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There's a grey 5-storey building with stone balconies, on the odd-numbered side of Bolshaya Ordynka Street, opposite the junction with 3rd Kadashevsky pereulok and behind wrought-iron railings. Look also across the road, at the corner with the lane, to the right – there's a very noticeable rose-coloured building with corner bay windows and a small tympanum at the attic level of the building.
The stone balconies on the frontage of the grey five-storey buildings at № 17, along with the large rectangular windows are typical features of Constructivist architecture. Take a look – the Russian memorial tablet outside the house informs us that the legendary refusenik soviet-era poetess Anna Akhmatova lived and worked here. The tablet is position directly beneath her former window. There's a stela which copies a shape made famous by Modigliani. In fact this building was based on old Russian chambers of the C18th. However in 1938 it was entirely rebuilt. The Constructivist elements – the gates, and wrought-iron-work – all date from the 1938 rebuilding.
One resident at №17 was the famous St Petersburg poetess Anna Akhmatova – there's a memorial to here in the courtyard below. Her frequent visitors included her son, the historian Lev Gumilev, the actress Faina Ranevskaya, and the painter Marc Chagall. Other visitors to the house included Boris Pasternak, Bulgakov, Zoshenko, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and the composer Dmitry Shostakovich.
After the Napoleonic Wars of 1812, a merchant named Kumanin purchased the old C18th chambers and had them rebuilt in the popular “Empire” style of his day. This converted them into a two-storey main house fronted with a colonnaded portico, and a mezzanine level. In the 1840s this was combined with two side outbuilding wings to make one single large structure with facades looking onto the street. One of the residents here was Feodor Dostoevsky's aunt, and the writer himself often visited her here. In fact the author not only recalled the layout of the building – but mentally shifted it to St Petersburg, where he utilised it as Rogozhin's home... the central character of his novel “The Idiot”.
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.