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Arbat Street (Арбат) (Moscow)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of the Arbat Street

You flow like a river with your strange name
And your asphalt is like transparent river water.
Oh, Arbat, my Arbat, you are my calling,
You are my joy and my sorrow.

The people walking you are not exalted,
Their heels click, they hurry on their way.
Oh, Arbat, my Arbat, you are my religion
Your roadway lies beneath me.

I will never be cured of loving you,
Even as I love forty thousand other roads.
Oh, Arbat, my Arbat, you are my homeland,
No one could ever reach the end of you.
(Bulat Okudzava)

 

Arbat Street is a historic pedestrian street in the middle of Arbatskaya District of Moscow. In the Russian culture Arbat Street has a significant meaning as a gathering place and a symbol for artists, art, political protest and self- expression. It was first mentioned in the 15th century (burning of Church of Saint Nicholas on the Sands in 1493) and today it is considered one of the oldest streets of the Russian capital. The etymology of the name is uncertain, but it is most likely come from an Arabic word arbad (أرباض ) that can be translated as outskirts or suburbs in reference to Moscow historic nucleus- Kremlin. It was settled by immigrants from the East and South of Russia. They differed in ethnic background, but most of them followed Islam as their religion and thus had close ties with Arabic culture. In the 16th century Arbat and surrounding streets were inhabited by craftsmen. It is still visible in the names of side streets of Arvat. Plotnikov Lane (Carpernter Lane in English) comes from a region where carpenters lived in several houses. Denejniy Street (Money Lane) was inhabited by masters of Government Mint, Serebryany Street (Silver Lane) was a place for silver workers and so on.

 

In the 19th century Arbat streets turns into a long market where craftsmen sold their items. It was a bustling, noisy business center. Many famous Russians moved here including Russian poet A.S. Pushkin, Marina Tsvetaea, Mikhail Lermontov and many others. Arbat was also had numerous famous restaurants, hotels and other commercial buildings. In the 20th century the fame of Arbat doesn't fade. Poets Andrew Bely and Bulat Okudzhava live here and further romanticise Arbat with its streets and old buildings.

 

In 1980's the street becomes a new symbol of Perestroyka and new changes in Soviet Union. It was one of the first places where people were allowed to trade without control of the government. Additionally it became the stage for numerous rock groups that were allowed to perform in public for the first time. Today it still serves as a center stage for various artists who gather here. Some sing, some read poetry, others bring their art and sell it on the street.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

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