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The Square at Prechistensky Gates is part of the Boulevard Ring, which follows the course of where Moscow's long-gone white defensive walls once stood. This “white city” was a kind of defense. A number of passageway gates through the wall existed to allow traffic and people to pass. French architect Legrand, the city's first Chief Architect, recommended demolishing the wall. He hope to build a Parisian-style boulevard in Moscow. His boulevard took shape along the space freed up by the demolition of the defensive white walls. The area in front of you was once the gatehouse in the long-demolished walls – hence the name of Prechistensky Gates.
If you stand facing the statue of Engels, then to your left – at the beginning of Ostozhenka Street – you can see the unusual “shot-glass house”. The owner of the house asked the owner to add the inverted shot-glass on the tower, as a sign that he'd given up drinking. It's not known if he ever drank after then. Beyond the arch of the metro-station building begins Gogolevsky Boulevard – one of the favourite strolls for Muscovites. Here you'll often find young people drinking beer, old men playing chess, or young mothers with their kids.
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.