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Near the edge of Ilyinsky Public Garden there's a Memorial Chapel to the Heroic Grenadiers of Plevna. From there there's a view of the Polytechnical Museum, which is executed in the so-called 'pseudo-Russian' style. To the left of the Museum, just beyond the small area of the Ilyinsky Gates, we find Novaya, or New Square and tall buildings from the early C20th. Go a little further via the pedestrian subway, and you arrive on Ilyinka Street – which leads on towards Red Square.
To the right of the Polytechnical Museum is Maroseika Street. On its corner there's an impressive building with a rotunda – the former mansion of Countess Razumovskaya.
This monument to the heroes of the Battle Of Plevna was erected during the Russo-Turkish War at the end of the C19th. It was unveiled in 1887, financed by money collected from soldiers and officers of the Grenadiers Barracks stationed in Moscow. The officers collected a tidy sum for those days – 50,000 roubles. The octagonal chapel is topped by a Russian Orthodox cross. The sides of the chapel are decorated with four large relief-work sculptures, which illustrate respectively – a peasant, blessing his son with the victory; a Turkish Janissary with a dagger, snatching a child from its Bulgarian mother; a Grenadier soldier, taking charge of Turkish prisoners; and a wounded Russian soldier using his last efforts to rip off a chain from women who symbolise Bulgaria.
Nearer to the top of the Memorial Chapel there are pictures of saints, and the names of those who fell during the battle. Adjacent there is an inscription – “Erected by the Grenadiers in memory of their comrades who fell in the famous Battle of Plevna on 28th November, 1877”. This was the date on which Russian troops took the city – and a decade later this memorial was unveiled. The names of those who fell in the Plevna campaign adorn the interior walls of the chapel. After the Revolution the chapel was extensively looted, and its location became a public toilet. The chapel continued in this sorry state until the 1940s, when it was extensively restored as a war monument. The Chapel was only reconsecrated in the final years of the C20th. Nowadays it is frequently used for funeral services. Muscovites often call it “The Bell Chapel”, since it looks rather like a bell, and is similarly made of cast iron.
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.