On my fifth day in Moscow, I went to see the Danilov Monastery, the Dostoevsky-House Museum, the Upper St. Peter Monastery, and the Bolshoi Theatre. Here are the photos:
Danilov Monastery is, amongst many other things, the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church. The patriarch of Russia resides here. The monastery was founded by Alexander Nevsky's son, Daniil, in the late 13th century, before his death in 1303.
The bells, in front of the katholikon (monastery church).
The monastery was quite large; there were many buildings which I was not permitted to enter, including the residence of the patriarch (Kirill I of Moscow).
Inside the katholikon, I believe... there was (I was told) a daily 7-hour service, presumably presided over by a rotation of priests / monks. My stay could only be measured in minutes, and not hours.
This is the residence of the patriarch (although I'm sure the building has other uses, similarly to say, the White House).
This photo strikes me as very Russian for some reason... could be all the spy movies.
After the Danilov Monastery, I went to seek out Dostoevsky's birthplace, which had been turned into a museum. If you're looking for it yourself, find this square, and go behind the building seen here; the museum is actually on the grounds of the building. It took me an hour to find, even after asking locals (I actually knew the Russian to be able to ask where the museum was). None had ever even heard of it.
You'll see this statue on the side of the building, which is actually a hospital (as it was during Dostoevsky's time - his father worked in the hospital). I believe it's called the Mariinsky Hospital.
Of course, the statue is of Dostoevsky himself.
I think this was the entrance to the museum... could be wrong. It was certainly near it.
The Dostoevsky home has been restored according to journal notes about its appearance.
Not far away from the museum, I stumbled upon this accident. Rainy day weather combined with typically Russian methods of driving = bad situation. And yes, I just did indulge in a stereotype.
Not sure where this is, but it's back near the center of Moscow.
Ditto with this museum, dedicated to (possibly) the same guy who did the Peter the Great monument and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Zurab Tsereteli.
The Upper St. Peter Monastery, founded in the 1320's.
The katholikon in the approximate center of the grounds.
The katholikon and the surrounding iconic buildings.
Inside the katholikon.
It was getting time for my Bolshoi performance of Cinderella, so I made my way over to the theatre.
The Bolshoi was, sadly, undergoing renovation. I would be seeing the performance by the main performers, but in the "New" Bolshoi Theatre instead of the much larger and even nicer main stage. Sigh.
Since I had some minutes to spare, I walked quickly up the hill to see the Lubyanka Building, the former headquarters of the KGB (now used by the border guards of Russia and the KGB's successor, the FSB). Many people were tortured in the prison inside.
Looking back down the street (the Bolshoi out of view on the right).
Inside the lobby of the Bolshoi.
The lobby outside my section.
Even the nosebleeds had a nice view (although keep in mind this is a much cozier theatre than the principal stage).
I took some photos at the end of the performance, during the bow.
It wouldn't be a day in Moscow without a stop by Red Square... and I had some unfinished business (to be discussed momentarily).
GUM, all lit up with nowhere to go.
My best friend Adrian asked me to flip off the Lenin Mausoleum. Since Lenin is one of the top 10 people in the history of the world whom I despise, I had no problems obliging his request. I was also curious to test Russia's supposed new freedoms - but I still did this when the guards' backs were turned. Didn't need to end up at Lubyanka.
I may be hypocritical for flipping the bird as an Orthodox Christian, but there are only so many non-verbal ways of expressing one's extreme displeasure at the acts of a monster.
Anyways... the rainy day had turned into a lovely evening (State Historical Museum).
Eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Finally, it was back to Arbat Street for the evening.
Wait, what's this? My dorm roommates (two German girls) had asked me earlier in the morning if I wanted anything from the market. I told them that if they found matryoshka dolls of the San Jose Sharks, I would pay them handsomely. Apparently this was the only such doll in the market, but I was overjoyed... even if the face looked curiously like that of Chris Pronger.
Evgeni Nabokov was still on the team at that point (and the fact that he's Russian had no small part in his being the largest doll).
Rob Blake and Ryane Clowe rounded out the tiny dolls.
I'm a dork, I admit it. And yes, I paid the girls an extra $20 US for the trouble.
Day 6 = Sergiev Posad. Stay tuned.