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Once you come to the corner of Marshy Square, at the embankment, take a look around? If you stand with your back to the canal, you can see No. 18 Bolotnaya Street – and right under the eaves there's an unusual bas-relief sculpture. This corner was where Kokorevsky Boulevard once began – a gift from the entrepreneur Kokorev to the city.
The corner building at No. 18 Bolotnaya Street, at the junction with Faleevsky Lane, was originally built as free-of-charge rental apartments, by the legendary philanthropists and merchants, the Bakhrushin family. The room at the very top on the corner was a domestic chapel. In the early C20th the interior courtyard was completely clear of any buildings, and there was a large garden there. In 1903 the house chapel – built as part of the building - was dedicated to St Nicholas the Wondrous. And in our own time, just 10 years ago, the chapel was reconsecrated anew – if you step carefully through the arch, you can see it on the left. These days the house is guarded by a security company, so it's best not to waggle cameras around if you decide to step into the yard – otherwise the security goons might bother you with a number of tiresome questions.
At the corner of the building that overlooks Marshy Square, we find a bas-relief sculpture at the top of the building under the eaves. It commemorates the chapel that was inside, and showed the All-Seeing Eye Of God. But in Soviet times such a sculpture was compulsorily chopped out, and replaced with another – which showed, of course, the Hammer and Sickle. With a decent camera lens you can photograph this sculpture from down below on the embankment of the Water Overflow Canal. But be very careful crossing the road! It's a 'blind' zebra crossing, and traffic approaches at a 90-degree angle from the right. They have almost no time to brake before the crossing – so take care!
The legendary C19th Russian merchant and philanthropist Vassily Kokorev built a whole boulevard street at his own expense, lined with elms and lime-trees – it ran along the embankment of the Water Overflow Canal from Lubochny Lane in the direction of Marshy Square. This boulevard was named after its benefactor. Nearby was the Kokorevsky Courtyard – a complex incorporating Kokorev's warehouses, his rental apartment block, and a hotel. The whole thing was torn down in the 1930s, for no apparent reason. The location is now tarmacked over.
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.