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At the tip of the river island, beyond where the Yacht-Club once functioned, we see a colossal statue of Tsar Peter the Great, designed by the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli.
This monument to Peter the Great was put up here in 1997 and designed by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli – commissioned by the Moscow City Government to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Russian Fleet. People either love it or hate it. The gigantic figure on a vast rostrum certainly causes a great effect by its sheer size alone. Many Muscovites are upset that this statue was placed in a historic area and has disfigured the panorama of the city. With the dismissal of the City Mayor who ordered it, it was even planned to take the entire statue down again. However, when the costs of removing it were calculated as even more than for building it, it was decided to leave it in place. “Put up with it, and you may even like it”, as the Russian proverb runs. Opposition to the statue has gradually ebbed, and some people have even found something aesthetically attractive in it.
Historians have found themselves unable to pardon Tsereteli's peculiarities – if the statue is supposed to be praising the Navy, then why does Peter the Great appear to be crushing his own Navy underfoot? The pedestal is formed in the shape of a giant rostral column. In ancient times such rostral columns displayed the prows of captured enemy ships, as the spoils of war. Yet in the statue we find the St Andrew's Flag of Russia's own fleet displayed on the rostrum – as though Peter has crushed his own fleet.
A word should be added about the origin of the Tsar Peter the Great statue. Tsereteli originally designed it quite differently – it was to be a giant monument to Christopher Columbus, and offered to the USA as a gift on the anniversary of Columbus's epic voyage. However, nowhere in the USA wanted it. Not even Columbus, Ohio, wanted it. And so the search progressed to various cities in South America, but there too Tsereteli's masterpiece was unwanted. To save the shame of the situation, and to help his dear friend Tsereteli, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov stepped in and bought the monument, with the offer that Columbus be stripped off, and Peter the Great put in his place. Thus this charming masterpiece came to decorate the riverbanks of the Moskva River – where Peter the Great, the Tsar who opened Russia to the West, has been mounted... looking East.
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.