Old Russia is juxtaposed against the modern on Moscow’s Petrovka Street, just a couple of blocks away from Pushkin Square, and a few steps away from some of the swankiest restaurants in Moscow. On one side of the street is located the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum is under the directorship of the well-known, though sometimes controversial, leader of the Moscow art scene, Zurab Tsereteli, and is housed in a historical two-floor mansion. From Petrovka street, the visitor enters through the whimsical sculpture garden to find the main entrance of the museum. The Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits works by both Russian and other artists.
Directly across the street from the museum is located the Upper St. Peter Monastery. Founded towards the end of the 14th century, the monastery continues to be a working religious center for the Russian Orthodox Church. The quiet grounds are a stark contrast to the bustle of nearby Pushkin Square. The most notable architecture in the monastery is the onion-domed Virgin of Bogolyubovo Church and the Cathedral of Metropolitan Peter.
The Cathedral of Metropolitan Peter with its red-bricked walls and wood-shingled roof was built by the second wife of Tsar Alexis I for her son, Peter the Great, in appreciation for his actions in deposing his half-sister, the Regent Sofia. When Peter finally banished Sofia to exile in the Novodevichy Convent, he brought to a close the brutal and bloody feud between the families of the two wives of Alexis that had raged since Peter was a small boy.