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If you look at the river with your back on the Kremlin, to your left there will be the huge grey House On The Embankment (or the Government Building) and the colonnade of the Moscow Variety theatre; that is where Serafimovich Street and the Bersenevskaya Embankment cross. Further on there is a red two-storey building of the Peter the Great era. This is a clerical residence for the clergy involved with the St. Nicholas church on Bersenevskaya Embankment, a little farther off.
A namesake pier next to the Variety theatre is still functioning today. Those who’d be taking a river cruise with the Moscow River Steamboat company will be stopping here, amongst other spots. Just a few hundred meters off the Big Stone Bridge a delicate arched Patriarshy Bridge spans the river. A fantastic panorama of the Prechistenskaya Embankment can be seen from the left riverbank (note: it is to the right of you at the moment). And the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour draws most of the attention.
A new Moscow attraction has recently been put to use: you can easily spot the top galleries of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour that make great viewpoints from the Bolshoy Kamenny (or Big Stone) Bridge. Don’t you worry if you spot something shining at you from there – this is no sharp-shooter, but probably a tourist taking memorable photographs. Say “cheese”!
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.