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Moscow Arthur Lookyanov
Travel to Russia with Your Private Guide and Professional Driver

Getting dark over St. Basil

Getting dark over St. Basil

Here is the photo of the famous St. Basil Cathedral, wich was built on the Red Square in the middle of 16th century. I would like to tell you here a part of it's history after October Revolution 1917.

In 1918 the communist authorities shot the archpriest Ioann Vostorgov, who was the cathedral's senior priest, confiscated its property, melted down all its bells, and closed the cathedral down. They did the same with many churches and convents in Russia. and a lot of churches and convents, monasteries was destroyed before WWII, but fortunately this famous cathedral survived by providence. In the 1930s Lazar Kaganovich, Stalin's associate and director of the reconstruction plan, proposed that the cathedral should be knocked down to clear the area for public parades and vehicle movement on Red Square. It is said that he prepared a special model of Red Square in which the cathedral could be removed, and brought it to Stalin to show how the cathedral was an obstacle for marches and traffic. Then he said: 'But if we knock it down, like that!..' and with these words he jerked the cathedral out of the square. Stalin looked, thought for a bit and then pronounced the immortal words: 'Lazar! Put it back!'

During WWII, to consolidate all power of the big state Stalin promised to all people (nations in USSR), if we can win this terrible war I'll give more freedom to the Russian Orthodox church and even start to restore and open convents and churches. He kept his word and from the end of 40s - beginning of 50s they stared to restore and open the churches for public. Some churches as like St. Basil, churches inside the Kremlin they made as museums opened for public. St. Basil's cathedral nowadays isn't active church, it is museum with price for the tickets for foreigners about 3,5 USD.

Photo taken on 2006-04-03 at 20:32:15

Random customer's Responses & Recommendations.
You are welcome to visit web site of Moscow Guide Arthur Lookyanov.
Fred Murphy Fred Murphy
From: USA
Date: 2010-06-28 13:42:38

We just returned from a Viking River Cruise from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. We were concerned about the limited time we had in Moscow, and the fact that we would not be able to see everything we desired. Also, considering that June 12 was a holiday we did not know how that would affect venue openings. We arrived in Moscow late afternoon on June 10, so that day was lost. This basically left us with only 2 days including the holiday.

We were truly fortunate to have found out about Arthur, and yes, all those glowing reviews are true. Prior to leaving home Arthur called us on our computer using Skype and we talked for 45 minutes about our Moscow plans.
Arthur made sure we saw everything we wanted to see and more! We were with him from 8 AM to 6 PM on June 11, and from 9 AM to 1:30 AM on June 12-13.

We travelled all around Moscow in his car, seeing buildings and monuments from every angle, stopping at those sites we wanted most to see, and those, which Arthur suggested. At the Kremlin, we saw all the Kremlin churches, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the changing of the guard. We also toured the Armory and the Diamond Fund. We even went back to Red square after it reopened at one AM to get a closer look at Saint Basil's illuminated. Among other sites, we visited the seven sisters, the GUM department store, the Arbat, Peter the Great monument, the victory memorial, multiple metro stations with their unique interiors, and the Tretyakov Gallery with site guidance and extensive commentary by Arthur. The Sergius Monastery was delightful especially as a service was in progress. On the outskirts of the city we visited the Novodevichy Convent and cemetery. On our last night, we ate at a Ukrainian restaurant and saw the Moscow lights by car and from Sparrow hill and Moscow University where we were expecting fireworks, which never materialized. The crowds however were exciting and the entire Kremlin, not just the towers, was ablaze for Russia Day.

We couldn't be more pleased with the attention and professionalism that Arthur demonstrated. He is knowledgeable about Moscow and Russian history, and is fluent in English. More importantly, he is a genuinely nice person who bent over backwards to ensure that we got the most out of our experience. He goes as fast or as slowly as his guests prefer. His fees are very reasonable, especially considering all the extras, such as photography that he provides.

Probably the best travel money we ever spent. You absolutely can't go wrong seeing Moscow with Arthur.