Visit to the Red October quartier. The legendary Red October chocolate factory was built in 1862 on the banks of the Moskva River. It was founded by Von Einem, a German entrepreneur, and it quickly took off. The famous red brick building situated in front of Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was expanding: it added housing for employees, more offices, and additional production sites. It quickly turned into a Moscow icon, with its signature chocolate aroma wafting throughout the capital’s center. The factory was even appointed official provider of the imperial family. After the Russian revolution, the communists expropriated the factory, giving it its present name in 1922. But the factory still expanded, surviving the demolition of its neighbouring cathedral and becoming an important supplier of the Red Army – during World War II its chocolate was part of the military ration for Russian soldiers, pilots, and submarine crews. Red October survived tsarist times, the Soviet Union, and Perestroika, even growing to such an extent that it soon required a new location. The production facilities were transferred outside central Moscow in 2007 and the fabric was left empty, doomed to demolition, with apartment buildings set to be built in its place. However, the developers choose to rent the premises instead, and in 2008 Maria Baibakova replaced the old chocolate production lines with the first thriving modern art gallery. Soon the area became a magnet for artists, designers, publicists, and creators and, in 2009, it hosted the 3rd Moscow Contemporary Art Biennale. Today it is also home to the Strelka Design Institute and the Lumiere Brothers Photography Centre, among others – it houses numerous art galleries, studios, and also busy terraces and trendy night clubs. We will walk throughout the area in order to discover its lively environs and the major changes that have gone on here.
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