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On the opposite side of the road we find Tverskoy Boulevard – the oldest & longest section of what is now the Boulevard Ring Road. Laid out in 1796, it has something of a record in Moscow – it's never had its name tinkered with by politicians subsequently. The lime trees along the boulevard are an original feature, and proved so successful with moscovites that taking a stroll here became very fashionable, and Moscow's wealthy vied to purchase the houses facing the new boulevard.
Napoleon's Armée du Nord set up camp on the boulevard when they invaded in 1812, and chopped the limes down for firewood. The fires which drove the French army homewards also burnt down most of the boulevard-facing houses. But public spirit for building up the city after Napoleon's retreat was high, and the boulevard was rapidly redeveloped – belvederes, little bridges and fountains were installed too.
Tverskoy Boulevard's appearance was once again substantially revived after WW2. New trees were planted, flower beds laid out, and iron balustrades installed. In 1949 the tramlines which had long run down the centre of the boulevard were taken up – replaced instead by a trolleybus service running along the normal road of the boulevard.
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.