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Those yellow five-story houses form the biggest privately owned property on Sadovnicheskaya St. Especially noteworthy are the entrance lights – they are made of hexagonal glass mosaic, also called “moon stone”. This house belonged earlier to a merchant and an elder in the Church of St. George the Victorious named Yefim Privalov.
In 1896 the estate No. 9 on Sadovnicheskaya St. was purchased on an auction by Yefim Privalov. At those times it was as wide as the entire block with one of its sides facing Sadovnicheskaya St. and another Raushskaya embankment of Moscow-River. It was not until 1904 that the estate was separated into two parts, southern and northern. The northern part that faces the river was purchased by the neighbouring Electric Lighting Company. On the southern part still owned by Privalov there was a long two-storey house built in the 1st half of the 19th century. It was an ordinary house for Moscow of that time, rather modest in its decoration. Later on, they have built on three additional floors and redecorated the façade. The project was designed by an unknown at that time architect named Nirnzee.
Ernst Nirnzee built another apartment house with an ornate façade in the courtyard of Privalov’s estate in Sadovniki. In 1913 Privalov gathered enough money to build one more six-storey house in the courtyard (building No. 2). And again Nirnzee was entrusted with the project. Architecture-wise this house is probably the most noteworthy in the entire estate. You should definitely have a look at it. It can safely be said that this building is the example of romanticism in apartment housing. As you can see, there are three houses built by Nirnzee in Privalov’s estate that has remained intact until today. These buildings allow us to retrace the creative evolution of the famous architect. Perhaps it is the only courtyard in Moscow that allows us to see the steps of creative development of a single architect.
Yefim Yermilovich Privalov, the owner of a family estate on Sadovnicheskaya St., was born in 1860. He was a merchant of the second guild and an honorary citizen by birth. Privalov’s company called “Privalov and Son” produced and sold various ropes, felt, tow and bast mats. These goods were intended primarily for construction works. In the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century felt was used widely as a heat insulation and sound-absorbing material. Tow was used for sealing up cracks when caulking wooden huts. Due to the specific character of the products he sold, Provalov was often called a merchant of building materials.
Privalov was elected to the post of a church elder that has become his main community work and dictates of his heart, one might say. He was an elder of the Church of St. George the Victorious in Endova starting from 1903. The famous flood of 1908, the biggest Moscow had ever seen, occurred during his service. The church was flooded, its basement destroyed and the walls and roofs badly cracked. Experts thought it was no more possible to restore the church, but Privalov, the connoisseur of construction business that he was, decided that not everything had been lost and invited an experienced architect to restore the building. As a result the church was saved.
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.