FSB Headquarters

Длительность: 02:51:44
Язык экскурсии: Русский
Автор: Publisher "New book"

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The colossal building with the decorative columns and clock-tower on its roof is the FSB Headquarters building – easily seen from Lubyanka Square.

The building that is now FSB headquarters was originally built as an investment project at the end of the C19th by the “Rossiya” Insurance Company. They built top-end apartment-rental blocks, with expensive apartments. Their building projects were not merely magnificent in appearance – they utilised every last word in contemporary comfort. This huge building on Lubyanka was built for Rossiya Insurance by the architect Proskurin. He was assisted on the project by another architect, Ivanov, who had recently built the Hotel Nationale, not far away. The ground floor level was let out to various shopholders, while the apartments on the floors above were the finest in the city. Tenants here paid on average four thousand roubles per annum – an unbelievably high price at the time.

Soon after the 1917 Revolution the building was confiscated by the Bolshevik Government. At first the Moscow Council of Trade Unions was quartered here, but quickly the building was allocated to the NKVD – the first official form of what later became the KGB. The KGB quickly contrived to round up all the former tenants and hang them. The building was extensively rebuilt during the C20th – famously after the end of WW2 in 1945, to designs by Shusev, who had designed Lenin's Mausoleum, Kazan Station and other soviet building. It was rebuilt again in the late 1970s. The building has become iconographic in films – not a single soviet movie about the KGB has failed to include a shot of its enormous facade.

In 2005, on orders of Boris Yeltsin, the KGB was radically restructured. The emerging organisation which took over the role of intelligence and security in Russia was the the FSB – the Federal Security Bureau. It continues to occupy the former KGB headquarters.

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Информация по экскурсии "Walking tour around Kitay-Gorod"

Kitay-gorod is one of the oldest parts of Moscow. It appeared nearby the old wooden Kremlin. Although the name translates as “Chinatown,” it probably derives from kita (wattle), referring to the wall that surrounded this early Kremlin suburb. Today, remains of an old city wall and colorful churches are scattered throughout this ancient neighborhood.

The stone walls were erected in the 16th century by an Italian architect known under the name Petrok Maly and originally featured 13 towers and six gates. They were as thick as they were high. The last of the towers were demolished in the 1930s, but small portions of the wall still stand. One of two remaining parts of the wall is located in Zaryadye and the other near the exit from the Okhotny Ryad station of Moscow Metro behind the Hotel Metropol.

Kitay-gorod starts at Red Square. Apart from Red Square, the quarter is bordered by the chain of Central Squares of Moscow, notably Theatre Square (in front of Bolshoi Theatre), Lubyanka Square (in front of the KGB headquarters), and Slavyanskaya Square.

Since time immemorial Kitay-gorod has been developing as a trading area. And for centuries it was known as the most prestigious business area of Moscow. Its three main streets — Varvarka, Ilyinka, and Nikolskaya — are lined with banks, shops, and storehouses. There are also lots of historical buildings that relate to the heritage of the federal and global importance now.

In our tour you will walk along Nikolskaya Street that is famous for being the site of Moscow's first university, the Slavic Greek Latin Academy, housed in extant Zaikonospassky monastery (1660s). Another monastery cathedral, the main church of Epiphany Bogoyavlensky Monastery (1690s), is the oldest male monastery in Moscow, stands in the middle of Kitay-gorod in the eponymous Bogoyavlensky Lane. The 18th century survives in the exterior walls of the otherwise rebuilt Gostiny Dvor (Guest Merchant's Court) by Giacomo Quarenghi.

A whole quarter of Kitay-gorod adjacent to the Moskva River and known as Zaryadye (now just Varvarka Street) was demolished in the 20th century, sparing only those structures that were classified as historic monuments. These include the Cathedral of the Sign (1679–84), the Church of All Saints (1680s), St. George's Church on Pskov Hill (1657), St. Maksim's Church (1698), St. Anna's Church at the Corner (1510s), St. Barbara's Church (1796–1804), the Old English Embassy (1550s), and the 16th century Romanov boyar residence. The two last are the museums. You can visit them to see the life of the first Romanovs in the 16-17th centuries.


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