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You get a fantastic view of the Ivan the Great Belltower from Faleyevsky Side-street.
Ivan the Great Belltower is sometimes called the Belltower of Ivan the Great, but this subtle difference makes sense to the Russians only. Before early C18th it was the tallest building in Moscow. It is both a church and a belltower at once that stand between the Sobornaya and Ivanovskaya squares of the Moscow Kremlin. An ancient church of Johan Lestvichnik is located inside its base. The separately standing belltower, a so-called campanile, is a classic example of Italian influences on Russian architecture.
Ivan the Great Belltower was risen another level up a century after it had been built. There are golden-etched letters as a trustworthy record of that underneath the belltower dome. The gilded dome of Ivan the Great is decorated with a steel eight-pointed cross (that is – not a Maltese one, but a three-bar cross, typical for Orthodox churches); it is brightened up with thin gilded sheets made of copper. The front bar is engraved with the words “Tsar of Glory”. This cross was installed after the war of 1812, as the previous one had been taken down by the marauders.
The Ivan the Great belltower is 81.2 meters tall. It is the proud keeper of 34 bells. Here’s just a few of them: the Uspensky weighing 65 tonnes; the Revun (meaning “the yeller”) of 33 tons of weight; and the Medved (the “Bear”) – this one is the most ancient, as it dates back to 1501!
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.