A stately Cathedral of God's Ascension, which is also known in Moscow as the Great Ascension, adorns the square nearby the Nikitskie gates.
The first stone church of ascension was laid by tsarina Natalia Kirillovna Narishkina`s order in the XVII century. Under Catherine II her favourite, prince Potyomkin-Tavrichesky, dwelt near the church.
The Preobrazhensky regiment, which was under Potyomkin`s command, was billeted in the square.
The prince made up his mind to erect a big spacious cathedral of the Preobrazhensky regiment instead of the old poky church.
Outstanding architects V. Bazhenov and M. Kazakov were invited to build the cathedral. Its erection dragged on for almost half a century.
The work was finished only in 1845. Many famous human lives were connected with the cathedral. According to the legend, Catherine II and Potyomkin`s conjugal crowns were kept there. On February 18, 1831 A. S. Pushkin married N. Goncharova in the unfinished church. And in November, 1917, the cadets, who perished during one of the most fierce fights near the Nikitskie gates, were buried there.
The cathedral was closed in 1931, but memories of Pushkin and his participation in the church history saved the cathedral from demolition.
Different institutions have occupied the building for different periods of time. Then a project of the cathedral reconstruction into a concert hall appeared. And at last, in 1992 the cathedral was returned to the Orthodox Church.
Address: 36, Bol. Nikitskaya St., Moscow
Underground: Arbatskaya (Arbatsko-Pokrovskoy line)