In 1831 poet Alexander Pushkin married artist Natalia Goncharova in the elegant Church of the Grand Ascension, on the western side of pl Nikitskie Vorota. Six years later he died in St Petersburg, defending her honour in a duel. Such passion, such romance… The celebrated couple is featured in the Rotunda Fountain, erected in 1999 to commemorate the poet’s 100th birthday.
Down the street, the festive Church of the Lesser Ascension sits on the corner of Voznesensky per. Built in the early 17th century, it features whitewashed walls and stone embellishments carved in a primitive style.