Between 28 October and 12 November guides from the Moscow House of Nationalities will organise nine educational walks around central Moscow streets. They will talk about Minin and Pozharsky’s heroic deeds during the Polish-Lithuanian occupation of Moscow in the Time of Troubles, city life under Napoleon’s invasion in 1812 as well as about how Moscow survived the October Revolution a hundred years ago. The tour cycle is called “Heroic Moscow.”
An educational programme has also been prepared by the museum at the Moscow City observation point, situated on the 56th floor of the Imperia tower. There will be 5 free tours called “High Moscow” between 30 October and 3 November, describing Moscow high-rises and skyscrapers, presenting a panoramic view of the city from a height of 215 m.
All street tours will last between 2-3 hours. The tour around the Moscow City Museum won’t take longer than one hour. Registration should be made in advance on the Moscow House of Nationalities’ and the Moscow City Museum’s websites. One group will include between 20–30 participants.
In October, the Moscow House of Nationalities will organise three tours around the city centre, and six in November.
“Schoolchildren can be familiar with all our tour themes from their history lessons, or will learn about them at a later date. In any case, for children this is just pages of their textbooks. What we want to show them is that the memory of those times lives not only in books, but on the streets of the city they live in now,” said a spokesperson of the Moscow House of Nationalities.
On Saturday, 28 October, the tour “Fire trap for Napoleon” will begin at 11 am. The participants will learn how the French emperor escaped from the burning city, what happened on the streets near the Kremlin during the fire and the French occupation, see hidden passages Napoleon used for retreat and the dislocation points of his army. Participants will walk around Red Square and the Kremlin, along Varvarka, Ilyinka, Vasilyevsky Spusk streets, Manezhnaya Square and the Kremlyovskaya Embankment.
At 11 am on Sunday, 29 October, participants of the “How Muscovites Saved the Capital” tour will walk between Myasnitskaya and Pokrovka streets. In the 19th century, this neighbourhood was multiethnic: Russians, Armenians, Germans, Ukrainians and French who came to Russia before the Napoleonic wars, lived there. It is interesting that during Napoleon’s occupation all neighbours united and helped each other to survive .The French who lived there didn’t take the conqueror’s side, but protected the city side by side with native Muscovites. Participants of the tour will see the house where Napoleon lived in secret and walk along Kuznetsky Most, Solyanka and Sretenka streets, Krivokolenny Pereulok, Armyansky Pereulok and Starosadsky Pereulok.
A tour called “Memorial Places of 1812 Moscow in Literature and Art” will take place at 4 pm on Tuesday, 31 October. Its participants will walk along Barrikadnaya, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya and Povarskaya streets plus see the houses and churches that survived the fire of 1812 and were mentioned in classic Russian literature works, including “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy.
It is possible to take part in the “New View of Nikolskaya Street” tour at 11 am on Saturday, 4 November. It will take its participants along Nikolskaya Street as well as nearby streets. This is where the militia squads led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky passed before liberating the Kremlin from Polish-Lithuanian occupants, and in 1917, it was Red Army units moving along Nikolskaya Street to the Kremlin. The guide will explain why Nikolskaya Street was called Street of 25 October for a long time.
At 11 am on the next day a journey called “Arbat in Persons” Will take place. Guides will discuss the most famous residents associated with this street.
A tour called “Muscovites Fighting for Russia: First Self-Defence Units” will take place at 4 pm on Tuesday, 7 November. Its participants will learn about the events which took place between 1610–1611, when the Polish occupied the city. They will see places where the occupants were quartered and learn some details about Moscow everyday life at that time. The tour will include Sretenka, Bolshaya Lubyanka and Varvarka streets, as well as Novaya, Staraya and Slavyanskaya squares.
It will be possible to walk around battle sites of the Time of Troubles, learn new facts and details of how the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky was created during the tour “Light at the End of the Tunnel: Liberation of Moscow.” It will take place at 4 pm, on Friday, 10 November. The tour will begin on Slavyanskaya Square, coming to a close near St Basil’s Cathedral.
The tour “Ancient Varvarka Street” will take place at 11 am on Saturday, 11 November. The programme will include the residence of English traders – the Old English Court, where Englishmen lived in the 16th century after they were allowed to carry out free trade with Russia. Participants will also see the traces left by bullets on several facades in October 1917, when Varvarka Street saw some violent fighting. All are invited to attend a tour named “Church of Christ the Saviour and its Neighbourhood.” The church was first built to commemorate the warriors who perished during the Patriotic War of 1812 and their names were inscribed on the walls. It was a collective cenotaph for those who died .This was a monument without a tomb, created by Konstantin Ton, whose ancestors were Germans.
The Moscow City Museum will organise five free tours united by the theme “High Moscow”, which will take place between 5 pm – 6 pm on 30 October, and at 11 am – noon on 31 October, 1, 2 and 3 November.
Visitors to the 56th floor of the Imperia Tower will enjoy a panoramic view of Moscow. From a height of 215 m, they will be able to see the solar panels on the building of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, nicknamed “golden brains,” view the Church of Christ the Saviour and two Stalin-era high-rises: building of the Moscow State University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will also learn how high-rises were built in Moscow.
Visitors will not only learn but see what Moscow would look like if the horizontal skyscrapers by El Lisitsky or the Palace of the Soviets by Boris Iofan had been built. The multimedia object “Parallel Reality” will show the architectural projects that were never built. This is a special mobile construction that moves along the panoramic window on a rail. When it stops at various points, the screen shows the buildings that were supposed to be built there.
To order free tickets for the tour, it is necessary to go to the Moscow City Museum’s website, choose the “Buy tickets” section, choose the required date and ticket category and type in the promo code “Moscow High-Rises.” The number of tickets is limited, the maximum number of participants on one tour is 30 people.
Traditionally, free tours are organised in Moscow during school vacations and city events. For example, during the summer months people were able to take part in 16 pedestrian tours around the districts associated with various religions and ethnicities, both on the eve of Moscow City Day as well as during Moscow anniversary tours around historical streets – Volkhonka, Varvarka, Myasnitskaya and Povarskaya – took place.
About 90 city museums are free for schoolchildren. They can come there anytime with friends or relatives. The free passage is ensured by social cards or the Moskvyonok card or bracelet. Moscow school teachers can organise out-of-class lessons right in the city museums.