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Volkhonka Street begins at the Borovitsky Gates, adjacent to the Kremlin and leads to the Prechistensky Gates. There's a small lane called Lenivka, almost perpendicular with Volkhonka, which merges from the odd-numbered side of Volkhonka. On the even-numbered side there are junctions with Kolymazhny, Maly Znamensky, Vsekhsvyatsky and Bolshoy Znamensky Lanes. Most of all, however, Volkhonka is well-known for the sightseeing attractions located along it – specifically the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Volkhonka is one of the few main streets in Moscow whose name wasn't changed during the soviet era. But long ago the street was called Chertolskaya, after the Chertory, or Little Devil River, which was blocked up long ago. It might be that the name “Volkhonka” comes from the noble family of the Volkonskys? They were the landowners of a former tavern here called “Volkhonka”, and some researchers think they may have lent their name to the street too. It was a popular address in Moscow.
Volkhonka was a street where tradespeople, craftsmen, government officials and military men lived. In the C18th the titled nobility began building residential homes here. Quite a lot of these properties survive, although their appearance has been substantially altered.
Volkhonka has many attractive views of Moscow. At the opening of the street there is a panoramic view of the Kremlin and Pashkov's House. In the middle of the street we get an attractive view of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. At the far end of the street, at Prechistensky Gates, there's an attractive view of the whole of Volkhonka Street, with the Cathedral in prime position.
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.