Sparrow Hills

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Sparrow Hils

On Sparrow Hills is the last but one chapter of The Master and Margarita. Woland, Koroviev, Azazello and Behemoth said goodbye to Moscow from this spot, Воробьёвы горы [Vorobjovi gori]), sitting on black horses. Together with the master and Margarita they rose into the air and galloped. The Moscow Council for the Renovation of the City has decided to install a sculpture group that was made to honour Bulgakov on Sparrow Hills, in a little park on the Moscow riverside, between Andreevskaya Naberezhnaya and Kosygina ulitsa. At first his monument should have been placed in the park of the Patriarch's Ponds.

In 1935 Sparrow Hills were renamed into Ленинские горы [Leninskye gory] or Lenin Hills. This name was kept until 1999.

The Moscow State University

In 1953, the Moscow State University - one of Stalin's so-called Seven Sisters -  was built on the hills. These are seven rather bombastic skyscrapers in Moscow, sometimes also called the wedding cakes because of their typical shape. The university campus is situated 220 meter above sea level and 85 meter above the river banks. The observatory with view on Moscow can be reached with a funicular.

Not far from the observatory is the well known Metromost, a metro station on a bridge over the river. This bridge, connecting Komsomolsky Prospekt to Vernadsky Prospekt, has two levels: one for car traffic, and one for the metro. The metro station Vorobjovye Gory with his wall of glass is situated at the lower level.

The Novodevichy convent

Close to Sparrow Hills is the Новодевичье кладбище [Novodevitche kladbyshche] or Novodevichy convent. The convent was founded in 1524 by the Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily III (1479-1533) to commemorate the reconquest of Smolensk on the Lithuanians. But most of the currently existing buildings are from the 17th century. It was here that Boris Fyodorovich Godunov (1551-1605) was elected czar and Sofia Alexeevna  (1657-1704), the imperious sister of czar Peter the Great (1672-1725), was imprisoned.

The Novodevichy convent has one of the most famous graveyards of Russia. Chrutshov, Eisenstein, Molotov, Chekhov, Tupolev, Prokovief... and Bulgakov are buried here. Bulgakov lies here with his third wife Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya. When Elena was searching for a nice stone for the grave, she found a block of granite coming from the Crimea. Later it appeared to be the tombstone of Gogol's original grave.

Gogol was buried on the cemetry of the Danilov convent, but in the early ´30's his grave was relocated to Novodevichy, together with the graves of Mayakovsky and Chekhov. The gravestone (with a crucifix on it) was replaced by a bust of Gogol. Bulgakov would have been honoured: Gogol was his shining example.

With his grave on Novodevichy, «Булгаков оставался в Москве навсегда» or «Bulgakov stayed forever in Moscow.»

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