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Soymonovsky Proezd Street starts on Prechistenskaya Embankment of the Moscow-River and goes towards north-west. All along the passage, on it’s right, there’s the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Kursovoy and the 3rd Obydensky Lanes join the passage on its left. Further the lanes diverge forming the boulevard that ends on Prechistenskie Vorota Square, where Gogolevsky Boulevard begins – the first boulevard on the Boulevard Ring of Moscow. There are no houses on the even-numbered side of Soymonovsky Proezd Street.
Soymonovsky Proezd Street was called after a houseowner named Soymonov, who lived in the second half of the C18th. He was a secret advisor, a prominent Russia navigator and hydrographer, an explorer and a governor of Siberia. Later, during a certain time, the street was called Lesnoi (“forest”). In 1922 it was renamed back to Soymonovsky, in order to reduce the number of streets with the same names.
In 1930s a famous Soviet writer Ilya Ilf lived on Soymonovsky Proezd Street. Thanks to his passion for photography we now have a unique document – a photo of the explosion of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. He took it from his apartment that he was renting in the house No.7. Now there’s a restaurant called “Cipollino” here.
Once upon a time there was a statesman, the first Russian hydrographer, and he had three sons… Another Russian fairy-tale could start this way, but this story happened in real life. The Soymonovs were one of the ancient noble families. Its members were scientists, military men, statesmen and noblemen. Soymonovs’ family shield depicts a golden hexagonal star on a sky-blue background. Under the star there is a silver winged horse. On top of the shield there’s a usual helmet of the nobility with a crown and three ostrich feathers. The majority of Soymonov family members are buried on the territory of the Simon’s monastery necropolis.
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.