Arbat Street, Moscow, Russia

Arbat Street is a famous pedestrian street about 1 km long in the historical center of Moscow and 800 meters west of the walls of the Moscow Kremlin. The Arbat, as known be tourists, has existed since at least the 15th century, which makes it one of the oldest surviving streets of the Russian capital. It forms the heart of the Arbat District of Moscow. Originally the street formed part of an important trade-route and was home to a large number of craftsmen.



In the 18th century the Russian nobility came to regard the Arbat as the most prestigious living area in Moscow. In 1812, it was almost completely destroyed by the great fire of 1812 associated with Napoleon's occupation of Moscow and it required rebuilding. In the 19th and early 20th centuries it became known as the a place where petty nobility, artists, and academics lived. In the Soviet period, it housed many high-ranking government officials.

Since 1986, the Arbat has been dotted with distinctive street lanterns. It has several notable statues, including one to Princess Turandot in front of the Vakhtangov Theater, and another to Soviet-era folk singer, bard and poet Bulat Okudzhava, who wrote several poignant songs about the Arbat.

As of 2016, Arbat Street and its surroundings are undergoing gentrification, and it is considered a desirable place to live. Because of the many historic buildings, and due to the numerous artists who have lived and worked in the street, the Arbat has also become an important tourist attraction where you find all the standard tourist stuff, including several nice souvenir shops and numerous restaurants and cafes.