Povarskaya Street

It is known informally as Moscow's Embassy Row, and is home to the finest mansions built in the 1890s and 1900s

Povarskaya street in Moscow
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Povarskaya Street is a radial street in the center of Moscow, Russia, connecting Arbat Square on Boulevard Ring with Kudrinskaya Square on the Garden Ring.

Povarskaya Street also houses the Supreme Court of Russia and the Gnessin State Musical College.

44 Povarskaya, the New Zealand Embassy
pinterest button 44 Povarskaya, the New Zealand Embassy NVO, CC BY-SA 2.5

Most of Povarskaya Street lies in the Arbat District; its norhthern side near Kudrinskaya Square is administered by the Presnensky District.


Povarskaya Street follows the track of an ancient road from Moscow to Volokolamsk. In the 1570s Ivan Grozny allocated the street to oprichnina (private royal domain) and the street was taken over by his associates.

Povarskaya street Moscow 1900-1910
pinterest button Povarskaya street Moscow 1900—1910 неизвестен, Public Domain

In the 17th century, however, its upper-class population was diluted by lower classes. The street owes its name to cooks (povara) of the 17th century Muscovite court. Nearby lanes are also named after various court servants: bakers (Khlebny Lane), tablecloth weavers (Skatertny Lane), etc.

When Peter I established his new capital city in Saint Petersburg, this court sloboda depopulated, and the street was re-settled by nobles again, housing families including Gagarin, Golitsyn, Suvorov and the court of Peter's sister, princess Natalya Alexeevna (1673–1716).

9, Povarskaya, Embassy of Cyprus
pinterest button 9, Povarskaya, Embassy of Cyprus NVO, CC BY-SA 2.5

The street has retained its upper-class, exclusive role since that time. It is unusually quiet for downtown Moscow — with the exception of music from the Gnesin Institute windows, there are no retail shops, no office blocks and no public transport.

In the late 1890s, real estate developer Jacob Reck consolidated two blocks in the middle of Povarskaya and commissioned prestigious Moscow architects Lev Kekushev and Roman Klein to design exclusive single-family mansions.

These buildings, occupied by foreign embassies, are a showcase of Moscow Art Nouveau style.

Founded: 1570

Useful Information

Povarskaya Street
Russian: Поварская улица
known from 1924-1991 as Vorovsky Street
Russian: улица Воровского

Notable buildings

  • 5 - Church of Saint Simeon Stylites
  • 7 - Embassy of Norway by Ivan Kuznetsov and Adolph Seligson
  • 9 - Embassy of Cyprus by Ivan Kuznetsov
  • 13,15 - Supreme Court of Russia
  • 21 - House of Hungarian Culture
  • 23,25 - Gagarin house by Domenico Giliardi (World Literature Museum)
  • 24 - Art Nouveau building that housed the first Embassy of Lithuania (1920–1940)
  • 30 - Shuvalov house by Alexander Kaminsky
  • 33 - Cinema Actors' Theater by Victor Vesnin and Alexander Vesnin, 1931
  • 32,34,36 - Gnessin State Musical College
  • 40 - Embassy of Cameroon
  • 42 - Ponizovsky house by Lev Kekushev (Embassy of Afghanistan)
  • 44 - Mindovsky house by Lev Kekushev (Embassy of New Zealand)
  • 46 - Schlossberg house by Adolph Seligson
  • 50 - Svyatopolk house by Pyotr Boytsov
  • 52 - Dolgorukov estate; the basis of the "Rostov Estate" in Tolstoy's War and Peace

Public transport access

  • Arbatskaya (Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line) - beginning
  • Barrikadnaya - end