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At the very beginning of Gogolevsky Boulevard, on the even-numbered side, there's a light beige-coloured building with a substantial balcony. It's one of several mansions which was formerly owned by the Siberian gold tycoon Nekrasov. Today it houses the Russian Association of War Veterans.
The Siberian gold tycoon Nekrasov owned a number of houses in Moscow. One of them is this house on Gogolevsky Boulevard. It was built in the C19th as a small mansion building in the classical style. The windows are rather curious. The large white frames, almost two storeys high, give the windows an especial importance. The house at first appears to be a standard classical-era building, but the decoration and windows gives it somehow an art-nouveau appearance – a style which only became popular in Moscow at the start of the C20th.
Gogolevsky Boulevard was named that way in honour of the great writer only in the soviet era. Prior to then it had been called Prechistensky Boulevard. It's a favourite place with Muscovites for taking a stroll. Right at the start of Gogolevsky Boulevard we find Kropotkinskaya Metro Station, and nearby there's a somewhat controversial fountain-statue dedicated to another Russian writer, Mikhail Sholokhov. When it was first put up a lot of people were offended by the number of severed horses heads which appear to be floating after the writer. Gogol's statue is also to be found along this boulevard – but right at the other end, by the Arbat Gates.
Nikolai Gogol is one of Russia's most unusual and experimental writers. He was probably not well understood by people at the time – the early C19th. Russian literary criticism has somehow thrown all the spotlights on Gogol's contemporary Pushkin instead – yet Gogol's work is considerably more innovative. A lot of his stories are set in a surreal ruritanian version of Ukraine. However, he is most well-known for his play “The Government Inspector”, which mocks the world of bribery and corruption in small-town government in Russia – when a hard-drinking student is somehow mistaken for a Government Official, and treated to the best of everything by the fawning Town Council. Corruption was once again the target in his book “Dead Souls” - in which an official buys-up the names of people who've died recently, to use their identities for personal gain. Both stories – of corrupt government and identity theft – have a presciently contemporary ring to them. In mid-life Gogol – who was enjoying success and wealth from his works – took himself on a holiday to Italy. There he met a priest who somehow convinced him that all he had written was wrong and evil. Gogol threw up his literary career, and never wrote another word. The statue of Gogol on Gogolevsky Boulevard is particularly horrible and very soviet – slung-up willy-nilly in the worst years of the Stalin repression. Pass on instead across New Arbat Street, and you'll find Gogol's House Museum at the bottom of Tverskoy Boulevard. There we find a much more touching statue of the author, seated in his chair, in the Museum courtyard. Gogol was supposed to live in St Petersburg, according to social protocol – but he loathed St.Petersburg and refused to live there. Many of his short stories – such as “Nevsky Prospekt” and “The Overcoat” are unashamed spoofs on the idiocies of life in Imperial St Petersburg. One of his most surreal stories, The Nose, is about a Government Official so useless, that he loses his own nose. He then stalks his own nose around the sights of St.Petersburg - resulting in a final show-down with his nose in the Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospekt.
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.