The Kremlin of Moscow (part 2)
Moscow Legends: The French Embassy
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Moscow Legends: Pashkov House

На закате солнца высоко над городом на каменной террасе одного из самых красивых зданий Москвы находились двое: Воланд и Азазелло. Снизу их никто не мог видеть, им же город был виден почти весь” (At sunset, high over the city, on the stone terrace of one of the most beautiful house in Moscow, there were two: Woland and Azazello. They could not be seen from below, but they could see the city almost to its very edge.) (“The Master and Margarita”, Mikhail Bulgakov).

Not without purpose, the heroes of the famous novel of M. Bulgakov are saying good-bye to Moscow from the terrace of the Pashkov House. It is not only one of the most beautiful building in Moscow, but house is filled with legends and mysteries…

The Pashkov House was built in 1784–1786, commissioned by the Captain Lieutenant of the Life Guard Semenovsky Regiment Pyotr Egorovich Pashkov, son of the batman of Peter the Great, following the plans of the architect Vasily Bazhenov (presumably).

The task was a difficult one for the architect: he had to built the house on the Vagankovsky Hill (very uneven and dramatically narrow on one side). On this narrow side, Bazhenov placed an ornate gate, through which you can see the house, the facade, widely deployed on the edge of the hill above the garden.

Legend has it that the architect specifically “turned away” from the Kremlin palace, supposedly as a little revenge on Catherine the Great, with whom Bazhenov had a difficult relationship.

The Pashkov House is considered as a masterpiece not only by Russians, but also by foreigners. In 1818, the King Frederick William III of Prussia, visited Moscow with his son and admired the view of the city for the terrace of the Pashkov House. Король, восхищённый видом и в знак признательности за спасение Европы от Наполеона, преклонил колено, приказав и сыну сделать это (The King, admiring the view, and in gratitude of the salvation of Europe from Napoleon, knelt and ordered his son to do so).

In 1839, the house was purchased by the government for Moscow University, and few years later an institute for the nobility was created inside its walls. Later the house was used to store the librairy and the collections of the Rumyantsev Museum. Finally Pashkov House became a library in 1921.

Глубины Ваганьковского холма под Пашковым домом считаются одним из нескольких возможных вариантов местонахождения легендарной Библиотеки Ивана Грозного (It is believed that one of the possible locations of the legendary Library of Ivan the Terrible could lay in the depths of Vagankovsky Hill, under the Pashkov House). Archeologists who examined the hill in the 1930s found a lot of caves and tunnels. In on of the caves, they found mysterious stairs … When they gathered in the passage to take a closer look, the stairs collapsed and the work had to stop.

Another mysterious story is connected with the Pashkov House: Many believe that the library is inhabited by the ghost of Nikolai Rubakin, Moscow’s famous bibliophile who collected more than 200 000 books and handed them as a gift to the people. Говорят, когда приходишь в библиотеку в поисках какой-нибудь редкой книги, – обязательно нужно попросить о помощи знаменитого книговеда (It is said that when you come to the library in search of some rare books, be sure to ask the help of the famous book-keeper). The staff of the library often hear his steps in the endless corridors …

Елена Коновалова