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Stoleshnikov Lane and Kuznetsky Most Street

Stoleshnikov Lane and Kuznetsky Most Street

A number of historic lanes radiate from Tverskaya StreetRussian: Tverskaya ulitsa or Тверская улица, which starts almost from the Kremlin. StoleshnikovRussian: Столешников and KamergerskyRussian: Камергерский are two such lanes, the former connecting Tverskaya with Bolshaya DmitrovkaRussian: Большая Дмитровка Street and the latter flowing into Kuznetsky MostRussian: Кузнецкий Мост Street. These lanes have preserved the flavour of 18th century Moscow. Lodging houses, manor houses which belonged to the nobility and theatres coexist harmoniously with modern office blocks, high-end boutiques and restaurants. A stroll along Bolshaya Dmitrovka and Kuznetsky Most Streets and Kamergersky and Stoleshnikov Lanes is best begun from Stoleshnikov lane.

STOLESHNIKOV LANE

Stoleshnikov LaneStoleshnikov LaneRussian: Stoleshnikov pereulok or Столешников переулок was first mentioned in Grand Prince Ivan IIIknown as the #gatherer of the Rus' lands#’s last will and testament in 1504. StoleshnikiRussian: Столешники was the name of the quarter inhabited by stoleshniks, who manufactured tablecloths for the royal court. The royal dynasties of Trubetskoy, Kozlovsky, Dolgoruky and other noble families came to inhabit this district of the expanding Moscow in the 18th century.

During the era of the stoleshniks, the lane was lined with wooden houses, which were gradually replaced by stone buildings erected by aristocrats, who forced common people out to the outskirts of the city. The number of stone houses increased after the fire of 1812during the war between the Russian Empire and Napoleonic France on the territory of Russia in 1812. A few of these houses can be seen today at the corner of Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street and Stoleshnikov Lane. The latter turned into a realm of merchant shops in the second half of the 19th–early 20th centuries, becoming known for its bookstores under the Soviet rule. Luxurious boutiques of international brands have since replaced the bookstores.

This lane has recently become a pedestrian zone and has acquired a historic look: it now contains ancient lanterns, renovated façades and flowers. As you go down the lane from Tverskaya Street, the first thing you will see is Sts. Cosmas and Damian Church in Shubin khram Kosmy i Damiana v Shubine or храм Космы и Дамиана в Шубине(2 Stoleshnikov Ln). This small church was built in 1703 to replace one that had stood there before. The funeral service of the famous Moscow singer-songwriter Bulat Okudzhava took place here in 1997.

Stoleshnikov Lane is adorned with buildings deeply steeped in history: Numbers. 9, 10/18, 11, and many more. These buildings were frequented and inhabited by Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rubinsteina Russian pianist, conductor and composer, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Vladimir Gilyarovsky, Musa Cälila Soviet Tatar poet and resistance fighter and others. The writer and researcher Vladimir Gilyarovsky, who was deeply in love with Moscow, lived in a lodging house built to the design of Karneev in 1874 (Apt. 10, 9 Stoleshnikov Ln). This building has housed the Gilyarovsky Museum and Exhibition CentreRussian: Muzeyno-vystavochnyi tsentr V. A. Gilyarovskogo or Музейно-выставочный центр В. А. Гиляровского, part of the Museum of History of MoscowRussian: Muzey istorii Moskvy or Музей истории Москвы since 2003.

The Stoleshnikov Lane that we see today is the stomping ground of trendy Muscovites, who welcome customers with refined tastes (and wallets of a decent size). A Louis Vuitton boutique is now located in mansion No.10/18 (Bld.3), where Pyotr Jurgenson’s music shopRussian: notnyi magazin P. Yurgensona or нотный магазин П. Юргенсона used to be, a Hermes boutique is at No.12, a Salvatore Ferragamo in No.14, and a Christian Dior in No.16. The opposite side of the lane is quite interesting, too. The modernist architecture is elegant and the wall-mounted memorial plates describe the famous people associated with Stoleshnikov Lane.

It is best to finish your walk along the lane at No.15, where Semyon Selivanovsky’s Publishing HouseRussian: tipografiya Selivanovskogo or типография Селивановского was located in the courtyard of Pyotr Kozlovsky’s manor houseRussian: osobnyak knyazya Kozlovskogo or особняк князя Козловского in the first half of the 19th century. The next walk is along Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street, which awaits you just around the corner.

BOLSHAYA DMITROVKA STREET

Bolshaya Dmitrovka_5Throughout the 20th century, Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street changed names extremely frequently. It was referred to as Eugène Pottier Street (in the 1920s) and Pushkinskaya Street (from 1937 to 1993). However, it has since had its original name restored. The street was once an expensive place to live, and led to the ancient city of DmitrovRussian: Дмитров. A slobodasuburban settlement, right behind the city wall of craftsmen—cartwrights, bakers and saddlers-had grown on both sides of the street by the 14th century. Many of these were natives of Dmitrov, so their settlement came to be called Dmitrovskaya SlobodaRussian: Дмитровская слобода.

As common people had to make room for the Moscow boyarsmembers of the highest rank of the feudal society in Russia around the Kremlin in the 16th–17th centuries, two more craftsmen slobodas emerged: Malaya DmitrovskayaRussian: Малая Дмитровская слобода and NovayaRussian: Новая слобода. All three eventually became streets and came to be referred to as Bolshaya Dmitrovka, Malaya DmitrovkaRussian: Малая Дмитровка and Novoslobodskaya StreetRussian: Novoslobodskaya ulitsa or Новослободская улица under Catherine the GreatEmpress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country's longest-ruling female leader and its most renowned.

As you leave Stoleshnikov Lane, take a stroll along the pedestrian street of Bolshaya Dmitrovka – there are many things to see here. Magnificent estates and lodging houses for wealthy citizens were built in this street between the second half of the 18th century and the early 20th century. These were constructed to the designs of the best architects of the era. They were subsequently rebuilt and changed their appearance in order to blend in with new architectural eras. As the structures changed hands, each owner sought to add something of their own to their new property. Princes and wealthy merchants, actors and theatre personalities lived a life of luxury in Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street. Many famous people frequented and stayed at the Streshnevs’ EstateRussian: usad’ba Streshnevykh or усадьба Стрешневых at 7/5 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St, including Alexander Pushkin, Lev Tolstoy, Leonid Sabaneeva Russian musicologist, music critic, composer and scientist and others. It was truly the place where the literary and scientific elite of Russia would congregate.

The first Moscow power plant was constructed at 3 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St in 1888. This building is now New ManegeRussian: Novy Manezh or Новый Манеж, a famous exhibition area. The former Synodal Departmentconducts social service of Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and abroad lodging houses that belonged to Y. Obukhova are located at 5/7 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St. Amongst the lodgers was the pianist Maria Yudina and the actor Vsevolod Yakut. These buildings are stylish examples of Empire stylethis style was used to celebrate the victory over Napoleon and Neoclassicism. House No.9 was mentioned a number of times by writer Vladimir Gilyarovsky; it was built where the Moscow English ClubRussian: Angliyskiy klub or Английский клуб, once frequented by Alexander Pushkin, had once been.

The world of theatre reigns on the even side of Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street. This is where you will see the New Stage of the Bolshoi TheatreRussian: Bol’shoy teatr or Большой театр (Bld.2, 4/2 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St), the former Solodovnikov TheatreRussian: teatr Solodovnikova or театр Солодовникова (6 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St) (now the Moscow Operetta TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy teatr operetty or Московский театр оперетты), the former Moscow Department of Imperial Theatres (8/1 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St) (now Russian State Library of ArtsRussian: Rossiyskaya gosudarstvennaya biblioteka iskusstv or Российская государственная библиотека искусств). The House of the UnionsRussian: Dom Soyuzov or Дом Союзов (1 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St), which starts at the odd side of the street, once belonged to the Moscow Assembly of the Nobilitya corporate public organization bringing together individuals belonging to the Russian Nobility and was used as a venue for noble receptions and splendid balls.

KAMERGERSKY LANE

This pedestrian lane connecting Tverskaya Street with Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street bore the names of Kvasnoy, Yegoryevsky, Gazetny and Kuznetsky during different epochs. At the end of the 19th century, it was inhabited by chamberlains, senior royal officials, and thus came to be called Kamergerskyfrom Russian "kamerger" meaning chamberlain. The lane was named Khudozhestvennogo Teatra (Art Theatre) Passage during the Soviet era. It was named for the Moscow Art TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy khudozhestvennyi teatr or Московский художественный театр (MATRussian: MKhT or МХТ), which was located nearby.

Many buildings in Kamergersky Lane were lost forever. The Georgievsky Convent, built as far back as the 16th century and the first family residence of the Romanov Housethe second dynasty to rule Russia, after the House of Rurik, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution of 1917, no longer exists. The 17th-century stone Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour was demolished due to its decrepit state. Hardly anything remains of the premises of Princes Miloslavsky, Dolgorukov or Golitsyn. Only one ancient building—No.3, owned by the Odoyevsky Princes in 1817, survived and was transformed into the famous Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre after it had changed hands many times, and was reconstructed. The modernist buildings in Kamergersky lane, designed by early-20th-century architects Mikhail Chichagov, Edmund Yuditsky, Fyodor Schechtel and Bernhard Freudenberg are what attracts those interested in architecture the most.

Kamergersky Lane happened to become central in the lives of many cultural figures such as Lev Tolstoy, Vladimir Odoyevsky, Yuri Olesha, Lev Kassil, Sergei Prokofiev, Vasily Tropinin, Vasily Kachalov, and many other writers, poets and actors. The literary elite would gather in the The Tenth Muse caféRussian: kafe «Desyataya muza» or кафе «Десятая муза», located in A. Tolmacheva’s lodging houseRussian: dokhodnyi dom A. Tolmachyovoy or доходный дом А. Толмачёвой at Bld.7, 1/6 Kamergersky Ln in the 1920s. The lane has recently acquired a historic look, reminiscent of the years when the steps and voices of Sergei Yesenin, Valery Bryusov, Vladimir Mayakovsky and others could be heard there. Secular elegance is omnipresent, and is reflected in the lane’s granite setts that replaced the old asphalt coating, old world lanterns and illuminated renovated façades.

There are now multiple cafés, restaurants and shops in Kamergersky Lane, including the Pedagogical Book HouseRussian: Dom pedagogicheskoy knigi or Дом педагогической книги, one of the oldest stores in Moscow (7/5 Bolshaya Dmitrovka St, at the corner of Kamergersky Lane). There are also two museums: the Prokofiev MuseumRussian: muzey Prokofyeva or музей Прокофьева (Bld.3, 6/5 Kamerersky Ln) and the MAT MuseumRussian: muzey MKhAT or музей МХАТ (3A Kamergersky Ln). The six-storey Writers’ Cooperative HouseRussian: Dom pisatel’skogo kooperativa or Дом писательского кооператива, built in the constructivist style by Sergei Chernyshev in 1929–1930, towers over the corner of Kamerger Lane and Tverskaya Street, where the Golitsyn family’s premises were once located (2 Kamergersky Ln). Its flats were reserved for renowned Soviet literary figures. This is still a residential building, with its lower three floors occupied by the Department of Architecture and SculptureRussian: Otdelenie arkhitektury i skulptury or Отделение архитектуры и скульптуры of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and ArchitectureRussian: Rossiyskaya akademiya zhivopisi, vayaniya i zodchestva or Российская академия живописи, ваяния и зодчества.

KUZNETSKY MOST STREET

shutterstock_279520706It is hard to believe that there was a time when the Kuznetsky MostRussian: ulitsa Kuznetskiy Most or улица Кузнецкий мост neighbourhood looked like in an ancient painting. Grand Prince Ivan III ordered the Cannon CourtRussian: Pushechnyi dvor or Пушечный двор to be constructed in this territory in the 15th century with the aim of forging military equipment for the army. The Cannon Court became the centre of Kuznetskaya SlobodaRussian: Кузнецкая слобода, the road to which gave the name to the bridge over the NeglinnayaRussian: Неглинная River and, in the 18th century, to the trendiest street in Moscow.

Catherine the Great signed a manifesto inviting foreigners to settle in Moscow in the second half of the 18th century. French merchants settled around Kuznetsky Most and began to open boutiques in this street. Kuznetsky Most had become a ‘sanctuary of luxury and fashion’, according to those who saw its transformation, by the beginning of the 19th century. The Neglinnaya River was covered with a masonry vault in 1817, and the bridge was covered with earth. New buildings emerged where bridge parapets had been before. Some of them still exist, and even more or less resemble what they looked like back then.

shutterstock_403496629Despite individual architectural losses, the street is still glorious, with its buildings designed by the best architects of their era. It features examples of the Vienna Secession (M. Sokol’s lodging houseRussian: dokhodnyi dom M. Sokol or доходный дом М. Сокол, premises No.3), classicism (11 Kuznetsky Most St, San Galli PassageRussian: Passazh San-Galli or Пассаж Сан-Галли), the Renaissance style (15/8 Kuznetsky Most St, the Moscow International Trade BankRussian: Moskovskiy mezhdunarodnyi torgovyi bank or Московский международный торговый банк building), and numerous modernist buildings.

The Myasoyedovs’ Urban Estategorodskaya usad’ba Myasoyedovykh or городская усадьба Мясоедовых, is located at the corner of Kuznetsky Most and Bolshaya Dmitrovka (1/8 Kuznetsky Most St). Its main house now hosts the Russian State Library of Arts. A little further on, Berlin HouseRussian: Berlinskiy dom or Берлинский дом shutterstock_404630878(5/5 Kuznetsky Most St), built in the place of the former Annenkov Estate (where the DecembristDecembrists led an unsuccessful uprising on Dec. 14 1825 Annenkov spent his youth), stands out due to its failure to harmonise with its surroundings. This impression is offset by the architecture of a few lodging houses, the Solodovnikov Theatre, and Kuznetsky Most PassageRussian: Kuznetskiy passazh or Кузнецкий пассаж. Walking along Kuznetsky Most Street, you can often hear live street music. Walking down this gorgeous pedestrian street is a joy in all weathers; its diversity coupled with its atmosphere of the distant past will never fail to impress.

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Gallery

Stoleshnikov Lane today
Kuznetsky Most Street in the olden days
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Stoleshnikov Lane. Photo: V. Kruglova
Stoleshnikov Lane. Photo: V. Kruglova
Stoleshnikov Lane. Photo: V. Kruglova
Stoleshnikov Lane. Photo: V. Kruglova
Stoleshnikov Lane. Photo: V. Kruglova
Stoleshnikov Lane. Photo: V. Kruglova
Kuznetsky Most Street. Photo: V. Kruglova
Kamergersky Lane. An old image
Kamergersky Lane
Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street
Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street
Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street
Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street
Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street

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