The University s faculties of Asian and African Studies

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Язык экскурсии: Русский
Автор: Publisher "New book"

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The green-domed building on the opposite side of Mokhovaya Street is the original building of Moscow University. Today it houses the University's faculties of Asian and African Studies.

Moscow University was founded in the mid-C18th by Count Shuvalov and the scientist and philosopher Mikhail Lomonosov. In fact the building here wasn't the University's very first home – the earliest students completed their courses in a converted apothecary's shop which once stood near the Ascension Gates to Red Square. However, the shop premises weren't suitable, and under the patronage of Catherine the Great the University moved across the road - to this building on Mokhovaya. The building was severely damaged during the Napoleonic occupation of 1812, and was; rebuilt by the Swiss architect Domenico Gilardi.

Mikhail Lomonosov was born in a remote village in the Russian North, where a literate neighbour taught him to read. By his late teens he had run away from home to Moscow, where he tried to enrol as a student by claiming to be a priest's son (and thus qualifying for free tuition). He was thrown out when the lie was discovered, but managed to study in Kiev. Every sphere of learning fascinated him – his researches covered physics, astronomy (he invented the reflection telescope, and proposed that Venus had an atmosphere), chemistry (he was the first to successfully freeze mercury) and geography - in which he proposed the theory of continental drift. None of this prevented him simultaneously creating artworks in enameled mosaics and publishing a reformed dictionary of the Russian Language. Lomonsov's achievements are recognised both on earth and in space – in addition to Moscow University being named after him, while there are craters on the Moon and on Mars which bear his name.

Empress Catherine the Great signed the Decree establishing the new University on 25th January – St.Tatiana's Day. Tatiana's Day remains a student holiday throughout Russia. There were only three faculties when the University first opened in the C18th – philosophy, medicine, and law.

However, the new building on Mokhovaya already proved too small for the purpose in the C18th – they even submitted a Petition to build an additional new building on Sparrow Hills. However, it wasn't until 1948 that a new University Campus was actually built where they'd wanted it. The old building housed the faculties of journalism, Asian studies and psychology.

Behind the wrought-iron railings you can see a huge building in the Empire style with a massive colonnade, two side wings and a cupola upon the roof. This is the Old Building of Moscow University. Currently it houses the University's faculties of African and Asian Studies.

Most Muscovites will tell you that the University is located on the Sparrow Hills – where the Soviet-era campus was built. However, that's just the fourth of the locations the University has had. In the latter C18th University teaching was transferred from a series of rented buildings around Red Square to a new “University Quarter” on the other side of Mokhovaya Street, in premises made-up of a series of former noblemen's estates which the Crown had arranged to purchase for this express purpose.

The first buildings of Moscow University were built in 1785 on land which Empress Catherine II acquired at her own expense for the purpose. She further advanced 125,000 silver roubles for the construction costs – an astronomical sum of money for those times. As architect a Favourite of the Empress was appointed – the renowned Matvei Kazakov. Regrettably Kazakov's university buildings burned to the ground in the fires of 1812 that coincided with the retreat of Napoleon's army from Moscow. With the buildings also perished the university's museum collections, libraries, and personal archives of the professors – a vast collection of irreplaceable objects. Five years would pass until rebuilding of a new university building could begin.

The job of rebuilding the University after the 1812 fires fell to the Swiss-Italian architect Domenico Gilardi. Remarkably he put the the whole project through from drawing-board to opening ceremony in just two years. The brisk pace of building was greatly aided by the deep pockets of the patrons – Tsar Alexander I, and a number of private philanthropists. Gilardi retained some features of Kazakov's designs, but altered the external decoration to the fashionable Empire Style characteristic of post-Napoleonic Moscow. The bas-relief on the portico celebrates the theme of the Harmony of the Arts & Sciences.

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Информация по экскурсии "Attractions around the Kremlin"

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.


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