the arbat is a short pedestrian street in the historical centre of moscow. it has existed since around the 15th century, making it possibly one of the oldest surviving streets in the city.
in the 18th century, the arbat came to be regarded by the russian nobility as the most prestigious living area in Moscow. the street was almost completely destroyed by the great fire during napoleon's occupation of woscow in 1812 and had to be rebuilt. in the 19th and early 20th centuries it became known as the a place where petty nobility, artists, and academics lived. In the Soviet period, it was the home of many high-ranking government officials. -source
zhenya took me up the arbat, where we saw this guy, and lots of touristy stores selling fabergé eggs.