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There's a huge Stalin-epoch building with a colonnade, which takes up an entire block of Bolshaya Ordynka between Bolshoy Tolmachevsky and Pyzhevsky pereuloks – surrounded by black railings. It's RosAtom – the State Corporation for Atomic Energy. Across the road on the odd-numbered side is a building that was once the first automatic telephone exchange in Moscow.
This colossal building is occupied by RosAtom – the State Corporation for Atomic Energy. The building was put up in the late 1950s, on a site previously occupied by Lyamin's Poor-House For The Young & Indigent Elderly. However, the Poor-House had been struck by a German bomb in 1941 – and restored, as a signboard in Russian says, by architects Zinoviev and Cherikov. 50 years later a memorial plaque was erected to Efim Slavsky – the Minister who directed Sredne-Mash, the Midsize Machinery Ministry, which had responsibility for Atomic Energy in the USSR. Slavsky worked alongside Kurchatov, to set up the Soviet Union's initial wave of atomic power stations.
This enormous Stalin-era building had been planned much earlier than WW2. In the Five-Year Plan to 1935 it was planned to widen Bolshaya Ordynka considerably. But in fact the only place you can see what they had in mind is here outside the RosAtom building.
The lime-trees you see outside the RosAtom Building were planted according to the Will and Last Wishes of the merchant Lyamin – who previously owned the land on this stretch of the street. Boris Pasternak – the poet, who is known more in the West as the author of the novel “Dr Zhivago” wrote some lines of verse about the lime-trees on Bolshaya Ordynka
The limes look grumpy
As though they didn't sleep
These veteran, smelly
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.