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GERMAN QUARTER AND GOROKHOVO POLYE

GERMAN QUARTER AND GOROKHOVO POLYE

The renowned German QuarterRussian: Nemetskaya sloboda or Немецкая слобода was located in the vast area between BaumanskayaRussian: Бауманская and KurskayaRussian: Курская Metro Stations. It is where one can still feel the presence of Peter Iruled from 1682 until 1725, Catherine IIEmpress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country's longest-ruling female leader and its most renowned and Alexander Ireigned as Emperor of Russia from 1801 to 1825, admire the Lefortovo PalaceRussian: Lefortovskiy dvorets or Лефортовский дворец, the Yelokhovo Epiphany CathedralRussian: Elohovskiy Bogoyavlenskiy sobor or Елоховский Богоявленский собор and other landmarks. Many interesting old country estates and churches are scattered in the proximity of the German Quarter, in an area called Gorokhovo PolyeRussian: Горохово Поле.

The German Quarter, a small-scale European town, very different from the nearby city of Moscow, appeared on the bank of the Yauza Rivera river in Moscow, a tributary of the Moskva River behind Zemlyanoy GorodRussian: Земляной город (or “the earthworks town”, present-day Garden Ring RoadRussian: Sadovoe koltso or Садовое кольцо) three hundred years ago. With its even, paved roads and high-spired German Kirches, this Quarter was inhabited mostly by foreigners from Germany and Holland, who worked at the tsar’s court, including as doctors, soldiers and jewelers.

One of Peter the Great’s favourite places, the German Quarter was where his friends and followers lived, including the Swiss Franz Lefort, the Scot Patrick Gordon and the Dutch Anna Mons, the tsar’s first love. Peter I had the Lefortovo Palace built here and made it his official residence. Thus, for a while, the German Quarter assumed even greater significance than the Kremlin. Over time, the Quarter’s boundaries have become less delineated, and many historic buildings are interspersed with modern ones.

Baumanskaya street. In the footsteps of Pushkin.

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Baumanskaya StreetRussian: Baumanskaya ulitsa or Бауманская улица is named after a Bolshevikmember of a wing of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, which, led by Lenin, seized control of the government in Russia (October 1917) and became the dominant political power killed somewhere in this area during the First Russian Revolution of 1905-1907. Its historical name is Nemetskaya StreetRussian: Nemetskaya ulitsa or Немецкая улица, the heart of the German Quarter. Several charming country estates have survived in this area: Karabanov’s HouseRussian: dom Karabanova or дом Карабанова, built in the late 18th century in the classical style (Block 1, 38, Baumanskaya Street) and the eclectic country estate built by Aleksandr Kaminsky in 1884 on the orders of merchant Shchapov (58, Baumanskaya Street). The house where the outstanding Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was born is located not far from there, at the corner of Malaya Pochtovaya StreetRussian: ulitsa Malaya Pochtovaya or улица Малая Почтовая and Gospitalny LaneRussian: Gospitalnyi pereulok or Госпитальный переулок. Pushkin’s life is closely associated with this district, since his uncle Vasily Pushkin, himself a poet, lived a few blocks away on Staraya Basmannaya Street, where young Alexander would often visit him. The Yelokhovo Epiphany Cathedral where Alexander Pushkin was baptized is another local landmark.

Eelokhovo Epiphany cathedral

The Epiphany Cathedral in YelokhovoRussian: tserkov Bogoyavleniya v Elohovo or церковь Богоявления в Елохово is located at the intersection of Baumanskaya and SpartakovskayaRussian: Спартаковская Streets at the former site of the village of YelokhovoRussian: Елохово, the birthplace of the local saint Basil the Blesseda Russian Orthodox saint, whose relics rest in the Cathedral on the Red Square. Yelokhovo became part of Moscow in the 18th century.

Alexander Pushkin was baptized at the Yelokhovo Cathedral, but the original building has not survived. The present-day Empire-style cathedral was built between 1837 and 1853 by Yevgraph Tyurin. A tiered belfry was later added to this five-domed cathedral on the west side.

Unlike others, this cathedral was not shut down and religious services never stopped there during Soviet times. After the destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the SaviourRussian: hram Hrista Spasitelya or храм Христа Спасителя in 1931, the Yelokhovo Cathedral became Moscow’s largest cathedral for many years and, between 1938 and 1991, it was also the chair of Russian Orthodox Church. Today, the Yelokhovo Epiphany Cathedral still enjoys the status of a cathedral church, and the Patriarch of Moscow and of all Rus’ sometimes conducts services here.

House of Anna Mons

2059_image6_sStarokirochny LaneRussian: Starokirochnyi pereulok or Старокирочный переулок joins Baumanskaya Street on the left-hand side. Its name is reminiscent of the “old Kirche” that stood here in the 17th century. Unfortunately, almost all historical buildings have disappeared, but the palace of the Van der HulstRussian: palaty Vandergulstov or палаты Вандергульстов, otherwise known as the House of Anna MonsRussian: Dom Anny Mons or Дом Анны Монс (Block 8, 53, Baumanskaya Street and 6, Starokirochny Lane), can still be seen behind a large grey plant on the right side of the lane.

The owners of this house were the Dutch family of Van der Hulst who served as the court physicians for Russian tsars Aleksey Mikhailovichthe tsar of Russia from 1645 until his death in 1676 and Fyodor Alekseyevichthe Tsar of all Russia between 1676 and 1682. Legend has it that Anna Mons, Peter I’s mistress, lived here. It is the only surviving private house dating back to the 17th-century German Quarter. Interesting chiseled frames are strongly reminiscent of Naryshkin Baroquea particular style of Baroque architecture and decoration which was fashionable in Moscow from the turn of the 17th into the early 18th centuries architecture, exemplified by the Church of the Intercession at FiliRussian: tserkov Pokrova v Filyah or церковь Покрова в Филях and the St. Michael’s Church in the Andronikov MonasteryRussian: hram Arhangela Mihaila v Andronikovom monastyre or храм Архангела Михаила в Андрониковом монастыре. The House of Anna Mons is now closed to visitors.

Lefortovo palace

2061_image8_sThe Lefortovo Palace (3, 2nd Baumanskya StreetRussian: 2-ya Baumanskaya ulitsa or 2-ая Бауманская улица) was built in 1697-1698 by Dmitry Aksamitov for Franz Lefort, a friend and follower of Peter I’s, although Peter I also used it as his own. He lived here during his stay in Moscow, received foreign ambassadors and arranged celebrations. Two more rulers, Peter IIreigned as Emperor of Russia from 1727 until 1730 and Anna of Russiawas regent of the duchy of Courland from 1711 until 1730 and then ruled as Empress of Russia from 1730 to 1740, used the palace as a royal residence. It is here that Peter II, the last male heir of the Romanov familythe second dynasty to rule Russia, after the House of Rurik, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution of 1917, died in January 1730 on the eve of his marriage. All subsequent Russian monarchs were descendants of Anna Petrovna, the daughter of Peter I the Great.

In February 1730, it was in this palace that Empress Anna of Russia abrogated the document of “Conditionsan 18th-century constitutional project in Russia giving substantial power to the Supreme Privy Council” handed over to her by the Supreme Privy Council. The Lefortovo Palace has housed a military archive for the past 200 years.

The palace is a combination of traditional Russian palace and teremthe upper story of a home or castle, often with a pitched roof architecture featuring chiseled white-stone frames, Western enfilades and geometrically divided facades. Unfortunately, a motorway passing right in front of the palace’s front façade overlooking the Yauza River makes it impossible to observe it from up close.

Slobodsky palace

Слободской дворец в наши дниThroughout its history, the Slobodsky PalaceRussian: Slobodskoy dvorets or Слободской дворец, or the German Quarter Palace (5, 2nd Baumanskaya Street) has undergone several reconstructions and absorbed architectural features from different styles and periods. Domenico Gilardi reconstructed the palace after the 1812 Fire of Moscowduring the war between the Russian Empire and Napoleonic France on the territory of Russia in 1812, Lev Kekushev and Ivan Kuznetsov added the lateral buildings in 1912, and the monumental main building of the Bauman Moscow State Technical UniversityRussian: Moskovskiy gosudarstvennyi tehnicheskiy universitet imeni Baumana or Московский государственный технический университет имени Баумана was added to the palace on the side of the Yauza River in Soviet times. The main entrance is crowned with a white-stone group sculpture by Ivan Vitali, representing the goddess of wisdom Minerva surrounded by allegorical representations of the sciences and crafts. The palace has been housing various technical institutions since 1826 (for almost 200 years!). First, it was a craft training centre of the Educational HomeRussian: Vospitatelnyi dom or Воспитательный дом, then the Technical SchoolRussian: Tehnicheskoe uchilische or Техническое училище, the Moscow Higher Technical SchoolRussian: Moskovskoe Vyisshee tehnicheskoe uchilische or Московское Высшее техническое училище and, finally, the Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

Elizabethan institute of the noble maidens

2049_image11_sVoznesenskaya StreetRussian: Voznesenskaya ulitsa or Вознесенская улица (present-day Radio StreetRussian: ulitsa Radio or улица Радио) was named after the Church of the Ascension on Gorokhovo PolyeRussian: tserkov Vozneseniya na Gorohovom pole or церковь Вознесения на Гороховом поле. If you turn right while walking along this street, you will get to the former Elizabethan Institute of Noble MaidensRussian: Elizavetinskiy institut blagorodnyh devits or Елизаветинский институт благородных девиц.

The first owner of this mansion was Nikita Demidov, a member of the renowned family of Ural mine owners. In 1827, his son Nikolay donated his mansion to the House of DiligenceRussian: dom trudolyubiya or дом трудолюбия, the forerunner of the Elizabethan Institute of Noble Maidens. The curriculum included foreign languages, history, geography, mathematics, religious education and home economics.

This tradition partly survived in the Soviet times, when the Elizabethan Institute became the Krupskaya Moscow Oblast Pedagogical InstituteRussian: Moskovskiy oblastnoy pedagogicheskiy institut imeni Krupskoy or Московский областной педагогический институт имени Крупской. Regrettably, many buildings on the institute’s premises were partially demolished or altered.

Church of the ascension on Gorokhovo polye

2051_image13_sThe Church of the Ascension is located on Gorokhovo Polye (2, Radio Street). This neighbourhood became part of Moscow as late as the 18th century. Until then, it had been used as a pea field, but Matvey Kazakov, the chief architect of the city of Moscow, transformed it beyond recognition.

Matvey Kazakov’s architectural achievements in Moscow include Peter’s Travel PalaceRussian: Petrovskiy putevoy dvorets or Петровский путевой дворец, the Senate building in the KremlinRussian: Senat v Kremle or Сенат в Кремле, the Column Hall of the House of the UnionsRussian: Kolonnyi zal Doma Soyuzov or Колонный зал Дома Союзов, the Church of the Metropolitan Filip, Cosma and Damian on Maroseyka StreetRussian: Tserkov mitropolita Filippa, Kosmy i Damiana na Maroseyke or Церковь митрополита Филиппа, Космы и Дамиана на Маросейке and his masterpiece the Church of the Ascension on Gorokhovo PolyeRussian: Tserkov Vozneseniya na Gorohovom pole or Церковь Вознесения на Гороховом поле. Kazakov used his favourite architectural shape, the rotunda, when erecting the main building of the latter church, decorated with Ionic semi-columns which echo the Ionic colonnade surrounding the rotunda. The church’s authentic interiors were lost during the Soviet period, but, luckily, the original church fence, dating back to 1805, has survived. A nearby store sells pies, buns and honey cakes made in the monastery bakeries.

Razumovsky’s country estate on the Yauza river

2052_image14_sOne of the most luxurious mansions in Moscow, Razumovsky’s country estateRussian: usadba Razumovskogo or усадьба Разумовского is similar to the major imperial countryside palaces in TsaritsinoRussian: Царицыно, Peter’s Travel Palace near Moscow and PavlovskRussian: Павловск or Tsarskoye SeloRussian: Царское Село just outside St. Petersburg. The estate, together with its outbuildings, takes up half of the present-day Kazakova StreetRussian: ulitsa Kazakova or улица Казакова (18, Kazakova Street). Its owner was Count Aleksey Razumovsky, a Minister of Public Education, privy councilor and senator, who had the country estate built between 1799 and 1802 by an unknown architect, possibly Matvey Kazakov, Nikolay Lvov or Giacomo Quarenghi.

Razumovsky’s Country Estate is the only one of its kind. This 18th-century wooden palace survived the 1812 Fire of Moscow! It also features one detail that makes it different from similar buildings of the period in Moscow. Usually, a porch shows where the main entrance is, however here, two elegant semi-circular stairs lead to the main entrance located on the second floor. A garden descending to the Yauza River was laid out behind the building.

During the Soviet period, the former Razumovsky’s Country Estate housed a physical education institute. Today, the Russian Ministry of SportsRussian: Ministerstvo sporta Rossiyskoy Federatsii or Министерство спорта Российской Федерации occupies the premises. Football fields have replaced the emptied ponds, and both the estate and the park are closed to visitors.

Arma plant

shutterstock.comNizhny Susalny LaneRussian: Nizhniy Susalnyi pereulok or Нижний Сусальный переулок runs into Kazakova Street near the location of the ARMA Gas PlantRussian: gazovyi zavod ARMA or газовый завод АРМА, a fine example of 19th-century industrial architecture. It provided 3,000 lanterns with gas and operated until the 1990s. Offices, clubs and art galleries have replaced the plant shops and gas holders, breathing new life into the old plant.

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Location

Between Garden Ring and Third Ring Road

Nearest Metro Station

Baumanskaya

Gallery

Epiphany Cathedral at Yelokhovo
Bauman Moscow State Technical University. Main building
German Quarter
Lefortovo Palace
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Razumovsky Palace. Architectural detail
Bauman Moscow State Technical University. Main building viewed from the Yauza River
ARMA Plant
Lefortovo Palace. Present-day view
Church of the Ascension on Gorokhovoye Pole. Interior

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