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There’s a peach-and-yellow-coloured beautiful four-storey building on the corner of Faleyevsky Side-street and Sophia Embankment; it’s always safeguarded by a few security guards, and several flagpoles brighten it up nicely. It’s a stark contrast with abandoned buildings opposite the street. In the C19th this used to be the Bakhrushin House of Free Accommodation for widowed mothers in need and young female students. Today it is occupied by the Russian oil giant “Rosneft”.
Look – the Bakhrushin House is just like a palace, as if it’s a true nobleman’s home. And what about the location! The Kremlin’s right opposite! To be clear, it is a palace after all, only not in the social-rank sense, but a palace of Beneficence. In the early C19th merchant Faleyev owned these premises. The manor went up in flames during the 1812 fire – to be restored later on, but given a new look. The second half of the С19th saw it passed on to the famous merchants and benefactors Bakhrushin, whose family owned a leather and textiles manufacturing business. In 1888 they built a House of Free Accommodation for widowed mothers in need and young female students.
The front line of the Bakhrushin House, which can be perfectly observed from where we are now, was built on the corner of Bolotnaya Square, next to Kokorevsky Boulevard (which is now effectively the Bolotnaya Embankment). The top corner of the building housed a small chapel. Next came the block on Sophia Embankment. The Bakhrushin House was comprised of a total of 456 small one-bedroom apartments, each of 13 to 30 square meters in area. There was a junior academy affiliated with the building, as well as two kindergartens, some workshops and a canteen.
Not long before World War I there were about two hundred people living in Bakhrushin House. After the revolution and subsequent nationalization the house was turned into a communal apartment block. The postwar years saw the building getting a new owner – that is, the USSR Ministry of oil and gas. Today you can ironically see that the premises belong to the “Rosneft” oil company.
The territories of historical district Zamoskvorechye lie on the right (southern) bank of the Moskva River. They joined Moscow in the 14th century when Russian lands used to suffer from the Golden Horde raids. The settlers mainly were soldiers, handicraftsmen and merchants. Their life was organized in a patchwork sloboda system. In 1591-1592 during the reign of Feodor I the fortified wall on the site of the present-day Garden Ring was built. Even now, one can easily understand from the street names what occupation the residents had centuries ago. For example, royal garden attendants (садовники, sadovniki) settled in the beginning of present-day Sadovnicheskaya Street from 1495 until the fire of 1701; tanners specializing in sheepskin (oвчинники, ovchinniki) gave their name to Ovchinnikovsky Lanes; royal mint workers (монетчики, monetchiki) – to Monetchikovsky Lanes, Court translators (толмачи, tolmachi) to Tolmachevsky Lanes. Bolshaya Ordynka Street was named after Orda, was the road to the Golden Horde, and was initially home to the Tatar community.
During our tour we are going to tell you about famous historic buildings in Pyatnitskaya Street, the main walking street of the district. We will walk around the State Tretyakov Gallery and listen to the story about the Tretyakovs, famous Russian businessmen, collectors and patrons of art, and the history of their collection and Gallery building.
There is also the house and museum of another famous Russian businessman and patron of art - Bakhrushin museum of theater, built in 1896.
Famous Russian writer Alexander Ostrovsky also lived in Zamoskvorechye, in Malaya Ordynka street. If you like his works you can visit his house-museum.
Zamoskvorechye is famous for its churches: Church of St. Sophia Of God's Wisdom on Gardener's Island and its belfry, Church of St. George the Victorious in Endova, The Church of the Ikon “the Joy of All Who Suffer”, The Church of St Nicholas at Pyzhakh, etc. Each of them has its own history and mystery.
With Your Audio Guide you will go through all the streets and lanes, get familiar with some interesting yards, explore the legends and myths and find out the truth. You will relax on the benches of Bolotnaya square; take pictures of the Kremlin domes, Giant Peter the Great statue, river embankments, learn about the former Mamontov Hotel and super deluxe Balchug-Kempinsky.