Trojan Gold: Last Day in Moscow

My last day in Moscow, I resolved to try one last time to get through Red Square to see St Basil’s. Imagine my surprise when I was actually successful! Better yet, apparently it was the free Thursday (though if it not being free would have reduced the crowds, I’d have been ok with the trade-off).

St Basil’s is a rabbit warren of little chapels, mostly empty on the ground floor. Due to the crowds, I almost missed going upstairs, which would have been a real shame as it was the prettiest part of the cathedral, with frescos and icons from different periods in the different chapels. It also gave a good view south over the city to another of the Seven Sisters.

I then walked to the Pushkin Museum of Art, specifically to see the Trojan Gold room. Walking there took a bit of a detour: Moscow is a city of underpasses, and the route I had chosen had no way to cross the street. I backtracked to the State Library and continued on. Again I was lucky and didn’t have to pay an entrance fee. I went straight to the Troy room.

All that went through my mind when I got there was Keat’s poem “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”. (Unlike some of my friends, I cannot declaim Homer himself.) The display was pretty spectacular. Most of it is just loops of gold, most exciting for its context. However, the diadems and earrings that Schliemann draped on his wife for the famous photographs were magnificent:

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