The Old Arbat combines charm and history

walking tour
The Old Arbat combines charm and history

Napoleon walked down it to enter the Kremlin; Pushkin broke hearts here. Closed to motor traffic since 1986, the pedestrian Arbat street and its neighbourhood appeal to tourists and embassies.

The Old Arbat is located in the Moscow Garden belt. This pedestrian street is an old road that connected the coveted market town of Smolensk to the Kremlin in the 15th century. Today, it is where museums, monuments, and theatres like the Yevgeny Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre and the Chekhov Theatre are.

In the 18th century,the nobility and Russian artists fell under its spell and settled here. It is this old street that Napoleon took when he entered Moscow in 1812, before moving to the Kremlin and then retreating as the city burned. The rapidly rebuilt neighbourhood was appealing to elites. There are still vestiges from this period, including a pretty turquoise house at 53, which Pushkin lived in for a few months when he was newly married to his wife Nathalie.

Look for architect Melnikov' scylindrical house he was one of the few Muscovites allowed to live in a private residence under Stalin. Also see the beautiful mansions on Prechistenka street and the neo-classical buildings in Spasopeskov skaya alley way.