The OstozhenkaRussian: Остоженка and PrechistenkaRussian: Пречистенка streets run from Prechistensky Gate squareRussian: ploschad Prechistenskie Vorota or площадь Пречистенские Ворота, where the Cathedral of Christ the SaviourRussian: hram Hrista Spasitelya or храм Христа Спасителя is located. They have reflect the architecture and atmosphere of different epochs and turned into one of the most prestigious and expensive districts of the Russian capital in the late 20th century. Museums, art galleries, ancient residences and churches interweave tightly with stylish and unique modern architecture, as well as numerous shops and restaurants.
KropotkinskayaRussian: Кропоткинская metro station in Prechistensky Gate square is one of the most popular gathering places for tourist groups. It is the starting point of the tours ‘Moscow Art Nouveau in Early 20th Century Architecture’ and ‘Literary and Artistic Landmarks and Museums’. There are tours around ‘The Golden MileRussian: Zolotaya milya or Золотая миля’, i.e. the quarter located between Ostozhenka street and the Prechistenskaya EmbankmentRussian: Prechistenskaya naberezhnaya or Пречистенская набережная which displays the most expensive residences in Moscow. Many of them were built to famous contemporary architects’ designs. You can continue your stroll by visiting the Museum of MoscowRussian: Muzey Moskvy or Музей Москвы or walk across the bridge to the Tretyakov GalleryRussian: Tretyakovskaya galereya or Третьяковская галерея in Krymsky Val streetRussian: ulitsa Krymskiy val or улица Крымский вал and the Muzeon Park of ArtsRussian: park iskusstv «Muzeon» or парк искусств «Музеон».
HISTORY OF OSTOZHENKA
The name of the street originates from the haystacks that used to be stored there. In the 14-16th centuries, the street led to the ancient village of SemchinskoeRussian: Семчинское and came to the floodplain meadows which were used as a pasture for the grand dukes’ horses. The Ostozhenny yardRussian: Ostozhennyi dvor or Остоженный двор with stables was located there as well as StadnayaRussian: Стадная and KonyushennayaRussian: Конюшенная slobodasthe kind of settlement or district of the city whose residents were liberated from local feudal lords (boyars) and were in the service of the state, where the court horse grooms and horse herd wranglers lived. The Alekseevsky ConventRussian: Alekseevskiy monastyr or Алексеевский монастырь and the Convent of the Conception (Zachatievsky)Russian: Zachatevskiy monastyr or Зачатьевский монастырь were established in the district of Ostozhenka as far back as in the 14th -15th centuries. Architect K. Thonan official architect of Imperial Russia during the reign of Nicholas I built in the place of the former the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour – one of the main orthodox cathedrals of Russia – in the 19th century to commemorate the victory of the Patriotic War of 1812the war between the Russian Empire and Napoleonic France on the territory of Russia in 1812. The Cathedral was destroyed by Soviet authorities in 1931 and fully re-created in 1997.
In the 18-19th centuries, the street was predominantly populated by the Moscow elite. The nobility owned 80% of all the houses and grounds – many side streets were named after the affluent owners of the mansions and residences. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Moscow underwent a large-scale re-construction. Ostozhenka too was influenced by the most ambitious trends in civil construction. Numerous elite high-rise buildings were erected at the beginning of the 21st century. Ostozhenka street has sadly lost its original spirit in many aspects, having become a sort of window into the new era.
THE BIRTH OF PRECHISTENKA
In 1524, the Novodevichy ConventRussian: Novodevichiy monastyr or Новодевичий монастырь was founded just outside Moscow. At about the same time, a road was built so that a route to the cloister was clear. Its name was changed to Prechistenskaya in 1658 in honour of the venerated Smolensk icon of the Mother of GodRussian: ikona Smolenskoy Bozhey materi or икона Смоленской Божьей матери called Prechistaya (All-pure), kept in the Novodevichy Convent.
The housing development of Prechistenka street was determined by manors and mansions belonging to nobility. Its aristocratic flavour, coupled with an unhurried atmosphere and propensity for a slow-paced lifestyle has been preserved until the present day. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the housing estates in Prechistenka street belonged to noble families like the Naryshkins, the Potemkins, the Dolgorukys, the Vyazemskys, the Baryatinskys.
At various times, offices of governmental services and prestigious educational institutions have been located here. In the 19th century the Polytechnic MuseumRussian: Politehnicheskiy muzey or Политехнический музей was situated in Prechistenka street. Later, one of the best private gymnasiums (high schools) – the Lev Polivanov GymnasiumRussian: gimnaziya L. I. Polivanova or гимназия Л. И. Поливанова – was here. Vladimir Soloviev, Valery Bryusov, Andrei Bely, Maximilian VoloshinRussian poets and writers and others studied there. Isadora Duncan’s choreography schoolRussian: horeograficheskoe uchilische Aysedory Dunkan or хореографическое училище Айседоры Дункан and the Alexander-Mariinsky female schoolRussian: Aleksandro-Mariinskoe zhenskoe uchilische or Александро-Мариинское женское училище were situated in this street as well.
Many famous names are associated with this street: the collector and art patron Ivan Morozov, poets Boris Pasternak and Sergei Yesenin, artists Isaac Levitan, Mikhail Vrubel, Vasily Surikov, Ivan Kramskoi, composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Pyotr Chaikovsky, Sergei Taneyev, Alexander Goldenweiser and Sergei Rakhmaninov. It is also in this street that the Alexander Pushkin Literary MuseumRussian: Literaturnyi muzey A. S. Pushkina or Литературный музей А. С. Пушкина is located, in the mansion formerly owned by Khrushchevs and Seleznevs families. In Soviet times, Prechistenka changed its name to Kropotkinskaya (after the anarchist scientist and theorist Pyotr Kropotkin). However, in 1994, it was given its original name.
The district boasts three marvelous literary museums: Alexander Pushkin and Leo Tolstoy – in Prechistenka, and Ivan Turgenev – in Ostozhenka. All are housed in early 19th century mansions. The mansions of the Khrushchevs-Seleznevs and the Lopukhins-StanitskysRussian: doma Hruschyovyh-Seleznyovyh i Lopuhinyh-Stanitskih or дома Хрущёвых-Селезнёвых и Лопухиных-Станицких, which house the Pushkin and Tolstoy museums respectively, were built by Afanasy Grigoriev, an architect of the Moscow Empire style. Standing opposite each other, they have long preserved the atmosphere of an old Moscow street.
The Ivan Turgenev MuseumRussian: Muzey I. S. Turgeneva or Музей И. С. Тургенева occupies another mansion, more modest yet typical of its time. The writer’s mother lived in this mansion in the 1840-1850s, and the events which took place in it provided the basis for the well-known short novel ‘Mumu’.
ART NOUVEAU ARCHITECTURE
The Art Nouveau style won extreme popularity at the turn of the 19-20th centuries and integrated itself with the image of Moscow. Muscovites especially liked the “inside-out” vector of its lines, overlaps of bent shapes and organic and floral motives, the flow of space from one interior to another, and the asymmetrical arrangement of the architecture. This style manifested itself in the architecture of train stations, hotels, banks, tenement houses, private residences, and even churches.
Prechistenka and Ostozhenka have preserved numerous Art Nouveau landmarks. Derozhinskaya’s mansionRussian: osobnyak Derozhinskoy or особняк Дерожинской in the Kropotkinsky side streetRussian: Kropotkinskiy pereulok or Кропоткинский переулок was built by Fyodor Schechtela Russian architect, the most influential and prolific master of Russian Art Nouveau and late Russian Revival in 1901-1902. Despite the general similarity of its architectural arrangement to the architect’s previous works, for example the renowned Ryabushinsky mansionRussian: osobnyak Ryabushinskogo or особняк Рябушинского, the effect in the Derozhinskaya mansion is somewhat less than expected. This building marks an emerging interest in more rigorous dimensions and larger interior space, which would appear in the architect’s later creations.
Another diamond in the district’s crown is Merchant Isakov’s tenement houseRussian: dohodnyi dom kuptsa Isakova or доходный дом купца Исакова in Prechistenka street. It was built in 1906 by the great architect, Lev Kekushev. Tenement houses began to spread as far back as the second half of the 19th century. They met the requirements of urban life – the ground floor of large buildings was occupied by different shops, both large and small, while the upper storeys had apartments for rent. However, it was only in the Art Nouveau period that this type of buildings acquired some common features, which can be seen in Isakov’s tenement house. It is a five-storey building, with a facade which runs along the building line of the street. The flat area of the wall stretches symmetrically on both sides of the central axis formed by the balconies. The surface of the wall is interspersed by the bay windows which designate the boundaries of the building. The symmetry is broken only by the entrance into the yard which is shifted to the left, thus proving the inherently flexible nature of the Art Nouveau style, which can if necessary give up one of its major features – asymmetry.
Believe it or not, architect Kekushev himself rented a flat in Isakov’s house. Kekushev moved to the tenement house in Prechistenka street in 1907 after his divorce from his wife who stayed with their children in the architect’s own mansion in Ostozhenka street. Kekusheva’s houseRussian: dom Kekushevoy or дом Кекушевой was built by the architect in 1901-1903. Its striking open plan, the contrasting height layout, and the colour scheme of the walls are very harmoniously done. A figure of a lion, which is missing now, used to rise above the facade and was taken to be the architect’s signature.
The side streets of the district hide some other interesting buildings: the Medynsky mansionRussian: osobnyak Medynskogo or особняк Медынского and the Meletins’ tenement houseRussian: dohodnyi dom Meletinyh or доходный дом Мелетиных in Pomerantsev side streetRussian: Pomerantsev pereulok or Померанцев переулок; Loskov’s tenement houseRussian: dohodnyi dom Loskova or доходный дом Лоськова in the Mansurovsky side streetRussian: Mansurovskiy pereulok or Мансуровский переулок; BroiRussian: dohodnyi dom Broydo or доходный дом Бройдоdo’s tenement houseRussian: dohodnyi dom Broydo or доходный дом Бройдо in Ostozhenka; the Yakunchikova mansionRussian: osobnyak Yakunchikovoy or особняк Якунчиковой and the Gutkheil mansionRussian: osobnyak Gutheylya or особняк Гутхейля in Prechistensky side streetRussian: Prechistenskiy pereulok or Пречистенский переулок; Tsyrkunov’s heirs’ tenement houseRussian: dohodnyi dom naslednikov Tsirkunova or доходный дом наследников Циркунова in Chisty side streetRussian: Chistyi pereulok or Чистый переулок; the so called ‘house with a shot glassRussian: Dom s ryumkoy or Дом с рюмкой’, or merchant Filatov’s houseRussian: dom kuptsa Filatova or дом купца Филатова in Ostozhenka and the famous Pertsova houseRussian: dom Pertsovoy or дом Перцовой situated opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
21, Prechistenka street is the stomping ground for impressionism and post-impressionism lovers. In 1889 the manor, which had changed hands several times before, was purchased by the famous industrialist and art patron Ivan Morozov, who placed his collection there. After the revolution, the famous Museum of the New Western ArtRussian: Muzey novogo zapadnogo iskusstva or Музей нового западного искусства was set up there on the basis of the collections of Ivan Morozov and Sergei Shchukin. It was the first museum of modern art in the world. However, in 1948, this truly invaluable museum was closed down. The items in its collection were distributed between the HermitageRussian: Эрмитаж and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine ArtsRussian: Muzey izobrazitelnyh iskusstv im. A. S. Pushkina or Музей изобразительных искусств им. А. С. Пушкина, where they are now on display.
Since that time, the former Morozov’s residence has housed the USSR Academy of ArtsRussian: Akademiya hudozhestv SSSR or Академия художеств СССР (the Russian Academy of ArtsRussian: Rossiyskaya akademiya hudozhestv or Российская академия художеств at present) neighbouring the Zurab Tsereteli Art GalleryRussian: Galereya iskusstv Zuraba Tsereteli or Галерея искусств Зураба Церетели located in the adjoining building. The Moscow House of PhotographyRussian: Moskovskiy dom fotografii or Московский дом фотографии – the central exhibition complex specialising in photography – is located in Ostozhenka street. Later, it was reorganised into the Multimedia Art MuseumRussian: Multimedia Art Muzey or Мультимедиа Арт Музей (MAMM). This large museum of photography not only possesses thousands of original prints and negatives made by famous national and foreign photographers but also conducts large scale educational and public awareness projects. A. Rodchenko School of Photography and MultimediaRussian: Shkola fotografii im. A. Rodchenko or Школа фотографии им. А. Родченко, named after the famous Constructivist artist, is affiliated with the MAMM.
Directly opposite the MAMM, the 1st Zachatevsky side streetRussian: 1-y Zachatevskiy pereulok or 1-й Зачатьевский переулок leads to the above mentioned Conception (Zachatevsky) Convent, as well as ‘The Golden mile’, a quarter which contains a modern housing development. The In Artibus non-profit gallery was established not far from the quarter in Kursovoy side streetRussian: Kursovoy pereulok or Курсовой переулок, its aims being to promote the study of classical and contemporary art.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com