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The exterior of the Bolshoy Kremlin palace is inspired by the Terem Palace in Kremlin. The windows reflect the traditions of the Russian architecture: they are adorned with carved aprons with double arches and a weight in the middle. The master plan of the customer, who was tsar Nikolay I, suggested that the palace become a monument to the glorious Russian army forces. That is why the five parade halls are named after the orders of the Russian empire: the George, the Andrey, the Alexander, the Vladimir, and the Catherine orders. The interiors are fashioned accordingly.
In the early C18th empress Anna Ioannovna ordered a winter “Annengof” palace built here based on architect Rastrelli’s drafts (the title borrows obviously from the Petergof built by Peter the Great). The next empress, Elizabeth Petrovna, changed it into the New Palace, or the Winter Palace, as it was also called. Finally, in the second half of the C18th, reigning Catherine II decided to construct an unprecedentedly large and luxurious tsar palace. It took quite a few years to take apart the Kremlin walls and a few stone structures on its territory. Yet these large-scale works were eventually dropped, and a famous architect Matthew Kazakov rebuilt the Kremlin walls. They figured that simply renovating the façade to give the palace a fresh look would be enough. After the war of 1812 one more level was added to the top.
As the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour got underway, it was decided that a building similar in size and grandeur should be added to the Kremlin, too. Emperor Nikolay I ordered the Bolshoy Kremlin Palace project to be managed by Konstantin Ton – the architect of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Many Moscow architects got involved in the project. Thanks to the impressive reconstruction works of the 1890s the building got its original looks back; its interiors were restored, too. Today the Bolshoy Kremlin Palace acts as ceremonial residence of the President of Russia.
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.