Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Moscow Mondays: МГУ, Povarskaya Street, and More!

When Monday's roll around, it's typically back to work , and watching the clock as the first day of the week grinds on interminably . And throw in a yawn there somewhere as well. Or 3 of them, just for good measure.

But my Mondays? My "free" day! What this means in Moscow translation: 6 hours of Russian class and I'm free by 2 pm! The schedule here is such that when that 2 pm target arrives, really all I want to do is go home. Cook a homemade meal in my half-kitchen. Clean my apartment. And NAP! Some Mondays, said itinerary wins out. But I've made it a goal to fight said instincts in an effort to actually see my city and share some of its highlights with you! Here are some of the February highlights:

МГУ: Moscow State University
MGU holds a special place in my heart. When I first visited Moscow a little over 2 years ago this is where my Russian family took me on my first day in town. As in, just stepped off the plane in a jet-lagged delirium. And it's easy to see why. Not only is this Stalinst architecture at its finest, but it comes with a view in the other direction as well!

 Post-university and my first falls on the ice of the season---2 times within approximately 15 minutes. Never get cocky my friends. That very morning I'd been congratulating myself on the fact that I'd made it through the winter without a fall---it was time to head indoors for reprieve from the cold and nourishment. And we found....Texas?!
I have to be honest. Even in my 3 years in Texas, I never happened across such a large tribute to Bud. This is a 4-story mall, for frame of reference.

Earlier in the month (on a day when my only intent was to go to the bank and then directly home to sleep), I got distracted by the scenery and ended up wandering for a couple hours. Here's what I found:

The Greater Church of the Ascension. Otherwise known as the church where Alexander Pushkin (Russia's most beloved poet) married his Natalia. The statue in front commemorates the occasion.

This statue clearly commemorates more important things. Such as a girl wishing she could fly away from this horrific instrument and never practice again. Or maybe the keyboard is wishing it could fly away and never be played by her again. Regardless, it may be one of my Moscow favorites.
 Not far from the Greater Church of the Ascension is Povarskaya Street. In the days of Ivan Grozny, it was allotted as an area for the upper class and, despite losing it's prestige at one point in history, was reinstated as such in the late 1800's. Now it's mansions house several embassies, the Supreme Court, Gnessin State Musical College, and the World Literature Museum.

History aside, it has a great atmosphere. Albeit that you're located off of one of the busiest streets in Moscow (Novy Arbat), it's quiet, calm, and a lovely place to do a little wandering. Those qualities can be difficult to happen across in this city, so it's always a pleasant find!

Supreme Court
 Norwegian Embassy
 Embassy of Cyprus
 Church of St. Simeon Stylites
I love this view. The contrast between the two structures is quintessential Moscow.

In the daily life of city grind, it's easy to become numb to the eclectic beauty that Moscow offers. I sometimes get stuck on the commute, the swarms of people in the metro, the expense, the politics, the weather, and the cultural contrasts. But every time I take a step back and really look at the city, I fall in love all over again. And thankfully I have Moscow Mondays to do so!!!


  1. It's so beautiful! I forget that about Melbourne as well which has some beautiful buildings and some ... not so beautiful buildings.

  2. (If my "free" day consisted of six hours of language classes I'd DEFINITELY be napping.) Thanks for the beautiful photos - that juxtaposition of architectural styles is crazy! Love it!

  3. Thanks for sharing all those pictures! I definitely enjoy looking at them. My favorite is the one with the winged piano!


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