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Arseniy Morozov’s Mansion (Reception House of the Government of the Russian Federation)

16 Vozdvizhenka Street

Arseniy Morozov’s mansion on Vozdvizhenka Street, which combines elements of the modern and eclectic in its appearance, includes an example of stylisation in a neoromantic spirit that is unique for Moscow architecture.

The building was constructed in 1895-1899 by architect Viktor Mazyrin by order of his friend Arseniy Abramovich Morozov, a representative of a rich merchant dynasty and second nephew of famous patron Savva Morozov.

In the early 1890s, Arseniy Morozov together with Viktor Mazyrin travelled through Spain and Portugal. They were in admiration at the Portuguese Pena Palace in Sintra, built in the mid 19thcentury, with elements of Spanish-Moorish mediaeval architecture and national Manueline style. On his return to Moscow, Arseniy Morozov decided to build himself a fortress house, broadly speaking replicating the style of Pena Palace, and made his dream a reality on a plot that was given to him by his mother for his 25th birthday.

The neo-Moorish style is most obviously manifested in the design of the portal of the parade entrance and two towers on its sides. In the remaining parts of the mansion, elements of different styles can sometimes be seen, for example some window openings are flanked with classical columns. The overall composition of the mansion with an emphasised absence of symmetry of parts of the building is characteristic of the modern architecture.

During the Soviet period, the First Working Travelling Troupe of the Proletkultura Theatre was initially located in the building, then the Japanese Embassy, the office of the English newspaper “British Ally”, the Indian Embassy, and the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Peoples of Foreign Countries.

In 2003, the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation commenced reconstruction and restoration of the building, and unique interiors were renewed and restored during the works. In January 2006, the mansion was opened as the Reception House of the Government of the Russian Federation. It is used for holding meetings of government delegations, diplomatic negotiations, and conferences of international organisations.

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