If you would like to visit the Memorial Synagogue and Holocaust Museum while you Tour Moscow, it is located just a few hundred yards behind the Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
On our Day Tour of Moscow including the World War II Museum, you may substitute the Memorial Synagogue and Holocaust Museum for the New Maiden Convent if you wish.
For those of Jewish faith or anyone whose intellectual curiosity pushes them to learn, the Memorial Synagogue is a very interesting visit. I was there in Feb. 2012 with one of our Moscow tour guides, Oleg.
We braved -30 C temperatures to go from the metro to the Synagogue where I was completely taken by surprise.
The modern structure of the Memorial Synagogue in Moscow is in a wooded section of the expanse around the Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
When we entered, a historian who works for the Synagogue, Katya, gave us a memorable, personal tour.
In addition to being creatively designed on the interior with Jewish religious symbols in metal-art, the basement houses a high technology Holocaust Museum. Katya’s commentary on the evolution of the Jews in Russian society and their participation as combatants and victims in World War II was riveting.
I highly recommend taking this tour regardless of your faith.
The Tretyakov Gallery is a Russian national treasure. It began from the private collection of Pavel Tretyakov in the mid 19th century. Tretyakov himself considered 1856 the official year of his collection’s launch and it was several years later that he gave the collection to the city of Moscow.
Many factors influenced him to begin his collection. Among those included his visits to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the association over the years. As a child he met Russia’s brightest stars. The writer Turgenev, composers Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky, artists Repin, Surikov, Polenov,Vasnetsov, Perov and Kramskoy frequented the Tretyakov house.
At the beginning of World War II the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery, which had grown, was in peril. Curators, military personnel and everyday citizens
banded together to pack and ship the most priceless of the gallery’s
collection out of harms way. Shortly after a majority of the works were evacuated the gallery was subject to separate direct hits by Nazi bombs.
Today the Tretyakov Gallery has become more than one physical location. Branches of the gallery house various collections. You will visit the primary
collection of Russian art at the main location.
If you love art and culture, you will appreciate the importance of this collection even more if you take the opportunity to read “Natasha’s Dance” by Orlando Figes. His book on Russian art and culture provides an easy-to-read foundation which helps a tourist appreciate the greatness of the Russian
artists whose works are displayed at the Tretyakov Gallery and other museums in Russia.
This massive picture (left) will leave you speechless. Your Private Moscow Tour Guide will give you the background of the picture and the painter. It is but one example of the massive collection of Russian masterpieces in the Tretyakov Gallery.
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, located on Volkhonka street just opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, is the largest museum of European art in Moscow.
Founded by Professor Ivan Tsvetaeu (father of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva), the Museum opened its doors to the public in 1912. Without the influence of millionaire and philanthropist Yuriy Nechaev-Maltsov and architect Roman Klein this fine arts museum would not exist today.
After the Russian capital was moved to Moscow in 1918, the Soviet government transferred thousands of works from St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum to the new capital. These paintings formed a nucleus of the Pushkin Museum’s collections of Western art . The most important paintings were added later from the State Museum of New Western Art (also called the European Gallery)– Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artwork, including top works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet and Matisse.
After World War II some works from the Dresden Gallery in East Germany were stored in Moscow for 10 years at the Museum. They were finally returned to East Germany, despite strong opposition from Museum officials.
In 1937, Pushkin’s name was appended to the museum because the Soviet Union marked the centenary of the poet’s death that year.
The Pushkin Museum is a main depositary of Troy’s fabulous gold looted from Troy by the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann and taken by the Soviet Army from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The International musical festival, Svyatoslav Richter’s “December nights,”
has been held in the Pushkin Museum since 1981.
The collections in the 3 different Pushkin Museum venues:
- The main museum
- The European Gallery
- The Museum of Private collections
are massive. You cannot do justice to the art here in one day.
Allow us to schedule your private tour of Moscow with visits to each of
these magnificent museums on different days. Otherwise you and your private
Moscow tour guide will “overdose” and it would diminish the enjoyment.
St. Basil’s Cathedral is a magnificent piece of architecture that appeals to everyone.
The Cathedral is a uniquely Russian structure. The towers and domes lack symmetry and consistency, yet the effect of each structure taken together is a wonderful sight.
There are nine separate chapels, one under each of the domes. The central tower unifies the structure into a whole.
The Cathedral was built 1555-1561 to commemorate Ivan’s the Terrible’s defeat of the Tatar City of Kazan. The statue in front of St. Basil’s dates from 1818, and portrays Minim and Pozharsky who drove Polish invaders out of Moscow in the early 1600′s.
It was moved from the middle of Red Square in 1936 because it impeded the many parades that marched through the Square.
The Cathedral was named after Basil, one of Russia’s barefoot “holy fools” (the most famous one being Rasputin). Basil died while Kazan was still under siege.