Novodevichye cemetery can be divided into two parts, the "old" one located on the convent grounds and a "new" one which is jointed to the territory of the cloister. From the times of its foundation the New Maiden convent has become the burial place of nuns of noble origin as well as prominent personalities of its time, heroes of Napoleonic war, historians, philosophers, merchants. The "new" cemetery was laid out later and became the most prestigious after the Kremlin necropolis in the Soviet period of time. Once strolling along its alleys you feel like in the park of sculptures. These sculptures are the tombstones of prominent writers, poets, artists, composers which narrate the life stories of their possessors. Some of these well-known personalities were buried here according to their last will. Some were just reburied by the order of Soviet government. Nicolay Gogol , the famous satirical writer, Anton Chekhov, the world famous playwright, were among them.
The most renowned composers and singers were also entered here including Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergey Prokofiev, Feodor Chaliapin and others. Chekov's grave is pictured.
The cemetery became also the final resting place for numerous military and political dignitaries and their relatives in the Soviet era, including the First Secretary of the Communist party Nikita Khruschev (see above), the wife of Stalin, Nadezhda Stalin-Allilueva, the wife of the last head of USSR, Raisa Gorbachev.
One of the most notable non-communists recently buried at Novodevichy is Boris Yeltsin, the first elected president of democratic Russia. Just 50 feet away is the grave of Mstislav Rostropovich, the renowned cellist and conductor, who died the same week as Yeltsin.These gravestones of prominent people keep riddles which can be revealed by your Moscow tour guide.