On Day 4, I went to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Church of St. John the Warrior, the Sculpture Park, and Gorky Park. Another big day; here are the photos:
The original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was demolished by Stalin in order to build the Palace of the Soviets, featuring a 100 m. tall statue of Lenin (which was never realized, thank goodness). The recently rebuilt cathedral is the tallest Orthodox church in the world, and possibly the largest (at over a million square feet, it's the largest Russian Orthodox Church in the world).
Photos aren't allowed inside, even when there isn't a service. I get testy when I'm told I can't take photos, and I usually break the rules. Enjoy.
Bronze work on the facade of the cathedral.
The facade of the Tretyakov Gallery, the second of Moscow's famous art museums (the other being the Pushkin Museum, seen earlier). Unlike the Pushkin, the Tretyakov focuses entirely on native art, and thus has the foremost collection of Russian art in the world.
The entrance staircase to the museum. Photos aren't allowed inside (surprise - it's Russia), so forgive the mostly slanted photos you'll see below.
Pictures without captions mean that I couldn't find info on the painting.
This guy was just too hilarious to pass up.
Vasily Perov's "Fyodor Dostoevsky" (1872).
One of my favorite works of Russian art = Alexei Savrasov's "The Rooks Have Come Back" (1871).
I really like this image of a priest and (I think) a military man overlooking a field.
A blurry image of Ilya Repin's "Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on Friday, November 16, 1581" (1870-73). Ivan the Terrible inflicted mortal wounds on his own son, the heir apparent, which caused the latter to die three days later. In the room at the time was Boris Godunov. He would later be the tsar, though not quite immediately after Ivan the Terrible's death.
Mikhail Vrubel's "Demon Seated in a Garden" (1890).
This painting was like a Russian fairy tale.
Since no one was in the room, I got bold with my illegal photography.
The most famous icon amongst Westerners = Andrei Rublev's "Trinity" (early 15th century).
The lady watching the room conveniently turned her back just as I readied my camera. Rublev's "Trinity" in the foreground, with other icons of his (and his studio) against the back wall.
Rublev's "Christ the Redeemer" (c. 1410).
Not sure which church this is...
This is inside the Church of St. John the Warrior.
Exterior of the Church of St. John the Warrior.
One of the ugliest monstrosities in the world = the Peter the Great statue, overlooking the Moscow River.
Everything is wrong about this monument = Peter the Great HATED Moscow (which is why he relocated to St. Petersburg, which, after all, is named for his patron saint); the scale is horribly off; it's 94 meters tall and thus impossible to miss, which is especially awful since it just looks HIDEOUS.
By comparison, these statues of Soviet "heroes" look beautiful. This is the Sculpture Park, the current resting place of Soviet-era monuments that were torn down after the thaw.
Felix Dzerzhinsky, who in my mind was an even bigger jerkoff than Lenin.
Georgian artist Zurab Tsereteli was the artist responsible for both buildings seen in this picture. However, he wasn't the only one behind the church; hence the contrast.
From the Sculpture Park, I went to Gorky Park, made famous to Westerners via Martin Cruz Smith's novel.
Soviet symbols are often too difficult to remove... so it would appear.
The park was tame enough... hard to imagine a murder happening here.
I swear I wasn't checking this chick out - she seemed flattered that I appeared to be doing so.
After Gorky Park, I tried to go to the circus. Alas, it wasn't open that night.
Quite the circus valet...
I went back towards the center of Moscow for dinner at a Georgian restaurant (amazing - should have taken photos). Either right before or after, I happened upon Nikolai Gogol's house.
A statue of Gogol.
Finally, after a long day, it was back to Arbat Street to retire. The buskers each have unique abilities = this man swallowed swords and fire. Impressive.
Day 5 is next. Stay tuned.