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The modest three-storey house which looks end-face on to the even-numbered side of Volkhonka is a wing of the former residence of the distinguished noble family, the Golovins.
Only this western wing survives of what was once a substantial nobleman's estate here, owned by Matvei Golovin. The Great House was destroyed in the C19th, and there's a mansion apartment property where the East Wing formerly stood – where the cafe “Chocolate” now stands. It's not clear why only the West Wing survived. It has lost much of its earlier glory after several rebuildings.
The owner of the estate which stood at Volkhonka 6 was Matvei, or Matthew Golovin – the brother of Field-Marshal and Admiral Feodor Golovin, who had the State Chamber of Ambassadors during Peter the Great's time. Matvei Golovin himself was Steward of the Royal Table at the Royal Court – but his duties extended far beyond merely supervising banquets. In the pecking order of C17th Russia, the Steward held the fifth position in the State hierarchy, and the Steward could only be a nobleman. The role was later transformed into that of the King's Justice. Stewards worked with foreign Ambassadors, and sometimes became Ambassadors themselves. It all means that our Matvei Golovin was a gentleman of no little significance.
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.