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All locals on Pyatnitskaya agree – it's much more fun to live here on Pyanitskaya, or anywhere in Zamoskvorechie, than any other part of Moscow. Your friends call out to you as you walk along the street, housewives enjoy little meet-ups in their favourite shops, and in the evenings people chat with their neighbours in the courtyards of their houses. Pyatnitskaya isn't like other streets in Moscow, and the friendly spirit of the area still survives today – you don't just walk or drive along Pyatnitskaya, you live along it too.
Pyatnitskaya Street has a long reputation for being a street of eateries and taverns. Today too, a short walk along Pyatnitskaya will quickly convince you that it's a place for innocent amusement and refreshment – there are bars, cafes and clubs at every turn. Friday evenings – at the end of the working week – are especially busy here.
Working people in Russia have always enjoyed Fridays. There's a Russian saying “Seven Fridays Each Week” – which is said about a person who changes one’s decision constantly and cannot make the final decision. However, some say that the saying originated in Moscow government departments – where “Friday” meant a day slacking at the office before the weekend. But who actually enjoys working on Fridays? Americans have long had the expression TGIF - “Thank God It's Friday”, and a chain of restaurants has adopted the name. Brits claim that Friday is “Poet's Day” - but in this case P.O.E.T.S. is an acronym for “Piss Off Early – Tomorrow's Saturday!” So far no restaurants have adopted the title, however.
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.