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On one corner of Borovitskaya Square stands a rose-coloured mansion building with a white colonnade, and statues in the niches. As the large sign over the door states, this is the Alexander Shilov gallery. Next door there's a light-coloured building with a cupola and colonnade, which is now a business-centre called Znamenka – behind it is a VIP housing complex. And in front of the Shilov gallery is the small chapel of St.Nicholas the Wondrous of Mozhaisk.
In 1997 the celebrated artist Alexander Shilov donated more than 300 of his significant works to the State, and the Moscow City Government decided to open a gallery to house these paintings. This mansion building from the C19th was pressed into service to meet this need – a classical building on one of Moscow's oldest streets. By way of planning gain, the gallery expanded to include not only a five-storey art collection but also a development of VIP apartment housing behind it.
The gallery now displays more than 900 of the artist's works, primarily executed in the style of classicist realism. Among the canvases are many portraits of celebrities. The gallery also hosts concerts and recitals by famous performers and classical music evenings.
Alexander Shilov was born in 1943 in Moscow, and graduated from the Surikov Art Academy. His work features in galleries all over the world. Although primarily a portraitist, his output also includes landscapes, still life, and graphic design. He has painted portraits of Yuri Gagarin, Mitropolit Filaret of the Russian Orthodox Church, and many other famous people – including business figures, war heroes, politicians doctors, and scientists. Some critics have accused Shilov of jumping on the social bandwagon, and failing to notice the arrival of colour photography – which might do just as good a job as his portraits.
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.