--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
We can see a substantial grey building over the fence along the even-numbered side of Malaya Bronnaya street – the fence-posts are marked with spherical white lights. It's the gloomy home to the work of the Central State Assay Office.
The work of the State Assay Office is to test the purity and quality of precious metals and jewels, assess the quality of gemstones, and allocate hallmarks to previous metals – to protect the interests of consumers and purchasers. The design of the Assay Office's building is somewhat peculiar – a central four-storey section connects adjacent six-storeyed wings. Incidentally, the author Ivan Tourgenev once lived in a building that previously stood where the Assay Office stands now.
Ivan Turgenev, one of the most prominent authors of C19th, did not stay much in Russia during the latter part of his life. Mainly he lived in Baden-Baden or Paris, rather close to the family of the celebrated opera singer Pauline Viardot, with whom he had a lifelong affair. He visited England sometimes, and was honored with the degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford. From his early novels he revealed a great talent in a realistic style of writing. Turgenev's novels written with exquisite delicacy made even the notoriously critical Vladimir Nabokov to praise his style as "plastic musical flowing prose".
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.