--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
In front of the Nautilus shopping centre we can see some carefully preserved archaeological remains. It's all that survives of the foundations of an ancient medieval church – the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity On The Old Fields.
The archaeological remains uncovered here are part of the foundations of an ancient medieval church which formerly stood here – the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity on the Old Fields. Records of the church go back to the C15th – it was rebuilt several times. The soviets demolished it in 1934 under the pretext of laying new pipes. The whitestone foundations appear small, but it's an optical illusion. Numerous tombstones were found nearby. A grave was found nearby, containing female jewellery. You can see many of the items found during the dig in a special display in Old Gostinny Dvor.
Of course you can find these kinds of exposed archaeological remains in many places in Europe. Moscow has several others – for example at the Zachatevsky Monastery and at the Tsaritsyno Estate.
There's a special intrigue in the part of this church's name that refers to the “old fields”. There were never any farming fields here – the name instead refers to a College of Law, whose 'fields' were the scene for resolving legal disputes. And it was precisely here, wedged between the old Kitai-Gorod city walls and Nikolskaya Street, that there was a Church known by the name of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, which was built on the Old Fields.
Kitay-gorod is one of the oldest parts of Moscow. It appeared nearby the old wooden Kremlin. Although the name translates as “Chinatown,” it probably derives from kita (wattle), referring to the wall that surrounded this early Kremlin suburb. Today, remains of an old city wall and colorful churches are scattered throughout this ancient neighborhood.
The stone walls were erected in the 16th century by an Italian architect known under the name Petrok Maly and originally featured 13 towers and six gates. They were as thick as they were high. The last of the towers were demolished in the 1930s, but small portions of the wall still stand. One of two remaining parts of the wall is located in Zaryadye and the other near the exit from the Okhotny Ryad station of Moscow Metro behind the Hotel Metropol.
Kitay-gorod starts at Red Square. Apart from Red Square, the quarter is bordered by the chain of Central Squares of Moscow, notably Theatre Square (in front of Bolshoi Theatre), Lubyanka Square (in front of the KGB headquarters), and Slavyanskaya Square.
Since time immemorial Kitay-gorod has been developing as a trading area. And for centuries it was known as the most prestigious business area of Moscow. Its three main streets — Varvarka, Ilyinka, and Nikolskaya — are lined with banks, shops, and storehouses. There are also lots of historical buildings that relate to the heritage of the federal and global importance now.
In our tour you will walk along Nikolskaya Street that is famous for being the site of Moscow's first university, the Slavic Greek Latin Academy, housed in extant Zaikonospassky monastery (1660s). Another monastery cathedral, the main church of Epiphany Bogoyavlensky Monastery (1690s), is the oldest male monastery in Moscow, stands in the middle of Kitay-gorod in the eponymous Bogoyavlensky Lane. The 18th century survives in the exterior walls of the otherwise rebuilt Gostiny Dvor (Guest Merchant's Court) by Giacomo Quarenghi.
A whole quarter of Kitay-gorod adjacent to the Moskva River and known as Zaryadye (now just Varvarka Street) was demolished in the 20th century, sparing only those structures that were classified as historic monuments. These include the Cathedral of the Sign (1679–84), the Church of All Saints (1680s), St. George's Church on Pskov Hill (1657), St. Maksim's Church (1698), St. Anna's Church at the Corner (1510s), St. Barbara's Church (1796–1804), the Old English Embassy (1550s), and the 16th century Romanov boyar residence. The two last are the museums. You can visit them to see the life of the first Romanovs in the 16-17th centuries.