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There is a monument to Tsar Alexander II, with two bronze lions, standing on the square between the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and Vsekhsvyatsky, or All-Saint's Lane.
Muscovites are still trying to figure out why this monument of Alexander II was put up at this location. It would be logical to place a memorial to one of the three Tsars who were involved in building the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. But Alexander II had no involvement in the cathedral. He was, however, a reforming Tsar. He abolished serfdom in 1861, and he ended the long-running Caucasian War. So probably it's a good thing that his monument appeared in Moscow, although it took them until 2005 to put it up. The original idea had been to place the statue by the Kutafya Tower of the Kremlin (ie the main tourist entrance). However, to avoid causing disturbance to official delegations it proved necessary to send the reforming Tsar elsewhere – and thus the sculptor had to revise the pediment of the statue. And, apparently, remodel his head – because the light fell poorly on him in his new location, and his head had to be re-angled.
Emperor Alexander II is shown full height and in uniform, with a royal mantle. The reforming Tsar faces the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour from the direction of Vsekhvsyatsky Proezd Street. The statue was commissioned by the “Alliance of Right-Wing Forces” with assistance from the Moscow City Government. The five-metre bronze statue is placed on a stone pedestal with an attractive colonnade. A gold inscription on the pedestal relates his merits and achievements.
The first statue of Alexander II, funded by public subscription, had been put up in the Kremlin not long after his assassination in 1881 by terrorists. However, this statue was torn down by the new Bolshevik administration after the Revolution, The Tsar had to wait a further 90 years for a new statue. Alexander is called the Tsar-Liberator after his abolition of serfdom. But he also introduced open public courts, regulation of the police attended by members of all social classes, freedom of the press, and the abolition of corporal punishment.
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.