No, actually if you’re going for a walk on Bolotny Island you won’t smell the chocolate that long floated in the air. The Red October chocolate factory overlooking the island was one of Moscow’s major factories producing candy and other confectionery. With its red brick walls, it carries its name well. The former industrial chocolate factory «Red October» has become the new artistic spot of the Russian capital. A young and festive cultural hub that gives an underground dimension to a district in full regeneration. This place is often called the Soho of Moscow. The shortcut is excessive but illustrates the new penchant of a neighbourhood stimulated by the audacity of the former chocolate factory «Red October», which in a few years has become a landmark of gallerists, producers and designers of all kinds. We are not in an anonymous suburb of Moscow, but on the island of Bolotny, on the Moskova, only fifteen minutes walk from the walls of the Kremlin. «Red October» is the heart of this district in full renewal. Created in 1687, it has retained its name, which dates back to its nationalization in 1917, and the emblematic red of its bricks, which highlights it, in front of the flashing cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Nearby stands the small Kirillov Palace, a 17th century mansion donated by Emperor Alexander II to the Imperial Archaeological Society in 1868. Old babushkas still walk in the gardens with wild grasses that separate it from a small orthodox church. All around, the neighbourhood is slowly changing, with offices and new apartments. On the front of the Moskova, lounge restaurants welcome visitors, as on the large terrace of the Strelka Bar, a place where it is well seen to show itself. At the southern tip of the island, on a specially arranged islet, stands the famous steel statue of Tsar Peter the Great, by the Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. With a height of 94 meters, it is the largest in Russia. Realized for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America, it originally represented Christopher Columbus and was to be offered to a city of the New Continent. Refused by New York, Baltimore and Miami, it was in Moscow that it was finally given, after the sculptor replaced the head of the Genoese navigator with that of Peter the Great.
At the end of the island, you will find an Alionka chocolate shop where you can find bulk chocolates in vintage packaging. To conclude, this island is full of many hidden places, galleries and friendly restaurants waiting for you!