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Here we are on the east side of Triumph Square! The huge colonnade with granite steps marks the entrance to the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, at the junction of Tverskaya street with the Garden Ring. The best view isn't from here, but from the statue of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky – in the square's centre. In soviet times this was called Mayakovsky Square - the metro station next to the concert hall is still named after him. That huge Stalin-era building to the statue's back – with the clock-tower – is the Peking Hotel. The poet's gaze is fixed on what used to be another hotel – the Sofia.
Mayakovskaya metro station opened in 1938 – with the exit leading directly into the colonnade of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. The northern exit only appeared in 2005. Don't miss this masterpiece of subterranean Art-Deco: come down and take a look! It was the world's first deep-level station supported by columns. Set in the ceiling is a series of mosaics called “A Day In The Soviet Sky”, created from sketches by famous artist Alexander Deineka. And take a look at the use of profiled stainless steel throughout the station interiors. In the 1930s only one factory could fashion these bends in stainless steel – the airship plant, who made these fittings to special order. The same airship plant also planned to build an all-steel airship, and even completed one – but it never flew.
Mayakovskaya was used as an air-raid shelter during WW2. The central hall of the station – one of the deepest and most spacious – was even used for public events. Stalin himself presided over a celebration marking the 24th Anniversary of the Revolution – on Nov 6th, 1941. The Great Leader arrived at the station by metro, but everyone knew – alongside the normal metro, Moscow has a parallel secret metro network for top party chiefs - “Metro 2”.
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.