Baryshnikov Estate

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
One of Moscow's best known buildings was commissioned at the very end of the 18th century by retired Major Ivan Baryshnikov. It was built by the famous architect Matvey Kazakov, and miraculously enough the palace survived the 1812 Fire of Moscow, even though it could not escape the pillaging by Napoleon's soldiers. The owner had to put a lot of time, money and effort to restore the building to its original look.

In the 1820s, the estate was passed to Baryshnikov's son-in-law, Colonel Stepan Begichev, who, together with his wife, had turned the mansion into the center of Moscow's fashionable life. Among its regular guests were such men of letters as Vladimir Odoyevsky, Denis Davydov, and Wilhelm Küchelbecker, and there were constant balls and celebrations. The mansion's owner was a close friend of Alexander Griboyedov, who had lived here while working on his Woe from Wit comedy.

In the second half of the 19th century, the building ended up in the hands of the government, and a hospital for the poor working class was opened here. In the 20th century, the hospital's place was taken up by the Institute of Sanitary Education of the People's Commissariat for Health. At the end of last century, the building was given to the editorial offices of the Arguments and Facts newspaper.