Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Moscow 6 - May They Rest in Peace!

So many great people in one, relatively small place!!

Moscow's prestigious cemetery Novodevichi 
is the resting place of who's who in russian politics, culture, science, military and other walks of life.

To mention just a few : Khrushchev, Yeltsin (politics), Chechov, Gogol (writers), Prokofiev, Shostakovich (composers), Oistrach (violonist), Rostropovich (cellist), Shaleapin (opera singer), Galina Ulanova (ballet dancer), Tupolev (scientist).

Nikita Khrushchev-  his bust                                                   Boris Yeltsin
surrounded by a black and white structure

  Anton Chechov                                                      Fedor Shaleapin

                                                                      Galina Ulanova

Two wives of famous politicians seemed to attract a lot of visitors: Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife ( committed suicide) and  Raisa Gorbachev, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev ( died in a german hospital after a 2-month struggle against leukemia).

Nadezhda  Alliluyeva

                                                                Raisa Gorbachev
              (A female statue is overlooking the grave; at the back- tiles that cover ashes in the wall).

The Novodevichi cemetery looks more like an exhibition of sculptures: bronze sculptures, marble sculptures, sculptures depicting accurately  the deceased and their profession; life size statues or just busts. A huge variety of styles, materials , colors.                   
Luckily, my knowledge of the russian alphabet helped me with reading  the names on the headstones.  At a certain point I also followed a guided group, and so I managed to visit most of the famous graves.

Many trees and bushes lining the alleys and the rows, as well as flowers near the graves - soften the rigidity of marble, bronze and stone  used in the building of the monuments. 


  1. Golly I wish I could go back for a last visit. Too old now. I missed so much.
    we were there 3 days and then Odessa, and Georgia. St Petersburg was great.
    Have a gret day and sending love and good wishes. yvonne

  2. La Petite Gallery,

    It seems you've done quite a big tour: Moscow, St. Peterburg, Odessa, Georgia. I hope you took some great photos to remind you of that wonderful itinerary.
    Love and good wishes to you too!

  3. Thanks for the tour, Duta, loved the pictures and the narrative. I've always been interested in Russian history, so your posts are very much appreciated.

  4. Hi Bica,

    You're welcome.I'm always in a dlemma with pictures. I have to limit myself - and this is very difficult as every headstone is a piece of art worth of being published.

  5. Jeltzin has a very original one!

  6. Ola,

    Yes, you're right about that. It's the russian flag, and there was some public/political controversy over this headstone shape.

  7. Very interesting! I love statues but have never seen them like this at a cemetery! Some of them are so interesting, I love the one of the ballerina.

  8. Ulanova & Alliluyeva's stones are beautiful, each in their own ways.
    Is's sad tht Raisa Gorbacheva died, I think she & her husband are the faces of change in Russia... or at least that is what I am remembering from my childhood. :)
    Lovely Tour... cemeteries & graveyards are fascinating yet sad.

  9. You remember correctly about the Gorbachev couple.
    The Novodevichi cemetery is indeed fascinating - a must see place.

  10. Duta, was in Russia in 1990, Mikhail and Reagan were having a visit so I didn't see red square. We did see Chandeliers in the beautiful clean subway (underground)
    went to the Bolshoi and we were there during Perestroika. All the Hotels
    all over Russia had long names I could never remember. We did visit a few refuseniks. Odessa was really nice and Leningrad. Wish I was well enough to go again. Be safe Dear Duta. yvonne

  11. Nel,

    This cemetery is full of statues of the highest quality. It's extremely interesting to contemplate them.

  12. La Petite Gallery,

    You had quite a taste of Russia: the Bolshoi,the subway, Leningrad, Odessa. Feel well, and who knows next time you'll visit the Red Square . As an artist, you'll find interest in the sculptures of Novodevichi cemetery.