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The building at Bolshaya Sadovaya street 16 is the Military University of the Defence Ministry. By the door with the awning you can see a number of Awards. This is just one of the buildings that were formerly the Military Institute of Foreign Languages.
The University of the Defence Ministry has an unofficial website (such organisations aren't permitted “official” ones), where we learn it trains the personnel working as special agents, information manipulators, lawyers, and top officials. This is all confirmed by the number of graduates who figure among Russia's MPs, bankers, top-flight civil servants – not to mention journalists, academics, lawyers, and political leaders. The University inherits a soviet-era faculty song which runs
“No matter where your career may lead you,
By which roads or highways you may pass,
In London, Belgrade, Leningrad or Delhi
You'll bump into ex-students from your class”
The song's cheerful humour illustrates the self-confidence of the party elite of the soviet era – plus the fact that foreign travel and postings were the uppermost perk of soviet social status. Regular citizens were unable to even obtain passports for travel, due to the prevailing conditions of the “iron curtain”.
We would like to offer you a very interesting tour in the centre of Moscow – around Patriarshiye Prudy or Patriarch’s Ponds. For the last 200 years, there has been only one pond known to the public, although, the name of Tryokhprudny Pereulok (lit. Three-Pond Lane) suggests there used to be more. It is known that in 1683-1684 Patriarch Joachim ordered to dig three ponds for drainage of wetlands and fish farming to the patriarchal table. So, such ponds were fishponds.
The area is named after the seventeenth century Patriarch's Goat Sloboda located on the Goat Marsh. This marsh once was connected by a brook to the Presnya River in the west; by 1739, when the first topographic map was compiled, the brook disappeared and the marsh separated from the Presnya. People considered the swamp as an anomalous zone; apparently this caused a proverb ("Thomas has hastened, but made people laugh - he sticked in Patriarshy").
The pond acquired its present shape and was cleaned up in 1830-31 in the frames of the plan to rebuild Moscow after the Fire of 1812.
At the beginning of the XX century the area around the Ponds was actively built up. Among the buildings appeared at this time, you can see the mansion of Tarasov. In 1924, the Soviet government in the fight against religion renamed the Patriarch's Ponds in Pioneer Ponds. In 1945 in Ermolaevsky Lane a house for senior military commanders of the USSR was built.
Near the Ponds you will find a monument to Ivan Krylov. The fabulist sits surrounded by animated characters of his works: a monkey in front of a mirror, barking pug after the elephant, crow with cheese.
This district is, directly or indirectly, connected with Russian poets: Karamzin, Zhukovsky, Pushkin, Gogol, Baratynsky, Krylov. Not far from the Ponds lived Vladimir Mayakovsky. In Tree-Pond Lane Marina Tsvetaeva was born.
The novel by Mikhail Bulgakov “Master and Margarita” begins at Patriarch's Ponds. During the tour you will see the Museum-Theatre "Bulgakov's House". The district has a number of museums: Yermolova Museum, State Museum of Oriental Art, Anton Chekhov’s Museum, Svyatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment, Alexey Tolstoy Memorial Apartment, Maxim Gorky Memorial House, etc.