For Muscovites the word “Lubyanka” is a synonymous with executions, violence and torture. Home first to the Soviet and then the Russian security agencies, in the 20th century. But more than a century before the advent of the secret police, the Moscow square was home to one of history’s most infamous female serial killers.
Here are 15 facts you may never know!
- In 18th century on Lubyanka sq. there was a secret torture cellar arranged by Catherine the Great. So that place always had a bloody history.
- After the Great Revoluton when NKVD department took place here, people tried to avoid walking on this square. Everybody knew if someone was called to “Lubyanka” he will stay there forever.
- On Bolshaya Lubyanka street once stood a gymnasium for boys. On 4th of February of 1905 Great Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was killed in Kremlin by being blown up in his carriage. And students of that gymnasium where brought to Kremlin to help to find pieces of duke’s body.
- Name of Sretensky monastery derives from ancient Russian word “sretenye”, which translates like “meeting”.
- In August of 1935 khan Tamerlan was approaching Moscow. The last thing Russians could do is to pray and ask for protection of God. It was decided to bring ancient icon of Holy Mary of Vladimir to Moscow. On the same night when icon came to Moscow, Tamerlan changed his mind and left his way to the town. Everyone considered it is a miracle. On the spot of meeting the miraculous icon, prince Vasily I ordered to build a monastery.
- Road from Vladimir town to Moscow took 2 weeks.
- After the revolution almost all territory of monastery got lost and was transformed into a playground. Locals were fond of horror stories about zombie-monks, who were hidding in dungeons of old monasteries and ate brains of people at night time.
- In 28th house on Bolshaya Lubyanka street lived an artist, who painted there his famous masterpiece “Unequal marriage”. Critics think that this painting is autobiographical.
- In 1695 Sukhrevskaya tower was built in Moscow. Peter the Great ordered to build it in honor of his supporter Lavrentiy Sukharev, who was faithful to Peter during Streletsky riot against future emperor.
- Tower immedietely became one of the most popular symbols of Moscow. Muscovites called her “Sukharevskaya lady” and “Fiancee of Ivan the Great belfry”.
- It stood for two and a half centuries. On the night from 13 to 14 April of 1934 demolition of tower began.
- In 1701 inside the tower first in Russia higher school of Mathematics and Navigation was opened.
- After school moved to St.-Petersburg, the only man who stayed in tower was Jacob Bruce – mathematician, astrologer, astronomer, engineer. But Muscovites considered him a sorcerer. They thought he was keeping a “Black book” written on the language of devil.
- Next remarkable place in old Moscow was Sukharev market, arranged on the square in front of the tower. Market opened its doors on weekends and it was almost the highlight of the town. Main thing that it was a place there robbers sold stolen things. Usually people went straight to Sukharev market and found stuff, that was stolen last night.
- V. Gilyarovsky says that Moscow has 7 of “Banny” lanes, 19 of “Bezimyanny”, 4 of “Blagoveschensky”, 3 of “Bolvanovsky”, 13 of “Nikolsky”, 12 of “Znamensky”, 10 of “Pokrovsky”, 9 of “Kosmodemiansky” and “Iliyinsky”.
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