--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
It's worth stopping for a second to take in the view here by the entrance to GUM from Nikolskaya Street. On one hand you see a classical view of Red Square – with the Kremlin Wall at the far end, and the peculiar Nikolskaya Tower set into the Wall. You also have a good view of the red-and-white church of the Kazan Ikon of the Blessed Virgin, which stands directly on the corner of Nikolskaya Street and Red Square. Looking further to the right than the Kremlin Wall, you see the impressive red-brick building of the State History Museum. Standing outside the door here by day you'll usually find some characters in reproduction historical costumes, and you can pay to have your picture taken with the fake Tsar and his boyars (noblemen in medieval Russia).
GUM is worth a look not only for the shopping, but to get an idea how the Upper Trade Rows were originally laid out. The whole building was lovingly restored a few years ago. GUM is laid out along three huge avenues, each arranged on two levels. and glassed-in with an elegant and airy glass roof. It was a collaboration between the architect Pomerantsev and the fine Russian engineer Shukhov. It was Shukhov who planned the astonishing all-metal structure of the GUM building, which has been astounding its visitors for over a century. Shukhov's metal structure for GUM required more than 800 tonnes of metal – which was then overlaid with marble, granite and sandstone from the town of Radom.
When first built GUM had its own electric generators, its own artesian well as a water supply, and an underground road for bring in the goods. At that time the building not only housed the shops of Moscow's finest merchants – it also offered the services of bankers, barbers, and delivery-boys, and trading went on on three floors and in the basement too.
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.