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The huge yellow building set back behind high railings and impressive gates was once the Golitsyn Mansion, and is now the Institute of Philosophy. The estate is considerable, and there are many further buildings built upon its grounds.
The Great House of the Golitsyn Estate was built in the C18th. The Golitsyns were a noble family who have taken a leading role in Russian society for centuries, and the Golitsyn Mansion was considered one of the most luxurious in the city. Catherine the Great stayed here as a guest for some time when she came to Moscow from St Petersburg – she had arrived to sign a peace accord with Turkey to conclude the Russo-Turkish Wars. Golitsyn sought to please his sovereign by commissioning the architect Kazakov to design her a wooden residence on his grounds, offering her more privacy. However, the Empress disliked her new home – it had so many doors and passages that it felt like a labyrinth – she kept getting lost in it. The residence was taken down after she left. It was over-large, and had included existing outbuildings of the Golitsyn Estate, plus those on the Lopukhov and Dolgoruky Estates which stand adjacent.
By the end of the C19th the Golitsyns had fallen on hard times, and were compelled to turn their mansion into apartments for rental. But they were choosy landlords. Among the tenants was the playwright Alexander Ostrovsky. Moscow's brightest creative personalities were among his continuous guests – including Leo Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, the composer Scriabin, and Pasternak.
In 1865 the Golitsyn family opened the “Golitsyn Museum” in their house – comprising a picture gallery, and displays of antiquities and rare books, which had been collected by seven generations of Golitsyns. Nearly 3000 people a year came to visit. Count Mikhail Golitsyn bequeathed the museum to the City of Moscow. However, his son had no interest in the arts at all, and was obsessed with horsemanship. To fund his hobby he flogged off the entire contents of the Golitsyn Museum. Almost all of the objects subsequently ended up in the collections of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
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.