Arbat Street

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The Arbat Street, also known as the only Arbat (Russian: Арбат), is a pedestrian street about a kilometer long in the center of Moscow. The Arbat at least since the fifteenth century and is the heart of the Arbat district. Originally the street formed part of an important trade route and was home to a large number of craftsmen.

In the eighteenth century, the Arbat was regarded by the Russian nobility as the most prestigious residential area of Moscow. The road was almost completely destroyed by the great fire during Napoleon’s occupation of Moscow in 1812 and had to be rebuilt. In the nineteenth century and the beginning of the 20th century became known as the place in which they lived gentry, artists and academics. In Soviet times it was inhabited by many government officials.

Today the road and its surroundings are undergoing gentrification. Because of the many historic buildings and numerous artists who have lived and worked in the street, the Arbat is also an important tourist attraction.

Where is it:

The Arbat is located in the historical center of Moscow. Start Arbatskala Square (Russian: Арбатская площадь?), 800 meters west of the walls of the Kremlin. Arbatskaya Square is also the meeting point of the Ring Boulevard and via Vozdviženka (Russian: Улица Воздвиженка?). The part of the square adjacent to the Arbat is called “the Gates dell’Arbat” (Russian: Арбатские Ворота?), As there is one of the ten gates of the old city walls. The walls that were there between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century, followed the path of the Boulevard Ring.

From this point the Arbat goes south-west, with a dozen side streets that branch, and ends at Piazza Smolenskaja (Russian: Смоленская площадь?), Which intersects with the Garden Ring. Continuing westwards from Arbat street there is Smolenskaja (Russian: Смоленская улица?).

Since 1986, the Arbat is full of features street lanterns. It has several notable statues, including one dedicated to Princess Turandot in front of the Vakhtangov Theatre and another to the Soviet poet and folk singer Bulat Okudzhava, who wrote several songs sull’Arbat. Nell’Arbat is the headquarters of oil company TNK-BP, at the beginning of the road. There are also many restaurants (including the Hard Rock Cafe), many of which are more expensive than those in other areas of the city, as directed visitors to Moscow. There are also some restaurants and cafes that cater to workers and the middle class, for example Kruzhka, Praim, and Mu-Mu.

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