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The Legendary Patriarch’s Pond

“One hot evening, just as the sun was going down, two men appeared at Patriarch’s Pond.” This is the opening line to a book named ‘The Master and Margarita’, written by one of the best authors to emerge from Russia, Mikhail Bulgakov. Sitting quietly on the park bench at Patriarch’s Pond, one can almost see the two men who run into the Devil along the way. Much of the book centers around this magnificent location in Moscow, which attracts many visitors even though is only consists of a pond and a square.

Visitors who have read the book, come here to recognize the landmarks that were recorded in detail, and can be clearly seen throughout Patriarch’s Pond. It took Bulgakov twelve years to write ‘The Master and Margarita’, and because the characteristics of the Devil were so similar to that of Stalin, the book was not released till after the deaths of both the author and the iron fisted dictator. Today, the novel’s black humor is appreciated and admired, and has received the response that Mikhail Bulgokov would have been proud of.

Patriarch’s Pond is still eerily similar to the square and pond that Bulgokov gazed upon while envisioning his novel. There are a few minor differences of course. For example, the bar described in the novel, turns out to be a pleasant, neat café which serves freshly baked pastries, home cooked meals, tea, beer and vodka. While tourists view the square as an attraction, the locals come to Patriarch’s Pond to escape the noise and bustle of Moscow and to relax, walk their dogs or simply find tranquility in their lives. In winter, when the cold and ice transforms the pond into a perfect skating arena, the square is filled with laughter and music, as children and adults enjoy skating on the pond.

Near Patriarch’s Pond is a related attraction, the Bulgakov Museum. An apartment, which also became an inspiration to the novel, was transformed into a house museum and pays tribute to the life of the author and to the years which it took him to write his masterpiece. Between finding similarities in the book and the square, and walking the footsteps of a Russian literary legend, visitors are advised to take a seat next to the pond, and take in the peacefulness of this spectacular location.


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