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Moscow Museums, Galleries and Exhibits

Impressions of Moscow ...a survival guide by one of our recent teachers

 

Moscow as a city has a fascinating history, dating back to the 11th century when the Kremlin was founded by the Prince of Suzdal. Today, Moscow reflects a more recent past. Evidence of the old Soviet Union is literally everywhere, above ground and below. Stalinist architecture lines the streets....museums and galleries tell the story of a Communist domination which changed the world. Muscovites are not ashamed of their contentious past; on the contrary they are a proud people, eager to chronicle the finer points of their history. If it’s Soviet memories you crave, then look no further because Moscow is full to the brim of 20th century treasures. However, there are also plenty of exhibits which recount the Tsarist history pre 1917.

The Tretyakov Gallery is without a doubt one of the most spectacular galleries in the entire world. Its beauty can be matched by no other. It has a vast array of portraits and paintings from all over Russia, collected by a young, wealthy, Moscow merchant, Pavel Tretyakov in the 19th century. It will take you many hours to view all the paintings on offer. But I advise to get lost in the beauty and spend a full afternoon there. It really is a sight to behold. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is another monstrous gallery, with artwork from all over the world. A paradise for connoisseurs, this museum has everything from Egyptian works to Ancient Rome.

For 20th century history, the Contemporary History Museum on Tverskaya Ulitsa is a never-ending maze of hammers and sickles. Each room is dedicated to a certain period, starting from the revolution, all the way up to the ’91 collapse. Films, documents and space shuttles, this place has it all.

The State History Museum on Red Square is yet another fabulous architectural feat. Each room is designed to reflect a certain period of the Russian Empire. It is also host to various other exhibits which change periodically throughout the year. Another little gem is The Moscow House of Photography, near Kropotkinskaya metro station. Displays change every few months, and are always of the highest quality.

These are just a few examples of the museums and galleries available to the visitor. There are literally hundreds all over the city. The Moscow Times’ Friday edition is the best way to keep up-to-date with what is going on. Don’t forget that some of the more well known attractions, such as the Kremlin, Novodevich, St.Basil’s and Kolomenskoye, all house exhibits of their own and are well worth a visit. There can be no doubt, that Moscow is a historical highlight of the world. The time to visit this city is now. In ten years time, it may have already lost much of the charm which makes it so unique.