Every day, people fall in love, go on dates, and make marriage proposals. Countless love stories have taken place in the city's squares, boulevards and side streets, and great and unknown people alike have spent their lives here. But all of them have filled the city with love of different kinds: mutual and unrequited, passionate and cautious, happy and unhappy. The stories behind each of the city's monuments and buildings are, above all else, love stories. The 'Moscow for Lovers' route takes in the city's most memorable romances.
Old Arbat is the essential starting point for a romantic walk. This famous street has long been a symbol of old Moscow, and has been immortalized in songs, poems, prose and cinema. And that's no accident — many writers, poets, directors and artists have lived and worked here. Today, Old Arbat is a pedestrian zone with all sorts of interesting, mysterious and romantic places to draw the eye of Moscow locals and visitors alike.
Lovers will be accompanied by street musicians and artists throughout the route.
Location: Arbat St.
On 23 January 1831, Alexander Pushkin signed a lease agreement for a flat in this building. This is also where the poet threw a stag party on the eve of his own wedding with all his Moscow friends. And, after the wedding, he brought his young wife here. It was in this flat that Alexander Pushkin and Natalia Goncharova spent their honeymoon. Young, happy and in love, the pair often strolled along the side streets of the Arbat. The grand opening of the Pushkin Memorial Flat took place on 18 February 1986, the couple's 155th wedding anniversary.
Location: 53 Arbat St.
A sculptural composition depicting Pushkin and Goncharova moments after their wedding ceremony was erected across from the house where the poet lived. Surprisingly, if you look closely at the faces of the newlyweds in the sculpture, they don't look happy. Its creators, Alexander and Igor Bourganov, likely wanted to emphasize that Pushkin's marriage to Natalya Goncharova turned out to be the fateful event of his life. Natalya timidly places her hand in her husband's, conjuring thoughts of the great poet's fate after the wedding, his duel for the honour of his beloved and his death.
Location: Arbat St.
Princess Turandot is the heroine of a tale by the Italian author Carlo Gozzi. Though popular with men, she did not want to get married. The princess came up with an impossible task to discourage suitors: she posed three tricky riddles to each of them, and if the man answered incorrectly, he was executed. The sculpture's location in front of the Vakhtangov Theatre was chosen deliberately. The fountain itself serves as a monument to the work of the same name, and its installation was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of its first performance. Princess Turandot was the actor and director Yevgeny Vakhtangov's final work.
Location: 26 Arbat St.
Lermontov's beloved grandmother, Elizaveta Arsenyeva, started renting this house in 1828. Lermontov came here to stay with his grandmother when he was 15 years old, and remained for several years. It was at this age that Michel (as his grandmother affectionately called him) first experienced young love. The poet became involved with Ekaterina Sushkova, a young Moscow lady whom acquaintances called Miss Black Eyes. She was three years older than Lermontov, and looked down on him. His first poems were dedicated to Sushkova and dealt with how she treated him. Today, many exhibits from the poet's life are on display in the House Museum.
Location: 2 Malaya Molchanovka St.
The church was built in the 17th century by decree of Tsar Feodor III in the traditional Russian patterned style. According to one version of events, it was consecrated on the coronation day of Boris Godunov, which fell on the feast of Saint Simeon Stylites. The church was a popular venue for secret weddings among the Moscow intelligentsia. The trend was started by Count Nikolay Sheremetev and the actress Praskovya Zhemchugova. Sheremetev, the heir to a vast fortune and the most eligible bachelor in Moscow, chose to marry a commoner. He secretly married Zhemchugova in the Church of Saint Simeon Stylites in Moscow. Since then, the church has been a symbol of love against all odds.
Location: 5 Povarskaya St., building 1
A monument to Nikolay Gogol greets passers-by in the courtyard of this house on Nikitsky Boulevard. The writer lived here, at the estate home of Alexander Tolstoy, four years before his death. In his 42 years, Gogol never married or had children. The writer fell in love just two years before his death— and his feelings were reciprocated. The woman who touched Gogol's heart was his cousin, Maria Sinelnikova. She was struck by his soft character and delicate, vulnerable soul. But the writer did not dare get involved with the object of his affections. Gogol died two years after they met, but Maria Sinelnikova kept her cherished memories of him forever.
Location: 7A Nikitsky Boulevard
Varvara Morozova gifted the land where the mansion is located to her son, Arseny, for his birthday. To create 'the most unusual house in Moscow', Arseny Morozov took a European trip to Paris, Madrid and Lisbon. He saw a quaint castle with twisted columns and oriental ornaments on a cliff in the Portuguese city of Sintra. Within a few years, a similar mansion had appeared on Vozdvizhenka Street. The Moscow public did not approve of the house. It's said that his mother didn't like the house either, allegedly telling her son, 'I used to be the only one who knew you were a fool. Now the whole of Moscow will know it.'
Location: 16 Vozdvizhenka St.
The church became part of world history after the wedding of Alexander Pushkin and Natalia Goncharova. But that isn't the only love story connected to these places. Nearby stood the palace of Natalya Naryshkina, the second wife of Tsar Alexis I and the mother of Peter the Great. On her orders, a stone church—the Church of the Ascension—was built on the site of a previous wooden one. Widowed after his first marriage, Alexis I decided to get married again. Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina was among those summoned to the bride-show. It's believed that the tsar planned to marry her from the start, and that the bride-show was held in order to abide by custom.
Location: 36 Bolshaya Nikitskaya St., bld. 1
The theatre building has ties to the German actor and director Georg Paradies. After moving to Moscow, Paradies began the construction of his own red-brick theatre in a pseudo-Russian style. It's impossible to forget the love story of the man who gave the theatre its name—Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose muse was Lilya Brik. When they met, she was married to Osip Brik. Their home was a meeting place for artists, poets, and politicians. On one occasion, Lilya's sister invited her close friend, the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. A few days later, Mayakovsky urged the Briks to take him in 'permanently', explaining that he had 'irreversibly fallen in love with Lilya Brik'.
Location: 19/13 Bolshaya Nikitskaya St.
This mansion is known throughout Moscow as the home of the great Russian actress Maria Nikolaevna Ermolova. It now serves as a museum dedicated to her memory. The house, which miraculously survived the fire of 1812, was the actress's home for almost 40 years. In 1889, the home and all its furnishings were acquired by the well-known Moscow lawyer Nikolay Petrovich Shubinsky and his actress wife Maria Nikolaevna Yermolova. But the marriage was not to last. Yermolova had a romantic relationship with the scientist and medical doctor Leonid Vinoy, for whom she had deep and consuming feelings for the rest of her life. Vinoy became the person closest to the actress.
Location: 11 Tverskaya Boulevard, building 1
Sergei Yesenin faced many difficulties in his 30 years of life, ranging from his turbulent way of living and quest for fame to creative blocks. While it's well known that the poet was married to the American dancer Isadora Duncan, few are aware that he was married three times. In the summer of 1917, Yesenin met the beautiful Zinaida Reich. Their marriage lasted until October 1921. Reich started working at a theatre workshop after their divorce, and went on to marry the teacher and director Vsevolod Meyerhold. A love triangle emerged, with the former spouses Reich and Yesenin continuing to meet in secret. The poet encapsulated the tragedy of this love affair in his poem 'Letter to a Woman'.
Location: Tverskoy Boulevard
Today the monument to Alexander Pushkin is a symbol of the city and a landmark place, near which first dates and marriage proposals are made.
Our romantic route ends here, but romantic atmosphere surrounds you wherever you go.
Whether it's Strastnoy Boulevard, Tverskaya Street or other Moscow lanes, every corner is full of love stories and legends
Location: Pushkinskaya Square
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