Meet Moscow!

We shall walk through the most famous sights in the center of Moscow: Okhotny rjad (the Hunter’s row), the Manezh square, Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the old streets of nearby Kitai-Gorod, Alexander garden, the State Historical Museum, and the neoclassical GUM building – so different and yet still harmoniously coexisting in one place.

 

We will see the extraordinary way in which the architecture of the Tsarist period co-exists with that of the Soviets, and come to understand how the various epochs of Moscow’s history have been interwoven on the streets of the old town in the heart of the city.

 

A walk through the centre of medieval Moscow is going back and forth through time and across eras.

In the course of our walk we will discuss:


- the development of the city through centuries
- key points of Russian and Moscow history
- historical processes that have influenced the city, e.g the Grand Plan of Reconstruction 1935, Medieval fortification, etc

 

  • Short tour: 2 hours, 7’500 RUR 

  • Extended tour: 4 hours, 11’000 RUR

Old Arbat and sidestreets

Under Khruschev, the communists marked their presence by building New Arbat – a posh avenue with high-rise buildings designed to evoke the power of the modern soviet state.


But when you say «Arbat», most Moscovites think of the old Arbat street nearby, which brings to their minds images of the irretrievable past. The Arbat is essentially a micro-region within Moscow, with its own distinct characteristics.


It’s a phenomenon which is hard to explain. Arbat is just a kilometer-long stripe connecting the Boulevard ring with the Garden ring. It’s not the longest, not the widest and not even one of the major streets of the capital. But any tourist, either a Russian or a foreigner, will inevitably wish to visit it.


During our walk we will reveal some of the secrets of this ancient street which lures so many hundreds of people every day. The numerous souvenir shops are just the superficial face of the legendary Arbat Below the surface.

 

  • 2 hours, 7’500 RUR

Moscow Subway walk

Metropolitan…translated from French via Greek it means “belonging to the capital” (actually, it means ‘mother city’, see my note in my email). The idea of an underground transport system emerged first in London, New York, Boston and Paris soon followed suit. In Russia there did exist projects for metro construction before 1917, but it was not until the beginning of the 1930s that the ideas actually started being implemented. And although the Moscow metro appeared about 70 years after the one in London, it and no other one was destined to strike the imagination with its luxury, exquisiteness, genius and mystery.

 

During our metro walk we focus on the most charming and historically meaningful stations. We start with one of the “pearls” of the red line, (which was originally designed as an underground palace for the top figures of Stalin’s state); then we move on to explore an entire ensemble of silent witnesses of early Soviet times – two magnificent rows of bronze sculptures located on one of the central platforms; to feel almost physically the “flight” of Soviet architects’ imagination we then visit a station, the ceiling of which is decorated with charming niches – these unique pieces of Soviet mentality often remain unnoticed…

 

This is only a part of what you will see during our walk and we are sure you are intrigued to learn more…To heat it up we’ll just add that in this walk you will also learn about underground secret lines and towns that exist beneath the “visible” metro. What and who are these things meant for?
The sequence of stations visited may vary depending on the group interests.

  • 2 hours, 7’500 RUR

Down Tverskaya street

Walk along the oldest of Moscow’s major streets. In ancient times this was the way merchants and diplomats from Western Europe followed to get to the Kremlin. Many interesting stories and places are located on this street: «travelling buildings», the Pushkin statue, a strategic place for the Bolsheviks, a ghost metro station, famous wheat breads with cockroaches and the first McDonald’s in Russia.

  • Short tour: 2 hours, 7’500 RUR  

  • Extended tour (includes boulevards): 4 hours, 11’000 RUR

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1917: October Revolution

100 years passed since October 1917 Revolution which buried the old Russian Empire and brought the Soviet power. Even though the major events of Revolution took place in St-Petersburg, Moscow was a crucial battlefield throughout the October events.

While in St-Petersburg Bolsheviks took power with almost no fight in October, in Moscow they faced fierce resistance. The reasons of such resistance is what we discuss while walking through the major spots of those tragic events.

Besides, we will discuss one of the most surprising facts of Russian history — how Bolsheviks, a tiny weak party even in the beginning of 1917, came to rule Russia in just a few months.

  • Short tour: 2 hours, 7’500 RUR

  • Extended tour: 4 hours, 11’000 RUR

The Seven Sisters and Stalinist empire style architechture

Stalin’s Seven Sisters are now one of the symbols of Moscow. They were erected in the post-war period, and their main purpose was the propaganda of Soviet power, especially to the foreigners who came to Moscow. Stalin wanted to match the USA which had already many skyscrapers for 20 years but Moscow had none. 

Unfortunately, like many other ambitious Soviet projects, these skyscrapers were built by means of forced labor of prisoners in the years when the country was completely devastated and went through a severe postwar hunger.

To achieve its propaganda purpose, the skyscrapers were built in a posh style now called Stalinist empire/ neo-classical. It involves many gothic elements, arches, columns, decorations, and the high spire in the center of a fooftop which is said to be added by Stalin himself to stand apart from the USA skyscrapers. 

During this walk, we will visit most of the Seven Sisters and talk about: 
- Stalinist empire style, its roots, and other buildings built in such a style 
- How US skyscrapers expertise had been used in these projects 
- 8th Sister which had never been completed 
- The fate of architects who traveled to the USA to study skyscrapers construction 
- Other architecture and buildings created during Stalin’s period, and how they vary depending on the social class they were designed for

  • 3 hours, 9’000 RUR (we will visit 3-4 out of 7 Sisters)
    However you can order more hours to visit all 7.

House on Embankment: Stalin's terror

The notorious gray building right across from the Kremlin was built in 1931 for the elites of Soviet society. This place will help us to understand:

- how this residential paradise, which was built during the famine of early 30’s, soon became an epicentre of Stalinist repressions

- the atmosphere of 30-50’s, a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, as well as horrible repressions and fear.

We study economy, politics, culture, and architecture of the period.

  • 2 hours, 7’500 RUR 

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Moscow Tram Tour: from Clean Ponds to MSU

Do you know that tram might be the most convenient way to observe the old Moscow sights? It's not as fast as cars, so you can enjoy the views, and yet, it can cover far more distance that you can do on foot. The route # 39 is one one the most beautiful ones and it rides you through a good portion of old Moscow. It starts from Chistye Prudy (Clean Ponds), rides through Moscow boulevard street, then to Zamoskvorechie, passes through two old monasteries, famous Kotelnicheskaya building and finishes not far from MSU. 

During this ride, we will talk about Moscow public transport development starting from 1840th horsecars till nowadays. And we will talk about the famous sights and buildings on our way.

  • Short tour: 2 hours, 7’500 RUR