Virtual tours of Paris and secrets of Moscow’s mansions: Second online marathon Heritage Day-2020

May 15

It will be possible for people to join the online guided tours of some of Moscow’s old mansions without even having to step one foot outside during the second online marathon Heritage Day-2020. This is scheduled for 16 May in the run-up to International Museum Day, Deputy Moscow Mayor Natalya Sergunina said. Home-viewers will also be able to roam around places like Paris, Marseille, Leipzig and London and also attend lectures on urban restoration and architecture.   

“The historical online marathon will get going at 11 am and will come to a close after 10 pm. Experts from various countries will be joining the event and discussions on famous buildings and architectural ensembles in Moscow and other European cities will be ongoing. For example, architectural landmarks in France, Germany and the United Kingdom will be talked about,” Ms Sergunina added.

The YouTube channel of the Moscow City Department of Cultural Heritage will broadcast the event free of charge at website

The Department’s official Facebook account and the Heritage Days section of the Get to Know Moscow website will publish hyperlinks for the marathon’s live broadcast and schedule. No preliminary registration is required.

“This year, we are marking the Days of Historical and Cultural Heritage online, and this format has already won a reputation for itself. On 18 April, over 5,000 people watched the first 12-hour long marathon. Online guided tours were more popular than the rest, and we therefore teamed up with experts to prepare even more of them for 16 May. In all, there will be seven guided tours. People will be able to admire the city’s historical mansions and to roam around other European cities. We are especially inviting all families to join the marathon,” Head of the Moscow City Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov noted.

As before, journalist Vladimir Rayevsky who has also produced documentaries and shows about Moscow will moderate the second online marathon. He will speak with Russian and international experts on the history of architecture, the preservation of cultural heritage and restoration during video calls.

The talks will last between 45 and 50 minutes, and history buffs will get a chance to address their questions to some of the specialists during the broadcast. Experts will reply to them after their pep talks.

Фото: Юлия Иванко

Step onto the Polytechnic Museum roof and take in Lefortovo Park’s history

The moderator will say hello to those taking part in the marathon at 11 am sharp, and Internet surfers will be invited to join the first online tour, Moscow’s Roofs, at 11.15 am. Olga Tarasova will be your guide and be taking you round picturesque sights from well-known observation decks in various city districts. Many of them are located inside buildings with cultural heritage status, including places like the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower in the Kremlin that provides an excellent view of the old streets of the Zamoskvorechye District and famous Soviet-era highrise blocks of flats. The Tretyakovsky Proyezd arch can be seen from the roof of the Central Children’s Shop on Lubyanka Street. It will also be possible to “climb” onto the roof of the Polytechnic Museum and the residential building on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment. Those unable to join the Moscow’s Roofs tour during the online marathon can find it on the Get to Know Moscow website.

Фото: Юлия Иванко

Eva Rodionova, an expert on preserving the Dutch cultural heritage, will give a lecture on the landscape of Lefortovo Park in southeastern Moscow and its archaeological heritage. It will be revealed that Dr Nicholas Bidloo from the Netherlands, physician in ordinary to Peter the Great, laid out the first design of the park. The park eventually received the status of a joint Russian-Dutch cultural landmark. The lecture starts at noon.

At 2 pm, engineer and architect Nicola Berlucchi will speak about the restoration of Constructivist and Modernist buildings dating back to the 1930s in Italy. Then Sergei Senin will conduct a guided tour of London at 3 pm. He will discuss such landmarks at the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace and will also present some of the British capital’s modern architecture.

Visit to Bach Museum and admiring Pont Louis Philippe

At 3.30 pm sharp whoever would like will be able to go off to Leipzig for a guided tour. Guide Anastasia Ostretsova will deliver a talk on the German city’s history and show its central district and some of its main landmarks. What’s more, it will be possible to visit the Bach Museum and the Saint Thomas Church where the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach is interred. People will also see a famous monument to the 1813 Battle of Nations near Leipzig. This was the greatest military engagement of the 19th century when Russian, Austrian, Prussian and Swedish forces defeated the army of Napoleon Bonaparte.

At 6 pm, another guide, Anastasia Sokolova, will take over and there’ll be an online tour of Ile St Louis in central Paris. A unique 17th century architectural ensemble is located on the island. Anastasia will discuss its origin and history and will focus on the island’s main landmarks, including the famous bridge, Pont Louis Philippe, the Paris City Hall, the Lausin Mansion and plenty more.

Фото: Пресс-служба Мэра и Правительства Москвы. Евгений Самарин

At 9.40 pm, it will be time to leave the North of France and go off to the South and the city of Marseille. Yevgeny Cartoso, an expert on Provence, will enlighten his followers with his running commentary about the city’s 20th century landmarks.

The marathon’s closing event is to start at 10.10 pm. Filipp Smirnov, Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow Heritage magazine and a member of Moscow’s Civic Chamber, will read excerpts from the 1920 book Red Moscow that was published soon after Moscow became the capital of Soviet Russia. The book contains many interesting details about the city and its residents.

International Museum Day, marked every year since 1977, aims to raise public awareness about how vital it is to preserve cultural heritage. On that day, museums in various countries organise free guided tours, lectures and display exhibits from their depositories.

Moscow has been holding the Days of Historical and Cultural Heritage since 2001 in the run-up to the International Day for Monuments and Sites (18 April) and International Museum Day (18 May).

Today all cultural institutions remain temporarily closed in Moscow because of the coronavirus pandemic. All shows, sports, public and other events have been cancelled until 31 May. Over 50 parks, estates and other public territories also remain off limits to visitors until 31 May. The same is true of the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh), Gorky Park, the Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve and other leisure and recreational areas.

However, it is possible to visit the city’s old estates, mansions and other historical buildings on the Get to Know Moscow website. There are no less than 17 online tours covering 24 cultural heritage landmarks so that anyone can study the interior of the Petroff Palace and the New Catherine Hospital, wander the stairs and halls of the Pashkov House or visit the five historical VDNKh pavilions.

Фото: Евгений Самарин

The Get to Know Moscow website is a joint project involving Moscow’s Department of Information Technology, Department of Culture, Department of Cultural Heritage and the city’s Department of Science and Education. People can also use the Get to Know Moscow app that can be downloaded at App Store and Google Play.


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