POINTS OF INTEREST
The beginning of Russian satirist and novelist Mikhail Bulgakov's (1891–1940) novel The Master and Margarita is set in a small park surrounding these ponds, named after the patriarch of the Orthodox Church, who once owned the area. Shaded by trees and with plenty of benches, it's a nice spot for a break, and there are several good restaurants nearby, including a pavilion near the ponds where they serve kitschy Soviet cuisine in an opulent setting. In winter the pond is used as a skating rink. The surrounding neighborhood has become one of Moscow's poshest.