Grave of actor Yuri Vladimirovich Nikulin in Novodevichy Cemetery.

© Baturina Yuliya/Shutterstock

Novodevichy Cemetery

Arbat & Khamovniki

Adjacent to the Novodevichy Convent, the Novodevichy Cemetery is one of Moscow’s most prestigious resting places – a veritable who’s who of Russian politics and culture. Here you will find the tombs of Bulgakov, Chekhov, Gogol, Mayakovsky, Prokofiev, Stanislavsky and Eisenstein, among many other Russian and Soviet cultural luminaries. The most recent notable addition to the cemetery is former President Boris Yeltsin, whose tomb is marked by an enormous Russian flag.

In Soviet times, Novodevichy Cemetery was used for eminent people the authorities judged unsuitable for the Kremlin wall, most notably Nikita Khrushchev. The intertwined white-and-black blocks round Khrushchev’s bust were intended by sculptor Ernst Neizvestny to represent the Soviet leader’s good and bad sides. The tombstone of Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin’s second wife, is surrounded by unbreakable glass to prevent vandalism.

A map posted near the entrance pinpoints the most noteworthy graves.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arbat & Khamovniki attractions

1. Novodevichy Convent

0.13 MILES

The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 to celebrate the taking of Smolensk from Lithuania, an important step in Moscow’s conquest of the old Kyivan…

2. Vorobyovy Gory Nature Preserve

1.03 MILES

Vorobyovy Gory, or Sparrow Hills, is the green hilly area south of the Moscow River, opposite the tip of the Khamovniki peninsula. This wooded hillside is…

3. Tolstoy Estate-Museum


Leo Tolstoy’s winter home during the 1880s and 1890s now houses an interesting museum dedicated to the writer’s home life. While it’s not particularly…

4. Andreyevsky Bridge

1.51 MILES

Also known as Pushkinsky bridge, this pedestrian bridge connects Gorky Park with the Frunzenskaya area on the other side of the river. A former railway…

5. Borodino Panorama

1.54 MILES

Following the vicious but inconclusive battle at Borodino in August 1812, Moscow’s defenders retreated along what is now Kutuzovsky pr, pursued by…

6. Church of St Nicholas in Khamovniki

1.54 MILES

This church, commissioned by the weavers’ guild in 1676, is among the most colourful in Moscow. The ornate green-and-orange-tapestry exterior houses an…

7. Triumphal Arch

1.57 MILES

Just east of Park Pobedy, the Triumphal Arch celebrates the defeat of Napoleon in 1812. The original arch was demolished at its site in front of the…

8. Moscow Museum

1.73 MILES

The permanent history exhibit here demonstrates how the city has spread from its starting point at the Kremlin. It is heavy on artefacts from the 13th and…