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The Baltchug-Kempinski Hotel Moscow is located in an entirely rebuilt period building on the embankment – as the sign outside tells us.
The Baltchug-Kempinsky Hotel stands on one of Moscow's very oldest streets – its history goes back to the C14th. The facade of the C19th mansion which houses the hotel is unaltered – lovingly restored, repainted, renewed...but unaltered. The hotel opened its doors to the public in 1992, after extensive rebuilding work. The Baltchug was the first of Moscow's hotels to receive a full 5* international rating. Kempinski Hotels – the holding group who own and manage the hotel – is one of the world's longest-established hotel groups in the luxury category. From the windows of this smart and fashionable hotels you can see the most famous sights in the city of Moscow – Red Square, and the Kremlin.
In the location where the Baltchug-Kempinski Hotel stands now, from 1812 onwards stood a mansion apartment block – which was renovated and remodelled extensively over the following years. In the late C19th it was completely demolished and rebuilt anew. There the artist's studios on the top floor, where many famous names worked- Kuinji, Kramskoy, Vasnetsov, and Klever. The view from the studio windows was marvelous – Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Great Moscow River Bridge, the Upper Trading Rows (nowadays known as GUM), and Zaryade. They were the iconic sights of the city at the time.
After the Revolution the building was taken into State control and used as office space for various Soviet organisations. Then in 1928 a hotel opened in the building called “Novomoskovskaya”. The building was extensively rebuilt, and from 1932 was used as a residence for diplomats. However, the 1957 Festival of Students and Youth prompted a severe hotel-room shortage, and the building reopened as a hotel named “Bucharest”.
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.