Walking down the Mokhovaya St. one can see a splendid palace in its very end, standing on the hill. Made of white-coloured stone, it has been known among the Muscovites as the Pashkov`s palace. A combination of the antique austerity and solemnity with a traditional Moscow design makes it look like a pure masterpiece of the original Russian classicism. Vasily Bazhenov, one of the best Russian architects in the 18th century, built the Palace in 1784-86 by order of rich landowner Pashkov.
The residence was set at the slope of the Vagankovsky hill facing the Borovitsky gates and incorporating a seat, stables, the household and auxiliary buildings and a church. The garden was laid in front of the Palace with the main courtyard arranged behind it.
In 1812 the residence had suffered from the great Moscow fire but was restored after a short while. In 1839 it was bought out by the State. First, until 1861 a male boarding school for nobility children occupied the main building, then the Rumiantsev museum moved in there.
In 1925 the museum was closed, the exhibits went to other museums of the city while books, added to many others brought in from outside, had formed the stem of the State Lenin Library (today renamed to the Russian State Library or RGB). Unlike the interior, the front facade of the palace has been conserved well enough. The former was destroyed in the 19th century and later substituted with the new one in 1913-15, when the main halls had been rearranged to incorporate the reading rooms.
Nowadays the RGB is the biggest library in Europe (the second in the world after the US Library of Congress). The Library collections of both national and foreign documents (prints and manuscripts) in 247 languages include more than 42 millions items. Its reading rooms and centres are designed for 2100 seats. At present 4 thousands or so readers are daily served at the Library.
Address: 3/5, Vozdvizhenka St., Moscow
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