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Fantastic beasts on Moscow's housefronts

Lions, unicorns, griffins, and other must-see creatures

Дом Перцовой

Moscow is a blend of architectural styles where streets are like pages in an encyclopedia of decor. At the turn of the 20th century, the heyday of eclecticism and Art Nouveau saw the housefronts grow richer in decorations, featuring an increasing number of mythical creatures and protagonists of Russian folk tales.

The main, sky-blue facade is adorned with a lion and a unicorn — historical symbols of the Moscow Print Yard.

The main entrance doorway is decorated with a medallion that depicts a dragon sitting on a chain, an oriental symbol of good luck.

Gryphons, deer with beautiful antlers, dragon-like creatures, and many other animals "inhabit" the facade of this apartment building on Chistoprudny Boulevard.

The most famous maiolica panel of the Metropol is Princess Gryoza ("The Far Princess"), based on the sketches by Russian painter Mikhail Vrubel. Other mosaics feature Orpheus and bathing naiads.

If you look closely at the facades of the mansion near the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you'll be able to spot various characters from Russian folklore.

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