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What is
Russian classicism

7 iconic buildings in Moscow

Russian classicism flourished in the 18th century. Since they considered the European way of life to be modern and progressive, the country’s leaders wanted to establish a connection between Russia and the west, bringing the country closer to European culture. Architecture was one of the key areas in which this pursuit was realised. QR Media shows the main classical buildings in Moscow.

text
Artem Ladeyshchikov
PHOTOGRAPHER
Ivan Erofeev

Bolshoi Theatre


This building was the third attempt at building a theatre in the centre of Moscow. The previous two buildings did not last long: both were destroyed in fires. Finally, architect Alberto Cavos reconstructed the theatre from the ashes in the 1850s and created the building we know today. During the 1920s, at the dawn of the USSR, the theatre was also used as a place for Soviet congresses, Communist Party meetings and Comintern gatherings. Nevertheless, it still functioned as a theatre back then and continues to do so today. For example, ’The Nutcracker, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, is staged here.

reconstruction
1850s

Architect
Alberto Cavos

Location 
Teatralnaya Square, 1



Golitsyn Hospital


Built in the 1790s by architect Matvey Kazakov, this was the first hospital in Moscow for the less fortunate people of the city. The building layout was quite progressive for its times: it included not only wards and service rooms, but also living quarters for doctors and personnel. Interestingly, the outside of the building still resembled a typical luxurious Russian manor.

Built
1970s

Architect 
Matvey Kazakov

Location 
Leninsky prospect, 8 block 12



Pashkov House


The building was constructed by architect Vasily Bazhenov from 1784 to 1786 for a wealthy landowner, Pyotr Pashkov. The house in the very centre of Moscow looked slightly different at that time: there was a large garden in front of the building and the entrance was decorated with statues and wooden details, which were partly destroyed during the Fire of Moscow in 1812. In the USSR, the building was used as a part of the State Library. It still serves as a library today, housing the department of musical notes and manuscripts.

Built
from 1784 to 1786

Architect 
Vasily Bazhenov

Location 
Vozdvizhenka, ⅗, st.1



Kremlin Senate


Constructed from 1776 to 1787 and located behind the walls of the Moscow Kremlin, this was the place where government meetings were held. The governmental function of the building was preserved in the USSR and afterwards. Today, members of the Russian state administration work here. Due to safety reasons, the building is closed to the public, with only the southern side available for viewing.

Built
from 1776 to 1787

Architect 
Matvey Kazakov

Location 
Kremlin



Gostiny Dvor


Gostiny Dvor, or the Merchant Court, first appeared in Russian manuscripts back in 1520 as the location where all the city’s trade took place. Throughout the centuries, the Merchant Court was reconstructed several times until architect Matvey Kazakov finally created the stone building in 1805 that has survived to this day.

first appeared
1520

Built
1805

Architect 
Matvey Kazakov

Location 
Ilyinka, 4



House of the Unions


Another late 18th century masterpiece by Matvey Kazakov, this building hosted symphony concerts and other events for the Russian nobility. After the revolution, the house was occupied by the Moscow Council of Trade Unions. The main Soviet political events were held here, including many of Lenin’s speeches. It was also the place where the final farewell to Lenin took place: thousands of Soviet people stood in queues to say their last goodbye to the leader of the Russian Revolution.

Built
late 18th century

Architect
Matvey Kazakov

Location 
Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 1



Catherine Palace in Moscow


This palace was built from 1773 to 1796 as a residence for Catherine the Great. It was almost destroyed during Napoleon’s occupation of Moscow. After restoration, the building was used by different Russian military services, while the park remained open for public visitations. Today the palace still belongs to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Built
from 1773 to 1796

Architect 
Antonio Rinaldi

Location
1st Krasnosursantsky proezd, 3/5