Tverskaya StreetRussian: Tverskaya ulitsa or Тверская улица is Moscow’s main thoroughfare. It joins the Red SquareRussian: Krasnaya poschad or Красная площадь with the Triumfalnaya SquareRussian: Triumfalnaya ploschad or Триумфальная площадь, continues further as Tverskaya-Yamskaya StreetRussian: Tverskaya-Yamskaya ulitsa or Тверская-Ямская улица and, passing the Belorussian Railway StationRussian: Belorusskiy vokzal or Белорусский вокзал, it evolves into Leningradsky AvenueRussian: Leningradskiy prospekt or Ленинградский проспект . Many historic buildings dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries are located along Tverskaya Street. Of special interest are the Stalinist neoclassical blocks. Museums, theatres, shops, restaurants and cozy parks are scattered along Tverskaya Street and in the neighbouring lanes.
Every building on Tverskaya Street deserves special attention. Memorial plaques on these buildings communicate many interesting things about their history as well as those who lived there. There are buildings from different time periods and built in varying styles, providing an overall picture of 19th and 20th-century Moscow architecture and recreating the ancient, solemn atmosphere of the capital city.
History of Tverskaya street
The modern Tverskaya Street is the continuation of a road which once connected Moscow with Tvera city located 180 kilometres northwest of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Several monuments dating from the 19th and even the 18th centuries have survived, including the National HotelRussian: gostinitsa "Natsional" or гостиница "Националь" and mansions owned by illustrious noble families. However, Tverskaya Street owes its modern appearance mostly to the 1930s. Before that, it had been a narrow and winding road typical of old Moscow where urban development was rarely carried out according to any cohesive plan. The street was enlarged and straightened in Soviet times, but, in order to do this, many historic buildings had to be torn down. Highly valuable architectural landmarks were preserved, but hidden inside residential neighbourhoods. This seems incredible even today, and it was even more so in the past century: multi-storey buildings could move with people inside, and the relocation was so smooth that some people kept sleeping without even noticing it.
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Highlights of Tverskaya street
Tverskaya Street is a single ensemble, where every building and every façade is unique and worthy of attention. The National Hotel, built by N. Benua in the early 20th century and located on the right side of the Manezhnaya SquareRussian: Manezhnaya ploschad or Манежная площадь, is a fine example of eclectic design. Fretwork decorates the building’s exteriors, and the interiors are enhanced with mosaics and stained-glass windows. Its convenient location in the very heart of Moscow, beautiful views from the windows and intricate interiors make it one of the most upscale hotels in the city.
Buildings No. 2, 4 and 6 built by G. Mordvinov on the right side of Tverskaya Street are fine examples of Stalinist architecturean architecture of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, between 1933 and 1955 with their arches and giant columns, coffered ceilings, protrusive cornices and reliefs. The three buildings look alike and shape the continuous framing of the street, making it both grand and festive.
Building No. 7 on the left side of the street is the Central TelegraphRussian: Tsentralnyi telegraf or Центральный телеграф, a real hallmark of its time. The 20th century is an epoch of great technological discoveries and styles, and the austere façade of the building with its reinforced concrete framework and its main decoration in the form of a big glass globe are very much in the spirit of the time. Architects S. Ginzburg and I. Rerberg constructed this building in the late 1920s before the rise of Stalinist architecture, which accounts for the absence of traditional porches, colonnades and arches as well as the predominance of austere constructivist features.
The city residence of the Savino-Storozhevsky MonasteryRussian: podvore Savino-Storozhevskogo monastyrya or подворье Савино-Сторожевского монастыря is hidden inside the court of Building No. 6 on the right side of Tverskaya Street. It is one of the buildings that had to be moved during the reconstruction of the street. Today, not all Muscovites know about the structure hidden behind the façade of a more recent high-rise. The old city residence, built in the early 20th century by I. Kuznetsov, is one of the best examples of Moscow Art Modern architecture. Neo-Russian elements successfully combine with Baroque and Classical details. The overall design is also very well thought out, and the arches lead into inner courtyards proportionate with the overall design.
Building No. 13 on the left side of Tverskaya Street houses Moscow City GovernmentRussian: zdanie Merii or здание Мэрии (the former house of the Governor-General). Built in the late 18th century by Matvey Kazakov, it initially only had four storeys. During reconstruction, the Tverskoy House was moved further, and two more floors were added on top in the 1940s. Architect Andrey Burov was originally offered the project, but he refused, unwilling to mutilate this historic building. This decision cost him his job at the Moscow Institute of Architecture and his atelier. The project was eventually carried out by Dmitry Chechulin. A large cornice marks the exact boundary between the historical part of the building and the added superstructure.
Opposite the Moscow City Government is Tverskaya SquareRussian: Tverskaya ploschad or Тверская площадь, with a monument to Prince Yuri DolgorukiyRussian: pamyatnik knyazu Yuriyu Dolgorukomu or памятник князю Юрию Долгорукому, the presumed founder of the city of Moscow in its centre. A monument to the Russian general Mikhail Skobeleva Russian general famous for his conquest of Central Asia and heroism during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 had stood here before the Bolsheviksmembers 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 demolished it in protest – a great loss to Russian culture. The demolished monument gave place to an Obelisk featuring plaques with inscriptions from the Russian Constitution of 1918. Only in 1947 was it replaced with the current monument by Sergey Orlov in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the city.
Building No. 14 on the right side of Tverskaya Street (the former tenement house by E. Kozitskaya) is famous for housing the Eliseyev Food HallRussian: Magazin Eliseeva or Магазин Елисеева. This classical style building was initially built by Matvey Kazakov, but its appearance underwent major transformations in the subsequent years. At the end of the 19th century, merchant Grigory Eliseyev purchased it and opened a grocery store on the first floor. In Soviet times, the store was renamed for ‘Gastronom No. 1Russian: Гастроном №1’, but it was still commonly known by the name of its founder. Its interiors decorated with mirrors, fancy columns, friezes and splendid chandeliers create the sensation of wealth and luxury. The same building houses the memorial museum of Nikolay Ostrovskya Soviet socialist realist writer, of Ukrainian origin, who is best known for his novel How Steel was Tempered. Today, this museum is involved the promotion of art among people with disabilities. This emphasis is due to the fact that Ostrovsky was bedridden for nine years.
Building No. 17, erected by architect Arcady Mordvinov, is an excellent example of Stalinist architecture, notable for its big arch connecting Tverskaya Street with a lane, which is typical for Tverskaya Street where even small-scale crossings are beautifully decorated. The corner tower is also interesting. A statue of a ballet dancer once stood there, so the building itself was commonly known as “the house under the skirt”.
Pushkin SquareRussian: Pushkinskaya ploschad or Пушкинская площадь is located at the junction of Tverskaya Street and the Boulevard RingRussian: Bulvarnoe koltso or Бульварное кольцо. The Passion MonasteryRussian: Strastnoy monastyir or Страстной монастырь, demolished in 1938, once stood here. The monument to Alexander PushkinRussian: pamyatnik Aleksandru Pushkinu or памятник Александру Пушкину by sculptor Alexander Opekushin was moved to the other side of Tverskaya Street, and the square received its present-day name. The Constructivist building of the Izvestiya Publishing HouseRussian: izdatelstvo gazety «Izvestiya» or издательство газеты «Известия» (Building No. 5) is the creation of Grigory Barkhin who had to tackle the challenging task of slotting the building into a narrow and inconvenient plot of land, a task he managed to accomplish.
Building No. 21 on the left side of Tverskaya Street once housed the English ClubRussian: Angliyskiy klub or Английский клуб, one of the most prestigious social institutions in imperial Russia. It is a fine example of late Moscow Classicism architecture, with an austere Doric porch, laconic décor and lions on top of the gate. The State Central Museum of Contemporary History of RussiaRussian: Gosudarstvennyi muzey sovremennoy istorii Rossii or Государственный музей современной истории России is now located in this building. Visitors will not only become acquainted with exhibits illustrating the most significant events in Russian history, but also see authentic 19th-century interiors.
Building No. 25 on the left side of Tverskaya Street is one of the best examples of Stalinist residential architecture. This is the Narkomles buildingRussian: dom Narkomlesa or дом Наркомлеса constructed by Andrey Burov, featuring a beautiful balanced façade, free of monotony, pomposity and unjustified pathos. Its artistic decoration executed by Vladimir Favorsky deserves special attention.
The Triumphalnaya Square is located at the end of Tverskaya Street, more precisely at its intersection with the Garden RingRussian: Sadovoe koltso or Садовое кольцо. Here stands a monument to MayakovskyRussian: pamyatnik Mayakovskomu or памятник Маяковскому by Aleksandr Kibalnikov. Outdoor poetry readings were once held here. This tradition is now reviving, and creative meetings now take place at the foot of the monument once a month. The Pekin HotelRussian: gostinitsa «Pekin» or гостиница «Пекин» built by Dmitry Chechulin is the most notable building of the square. Its tower-like peak echoes one of Stalin’s high-rises, the Kudrinskaya SquareRussian: Kudrinskaya ploschad or Кудринская площадь Building, which is easily visible from Tverskaya Street. Other notable buildings located on this square include the Tchaikovsky Concert HallRussian: kontsertnyi zal im. Chaykovskogo or концертный зал им. Чайковского, the Moscow Satire TheatreRussian: teatr Satiry or театр Сатиры and the Sovremennik TheatreRussian: teatr «Sovremennik» or театр «Современник». It is no accident that the Triumphalnaya Square is commonly known as the “second Theatre SquareRussian: Teatralnaya ploschad or Театральная площадь”.
The Triumphalnaya Square had been a long-standing and serious challenge for architects. Located at the intersection of two thoroughfares, this vast, uninviting, noisy and shapeless square was not at all relaxing. Today, architects are trying tackle the issue by creating a recreational zone here. The space around the monument to Mayakovsky has been fenced and decorated with flowerbeds and benches, and the area now features several little shops, cafés and swings for little ones.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com