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The Eastern Facade of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour looks towards the Kremlin. In its reliefwork sculptures we find the Patron Saints of the Russian Soil, and two especially important scenes from the life of Our Saviour. It's best to step back a little, to take in the full extent of the sculptures on the facade – which are seen best from the back of the square, where you see the stone cross.
In the central arch atop the Eastern Facade of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour we see a five-meter sculpture depicting the Ikon of the Holy Virgin of Vladimir, created in memory of the Battle of Borodino – the deciding final battle of the 1812 Napoleonic War. The battle took place on the Feast-Day of the Ikon of the Holy Virgin of Vladimir.
Legend had it that the Holy Ikon of the Blessed Virgin – later to be named the Virgin of Vladimir – was painted by the Evangelist St Luke himself, on a piece of board from the table at which the Saviour himself had sat with Joseph and the Holy Virgin. The ikon was brought to Russia in 1131 from Constantinople on orders of the Holy Knight St Mstislav.In C12th Russia it was revered at the Convent of Our Lady of Vyshgorod (modern-day Toompea, now in Finland). This monastery was under the personal protection of the Grand-Princess Olga herself. In 1155 a son of Moscow founder Yuri Dolgoruky – Andrei Bogolubsky, whom we should call St Andrew the God-loving – brought the icon to the city of Vladimir, near Moscow, and placed it at the altar of the famous Assumption Cathedral there. Thus the icon became known at the Holy Virgin of Vladimir.
To either side of the image of the Holy Virgin of Vladimir we see four smaller arches. Decorating them we find, from left to right – the image of the Holy Tsaritsa Alexandra; St Mary Magdalene; St Anne the Prophetess; and St Catherine the Blessed Martyr.
Below and by the central large gates we see further sculptural images. To the left, St Peter of Muscovy clasps a Holy Charter showing the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, while two deacons are below. On the right we find St Alexei of Muscovy blessing a miniature copy of the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael of the Moscow Kremlin, and once again two deacons, with mufflers. These mufflers were used to ward insects away from sacred gifts during the holy rituals. Over the arch we see two angels holding the Gospel.
By the arches of the smaller gates of the Cathedral there are further decorations. To the left the Muscovite Metropolitans, or Archbishops, Phillip and Iona, and on the right The Blessed St Sergius caught in an expression of prayer and in a monk's habit and stole. We also see St Stephan of Perm in an archbishop's cope and with the Charter Of The Permian Letters. This St Stephan had devised a written language for the indigenous people of the North-West in the Komi Peninsular – thus doing for the Komi what St Cyril and St Methodius had done for the Slavs. Stephan did not write to modify Russian or Greek lettering for the Komi people – instead he devised a new system of lettering which could be carved easily on birch-bark, and looking similar to runic.
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.