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Three pink-coloured buildings are joined to form one address at № 9. There's a passageway between the right-hand and central buildings, opposite the church. Beyond them there's a double-storey white wooden building with light grey stucco decoration on the ground floor. It's the house of the author Alexander Ostrovsky.
The grey wooden building in the courtyard at No 9 is the House Museum of the author Alexander Ostrovsky. In the C19th small Clergy Houses were built here near the Pokrovsky Church, for priests who had fallen upon hard times. Nikolai Ostrovsky – a civil servant, and the author's father – lived in an apartment here for three years. In 1823 his son Alexander, the future playwright, was born. No more fitting place for his house-museum could be found – amid the hustle-bustle of the Moscow merchants of his era. There are personal effects, furniture and documents about the Ostrovsky family on display, and a bust of the author in the street outside. Within the collection are paintings by Vinogradov showing the Pokrovsky Church, and Ostrovsky's house as it looked at the turn of the century.
No history of the Zamoskvorechie neighbourhood would be complete without mention of its famous son, Alexander Ostrovsky. The dramatist's works are crammed with the detail, manners, habits and life of the merchant quarter of Moscow in his time. His plays keep the atmosphere of Zamoskvorechie alive. “The window is open wide. A bearded merchant in a relaxed red shirt is calmly guzzling hot tea, and smoothing his composure in different directions. Ah, it soothes his soul.. or his veins”.
Another quotation. “You can often find a merchant got-up as though from the rein of Tsar Ivan the Terrible... while sitting beside him is his little wife, clad in the very latest from this season's Paris collections”.
Ostrovsky was the most successful playwright of his era, and excelled in both comedies and tragedies. His farces – including Keep It In The Family, and Nowt Wrong Wi' Bein' Poor - made him rich, but he crossed the political line with “Look After Your Own Sledge” - autocratic Tsar Nicholas I said it was “a sermon, not a play” and had Ostrovsky tailed by his Secret Police thereafter. However, it's mainly his social dramas and tragedies that have stayed in the repertoire of modern Russian theatres. Several of his plays were later reworked as successful operas – notably the love-triangle tragedy The Storm... which was adapted by the composer Jánacek as “Katya Kabanova”, and is performed all over the world.
Alexander Ostrovsky shouldn't be confused with the soviet realist propaganda writer Nikolai Ostrovsky.
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.