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Moscow Citiy Attractions: In Search of Gothic Architecture in Moscow
May 11, 2007 16:02

While in the Middle Ages the Gothic architectural style was “invading” Europe, Russian architecture was under the influence of Byzantine civilization. However, there are some rare examples of “Russian Gothic” scattered in historical streets of Moscow. In fact, Gothic architecture reached the country only during the period of neo-Gothic art, at the end of the 18th century. The first person to use patterns of the neo-gothic style in Moscow was the architect Yuri Bazhenov while projecting the Royal residence in Trasitsino.

The architecture of Petrovsky Palace in Leningradsky Avenue, 40 can be considered Gothic. It was built in 1775-1783; the accurate symmetry of planning is amongst its main features. The complex consists of two closed yards – the inner and the front one with the three-storey palace in between. The palace looks a lot like a fortress, and there is a notable fact about it – in September 1812 it was a residence of Napoleon who fled from the Kremlin during the fire.

The brightest sample of gothic architecture in Moscow streets is, perhaps, the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral located in Malaya Gruzinskaya Street, 27. This Roman-Catholic temple was built in 1897-1911 in the style of Catholic cathedrals of the Middle Ages, with the funding of the Polish people who lived all around Russia. During the Great Patriotic War in Russia the cathedral was destroyed by the bombardments. The reconstruction works were over only in the late 1990`s, and now the cathedral belongs to the Polish community. Apart from the daily religious gatherings, here concerts of organ music are also often organized.

The majority of buildings of the neo-gothic style were built in Moscow in the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th centuries. One of the best embodiments of this direction in architecture of Moscow, as experts admit, is the detached house of Z.G. Morozova, located Spiridonovka Street, 17. A building of free planning, it was created in 1883-1889, and combines levels of different height, mainly one and two-storey.

One more remarkable neo-Gothic building, situated in Gusyatnikov Lane, 11, is Epstein’s House, built in 1912 by the architect Dubrovsky. The asymmetrical composition of the house’s front shows the inventiveness and love for unusual details. For instance, above the entrance there is a big figure of a knight holding a sword in his hands and disapprovingly looking at all people entering the house.

In Khlebny Lane, 20/3, there is a detached house of I.I. Nekrasov, built in 1906 according to the project of the architect Roman Klein. The neo-Gothic shapes and decor remind one of medieval buildings of Central Europe. The house is neighbouring with the house of S.U. Soloviev (situated Khlebny Lane 18/6), similar in design. Not far from this neo-Gothic “couple” one can find a beautiful house of A. Leman, where now the Central House of Architects is situated. The complex panoramic composition of the building makes it similar to the style of the late French Gothic.

Source and photos:

Natalya Lavrentyeva


Tags: Russian tourism Moscow attractions Moscow architecture in Moscow  

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