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Standing in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Epiphany is a monument to two Greek holy brothers, the Likhuda Brothers. Standing to the left of a huge table we see Ioanniky holding a huge manuscript, while his brother Sofrony keeps an Testimonial open while seated on a carved chair.
This monument to the two holy brethren, the Likhuda brothers, stands in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Epiphany because it was at the former monastery here that their mission of holy witness began in Russia. Ioanniky and Sofrony Likhuda were Greek monks from the island of Kefalonia, descendants of a Byzantine family line of royal lineage. Their education led from the Greece to Venice, and subsequently to the University of Padua. For several years the Likhuda brothers travelled Greece as teachers and preachers. Then when the Russian leadership decided to open a school of higher learning in Moscow, Tsar Fyodor and Patriarch Joachim sent word in 1682 to the Patriarkos in Greece, requesting His Holiness to send learned holy men to Moscow as teachers. Thus the Likhuda Brothers arrived in Moscow. They first opened a Greek school within the Holy Epiphany Monastery. With their increasing reputation for works of sacred learning, they then went on to found the Slavic, Greek and Latin Academy, which later became renamed as the Theological Academy.
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.