This is the memorial square to the great Russian Poet, Alexander Pushkin (the Russian equivalent of Shakespeare). The statue of Pushkin was erected in 1881 on private funds. Initially the statue stood on the other side of Tverskaya, or more precisely, at the end of Tverskoe Bulvar, which is really worth taking a stroll down. Directly behind Pushkin’s statue is the massive Rossiya Cinema. To Pushkin’s right is the press complex of “Izvestiia”.
A bit further down Tverskaya Ulitsa is the Hotel Minsk. Directly across the street from the Minsk, it is impossible to miss the late 18th Century red building with two really wonderful stone lions standing guard at the gate. For the almost 80 years this building has been known as the Museum to the Revolution; however in it’s former life before the revolution, it was the very prestigious and exclusive “English Club”.
This street runs parallel to Tverskaya, beginning at metro station, Okhotnyi Riad. Once upon a time this was the road to Dmitrov, a small town outside of Moscow. During the Soviet era it was called Pushkinskaya Ulitsa.
One the right side of the street is the Moscow Operetta Theatre. It was here in 1896 that the very fist movie was shown in Moscow. On this same stage the Russian vocal legend, Fedyor Chaliapin performed many a time. Further along B. Dmitrovka, No. 17 to be exact, you will find the Musical Theatre of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko in an 18th century mansion.
B. Dmitrovka runs into Malaya Dmitrovka, at the very beginning of which stands the listed architectural treasure, the 17th century church, the Birth of the Virgin at Putinki. This is the last remaining structure of this architectural period in Moscow. This next building, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century, is one of Moscow’s most popular theaters—the LenKom Theater.
( runs parallel to Bolshaya Dmitrovka).
Since the 14th century the Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery has been located here. This is where the street gets its name.
This is one of Moscow’s oldest and prestigious streets. Many famous figures in Russian history and literature have lived and worked here. In the early years of the 20th century right before his death, Chekov rented an apartment on Petrovka in which he gave the first reading for his “Cherry Orchard”. The building itself was built in at the end of the 19th century. Further along the street there is a wonderful example of Moscow “Classicism”, a large city residence of the early 19th century built by the fabulously wealthy merchant Gubin. If you continue along Petrovka most of the buildings you will see are on the national list of architecture.
One the other side of the Boulevard Ring, Petrovka becomes Karetnyi Riad, literally Carriage Row. Before the revolution this is where one went to buy a carriage. On the left side of Karetnyi Riad, is the Hermitage Park. Here you can find a summer outdoor theater, the theater-workshop “Sfera”, and the nightclub “Parisian Life”.
(Metro Kuznetsky Most or Lubianka).
The street, Kuznetsky Most runs from Bolshaya Dmitrovka to Bolshaya Lubianka.. Since the 15th century this street crossed a small river called Niglinka, thus the name—most is bridge in Russian. At the beginning of the 19th century the Niglinka was run through a pipe and taken underground. The bridge disappeared but the name remained. In the 18th century this street was the center of fashion for Moscow. The most fashionable French boutiques and the Moscow branch of Fabriege.
Today you will find a good selection of clothing stores, cafes, bookstores, antiques—in short the street continues with its old tradition.
(Metro Kuznetsky Most or Lubianka).
This small street runs from Lubyansky Square to Sretneka. One the right side of the street behind the wall is an old city mansion in the Baroque style. This was residence of Duke Pozharsky. On the left side you will find No. 7, which is worth taking a look at. In the courtyard there is the 17th century brick palace of the Boyar family, Khavansky. On this same side of the street there is the white stone church of the Icon of the Virgin of Vladimir within the grounds of the Sretensky Monastery.
This street begins from Lubyansky Square to Sadovyoe Koltso, or the Garden Ring. The street Myasnitskaya (from butcher) was so named because in the 16-17 centuries most butcheries and barns were located here. In the 19th century Myasnitskaya became a popular place for offices, trading houses and stores.
At the very beginning of the street (meaning the end closest to the Kremlin) there is a 19th century building, in which the poet laureate of the Revolution, Vladimir Mayakovsky lived and died. This building was been turned into a museum dedicated to the poet. No 26 has been home for the last two hundred years to the Central Post Office. The current building was erected in 1912. One particularly interesting building right across the street from the Post Office is the famous “Tea-Coffee” store, whose faзade is in a very kitschy but really beautifully ornate Chinese style and where you can find a very good selection of teas and coffees. This store was built in 1896 by the tea merchant, Perlov. At the far end of the street, after you cross the Boulevard Ring you will find Moscow’s Le Corbousier building.
Kitai – gorod
(Metro Kitai - gorod).
Kitai-gorod is the old name for the once walled area directly outside the Kremlin to the East. Kitai-gorod is almost as old as the Kremlin. In the 16th century Kitai-gorod was re-enforced with walls and towers but only just a very small portion of this wall has survived to this day. This construction of this wall was supervised by the Italian architect, Petrok Malyi. He added the monumental belfry to the bell tower of Ivan the Great in the Kremlin. Kitai-gorod is the oldest section of Moscow after the Kremlin. Although it was recently listed as one of the most important historical treasures, it doesn’t do much good because any structures, which might have possessed any historical or architectural value, were destroyed during the Soviet era. Until this day it is not clear where the name, Kitai-gorod, literally in modern Russian, Chinatown, comes from. One theory has it that it comes from the old Slavic word, kita, meaning balast.
Within Kitai-Gorod, there are three major streets: Nikolskaya, Varvarka and Ilinka.
Nikolskaya is where the very first Russian institution of higher learning was established. The Slavic Greek and Latin Academy is where Mikhailo Lomonosov studied, who then went on to found the first Russian university. Other illustrious students of this academy included the founder Russian theater, Fyodor Volkov and the publisher of the first Russian textbook, Leon Magnitsky. At the beginning of the 19th century the academy was moved to Sergiev Posad, but a number of buildings still exist at No. 7-9. On this same side of Nikolskaya there is a 19th century Gothic style building, which was formerly the printing press of the Synod but is now the home of the University of the Humanities. There is a sundial on the facade of the building above which there is a coat of arms with a lion and a unicorn, symbols of imperial majesty and authority.
The next building is the location for the famous Russian restaurant, the Slavic Bazaar. Running from Nikolskaya to the right is Bogoiavlensky Pereulok where you can find the Bogoiavlensky church, a 17th century masterpiece of Russian Baroque.
The southern most street in Kitai-gorod is Varvarka, which still perserves several of its old buildings, one of which is the Old English Court (Anglisky Dvor) which was given to the English business community by Ivan the Terrible.
Ilinka is the central street of Kitai-gorod. The major structure on Ilinka is is the GUM department store complex. This beautiful building was built in 1893.
On the right side of Ilinka there is Gostiny Dvor, a very elegant building in a classical style designed by Guacomo Cuarengi. Since the 16th century to this day, Gostiny Dvor has been a shopping center.
Theatre Square (Teatralnaya Ploshchad).
Metro Teatralnaya, Ploshchad Revoliutsii.
This square is so named because the most famous Russian theatres, the Bolshoi, the Maly and the Central Children’s Theatre are located here. The Bolshoi was built twice. The first building which was built in the early 20s of the 19th century, burned in 1853. The theater was re-built by Cavos during the course of the four years following the fire to replicate the original. The front of the building crowned by a large sculpture by Klodt of a chariot and horses driven by Apollo, the patron god of the arts.
The Maly Theatre was built in 1818 by the architects Elkinsky and Bovet, it is called Maly, or small, because in relation to the massive Bolshoi, or large in Russian, it is quite small.
Here on Teatralnyi Square you will also find one of Moscow’s largest shopping centers, TsUM, which was opened in 1892 by Scottish merchants Muir and Marylise and until 1922 the store bore their names.
There are two interesting sculptures on this square: one in front of the Maly Theatre of the great Russian writer, Ostrovsky; the second directly facing the Bolshoi is of Karl Marx, who was also a writer of sorts.