Moscow Then and Now, part 1

This is Sverdlova Plaza (Площадь Свердлова), in 1950.

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Sverdlova was later named Teatralnaya Plaza (Площадь Театральная) reflecting that the area includes the Bolshoi Theatre and the Teatralnaya Metro station. These photos are from 2015.

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Below is the Bolshoi Theatre and the backside (perhaps appropriately) of the statue honouring Communist Karl Marx.

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Next is Kutuzovskiy Avenue in the summer 1976, near Victory Park (which hadn’t been built then).

kutuzovskiy-ave-1976

A more modern look at Kutuzovskiy Avenue (2012) captured how Kutuzovskiy looks in more recent years as shown around the famous Triumphal Entry overlooking Moscow.

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It was here on this hill in 1812 that Napoleon and his French army sent riders down the hill to inform Moscow that the French midget had arrived and expected an unconditional surrender along with the ceremonial keys to the city. The Tsar’s generals sent word back that Napoleon could shove his proposal as there would be no surrender. They set the city on fire before the French army could arrive. Napoleon was eventually defeated and his army decimated.

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Oddly, Napoleon is somewhat of a hero figure to Russians, as if they feel a sense of pride that he would think enough of them to march across Europe to invade their country. In fact, some believe that they did name an ice cream after him–the one with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry swirls (although others say the name is Neapolitan).

ad-ice-cream

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