MOSCOW, RUSSIA
-APRIL 2011-

ALL PHOTOS © RUUD LEEUW

 

This is the second page dedicated to my visit to Moscow in april 2011, PAGE ONE mainly focussed on walking the streets and an occasional visit, while this page has subjects outside Moscow city (although the Gulag Museum is in the city, its subjects relates to locations elsewhere in Russia or former Soviet Republic).
To conclude the report of our visit, at bottom page also one will see photos are included of visits to the Novodevichy Convent and Soviet Exhibition Center a.k.a. All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV).

 

 
A visit to the Central Soviet Air Force Museum, outside Moscow, at Monino. I had summoned help from Moscow City Guide service to have my documents faxed in advance to facilitate my visit and we were met by a car, a driver and a charming guide fluent in English, to bring us without delay (outside the ever present traffic jams) to this museum.

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Monino
The museum is on military grounds and this was the first gate to pass. Our guide managed the formalities expediently.

Visit to Moscow 2011
There is an Air Force Academy here, or was, I am not sure.

Visit to Moscow 2011
The living quarters on the grounds did not appear very inviting but I only got a glimpse while we drove to the museum.

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Monino
Arriving at the museum one still has to buy a ticket; there was a discussion, in Russian, about identifying papers and approval but again our guide managed these hurdles very efficiently.

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Monino Air Museum
There is a large selection of military aeroplanes and also some Russian airlines on display, often even the protoypes of the ones that made it to large scale production or never made it to full production. Again, there is hardly any information present, but that may be because guides will offer their services and they make some money out of this.
I opted not to accept the services of a guide since a bitterly cold wind was blowing and I was in a bit of a hurry to get my photography done and get the visit over and done with. Later I came to regret my haste somewhat.

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Monino

Visit to Moscow 2011

MY AVIATION PAGE OF MONINO CENTRAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM

 

 

 

Here are some photos I took while driving back to the city; I would love to venture into the country on some future visit.

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011
Wooden houses, but much building of concrete high rises was going on along the way, Moscow ever expanding further; the architecture applied did not look half bad either.

Visit to Moscow 2011
Visit to Moscow 2011
 

 

 

 

KOLOMENSKOYE

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye
One of two royal estates we visited outside Moscow was Kolomenskoye

Kolomenskoye (Russian: Коло́менское) is a former royal estate situated several miles to the south-east of Moscow city-centre, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna (hence the name).

Tsar Alexis I of Russia had all the previous wooden structures in Kolomenskoye demolished and replaced them with a new great wooden palace, famed for its fanciful, fairy-tale roofs. The foreigners referred to this huge maze of intricate corridors and 250 rooms, built without using saws, nails, or hooks, as 'an eighth wonder of the world'. The future Empress Elizabeth Petrovna was born in the palace in 1709. Upon departure of the court for St Petersburg, the palace got dilapidated, so that Catherine II refused to make it her Moscow residence. On her orders the palace was demolished in 1768.
WIKIPEDIA, More..

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye
One finds here mainly a few churches and a cabin where Peter the Great stayed in at some point.
The scenic area which overlooks the steep banks of the Moskva River became a part of Moscow in the 1960s.
When the weather improves people from the city visit here and use it as a park, for relaxing, rollerskating, etc.

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Kolomenskoye

 

 

TSARITSYNO PARK

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno;

Tsaritsyno museum and reserve in Moscow (near Tsaritsyno metro station and commuter suburb train station) was founded in 1984 in the park of the same name.
The estate is known from the late 16th century, when it belonged to Tsarina Irina, sister of Tsar Boris Godunov. At that time it was called Bogorodskoye.
In the 17th century it belonged to the Streshnevs and then to the Galitzines.
In 1775, when the estate was bought by empress Catherine the Great, it received its present name, which means “Tsarina’s”. In 1776-85 architect Vasili Bazhenov built a new palace for the Empress here, but in 1786 Catherine ordered it to be partly pulled down (allegedly when her relation with Potemkin broke down and she retired to St. Petersburg).
[Wikipedia, more..]


Our guide, Svetlana, was equally heart-broken when we found that the main building, the palace, was closed for pre-season cleaning. Something left for another visit then.

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno

Around the palace, in the park there are a number of pavilions, pergolas, arbours, artificial grottos, decorative bridges (early 19th century, architect I. Yegotov), and a Russian Orthodox temple 'Source of Life', as well as a modern recreation center with an upscale restaurant.
For a long time most buildings were ruined (and alpinists used them for training!).
Recently most buildings have been restored: rooftops, interiors and decorations have been added and their historical appearance has been altered.
A number of buildings house the Russian museum of folk and applied art. The atrium of the “Bread House” is used for concerts of Moscow musicians.

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno
Inside the Russian Orthodox Church.

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno
The park allows an opportunity for contemplation

 

The royal estates were on the subway system, but I had misgivings about finding the exact locations from the relevant subway stations and particularly the Kolomenkoye estate involved a considerable walk and was not in view from the metro station. So I was grateful for the guidance, and indeed the information provided, by our guide, Svetlana.

Next it was a return by subway, details and more photos on my PAGE ONE

Moscow metro


Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno - metro

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Tsaritsyno - metro

Visit to Moscow 2011  - Metro

Visit to Moscow 2011  - metro

Visit to Moscow 2011  - metro
It is supposed to bring good fortune to touch the nose of the dog, many briefly touch it when walking past..

Svetlana and Russian iconic symbols

 

 

 

 

GULAG HISTORY MUSEUM

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum

In the midst of all the swanky shops on ul Petrovka (across Stoleshnikov pereulok), an archway leads to a courtyard that is strung with barbed wire and hung with portraits of political prisoners. This is the entrance to a unique museum dedicated to the Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies, better known as the GULAG...

Millions of prisoners spent years in these labour camps, made famous by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago.
More than 18 million people passed through this system during its peak years, from 1929 to 1953, although many camps remained in operation until the end of the 1980s.
The gulag became a chilling symbol of political repression, as many of the prisoners were serving time for ‘antisocial’ or ‘counter-revolutionary’ behaviour. The museum serves as a history lesson about the system, as well as a memorial to its victims.
www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/moscow/sights/museum/gulag-history-museum

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum;

Visit to Moscow 2011
What a devastating blow it must have been to escape, walk and survive over 900 miles and yet to be recaptured..

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn first wrote about the camps in his novel 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' (see Wikipedia), and while One Day.. was allowed by Krushchev to be published, the famous Archipelago was banned - which may explain why it is seems less commonly known in Russia.

 

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum;
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag

There was a vernissage of impressive photography illustrating remnants one (?) of the camps, searching out the lost world where so many suffered a tragic fate. We misunderstood this photo exhibition as part of the museum, not sure if we shouldn't have been here as we were whisked away by an elderly, kind museum steward. Again, communication was almost impossible but efforts were made to show us things.
It was in this museum that we met some international, Scandinavian, fellow tourists; in fact they showed a leaflet with English explanatory text on it, it hadn't been issued to us at the cashier but was quickly provided for.

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag museum

Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag;
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag
Visit to Moscow 2011 - Gulag

Dummies showed some of the physical horrors which prisoners were subjected to.
 
 

 

Visit to Moscow 2011
The humongous Moscow University. Stalin was impressed by two things American: the Ford car factory and the Empire State Building. Architecture of the latter is mirrored in the Stalinesque architecture.

Visit to Moscow 2011
Visit to Moscow 2011

A visit to this location is advised in guidebooks for the view on the city.
It does involve a considerable walk from the nearest Metro station, though.

Visit to Moscow 2011
Souvenirs, souvenirs...

 

 

NOVODEVICHY CONVENT

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011

Novodevichy Convent, also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery is probably the best-known cloister of Moscow.
Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from an ancient maidens' convent in the Moscow Kremlin.
Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has remained virtually intact since the 17th century. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasili III in commemoration of the conquest of Smolensk in 1514. It was built as a fortress at a curve of the Moskva River and became an important part of the southern defensive belt of the capital, which had already included a number of other monasteries.
The Novodevichy Convent was known to have sheltered many ladies from the Russian royal families and boyar clans, who had been forced to take the veil, such as Feodor I's wife Irina Godunova (she was there with her brother Boris Godunov until he became a ruler himself), Sophia Alekseyevna (Peter the Great's sister; see note below), Eudoxia Lopukhina (Peter the Great's first wife), and others.
In 1812, Napoleon's army made an attempt to blow up the convent, but the nuns managed to save the cloister from destruction. In Tolstoy's War and Peace, Pierre was to be executed under the convent walls.
In 1922, the Bolsheviks closed down the Novodevichy Convent (the cathedral was the last to be closed, in 1929) and turned it into the Museum of Women's Emancipation. By 1926, the monastery had been transformed into a history and art museum.
In 1994, nuns returned to the convent, which is currently under the authority of the Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna. Some of the churches and other monastic buildings are still affiliated with the State Historical Museum.
Source: WIKIPEDIA

When Peter the Great's sister Sophia was in power, she was challenged by Peter (aged 17 then), prompted by his maternal relatives. Sophia was evicted to Novodevichy in 1689 where she remained locked up until her death in 1704.
-From: Russia in the Age of Peter the Great by Lindsay Hughes, Yale University Press

 

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011
In 1994, nuns returned to the convent, which is currently under the authority of the Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna.

Visit to Moscow 2011

A FEW MORE PHOTOS HERE...

 

Visit to Moscow 2011

 

Visit to Moscow 2011

Soviet Exhibition Center
a.k.a. All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV)

Visit to Moscow 2011
As one of the proudest and most memorable moments in Russia's history, was
Yuri Gagarin's space flight, 50 years ago this year.

Visit to Moscow 2011 ;
Visit to Moscow 2011

One can find a remarkable amount of Soviet pride on display here!

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011

The exhibition was established February 17, 1935 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV).
An existing site (then known as Ostankino Park, a country territory recently incorporated into the city limits), was approved in August, 1935. The first show season was announced to begin in July, 1937.

However, plans did not materialize, and three weeks before the deadline Stalin personally postponed the exhibition by one year (to August 1938).
It seemed that this time everything would be ready on time, but again the builders failed to complete their work, and regional authorities failed to select and deliver proper exhibits. Some pavilions and the 1937 entrance gates by Oltarzhevsky were torn down to be replaced with more appropriate structures (most pavilions were criticized for having no windows).
According to Oltarzhevsky's original plan, all of the pavilions were to be constructed from wood.
In 1938, a government commission examined the construction and decided that it did not suit the ideological direction of the moment. The exhibition was considered too modest and too temporary. Oltarzhevsky was arrested, together with the Commissar for Agriculture and his staff.
As a result, in August 1938 Nikita Khrushchev, speaking at the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union assembly, declared that the site was not ready, and the opening was extended to August, 1939.
It opened on August 1st, 1939.
[Source: WIKIPEDIA]

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011
Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011

Visit to Moscow 2011

A FEW MORE PHOTOS HERE...

Visit to Moscow 2011

 

Visit to Moscow 2011
With our sightseeing and photography done, we retired one more time to the metro and onwards to the airport, subsequently took the Aeroflot flight home.

THE END

MOSCOW -PAGE ONE-


 

MORE PHOTO OF MINE, OF THIS TRIP, ON FLICKR.COM:
Moscow (general)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dutchsimba/sets/72157626718820635/
kolomenskoye & tsaritsyno
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dutchsimba/sets/72157626717518859/
museum of moscow's history
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dutchsimba/sets/72157626842077740/
gulag museum -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dutchsimba/sets/72157626833281282/
soviet exhibition center -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dutchsimba/sets/72157626758701348/

 

External links
www.moscow-cityguide.com
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrillic_alphabet
gulaghistory.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created: 14MAY11 - Updated: 5 Juli, 2011