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by j. kathleen
May 7, 2002
Even though we are not Orthodox, we enjoyed seeing the monastery, complete with monks and nuns. Being Protestant, we may have enjoyed it more because it was a completely unfamiliar and interesting sight. Don't come with an intent to hurry your way through--enjoy the beauty and tranquility.
Be sure to see the Smolensk Cathedral. The interior has beautiful frescoes that date back the the 1500s. There is a five-tiered iconostasis from the late 1600s.
Also see the Cathederal of the Dormition. At the time we visited, daily services were held.
Above the main enterance is the Gate-Church of the Transfiguration. Next to it, you can see Lopukhn Palace.
There are two cemeteries. Of particular interest is the new cemetery. Some of the graves include Nikita Khrushchev, Nadeshda Allilujeva (Stalin's first wife), and Anton Chekhov. Also buried there are a number of writers, musicians, and politicians.
From journal Weekend in Moscow
November 3, 2001
Surprisingly, another favorite activity was touring the underground Metro stations known as "Underground Palaces" or better yet, "Palaces for the People". Complete w/ chandeliers, mosaics, stained glass, sculptures, etc., this Metro system is unlike any other. Certainly not the dark, dirty underground subway system you might expect to see in a large metropolitan city.
From journal Marvelous Moscow