Kitai Gorod, Moscow
Kitai gorod was my "home" during my short stay in Moscow. At that time, whole area was under constantly construction and it was almost always raining so it was not so great photo moment here. But in one side entrance in main street where we stay I saw a interesting sign.
It was written in Russian: "Всем кто жил в этом доме ушёл и не вернулся" and that mean: "Everyone who lived in the house left and never returned".
This was what I find: dates of 1941-1945 refer to World War II or for Russian Great Patriotic War (Великая отечественная война) If the dates of 1937-1952 is time of Stalin's terror, or the Russians still call "Сталинские репрессии".
I don't know what happens here but I have a nice stay in hostel nearby.
Un paseo por la calle Varvaka , del barrio de Kitai Gordoi es muy agradable y al final la recompensa puede ser más grande pues puedes acabar en San Basilio
En esta calle a lo largo de los años se instalaron los comerciantes de la seda , también fue residencia de embajadores y se instalaron los boyardos en sus palacios
Aún quedan iglesias y monumentos que se puede entrar a visitarlos : la Iglesia de San jorge, el Palacio de los Boyardos, la Antigua Casa Inglesa,la Iglesia de Santa bárbara
Aquí te puedes tomar un buen te y pastas en la casa inglesa
To stroll in Varvaka Street , in the neighbourhood of Gordoi Kitai is very nice and at the end you may have an additional reward as you may end up in San Basilio
In this street over the years settled silk traders, also have ambassadors residence and boyars settled here their palaces
There are still churches and monuments that you can visit and they will remember the old days: the Church of St. George, the Palace of the Boyars, the former English House, the Church of Saint Barbara
Here you can have a good tea and cakes in the English house
This was the first monument that we saw after arriving in Moscow. I'll be honest, it was hard to fully comprehend the importance of the monument, given that we had just come off a hellish trip from Toronto through London. Comprehension was also hindered by the fact that this was a Tsarist era monument that had inscriptions in the old alphabet (i.e. pre-1917 alphabet). Nevertheless, I gathered that this was a tribute to the soldiers who had did in the wars with Prussia in the 1870, hence the detailed reliefs of soldiers valiently defending the Motherland. It also likely explains why a monument with throwbacks to the Orthodox Church and the Ancien Régime was allowed to continue to stand in the middle of Moscow. The relief work is actually quite impressive, as is the contrast of the black stone and the gilted religious symbols. Yet again, this appeared to be a favourite hangout of teenagers making out and smoking (they come part and parcel with Russian monuments).
No Orthodox Slavic city is complete without a monument to SS. Cyril and Methodus, the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet and convertors of the Slavic tribes to Christianity. Even with the anti-religious rhetoric of the Communist régimes throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, the two Saints continued to have a cherished place in official history, if not for their conversions then for their contributions to the enlightenment of the Slavic peoples. To this day, the creation of the monks - the Cyrillic alphabet - continues to be used, in a variety of forms, by Serbs, Russians, Ukrainians, Macedonians, Bulgarians and Belarussians. It is also used by dozens of smaller, non-Slavic nations, whose languages were either not written before the 1920s or, more likely, were written with poorly adapted Arabic script before the advent of the Soviet government (including Chechens, Mordvins, Tatars, Kazaks, Uzbeks...). Even today, the alphabet first devised by these two monks is a controversial topic, and the Russian government has now made it illegal for groups within Russian, like the Tatars, to switch from Cyrillic to Latin lettering.
Politics aside, the monument to Saints Cyril and Methodus is a dark, slightly dour affair not far from Ulitsa Varvarskaya. It has several plaques commemorating the two men, as well as their statues, and it appears to be largely forgotten, except by groups of surly teenagers smoking and drinking at, apparently, all hours of the day.
Russians seem to have really bad luck when it comes to mistranslations of their famous statesmen and sites. Kitay Gorod is one of those misfortunes, as it is commonly thought of as Chinatown (Kitay means China in Russian), but this is not in fact the etymology of the name. Rather, it comes from the Russian word for the boards and sticks that made up the pallisades that protected this area in the middle ages. Nevertheless, Kitay Gorod has survived the confusion and is rapidly returning to what it was originally meant to be - a mercantile district full of shops and restaurants. This is an incredibly amenable part of Moscow to stay and spend time in, largely because it is chock full of churches, monuments and other sites of historical interest, plus restaurants, bars and shops, but it largely escapes the noise, hectic pace and tourists of the more central parts of Moscow. The streets are not at all on a grid, and wandering from the main ones (we stayed on Pokrovka most of the time) can result in a 3 hour attempt at finding your way home.
The plethora of relaxation and enjoyment spots also encourages a lot of creativity in Kitay Gorod, and you will find buildings that are done up in a variety of different styles, from Orthodox churches in traditional Russian style, to standard Moscow dreariness, to Uzbek restaurants and Chinese tea houses done up to remind patrons of the mysterious Orient.
The church was completed in 1674 in the Moscow Baroque style on the site of an earlier church where the troops of Grand Prince Daniil were blessed on the way to battle of Kulikovo. It is interesting also in containing two churches: a summer church upstairs and a better insulated but smaller lower winter church, which was a common design at the time.
In 1930s it was turned into a secret police prison, but these days it is again a house of worship.
This XVII century convent was built on the family estate of the Romanovs, who were to become the second and last Russian royal dynasty, in memory of the mother of the first Romanov monarch. It has survived remarkably well.
It is located on Varvarka street close to Red Square and the Kremlin.
This amazing monument of architecture, completed in 1653 in the "Moscow Baroque" style, is somewhat difficult to find, stacked in Nikitnikov pereulok between the Moscow province buildings. It is noted also for beautiful icons inside.
This is another historic place in Moscow. It was founded in 1600 and in the end of the XVII century its seminary was turned into the first bona fide institution of secular higher learning in Russia - the Slavo-Greko-Latin Academy. Here studied the celebrated scientist Lomonosov.
Perhaps the most interesting building of all in ulitsa Varvarka is is the one known as Chambers in Zaryadie - the Romanov boyar house. Now a museum dedicated to the ill-fated Romanovs, this was the house the family occupied before they moved up in the world. It was built by Nikita Romanov, whose grandson became the first of the Romanov tsars.
The story of St George and his dragon-slaying feat captured the imagination of many Christian leaders, with the result that he was adopted as the patron saint of more than one country or town. Moscow was one of them and you will see icons of the saint everywhere. The blue and gold domes of the church next to the Boyar House on ulitsa Vavarky mark one of the churches dedicated to him in the city, this one was built in 1658.
It seems a pity that this is not one of Moscow's reconsecrated churches - instead it is a craft gallery, and not always open.
Moving along Vavarka from the English House, you come to a little group of church buildings. The one that will catch your eye is the lovely golden brick cathedral of the Monastery of the Sign, topped with gorgeous medley of domes - a big gold one surrounded by extraordinary tiled ones covered in iridescent green fish-scales.
Pity about the access ramp to the Hotel Rossiya built right beside it.