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It's worth making a short stop where Bolshaya Bronnaya (Great Bronnaya) meets Malaya, or Little Bronnaya. There are quite a few things to see. On the odd-numbered side of Malaya Bronnaya, closer to the Garden Ring, is a monument to Sholom Aleichem (author of the “Tevye” stories on which “Fiddler On The Roof” is based). Opposite this monument, across the street, there's a brick residential house marked with plaques – the so-called “House of Performers”. On the same side of the street, but on the corner with Bolshaya Bronnaya is the “Aist”, or “Stork”, restaurant. And finally, behind the monument to Sholem Aleichem there's a pedestrian alley leading from here to Spiridonovka street and coming out there at the statue of poet Alexander Blok.
This statue of Sholem Aleichem was put up in 2001, nearby the Theatre on Malaya Bronnaya which functioned as the first home of the State Jewish Theatre. 'Sholem Aleichem' was the pen-name of Sholem Rabinowitz, one of the most important writers of Yiddish literature. Critics have seen parallels with Mark Twain for the similarity of his style and love for children. While Mark Twain remarked after their meeting that he considered himself the American Sholem Aleichem. But the similarity was only skin-deep. Sholem Aleichem fled from Odessa after the anti-jewish pogroms of 1905, and moved at first to Germany. However, he was deported from Germany during WW1 as a citizen of an enemy power, since Tsarist Russia was then at war with Germany. Thus he came to move to New York, where he lived until he died of tuberculosis at the age of 57. His works have been translated into many languages. His most famous stories – about Reb Tevye the philosophical milkman – became the basis for the smash-hit Broadway musical Fiddler On The Roof.
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.