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Maly Znamensky Lane leads off Volkhonka Street and skirts the Pushkin Museum, finally leading to Znamenka Street, from where there is a wonderful panoramic view of Borovitskaya Square and the Kremlin.
There are a number of prominent noble mansions here behind the main building of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum. We have an exceptional view of the Lopukhin Mansion here – nowadays it houses the Roerich Museum.
This small street is called Maly Znamensky – the Small Street Of The Holy Sign - with good reason. Firstly, as we see – it's small. And secondly, the Church of the Holy Sign To The Virgin Mary used to stand here, although it was demolished in the soviet era in the 1930s. The soviets also renamed this little thoroughfare, as Marx & Engels Street. Luckily the historical name was resumed in the closing years of the C20th.
The Roerich International Museum Centre has been located in this former noble mansion of the Lopukhin Family for the past two decades. Here you can encounter the work and ideas of this extraordinary artist and thinker. The museum also frequently hosts art exhibitions, and displays of ethnic crafts. The centre also organises concerts and lectures, and there are also crafts workshops here.
Nikolai Roerich was not only a philosopher, sage, and artist – he also campaigned strongly for the preservation of national heritage, and in this regard he pursued the idea his famous “Roerich Pact”. Twenty-one countries signed this valuable document in a ceremony in the White House in the USA in 1935, pledging to preserve Artistic and Scientific institutions and historic monuments in both peacetime and in war. It was the first such international agreement of its kind, which guaranteed safety for cultural works – it became a vital document in the life of the C20th, since the destruction of such works could otherwise lead to the destruction of civilisation itself.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is a cathedral on the northern bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks southwest of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 103 metres it is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world.
The current church is the second to stand on this site. The original church, built during the 19th century, took more than 40 years to build. It was destroyed in 1931 during the Communist rule of Joseph Stalin. The demolition was supposed to make way for a colossal Palace of the Soviets that was never built, so the church was reconstructed in the 1990s on the same site.
The Cathedral is located on Volkhonka Street, which starts from Borovitskaya Square. The name of the street appeared at the end of the XVIII century when on the lands of the Volkonskis, a famous noble family was a popular tavern "Volkhonka". The street is one of the most ancient in Moscow. It was famous as a district for the rich.
This district is going to become Moscow Museum District. During the tour you will see and have the opportunity to visit a number of art museums: The Tsvetkovsky Gallery, The Ilya Glazunov Art Gallery, The Lopukhin Family Mansion (aka the Roerich Museum), Gallery of European and American Art of the C19th and C20th, The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Private Collections. While walking here you will understand why Moscow used to be accepted as a beautiful jewelry box. In the lanes you will discover old mansions and fall in love with stories of Russian noble families. Such are The Golitsyn Mansion, The Lopukhin Family Mansion, Obolonsky's Mansion, Sergey Tretyakov's Mansion etc. The Chambers of Averky Kirillov - a unique example of a large urban homestead. Chambers, Church of St. Nicholas and outbuildings along the waterfront are a single architectural complex.
Another bright example of Moscow architecture is Pertsova's Rental Apartment Mansions. The house was an apartment house, located on the corner of Soymonovsky passage and Prechistenskaya embankment, built in 1905-1907 by architects N. Zhukov and B.N. Shnaubert on sketches of the artist S.V. Malyutin, author of Russian nesting dolls. The house includes apartments and artists' studios in the upper attic of the building.