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Fyodor Soymonov was born in 1692. His father was a tsar’s courtier and had estates in Moscow, between Ostozhenka and Prechistenskaya Embankment, as well as in Serpukhov town near Moscow where he served as commander. The boy was sent to the School of Mathematics and Navigation of Moscow. After graduation he lived in Holland for 3 years, where he learned several foreign languages. Upon his return to Russia, he took exam to become a midshipman (he was examined by Peter I himself and out of 48 students only 17 passed). Fyodor began his service in the Baltic fleet. Already three years after, together with a Dutchman named Karl Verden, he explored the Caspian Sea, studied the shores, the fairways, the islands and the depths.
In 1722, during his expedition to Persia, Fyodor Soymonov described his future plans to Peter I. After hearing them, the tsar gave his blessing to publish a geographical atlas of the Caspian Sea. Soymonov made the atlas, then he published a manual on navigation and after that became absorbed in the research of the White Sea.
Fyodor Soymonov was an honest and open-hearted person. In the performance of his official duty he exposed the bribe-takers and the embezzlers of state funds, thus making many enemies for himself. Later Soymonov was condemned, deprived of all his ranks and rights, and exiled to Okhotsk, a town in the Far East on the Sea of Okhotsk. Two years later Prince Soymonov was covered with the banner and returned his sword – this was a sign of tsar’s forgiveness. However his ranks were not re-established. Then he has returned to Siberia on a request of one of his old fleet friends. He applied to become the head of the secret expedition to Nerchinsk and his candidacy was approved by the senate.
Fyodor Soymonov was in charge of establishing schools of navigation in Siberia, he developed new routes, taught in school and built a light-house on the lake of Baikal. In 1757 he was appointed as the governor of Siberia. Later on he has established a geodesic school in Tobolsk and has invented a sawing machine. His sons, especially the eldest, Mikhail, helped him a lot. When Soymoov returned to Moscow in 1763, he became a senator. In 1766 Ekaterina II ordered to award him with a life salary and with the highest governmental rank of an actual secret advisor.
The name of Soymonov can be seen twice on the world map – on the Caspian Sea and in the Pacific Ocean, whereas in Moscow there’s Soymonovsky Proezd Street.
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.