POINTS OF INTEREST
This major intersection is where the grand boulevard of Moscow, the Garden Ring, crosses Tverskaya ulitsa. In the center of the square stands a statue of the revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930), who it's generally believed committed suicide after he became disillusioned with the revolution he had so passionately supported.
The square is a center of Moscow's cultural life—and lately it's also become the political opposition's preferred site for anti-Putin rallies. (In order to prevent the latter, city authorities occasionally cordon off much of the square, supposedly to undertake emergency construction work.) The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, which opened in 1940, stands on one corner (in its foyer are various food outlets); the Satire Theater is next door, on the Garden Ring; and the Mossoviet Theater is nearby, at 16 Bolshaya Sadovaya. The multitiered tower of the elegant Peking Hotel, opened in 1956 as a mark of Sino-Soviet friendship, rises nearby.
While you're here, it's worth riding the escalator down for a peek at the spectacular interior of the Mayakovskaya metro station, which, like many early stations, lies deep underground (it doubled as a bomb shelter during World War II). Stalin made a famous speech here on the 24th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, at the height of the Siege of Moscow. Colorful, pastel mosaics depicting Soviet achievements in outer space decorate the ceiling.