Novodevichy convent has been a magnet for locals and city guests for the last 500 years. The fact that over the past two centuries the monastery served as a place of imprisonment for the royalty adds the flare of dark romanticism. Today, Novodevichy also is one of the most prestigious and expensive burial places in Moscow. There is a peaceful pond with swans by the entrance.
At 600 years old the main cathedral at the Monastery is the oldest building outside of the Moscow Kremlin walls. Its wall design was done by the famous Russian icon painter Andrei Rublev. During the soviet period Andronievsky convent was used as the concentration camp and later as the shelter for the homeless children.
This small and rather cozy convent cannot boast the great views but its original high relief taken from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior is certainly a must see, especially for admirers of the shiny finish of the Cathedral’s modern version.
Technically is no longer a monastery, but a functioning church. The oldest building dates 17th century, however, the history of this place goes back to the 13th century. For those interested in old style wooden architecture there are quite a few old buildings to look at.
The monastery is one of the most iconic places in the city. It is a place that hosts some of the most disciplined monks in the world, and it is one of the most historic buildings in the world. You can take a tour of the monastery, and you will be able to see the history of the Russian Orthodox Church through the eyes of the people who built up and maintained that monastery. It is a place that is serene, beautiful and reminds you that there is a quiet place in Moscow.
Gorky Park, the largest and the most famous city park, offers best walking trail covering the entire city center and activities for every taste and age. While walking along the park paths watch out for everything on wheels – from mothers with strollers to bearded men on segways. Gorky Park's attractions are generally more appealing for locals, but it's the place to come if you want to find out how the majority of Muscovites spend their free time. Across the road from the main entrance, in front of the House of Artists, is the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments, a ramshackle but intriguing collection of old Soviet official statues and other homeless sculpture that's well worth a brief inspection.
VDNH translated as the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy – is the museum complex of the Soviet Empire in the open air. Recently, VDNH underwent a major renovation, so visitors can see the old Soviet grandeur in its full splendor.
The Park’s main landmark is the 140 meter tall obelisk topped with the statue of Goddess Nike (AKA as “Fly on a Needle” or “Shashlyk”). The place is popular with skaters and chronic patriots. For nature lovers there are remnants of an apple orchard across the street from the park, while the history buffs may enjoy the largest in Europe circular diorama depicting the War of 1812.
One of the oldest Moscow park grounds, Sokolniki got its name for a falcon hunt (“sokol” is the Russian name for falcon) taking place as early as in 15th century. One of the vistas used for hunting made by Peter the Great himself still exists.
The youngest and the smallest among the listed parks boasts a labyrinth of canals, recreational facilities, fast food places popular with the local youth, and the most impressive views of the Moscow City towers.'
One of the most ambitious projects of Katherine the Great has never been fully completed, yet still remains Europe’s largest Neo-gothic construction of the 18th century. The work on estate went on for 20 years and laid out the innovations that defined the style of the Russian architecture for at least 200 more years.'
Remnants of the homestead of the Romanov family of the mid 17th century serve as a silent illustration of ruthlessness of the Russian history. Here, in Izmailovo in 1670, His Majesty Alexei Mikhailovich grew watermelons and grapes; opened the first theater and the first glass works factory in Russia; imported a small boat from England, which later Peter the Great would call “the Grandfather of the Russian Fleet.” However, by the mid-19th century, the estate was converted into a military almshouse.
The first mention of this place dates back to the 14th century and in the next few hundred years the village on the bank of the Moskva River has gained the status of the fast growing royal residence. Perhaps, the status of the royal residence helped preserve many architectural objects and churches, including the wooden ones.
Initially built as a guest house for prominent travelers in need of a rest after a long journey from St Petersburg (435 miles of poor roads on a horse carriage), Petrovsky Palace is one of the most beautiful manors. This “motel” for the royals is a fine example of the Russian Gothic Revival style of the 18th century, that Katherine the Great called “a cute apartment” in one of the letters to her son. Today, after an extensive renovation, Petrovsky Palace is once again used as a hotel for dignitaries.
Lefortovo, also known as Katherine’s Palace, is an architectural ensemble with a complex history. It changed hands and was rebuilt with inevitable regularity, while many famed masters from Rastrelli to Quarenghi have invested their talents into it. However, despite all of their efforts the palace was never favored by the royal family and consequently was given away to the Russian army.
Besides souvenir shops and many great restaurants and bars (including the Hard Rock Cafe Moscow) the street has a lot of street performers such as painters, singers, actors, poets to offer, especially on warmer evenings in the summer. You can also visit the many unusual museums in the side-alleys of the Stary Arbat, such as the torture museum or the sex history museum.