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Building №25 on Yermolaevsky lane was put up as a Mansion Apartment block investment, designed by the architect Nirnsee – the architect who built Moscow's first “skyscrapers”, which they then called “cloudshavers”. Take a look at the unusual balcony railings and tall white semi-columns – like straining harp-strings. One of the residents in this rental apartments mansion at the turn of the C20th was the theatrical designer Nivinsky – who also executed the decorative paintings in the Egyptian Hall of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
Architect Richard Nirnzee was extremely prolific in Moscow – yet we now know almost nothing about him. Not a single photograph or picture survives – but what kind of photo might it have been? Look at his dates – born around 1860, and died sometime around 1918. But did he really die then - or did he flee the new Russia? Nirnzee was among the first to combine pragmatism with the picturesque in architecture, and he easily changed his style from one project to the next. In fact his style somehow always met the whim of the client. Perhaps this is why Nirnzee's name never figured amongst the members of the Moscow Architectural Society? This designer of some 15 projects – although others would say nearly 40 – somehow always remained an outsider.
We would like to offer you a very interesting tour in the centre of Moscow – around Patriarshiye Prudy or Patriarch’s Ponds. For the last 200 years, there has been only one pond known to the public, although, the name of Tryokhprudny Pereulok (lit. Three-Pond Lane) suggests there used to be more. It is known that in 1683-1684 Patriarch Joachim ordered to dig three ponds for drainage of wetlands and fish farming to the patriarchal table. So, such ponds were fishponds.
The area is named after the seventeenth century Patriarch's Goat Sloboda located on the Goat Marsh. This marsh once was connected by a brook to the Presnya River in the west; by 1739, when the first topographic map was compiled, the brook disappeared and the marsh separated from the Presnya. People considered the swamp as an anomalous zone; apparently this caused a proverb ("Thomas has hastened, but made people laugh - he sticked in Patriarshy").
The pond acquired its present shape and was cleaned up in 1830-31 in the frames of the plan to rebuild Moscow after the Fire of 1812.
At the beginning of the XX century the area around the Ponds was actively built up. Among the buildings appeared at this time, you can see the mansion of Tarasov. In 1924, the Soviet government in the fight against religion renamed the Patriarch's Ponds in Pioneer Ponds. In 1945 in Ermolaevsky Lane a house for senior military commanders of the USSR was built.
Near the Ponds you will find a monument to Ivan Krylov. The fabulist sits surrounded by animated characters of his works: a monkey in front of a mirror, barking pug after the elephant, crow with cheese.
This district is, directly or indirectly, connected with Russian poets: Karamzin, Zhukovsky, Pushkin, Gogol, Baratynsky, Krylov. Not far from the Ponds lived Vladimir Mayakovsky. In Tree-Pond Lane Marina Tsvetaeva was born.
The novel by Mikhail Bulgakov “Master and Margarita” begins at Patriarch's Ponds. During the tour you will see the Museum-Theatre "Bulgakov's House". The district has a number of museums: Yermolova Museum, State Museum of Oriental Art, Anton Chekhov’s Museum, Svyatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment, Alexey Tolstoy Memorial Apartment, Maxim Gorky Memorial House, etc.