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Travel portal
Nizhny Novgorod region
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Walking route along Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street

The city’s main pedestrian street is Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, a place where it is a delight to take your time, listen to the street musicians, and pop into the cozy cafes which can be found here at every turn. We have mapped out our route from Minin Square to Gorky Square in such a way that we can look into the details, admire the architecture, and learn something new about familiar places.

This monumental structure at the very beginning of Pokrovka is a vivid example of eclecticism, with a predominance of neo-Russian style. Once the home of the city theatre, the building is currently being restored.

Once the Verkhneposadsky Chamber of Commerce, at the beginning of the last century the city public library was located in this building. Today there is a real coffee cluster here, and if you look at the portico of the house, you can see busts of the writers Pushkin, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

The Frolov Brothers Apartment House, built by the architect Lemke, where there were once wine warehouses and shops.

There once lived here a merchant by the name of Kostromin, who sponsored the invention of the famous Kulibin, a clock in the form of a goose’s egg, which was later presented as a gift to Catherine II. Now the building is an educational theatre with delightful productions and affordable ticket prices. Look closer, and a typical urban scene is depicted around the window on the second floor: cats sneaking up on pigeons sitting on the eaves.

A tiny second-hand bookstore where you can pick up a collection of works, an old Gorky guidebook, or a book from your childhood for a bargain.

A small wing with signs: it was here that the engraving workshop of Mikhail Sverdlov, the father of the famous revolutionary Yakov Sverdlov, was located. On the third floor, go to the museum dedicated to the city’s main pedestrian street, and on the first or second floor, be sure to buy souvenirs. Our choice would be a hoodie with Bugrov’s doss house bearing the inscription: «Do not drink vodka. Do not sing songs. Keep quiet.»

As if it were a secret place with a photogenic courtyard, today the Kladovka («Storeroom») is an interactive museum where you can listen to music, switch on old tape recorders, and wind up a vintage gramophone, and there is also a large selection of vinyl records on sale.

The Russian Museum of Photography
9 Piskunov St.
Opening times
11:00 - 19:00
Admission price
from 150 rubles

If you turn slightly to the left from the main street, you will see the house where, in 1869, one of the founders of Russian artistic photography, Andrei Karelin, first opened his photographic workshop, and his student Maxim Dmitriev also worked there. Here you can see daguerreotypes, stereo positives, and postcards, dating from the 1870s to the present day.

In the centre of the square is the Nizhny Novgorod Drama Theater, with its classical repertoire, first built for the industrial exhibition of 1896. Skaters make their way around a bench where you can sit and relax, and don’t forget to take a picture with the Cheerful Goat, and rub your nose with the sculpture of actor Yevgeny Evstigneev, who once studied at a local drama school.

A luminous tram car installed in the middle of the street in honour of the first passenger tram lines in Russia is one of the main photo-op spots on Pokrovka, so be sure to take a picture here as a souvenir.

Many years ago, balls and gala dinners were held in this building, built for the Assembly of the Nobility. Balakirev gave concerts here, and the Manifesto on the Abolition of Serfdom was even read out in its pillared hall. Now you can find shops, workshops, as well as the Nizhny Novgorod Exotarium. A new life began for the building when the DKRT cultural space opened its doors, and concerts are regularly held here.

The Tsentralnaya Hotel, where the most honoured guests of the 1896 exhibition stayed, once operated here. Then the building was adapted to serve as the District Court, where in 1902, for instance, the participants of the May Day demonstration in Sormovo were tried. Among them was Pyotr Zalomov, who was to become the inspiration for the main character of Maxim Gorky’s novel «Mother».

A concentration of several fashionable locations at once: look out for delicious pizza at Yula, for modern art at Gallery 9B, and for the famous black burgers of Salyut. On Sundays, a flea market historically takes place in the square, where you can find some rarities for not too much money — badges, Soviet-era chinaware, and old books.

An outstanding example of the neo-Russian style, and a masterpiece which, along with the Stroganov Church, attracts connoisseurs of architecture to Nizhny Novgorod from far afield. Now it houses the Volga-Vyatka Main Directorate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. The bank was inaugurated in 1913, with Nicholas II himself present at the ceremony. That year the 300th anniversary of the Romanov House was celebrated, and for the occasion the imperial family visited Nizhny Novgorod, the homeland of the Nizhny Novgorod militia.

One of the most absurd sculptures in the world (ranked 20th in this ranking in 2014) was unexpectedly installed near the Nizhny Novgorod Lobachevsky University.

Despite the fact that the Eaglet is considered to be a children’s cinema, the repertoire here is gorgeous, and you can see both an art house and a short film festival on the schedule.

The cinema is located in a historic building constructed in 1912 by the architect Fyodor Shechtel, and previously Nizhny Novgorod’s first electro theatre, The Palace, was located here. There is an inexpensive cafe where you can drink coffee and have a bite to eat.

The puppet theatre made its home here in 1979, pay particular attention to the facade which is stylised as a stage and curtain. The former name of the institution, the Gorky Puppet Theatre, is still emblazoned on the side facade. In addition to the theatre’s wide repertoire, there are also workshops on doll-making and interactive theatrical tours.

A shop with a vast selection of local souvenirs on the ground floor, and a museum of antique machinery and tools on the third.

A shopping wing in the style of rational Art Nouveau, with wide storefront windows, the facade of which is decorated with fantastic creatures. Today there is also a children’s dental surgery here.

One of the city’s finest bookshops, with a huge selection of literature on the arts and local history, where you can also buy local souvenirs. On the top floor there is the famous Library cafe, where you definitely need to book a table.

Very close to the Airship, to the right of it on the second floor, is Nizhny Novgorod’s first independent bookstore, which opened in 2014 — in the Shelf you can find a variety of literature, from new editions to second-hand books, as well as pick up a vinyl record (there are extremely rare copies here!)

The House of Communications, built in the post-constructivist style, was one of the largest buildings in the city when it was built in 1936. The facade is decorated with a bas-relief with a story from the daily life of the townspeople. Curiously, the windows have not changed since they were installed here, these are the original wooden frames that have been here since 1937.

You can complete your walk along Pokrovka near the seven-metre monument to Maxim Gorky, which was created by the famous sculptor Vera Mukhina. Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street, by the way, continues all the way to the Nebo shopping centre, but that is a completely different story.

WHERE TO EAT DELICIOUS FOOD

01
Scoop (2 Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St.)
is already a legendary noodle shop, where there is almost always a queue. Orders should be made according to the principle of the designer: choose your noodles, filling, sauce, and tell them your name, which will be written on the box.
02
Mazel Tov (9B Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St.)
is a place offering Israeli cuisine, and everything on the menu is classic: falafel, shakshuka and "the very same tzimus". Great business lunches and an interesting interior with quotes from a local Blue Pencil artist adorning the walls.
03
Ceylon — Meteor — Noot (15 Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St.)
Three cool places all in a line where you can have a snack: an Asian bistro inspired by a trip to Sri Lanka, a wine bistro with food for every day, and the first falafel in Nizhny Novgorod.
04
Happy People (20 Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St.)
A definite tourists' favourite on Pokrovka, and a great place to start your day. They work from 8 am with a range of breakfasts on offer.