3 whimsical and artistic places to visit in Moscow, Russia
Moscow in Russia is a sprawling, historic and fascinating city, with its colourful buildings and monuments. While many remind of the more daunting and authoritarian side of the city’s past, there are also some charming and almost whimsical sights to see.
1. “House with Animals” – Chistoprudny Bldv, 14, MoscowLocated close to the Chistye Prudy metro station, there is a striking building, which has been nicknamed the “House with Animals” by local residents. The otherwise ordinary building was constructed in the early 1900s as a home for parishioners from a church nearby that funded its construction. A team of artists decorated a facade of the building with a gorgeous terracotta bas-relief of real and mythical creatures. They painted the animals in white, against the blue-green background and they catch the eye of every passerby. In the facade there are familiar creatures like ducks and owls, mixed with mythical wonders like dragons and chimeras.
The artists apparently based their work on an older creation in the medieval cathedral in Vladimir, but with an Art Nouveau touch. Now the building is home to the offices of various companies and the façade has been listed as an object of cultural heritage.
2. Moscow's Metro StationsNormally a metro station is a drab place to be, grimy and often covered in cigarette butts and such. Moscow decided to go a different route and the stations in the city are architecturally stunning and are possibly the most gorgeous in the world (with the possible exception of the wondrous stations in Stockholm, Sweden).
Each station is different and is adorned with stained-glass windows, colourful mosaics and sometimes even impressive chandeliers. The image above is of the Novoslobodskaya Station and gives the impression of entering an other-worldly palace with stained-class windows.
The station pictured here is Komsomolskaya Station, which gives an idea of the chandeliers to be seen. The stations are so lovely, it makes touring and exploring Moscow even more exciting.
3. Izmailovo Kremlin, MoscowThere is more than one Kremlin (fortress or citadel) in Moscow. While everyone knows about the Kremlin in Red Square, this lesser known Kremlin can be found in the north-east of the city. With its colourful designs, it looks like a fairytale wonderland, but it is a cultural centre built in the old, wooden style from Old Russia and completed in 2007.
There are several museums worth visiting, with one dedicated to folk art, another to vodka (of course!) and yet another to plain old daily bread. There is also a wooden replica of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich’s summer palace where you can enjoy a typical Russian meal.
The Church of St. Nicholas it found here, along with an open-air market dating from the 17th century.
Here visitors can buy arts and crafts of all kinds, as well as souvenirs, including the iconic nesting dolls, fur hats and more. The market is accessed via a wooden bridge from the Kremlin itself and is definitely recommended for a touch of retail therapy on a visit to Moscow. The Kremlin and its market are a ten-minute walk from the Partizanskaya metro station.
Enjoy exploring this wonderful city and watch this space for more details about Moscow’s never-ending attractions.
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Latest update: August 5, 2019