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Arseny Morozov Mansion

Особняк Арсения Морозова – уникальный образец неомавританского стиля. (the Arseny Morozov Mansion is a unique work of architecture of moorish revival style). This amazing building is located in the centre of Moscow, on Vozdvizhenka street, 16, close to the metro station Arbatskaya. It was built in 1895-1899, according to the plans of architect Victor Mazyrin commissioned by millionaire Arseny Abramovich Morozov. While travelling during the 1890s in Spain and Portugal, и миллионер, и архитектор были впечатлены дворцом Пена в португальском городе Синтра (Morozov and the architect were impressed by the palace Pena in the Portuguese town of Sintra), a combination of Spanish-Moorish medieval architecture and national style Manueline.

The eccentric young millionaire got the idea to built for himself something similar. He choose for the construction of this unusual house the site offered by his mother on his 25th birthday located right in the heart of Moscow.

Even while the building was still under construction, it was already subject to ridicule and gossip, to rumours and critical articles in different newspapers. The public opinion apprehended the exotic mansion as an expression of extreme eccentricity. In his novel “The Resurrection”, Tolstoy allows Prince Nekhlyudov, passing on Volkhonka street, to describe the building as a “глупого ненужного дворца глупому ненужному человеку” (stupid unnecessary palace for a stupid useless person).

The design of the main entrance portal and the towers situated on each of its side in particular, best reflects of the moorish revival style. The general composition of the mansion meets modern techniques. The interior decoration reflects the wide dispersion of interests from the owner: from pseudo-Gothic to Empire style, from Arabic to Chinese style interior, it shows an absolute eclecticism.

 

After the revolution, the mansion housed the theatre “Proletkult” until 1928, then the embassy of different countries, also the editions of British newspapers… Since 1959 the building was home to the House of Friendship Between the People. В настоящее время здесь находится Дом приёмов Правительства Российской Федерации (today, the mansion is the Reception House of the Russian Government).

 

Елена Коновалова

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