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The building with a dome that stands on the embankment, on the corner of Serafimovich Street, is the “Udarnik” cinema. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the Government Building.
“Udarnik” cinema was built at the same time as the House On The Embankment; it was part of the development and one of the total of eleven buildings making up this Kremlin residential campus. Its 15 hundred seats put Udarnik at the top of the European list capacity-wise; just like the House itself, really. People say that it was equipped with a sliding roof. However, it never got used, as there was always a threat of rain or mosquitoes. Another myth suggests that it only slid open once – that is, to show off in front of the highflying state seniors (one of them was Lunacharsky, a prominent Soviet political figure and a scientist); but the mechanism got jammed the next day and had never been fixed.
Udarnik hosted all the new movie premieres in the 1930s. The lower hall was sometimes filled with sounds of a live jazz orchestra, which was so exclusive back then. Udarnik would maintain the number-one status among the Moscow cinemas for many years to come. Honestly, it would be impossible to count how many times schoolchildren blew off class here! The cinema also operated a reading hall, as well as a prototype to the children’s playrooms of today: kids were left under the watchful eye of hired nannies, while the big wigs indulged in the movies. You could always flick through a newspaper or read a book prior to the screening.
Udarnik has seen visits by both soviet and international stars; it is diligently recorded in its guestbook. You should have seen the queues at the doors during various film festivals! The very first International Moscow Film Festival of 1935 was held on these very premises. Udarnik’s hall today can seat up to 735 viewers, while the rest of the space is used to house restaurants and sell cars. Recently the cinema got shut down for renovation. It is expected to become a modern art museum.
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.