Absolution

Nikolay Galkin/TASS
A walk to the last address in this itinerary takes about 30 minutes. You take a stroll along first the Ostozhenka Street and then the Volkhonka Street without making any turns. There you will see the Pashkov House at Vozdvizhenka, 3/5, across the Kremlin's Borovitsky Gate. This Neoclassicism landmark – an estate intended for Peter Pashkov, the son of Peter the Great's valet – was built at the Vagankovsky Hill in 1784-1786. The house became a Moscow landmark right away. In 1839 the Moscow University used this house, and in 1861 it became a library, first known as Rumyantsevskaya and, in Soviet times, as Publichnaya (Public).

In The Master and Margarita, the roof of Pashkov House is the place where Woland and Azazello meet Levi Matvei. "At sunset, high above the town, on the stone roof of one of the most beautiful buildings in Moscow, built about a century and a half ago, stood two figures – Woland and Azazello. They were invisible from the street below, hidden from the vulgar gaze by a balustrade adorned with stucco flowers in stucco urns, although they could see almost to the limits of the city." Once upon a time, Nikolai Gogol, who was a guest at Pashkov House, noted that the view from the house reminds him of Rome, the Eternal City. Bulgakov, who considered Gogol his spiritual guru, quite possibly knew about this episode. And for this reason researchers of Bulgakov's works have no doubt that it was from this roof that Woland observed as "… the cloud from the west enveloped the vast city. Bridges, buildings, were all swallowed up. Everything vanished as though it had never been. A single whip-lash of fire cracked across the sky, then the city rocked to a clap of thunder. There came another; the storm had begun."