Arbat street Moscow
The Old and New Arbat streets of Moscow – short description
The first historical records of Arbat relate to the year of 1493, the street was mentioned in an account of a major city fire. Most probably, the street name originates from the Arabic world for suburb. In the 19th century Arbat turned to be a favourite neighbourhood for Moscow’s nobility and creative intelligentsia, it was believed to number one noble for every seven ordinary residents.
During the Soviet times the traditional Arbat inhabitants were eased out by a new class, the functionaries of the Communist Party bureaucracy. In the mid eighties Arbat became the first Moscow’s pedestrian street, the Old Arbat. Over the years the street has developed into one of the most popular places in Moscow, you may meet here buskers, street artists, Krishna supporters, get into multiple smart clothes and souvenir shops, cafes, cultural centers, etc.
Notable sights around Arbat are Smolenskaya Square, where the western end of Old Arbat leads out onto the Garden Ring road. One of Moscow’s skyscrapers, which belongs to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, stands on Smolenskaya, the twin tower blocks of Intourist Belgrade Hotel rise on opposite side of square. A short walk away from the main road brings you to the Pushkin Apartment Museum (No. 53), the poet Moscow’s residence after 1826. The Museum is by guided tour only, every 30 minutes in Russian, or in English, by special arrangement. Open Weds-Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m., closed last Friday of the month. Building No. 42 houses Georgian Cultural Center including Mziuri, a reasonably priced Georgian restaurant. Exclusive and luxury Arbat Hotel stands in quiet surroundings just off the Arbat on Plotnikov Pereulok.