--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
There are two monumental structures on the odd-numbered side of Ilyinka, separated by a thoroughfare – they are the premises of Northern Assurance Society. The best view is from the opposite side of Ilyinka Street. One building is capped with a tower, while the other has a large cupola.
The building of the Northern Assurance Society constitutes an entire multifunctional complex, with inner courtyards and a thoroughfare leading through. On one flank the building faces onto Novaya, or New Square, while on the other it looks onto Ilyinka. The architectural style was the height of innovation for its time – the opening years of the C20th. The three architects extensively exploited the potential offered by reinforced concrete in the new building.
On the facade of the Northern Assurance Society building we can see rotundas with domes, and a clock tower. The huge clock astound not only passing pedestrians, but for passing birds. As soon as the chimes strike, a flock of birds dives out of the bell-tower as though illustrating the speed of sound. Some years back the chimes used to play a melody by the composer Scriabin.
The sculptural decoration is interesting and economical, with kneeling male and female nude figures specially devised for the small square niches, as if bearing the weight of the broken ledge at fourth floor level.
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation was housed in the building until 2008. Now that the Court itself has been relocated to St.Petersburg, the building here works as its Moscow representation.
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.