One of my favourite things to do is walking around Moscow during spring time. The weather is lovely and the whole city is filled with flowers and people enjoying the sunshine. It just feels so good finally being able to walk outside without being wrapped up in layers and layers of clothes. After being cooped up inside for most of the long cold winter in Moscow I grabbed at every opportunity to walk around outside and soak up the sunshine.
I walked up Tverskaya Street and down Petrovskiy where on the corner crossing with Petrovka is a small monastery hidden away between all the office buildings. From outside it didn’t look like much but I love exploring the monasteries and churches dotted around Moscow so went in for a look. There I found the 14th century Upper Monastery of St Peter which was once part of Moscow’s outer defenses.
It was extremely peaceful inside the monastery grounds and nearly deserted, which is a bit unusual for Moscow.
The main Cathedral was built by Sofia, Peter the Great’s mother in 1690. This red brick Cathedral is called the Cathedral of Metropolitan Pyotr. In the entrance of the cathedral there was a small shop where you can buy candles, incense and icons. The inside of the Cathedral was filled with icons and decorated with red flowers painted on the walls and ceiling.
The monastery grounds are quite neglected and I don’t think that it is in use much any more which is a pity.
Right across from it is the Museum of Modern Art, which is definitely worth a visit.
It has a huge selection of modern sculptures and paintings and a lot of interactive exhibitions inside. This museum has no English descriptions or explanations but it was loads of fun to walk through, and most of the time you don’t need any explanations.
One of the first rooms I entered was pitch black and there was a sign before entering telling you to get your phone out. This must be the first museum I have ever been in where they expect you to have a mobile phone and actually want you to use it. The walls were pitch black, the ceiling and even the floor was black and there was no source of light once you stepped inside. You had to walk through this dark room and then had to use the light from your mobile phone to have a look at the paintings. I didn’t get to see the painting as a whole by doing this, I only got fragments and had fun trying to piece it together and figure out what the painting was of. I have never experienced anything like this ever.
One of the little old ladies in one of the rooms tried to explain to me what to do at one of the exhibitions and when she realized I didn’t actually understand her she took me by the hand and proceeded to walk through the whole gallery with me. We stopped in each room and she would show me what to do to get the full effect of the exhibits and still continued to explain everything to me in Russian. I really wished that I could actually understand what she was saying to me as she was lovely and explained everything with so much passion.
In one of the more peaceful rooms I got to sit on a swing while watching a film just showing a field while listening to the wind blow.
I definitely LOVED this gallery!!
I continued walking down Rozhdestvenskiy Bulvar where I went into another monastery. It was quite big but I didn’t have enough time to find out what the name was. I walked through the monastery gates after covering my hair with a scarf and was greeted by 3 small churches right by the entrance. I always walk around with my camera around my neck and take pictures of everything interesting I come across. Just as I took a photo inside the monastery complex I spotted 2 security guards running towards me. I was not going to wait and find out what they wanted as I was sure they just wanted to delete my photo or give me a fine for taking photos without permission. I just turned around and got out of there as fats as I could with the security guards shouting something after me. This was the first monastery I had to run out of and away from before a security guard caught up with me!
I had no desire to try and talk to them as I was sure they wouldn’t be able to speak any English and it’s always a scary prospect getting into trouble in a foreign country.
I just decided to look out for security guards next time before I take any pictures.