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The main facade of the Satire Theatre, bedecked with theatre posters, looks towards the Garden Ring Road – whereas the side facades seem somehow trapped between the Concert Hall and the railings of the Aquarium Gardens. The pavement is narrow, and can't been seen from the facade. But there's a real cupola atop the theatre, which is easily explained – some while back, it was a circus.
The Nikitin Brothers Circus – whose legacy is the dome atop the Satire Theatre – was built in the late C19th. After the 1917 Russian Revolution the circus was requisitioned by the State, renamed 'Circus No 2', but then closed almost immediately – they couldn't even feed the animals. Then in 1926 the former circus reopened as the Moscow Music-Hall. In the pre-WW2 years, the theatre became the home of the Moscow Operetta. Then in 1965 the theatre reopened to house the Moscow Satire Theatre – a troupe who had been running elsewhere since 1924.
For a while Triumph Square was also known as “Second Theatre Square” (the 'first' being the official one, outside the Bolshoi Theatre). It was fair comment, because altogether, although at different times, seven different performance venues – theatres, concert-halls, cinemas, jazz music-halls, and a circus – were located there. Finally everything got sorted out, but not without a few losses along the way. In place of the endlessly renamed theatres the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall appeared. And the venue to the right-hand side of the Satire Theatre, where dozens of different theatre ventures opened and failed, was finally demolished entirely in 1974.
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.