkov's House, The Former House of the Moscow State Duma etc.
If you decide to turn round Georgy Zhukov’s horse monument you’ll occur on Revolution Square where you can visit the Museum of Patriotic War of 1812. From there it’s very easy to get to Teatralnaya or “Theatre” Square limited by the Metropol Hotel, The Bolshoi and the Maly Theatres. In the center you will find a beautiful fountain by Vitali.
All these sites and even more you will be able to visit and explore with knowledgeable audio excursion with offline map from Your Audio Guide “Attractions around the Kremlin”. You will find Moscow very pleasant for spending holidays.