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This sand-coloured building with an eight-columned colonnade was built by architect Zholtovsky. Experts say that it was this very building that launched the trend later called the 'Stalin Empire' style. Another interesting aspect of the building is that it housed the American Embassy for a short time.
The building with the bulging half-columns running almost the full height of the facade is Zholtovsky's House. Architectural historians often call it “The House On Mokhovaya Street”, and it's executed in the “Stalin Empire” style. It functioned as the first Embassy of the USA in Moscow - after which it was home to the Committee For Foreign Tourism. These days it's an office block, with a business-centre incorporated. To the left begins the complex of buildings of Moscow University.
Number 13 Mokhovaya was built in 1934 by the legendary Moscow architect Ivan Zholtovsky. The builder utilised the outline of Palladio's Palazzo del Capitaniato in Vicenza as a model – Palladio being the quintessential architect of the Italian renaissance. Zholotovsky's building produced a host of varying responses when it was unveiled – first it was praised, then derided, and then declared a model for the future. The interiors were remodelled and rebuilt several times – the only part of the building which remains entirely Zholtovsky's is the exterior facade.
Even before the Russian Revolution of 1917 Ivan Zholtovsky was well-known as an architect of classical, elegant and erudite architecture. He had spent many years studying the buildings of classical antiquity, and the methods and models of the Italian Renaissance. He spoke Italian perfectly and had been to the country many times – what most impressed him was the architectural output of Andrea Palladio. In fact four of Palladio's books about architecture came out in Russia, in a translation by Zholtovsky himself.
Ivan Zholtovsky was born in Pinsk (in today's Belarus) in 1867, and graduated from the Imperial Academy of Arts. He began his architectural career as an assistant in St.Petersburg. At 39 he was elected an Academician of Architecture. Several prominent architects and sculptors studied under him. After WW2 the Zholtovsky Architectural School was opened. He is considered to have founded the “Stalin Empire” style of architecture.
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.