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The Southern Facade of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour faces towards the Moskva River. The decoration of this facade shows scenes from the Lives of the Saints, and scenes from the decisive battle against Napoleon's forces in 1812. There are also images of sacred significance connected with the Napoleonic Wars. The charming pedestrian Patriarch's Bridge leads away from the Southern Facade – it was dedicated to Muscovite Patriarch Alexei II, and his name appears on a marble tablet on the bridge itself.
If you stand near to the cathedral's walls, you will be standing on the roof of a complex for the promotion of the welfare and understanding of the Russian Orthodox Church. Within this subterranean complex there is a Chapel of the Transfiguration, a Hall of Church Councils, the Meeting Rooms of the Holy Synod, a refectory, offices and technical support facilities.
The C19th incarnation of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour stood upon a hill, which was subsequently rased after the Cathedral was blown up in the Bolshevik plan to replace it with a Palace of the Soviets. But the Palace of the Soviets was never built, and a swimming pool instead opened in its foundations. When the decision was taken to rebuild the Cathedral anew, it proved impossible to build on the level of the swimming pool that had now been shut down. It was therefore decided that below the Cathedral they would build a “Stilobat” - a term meaning a “lower step”. This structure would artificially recreate the ground-level on which the pre-1931 Cathedral had stood. Thus the Stilobat underground section of the Cathedral came into being.
Moscow had no other satisfactory premises where the Church could conduct its social and educative programs or where the Synod could meet. Thus in 2000 these spacious premises in the Stilobat Wing opened, including a multifunction Hall of Church Councils. The premises were blessed by the Patriarch. The Church now uses this building for social events, concerts of church choirs, symphonic music, folk music, festivals, conferences and children's events.
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.