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Here is the Kremlin across the Moskva river.
And Red Square seen from the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge.
Below left, the 16th century St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square and the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin on the right.
View from my window in the Metropol Hotel.
My first visit in Moscow was facilitated by contacts with Russian families provided by friends of mine in Paris. It made a huge difference, especially during the cold war in 1965.
My friend Nina Glazunov (below) was particularly helpful guiding me all over Moscow and even bringing me to see the Trinity Monastery in Zagorsk that was out of bounds for tourists at that time.
I borrowed a Russian overcoat and kept my mouth shut all the way on the two hour long train ride to get here. Nina did all the talking when required.
Below left, the monumental fortified gate of the monastery reflects the military role of monasteries in the 14th century when Moscow was defended by a chain of monastery-fortresses (lavras).On the right, the 15th century Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit where the first Bishop of Alaska is buried.
The building on the left was the administrative center of the Orthodox Church during the Soviet era until it was moved to Danilovsky Lavra in Moscow in 1988. Now it is a museum.
There were few people there in 1965. The churches were open but attendance was limited to a handful of monks and old women.
Below left, the 16th century Assumption Cathedral with its star spangled domes behind the Chapel-at-the-Well and Boris Goudenov's mausoleum. Below right, a closer view of Boris Goudenov's mausoleum.
A romantic picture of Nina on the porch of the church of St-Sergius next to the Metropolitan's residence.
Through my Paris friends, I got introduced to marginal artistic, almost dissident circles of people who lived dangerously in those troubled times. We had wild parties. At one of them I spoofed in the uniform of a two star Russian general while he was too drunk to notice. Naturally, I kept these photos well hidden until now!
My business in Moscow over, I took vacations to visit Leningrad and Scandinavia on my way back to Paris.
Here is the monument to Peter the Great on Dekabristov Square with the needle spire of the Admiralty in the left background
Leningrad, built on piles driven in the muddy shores of the Neva river, is criss-crossed by drainage ditches like this one called Griboedova canal. The beautiful church of the Resurrection of Christ at the end was closed in 1965.
It's a pity I did not take more pictures in those days.
I also visited Peter the Great's Palaces at Petrodvoretz about 20 km west of Leningrad. They had been completely destroyed during the Nazi siege of Leningrad but had been meticulously restored by the Soviet regime when I was there in 1965.
This impressive water avenue leads to the gulf of Finland from the spectacular grand cascade of fountains in front of the main palace.
And here is the grand cascade adorned with gilded statues. It seemed odd to me at that time that the communists would spend so much effort and money to refurbish the excessive squandering of past Tzars.