Moscow is a well-known city in the world, not only because it is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent, but also because it is one of the most expensive cities in the world and is home to the greatest number of billionaires.
Let’s welcome our guest blogger, Olga Borte from See You in Moscow to share information about Arbat Street in Moscow from the eyes of a Muscovite. She’ll describe about Arbat, an iconic Moscow street which is approximately one-kilometer long pedestrian street in the historical center of Moscow.
I love Arbat street at any time. But especially I love it in early morning on Sunday. This time there’re almost no people. A couple of years ago the Moscow government removed all the street vendors and street artists from Arbat. And sometimes you can see Moscow Arbat in such a way.
But usually it looks in such a way. A lot of foreigners and guests of the city. So now for Muscovites it’s a kind of «mauvais ton» to love Moscow Arbat street. But I do)
Arbat street on the Moscow map
The most recognized places on Arbat are
- * monument to Pushkin and Goncharova,
- * monument to Bulat Okudzhava,
- * The Wall of Peace
- * Victor Tsoi’s Wall,
- * Vakhtangov theatre,
- * personalized tiles on the sidewalk,
- * gold Turandot,
- * a huge number of small souvenir shops
- * and of course the remnants of old Moscow’s architecture.
By the way the government is going to restore the authentic image of Arbat. But not soon of course. Now Arbat is one of two pedestrian streets in Moscow, the second is Kamergersky lane.
The monument to great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and his wife Natalia Goncharova is erected opposite the Arbat house where they used to live for several month. One can see that Natalia was really beautiful woman)
Bulat Okudzhava’s monument
The monument to romantic Moscow singer Bulat Okudzhava has grown on Arbat in 2002. And actually it’s a monument to old intellectual Moscow which is gradually moving away. This sculptural composition is considered as one of the most successful of the recent ones in Moscow. It shows the narrow streets of Moscow praised in the songs by Okudzhava.
The singer goes out of the yard toward the dawn. Arches are covered with quotations from his poems that are made in the style of simple yard inscriptions on the walls.
The Wall of Peace
American artist Caroline Marx visited Moscow on September 1990. Then she implemented the project «The Wall of Peace». This day any passer-by from small children to seniors could take the paint, tile and paint that he/she wanted on world peace. Later the tiles were burned and laid out on the wall on the Arbat. Unfortunately no one watched the wall and it was quickly covered with vandal inscriptions. But whatever you can see the original child-like naive pictures on the tiles.
Victor Tsoi’s Wall
Viktor Tsoi is a cult Soviet rock musician, founder of «Kino» group who died tragically in a car accident at the age of 28 (1990th). Tsoi’s death was a shock to a lot of his fans, some of them even committed suicide. Hundreds of people attended the Victor’s funeral. Nowadays song by Tsoi remain popular both among his contemporaries and young people.
It is believed that Victor’s death even contributed to the popularity of «Kino» and created a sort of cult of tragically died hero. Tsoi’s Wall on Arbat street is a unique place of pilgrimage for fans who are still made on it the inscriptions for declarate the love to his idol. The Moscow government used to try to cause the wall in order but they haven’t decided on it yet. Now the Tsoi’s wall is a kind of monument to informal Soviet youth.
Right close to the wall there’re the gates of Moscow military court. Officials usually bring criminals to trial through them.
Personalized tiles on the Arbat sidewalk aren’t remarkable in fact. They are sold and everyone can buy an inscription to «immortalize» himself. So there’re wedding inscriptions, tiles with congratulations to private persons and even advertising ones. But as I already said Moscow government is going to rebuild all the street so this tiles can be removed.
A lot of artists specializing in city landscapes have been painting Arbat. So we can see how the street used to look in different times.
Ramil Gappasov, “Old Arbat”, oil/canvas
Ramil Gappasov, ”Old Arbat”, oil/canvas
Sergey Volkov, ”Old Arbat”, oil/canvas
Natalia Litosova, ”Old Arbat”, oil/canvas
Alexey Shalaev, ”Old Arbat”, oil/canvas
Picture sources: moscowwalks.ru, liveinternet.ru/community/2332998/
Photos Source: Olga Borte from See You in Moscow
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