Kropotkinskaya metro station. Beginning of Gogolevsky Bulvar

Nikolay Galkin/ТАSS
The simple archway of the Kropotkinskaya metro station pavilion frames the entrance to one of Moscow's finest boulevards. This is one of those places where fires of the past contributed to beauty of the present. The boulevard appeared here after Napoleon, retreating from Moscow in 1812, had torched the city, burning to the ground, among many things, the overgrown local estates. Up until the 1870s, there was Chertolye stream running through the boulevard, known for its horrid character: in the spring it overflowed, swamping the surrounding areas, and in the fall, a poisonous fog rose up from the waters. Today, the stream is hidden underground, but its presence can be felt in the strange, three-level structure of the boulevard. Gogolevsky Bulvar (Gogolevsky Boulevard) alone could serve as a wonderful manual on the 19th century history of Moscow. Ancient manors stand side by side with tenement houses, and the refuges of the Decembrists are next to the literary salons. All sorts of people had left their mark here.