After Class Activities

Our program allows you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture, traditions and everyday life after your class is over.

The school normally organizes at least two activities per week, such as theater visits (opera/drama/ballet), theme excursions or trips to places of interest: Red Square, the Kremlin, Assumption Cathedral, St Basilica Cathedral, Tretyakov Gallery, Novodevichy Monastery, Moscow has so many interesting things to see, even getting around is a tourist attraction in itself.

The Metro is a cheap and convenient means of travelling around the city and you will notice many stations are sumptuously decorated with marble, glittering chandeliers and works of art.

Weekend excursions could include: Star City, located just outside of Moscow, this is a cosmonaut training complex which is open to the public. Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) the former country residence of the Russian emperors or a boat tour on the Moskva River is a pleasant way of discovering the city or why not spend the weekend in St. Petersburg.

Top Highlights: See What Moscow is Famous For

Krasnaya Ploshchad (Red Square)

The site of large May Day parades during the Soviet era and a market before that, Krasnaya ploshchad (Red Square - although krasnaya means ‘beautiful’ in Old Russian) is a dramatic 700m-long (2300ft) space. It also drew crowds to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum - a cubic, Russian avant-garde structure with a crystal casket containing the preserved body of the Soviet Union’s founder. The square is dominated by the walls and towers of the Kremlin on one side and the facade of the GUM department store on the other.

Pokrovsky Sobor (St Basil’s Cathedral)

The surrounding buildings provide a frame for Russia’s most famous image - the multicoloured onion domes of Pokrovsky Sobor (Cathedral of the Intercession, better known as St Basil’s Cathedral). Each dome has distinctive patterning and colours and the effect of the ensemble is stunning. It was built in the 1550s, to commemorate Ivan the Terrible’s victory over the Mongols at Kazan.

Kremlin

The heart of Moscow and of the Russian State itself, the Kremlin (literally meaning ‘fortified town’) is a walled fortress dating back to the city’s founding in 1147 (although the oldest extant walls and churches date from the 15th and 16th centuries). From 1276 to 1712, it was the seat of government for the grand princes and tsars, from 1918 to the present, the Communist government. The red-brick walls and towers enclose a number of churches and palaces and, once past the soviet-era Palace of Congresses, the visitor will find a pleasing ensemble around the main square. Also within the Kremlin are the Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell, both the largest of their kind (40 and 200 tonnes, respectively) and neither one used for its intended purpose.

Main Sights: Get to Know Moscow

Novodevichy Monastyr (Novodevichy Monastery)

Founded in 1524, by Grand Prince Vassily III (although the present towers and walls date from 1685-87), the Novodevichy Monastery contains the Sobor Smolensk Bogomateri (Cathedral of the Virgin of Smolensk), with its distinctive bell tower dating from 1690. The cathedral itself was built in 1525 and contains 16th-century frescoes, as well as a magnificent late 17th-century iconostasis. The convent was a place of exile for noblewomen in mourning or disfavour, including Sophia, Peter the Great’s sister, who instigated a coup against him from here in 1698. The adjacent Novodevichy Cemetery contains the graves of distinguished Muscovites, including Nikita Krushchev (the only Soviet leader buried outside the Kremlin), Nikolai Gogol, Sergei Prokofiev and Anton Chekhov.

Tretyakov Galereya (Tretyakov Gallery)

The most important collection of traditional Russian painting in the world resides here. The extensive collection of icons is well worth seeing, as it covers the development of this art form from early Byzantine times to the more developed Russian schools of the 17th century. The most famous of these icons is the 12th-century Vladimir Virgin and there are also works by Theophanes the Greek, Dionysius and Andrey Rublyov - some of Russia’s greatest icon painters. The gallery’s collection of paintings, sculptures and graphics covers Russian art from the 18th to early 20th centuries.

The Uspensky Sobor (Assumption Cathedral)

This is the largest of the churches. It was the burial place for Orthodox patriarchs and was used for the coronations of tsars. The zakomary (arched gables) are a visual extension of the vaulting within the cathedral. The pretty Blagoveshchensky Sobor (Annunciation Cathedral), with its nine glittering copper-gilt domes, was the private chapel of the tsars. Ivan the Terrible added the Grosnenskiy Porch, because he was refused entry after contravening church doctrine by marrying for a fourth time. Archangelsky Sobor (Cathedral of the Archangel Michael), although built in 1505, houses the remains of the grand princes and tsars who reigned from 1325 to 1696. The Armoury Museum and Diamond Fund are worth visiting for the state and church treasures, including Faberge eggs (in the former) and the 180-carat diamond given to Catherine the Great (in the latter).

Excursions: Explore More of The Region

The Golden Ring

The Golden Ring is one of the oldest Russian routes. It goes to the north-east of Moscow and forms a circle. There are many interesting ancient Russian cities and towns along the way, full of history and unique Russian architecture of the XII-XVII centuries. The classical route (counter clockwise) starts from Moscow, goes through Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov Velikiy, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Sergiev Posad. All cities and towns are located relatively close to each other, the Golden Ring forms a ring, so from one place you can reach to another and make a circle until you get back to the one you started with. One of the reasons to go there is to see Russian architecture, old churches made of white stone, hear the bell ring, see old fortifications, fortresses, beautiful monasteries, and learn more about history of Russia.

Arkhangelskoye

Only 20km outside of Moscow lies one of the finest of Moscow’s estates (usadbas). Owned by a series of wealthy princes from the 17th to the 20th centuries, the estate once housed one of Russia s richest private art collections. Its design still bears testimony to the whims of its owners, with its frivolous pavilions, a Grecian-style mausoleum, and a Gothic bridge. Plenty of Russians come here just to wander the grounds, hide amid the tunnels of rose-covered trellises, look over granite balconies at children frolicking in the Moscow River on a summer day, or picnic on a bench in the oak groves.

The architectural epicenter of the estate is Yusupov Palace, which is set back from the Moscow River in an overgrown grove, while other highlights include the Gothic bridge over the ravine and the rose-colored granite-and-limestone temple built as a mausoleum for the Yusupov family in the late 19th century. The Corinthian columned Holy Gates lead up to the Church of the Archangel Michael, which dates from 1667 and is the oldest building on the grounds. It s also the source of the estate s name. Note the remains of the theater across the main road from the palace, which Yusupov had built for his troupe of serf actors and musicians.

Architecture: Discover Unique Styles & Structures

Krasnaya Ploshchad (Red Square)

The site of large May Day parades during the Soviet era and a market before that, Krasnaya ploshchad (Red Square – although krasnaya means ‘beautiful’ in Old Russian) is a dramatic 700m-long (2300ft) space. It also drew crowds to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum – a cubic, Russian avant-garde structure with a crystal casket containing the preserved body of the Soviet Union’s founder. The square is dominated by the walls and towers of the Kremlin on one side and the facade of the GUM department store on the other.

Pokrovsky Sobor (St Basil’s Cathedral)

The surrounding buildings provide a frame for Russia’s most famous image – the multicoloured onion domes of Pokrovsky Sobor (Cathedral of the Intercession, better known as St Basil’s Cathedral). Each dome has distinctive patterning and colours and the effect of the ensemble is stunning. It was built in the 1550s, to commemorate Ivan the Terrible’s victory over the Mongols at Kazan.

Kremlin

The heart of Moscow and of the Russian State itself, the Kremlin (literally meaning ‘fortified town’) is a walled fortress dating back to the city’s founding in 1147 (although the oldest extant walls and churches date from the 15th and 16th centuries). From 1276 to 1712, it was the seat of government for the grand princes and tsars, from 1918 to the present, the Communist government. The red-brick walls and towers enclose a number of churches and palaces and, once past the soviet-era Palace of Congresses, the visitor will find a pleasing ensemble around the main square. Also within the Kremlin are the Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell, both the largest of their kind (40 and 200 tonnes, respectively) and neither one used for its intended purpose.

Khram Khrista Spansitelya (Christ the Saviour Cathedral)

The Cathedral is a monument to the struggles of 20th-century Moscow. The brainchild of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzkhov, the cathedral was paid for by public donations from school children, babushkas and public officials to rich benefactors alike. Completed in 1997, the building now stands on the site of the original Christ the Saviour Cathedral, which was constructed to commemorate Moscow’s victory over Napoleon. In 1930, Stalin ordered the church to be demolished, to make way for a skyscraper. When it was discovered that the ground was too soft, the area was turned into a hugely popular outdoor swimming pool instead.

Moscow metro

Busier than New York’s subway and London’s underground combined, the Moscow Metro transports eight million passengers a day, with a surprising degree of efficiency. Up and running just four years after building started in 1931, the Metro is one of the Communist regime’s few glories. The stations themselves are an attraction; their unique designs are often palatial and provide an introduction to the development of Soviet art and architecture over more than half a century. Mayakovskaya Station (1938) has a central hall with a ceiling of Socialist Realist mosaics supported by stainless steel and red marble columns. In Revolyutsii ploshchad, bronze sculptures of Red Army soldiers hold up the arches in the passageways. Komsomolskaya (1950s), the busiest station in Moscow, has upper walk-through galleries and offers a Russian history lesson in the mosaics near the Circle Line platforms. The Metro Museum displays interesting exhibits about the system.

Museums: Experience The History of Past Generations & Cultures

Musey Arkhitecturi Imena a v Shushevar (Museum of Architecture)

Moscow's architecture is rich and sharply contrasting, reflecting the seismic changes that the city has undergone. The Museum of Architecture is a great place to see how cultural transitions have been etched onto the urban landscape. Spanning five centuries, there are over one million exhibits - including street plans, blueprints, draughts, models, engravings, lithographs and photographs.

muzey-panorama – ‘borodinskaya bitva’ (Museum-Panorama –’Borodino Battle’)

Visitors can experience the epic battle of the Patriotic War of 1812, when the Russian army met Napoleon’s Grand Army at Borodino, to the west of Moscow. The main feature is a panoramic painting that shows the decisive battle of 7 September 1812, on a canvas 115m (377ft) wide and 15m (49ft) high.

Memorialny Muzey Kosmonavtiki (Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics)

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is easy to find, thanks to the gigantic titanium rocket sculpture outside it, which was built to commemorate the launch of Sputnik, the world s first artificial satellite. The museum is as much a tour of the lengths the Soviets went to in their bid for world supremacy during the Cold War as it is a tribute to the history of Soviet space technology. Most of the dated spacecraft on display now look like technology-turkeys but it is worth a visit, if only to see Yuri Gagarin s original space suit.

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