--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
Opposite the Kartashovskoe Courtyard we see a five-storey pale yellow building with arched gates, and partly enclosed within wrought iron railings – it's the former Arsentich's Tavern.
At Number 15 in Bolshoi Cherkassky Lane (or side-street) stood the tavern and foodstore, Arsentich's Tavern. According to the records of its contemporaries it was the best in Moscow, and no smutty behaviour ever took place here. It was famed for its marvelous cuisine – for its hams and sturgeons... for which merchants who couldn't find the time to come and dine themselves would send their messengers to collect orders. There was nowhere better to dine than Arsentich's. Theatre performers particularly loved the place – theatrical discussions got started at Arsentich's that dragged long into the night.
Arsentich's Tavern changed ownership several times, and new names came and went with new owners. By the early C20th it had moved from being a tavern to a restaurant, and went under the new name of “Starocherkassky”. Subsequently it kept pace with the new spirit of the times by becoming the Dining Hall of the Central Committee of Consumer Societies of the USSR. It managed to cope with its new role. In 1993 the restaurant reopened under its historic name, and you could pop in to see what they had on offer. However, at present the doors are unaccountably closed, and it's not clear when the establishment might reopen.
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.