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A red-and-white temple with intricate ornaments seen from Slavianskaya square is the Holy Trinity Church in Nikitniki. You can approach it from Ipatievsky lane that leads straight on to Varvarka street.
The Holy Trinity Church in Nikitniki was built in 1628 by the order of a merchant, Grigory Nikitnikov, onsite a much more ancient church of Nikita the Martyr. The merchant stored his goods in the basement of the temple, and he also accepted other merchants’ goods for storage to keep away from thieves and fires. The church keeps a famous Moscow relic – the likeness of a miraculous ikon of Georgian Madonna; this was the reason that the temple used to be called “the Georgian church”. The likeness was created by a well-known Russian ikon painter Simon Ushakov. He was also the one to paint the ikonostasis (the altar screen) of the church. Ancient halls that used to house Ushakov’s workshops are still intact nearby. A special memorial board informs you of that.
The Holy Trinity Church in Nikitniki is one of the most beautiful temples of Moscow built in the first half of the 17th century. Dormer windows in the tented roof, carved window aprons and many other intricate decoration elements. The whole church is red and white, bright and colourful, inviting to celebrate! Some lovers of the past times insist that even the shadow of this temple is extraordinary. If you happen to be here on a sunny day – do check if this is at all true. Focus on the shadow that falls on the blind wall of the building opposite the temple. The Holy Trinity Church is a landmark of Moscow’s architecture; it has served as an example for designing many buildings of the 17 th century.
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.