31 Fun Facts about Zamoskvorechye in Moscow

Looking for off the beaten path of Moscow, combined with something authentic, unique, historical and beautiful? Would like to try River Cruise Moscow? Head to Zamoskvorechye area!

What is Zamoskvorechye?

In 4 simple sentences it is:

  1. the oldest area of Moscow,
  2. the world’s finest collection of Russian icons,
  3. a dazzling mix of hidden architectural gems and art masterpieces.
  4. (BONUS!) definitely a must do when in Moscow.

31 fun facts about Zamoskvorechye

Moscow cathedrals

Pyatnitskaya street Zamoskvorechye area

  1. Zamoskvorechye is translated as “beyond the Moskva river”. The area ignored by Moscow’s elite due to the area’s frequent flooding and swampy nature.
  2. Zamoskvorechye’s look has been formed over the last 700 years since the 14th century, however the settlement started long before that.
  3. The people who lived in Zamoskvorechye provided the Tsar with goods and food. That is why many streets in the area have food or craft-related names.
  4. Tretyakov gallery in Zamoskvorechye area reflects 1000 year-old history, art and culture of Russia.
  5. The collection of the Tretyakov gallery consists of 130 000 exhibits.
  6. Church of St. Gregory Bishop Neokisayriysky in Derbitsy was so beautiful that Napoleon regretted he could not move it to Paris. During the fire in 1812 French soldiers carried buckets of water to save it from the fire. 

    Cathedrals tour in Moscow

    Klimentovsky lane in Zamoskvorechye

  7. Smirnoff distillery was established on Pyatnitskaya street in 1862 on ½ Pyatnitskaya street. The main story of the house is related to the wine and vodka king of the Russian Empire – Peter Arsenijevic Smirnov. Side of the house is still flaunts the inscription “The Supplier of the Imperial Household Peter Arsenijevic Smirnov”.
  8. At 33 Pyatnitskaya street you can witness a fancifully eclectic Korobkova House, built in the 1890s. With trim like white icing, and romantically scrolled windows, this is certainly one of Moscow’s hidden treasures. Nowadays it is the Embassy of Tanzania. With trim like white icing, and romantically scrolled windows, this is certainly one of Moscow’s hidden treasures.
  9. At 1 Novokuznetskaya street take a look at the attractive 20th century estate now belonging to the Embassy of Mali. Across the street at 12/14 Novokuznetskaya street  is the Embassy of Indonesia.
  10. The Tatar influence is still present in this area. Located near the Tatar Cultural Centre is a statue dedicated to renowned Tatar poet, Gabdulla Tukay (1886-1913).
  11. On Bolshaya Tatarskaya street, 28 is one of Moscow’s oldest mosques, founded in 1823.
  12. The name of Bolshaya Ordinka street is derived from the Golden Horde (Zolotaya Orda). In the 14th century the street served as the main road from the Kremlin south.

    Russian winter in Moscow

    Architectural gem of Zamoskvorechye

  13. Marfo-Mariinskaya convent at 34 Bolshaya Ordynka street was one of the last churches to be built before the revolution and execution of the royal family in 1918.
  14. You can enjoy angelic choral voices in the Russian Orthodox church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr-in-the-Fields, located at 60/2 Bolshaya Ordynka street The church was funded by Catherine the Great, built in the 1760s and survived a bloody battle of 1612 during the Times of Troubles. 
  15. Victorian-style Maly theatre, located at 69 Bolshaya Ordynka features performances of Russian classics, such as Chekhov, Ostrovsky, Pushkin, Lermontov and Dostoevsky. On decree of the President of Russia Maly Theatre was awarded the status of National Heritage.
  16. Igumnov House is an object of cultural heritage of federal importance, built in 1895 and designed in the pseudo-Russian style. Currently, it is the official residence of the Ambassador of France. Make sure to see this beauty at 43 Bolshaya Yakimanka.
  17. Bakhrushina street was named after the wealthy Bakhrushin merchant family. Alexey Bakhrushin had a knack for the theatre. his obsession developed into Russia’s largest collection of theatre-related memorabilia. Bakhrushin founded the museum in 1894, which now possesses 1.5 million items, including costumes, stage sets, photographs etc
  18. In 1922 Bolsheviks closed and looted 22 churches in Zamoskvorechye. However, 17 religious buildings survived to date, including the Historical Mosque established in 1823. 

    Russia in winter

    Moscow Tour of Zamoskvorechye

  19. Novokuznetskaya metro station, opened in 1943, features World War II motifs. The scenes were by Vladimir Frolov, a prisoner of the 900 day Leningrad siege.
  20. Novokuznetskaya station’s benches came here from the original Christ the Savior Cathedral before its demolition in 1931. The benches are made of Siberian white marble.
  21. Paveletskaya train station, built in 1900, is one of Moscow’s largest and oldest.
  22. Paveletskaya station was also the temporary home of Lenin’s body. It is still home to Lenin’s funeral train, which is housed at the Russian Railway Museum inside the station.
  23. Valenki are a symbol of the true Russian soul with its broad and vast expanses. You can learn about these very Russian boots in the Museum of Valenki at 12 Second Kozhevnicheskiy lane, not far from Paveletsky metro and railway station.
  24. Bolshoy Ustinsky Bridge has great views on the Kremlin and the gargantuan Stalinist masterpiece known as Dom na Kotelnicheskoi – House on Kotelnicheskaya.
  25. According to Evans Property, the most popular addresses for buying or renting an apartment in Zamoskvorechye are 53 Pyatnitskaya Ulitsa, 17 Lavrushinsky Pereulok, and 17 Bolshaya Ordynka. 

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    Russian traditional tea ceremony with samovar

  26. According to the district’s official website, there are 73 streets in Zamoskvorechye, connected by five metro stations: Dobryninskaya, Paveletskaya, Novokuznetskaya, Tretya­kovskaya, and Serpukhovskaya. There are ten schools and ten kindergartens in the area. A total of 67 shops of all kinds serve the 40,000 people who live in Zamoskvorechye.
  27. Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, located at Stremyanny Pereulok, 36 is considered one of the most prestigious universities of Moscow.
  28. Bolotnaya square was frequently used for public executions, notably, the famous rebelStepan Razin in 1671 and Yemelyan Pugachev, a leader of a peasant rebellion, who was executed there in 1775.
  29. In 2001, the sculpture group Children Are the Victims of Adult Vices was installed on Bolotnaya square.
  30. In December 2011 thousands of protesters held an opposition rally protesting allegedly unfair parliamentary election results. This was the biggest rally in Moscow since the 1990s.
  31. Wiki Voyage divides Zamoskvorechye area into 5 small neighborhoods:

 Zamoskvorechye streets

Baltchug island the island which was created during the construction of Vodootvodny canal, which separated the territory of the island from Zamoskvorechye.
Tatar settlement He area of Bolshaya Tatarskaya and Pyatnitskaya streets where Tatars used to live back in 12-15th centuries
Ordynka Bolshaya Ordynka street, the name originates back to Golden Horde that ruled Russia for many centuries back in ancient times
Yakimanka The area of Bolshaya Yakimanka street, from Yakimanskaya embarkment to Bolshaya Polyanka, owes its name to the church of St. Ioakim and Anna, which was destroyed in the 60s of the 20th century.
Gorky Park and Nescuchny Garden the territorory outside Sadovoe Ring, between Moskva river embarkment and Leninsky prospekt.
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    Pyatnitskaya street in Moscow

    32. The fortified line on the site of the present-day Garden Ring was built in 1591-1592. Within the fortress wall, life was organized in a sloboda People settled in clearly defined communities, with higher or less control from the tsar’s authorities:


Sloboda system of Zamoskvorechye back in 16th century

Royal garden attendants settled around Balchug Street, in the beginning of present-day Sadovnicheskaya Street from 1495 until the fire of 1701
Tanners specializing in sheepskin settled the beginning of Pyatnitskaya Street, and gave their name to Ovchinnikovsky Lanes
Royal mint workers settled in the southern end of the neighborhood on Pyatnitskaya Street (Monetchikovsky Lanes)
Streltsy troops (military) under command of colonel Veshniakov gave name to Vishnyakovsky Lane
Tatar community still identifiable in Tatarskaya Streets population
Court translators the so-called tolmachi settled in Tolmachevsky lane
Wealthier class concentrated in Pyatnitskaya and Ordynka streets
Russian architecture tour

Zamoskvorechye area, Moscow

Other highlights of Zamoskvorechye:

1. Church of the Intercession  was built in Byzantine style for only 100K roubles, while the average monthly salary was 35 rubles. For today’s reality the church would cost about 100 000 million rubles. Built in 1908 38 Novokuznetskaya street
2. Kadashi Church was first mentioned in 1493, and built in 1695;  served as the main architectural dominant defining the urban planning of Moscow, from Ivan the Great Bell through the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye 7 First Kadashevsky lane,
3. Church of Iveron Icon of the Mother of God typical of Moscow classicism of the 18th century 39  Bolshaya Ordynka street
4. Church of St. Nicholas in Pyzhi  the cathedral the founder of which was whipped and sent to exile 27/6 Bolshaya Ordynka street
5. Church of St. Gregory Bishop Neokisayriysky in Derbitsy  was so beautiful that in 1812, Napoleon, enchanted by the beauty it, regretted that he could not put it on the palm and move it to Paris, and during a fire French soldiers carried buckets of water to save it from the fire 29 Bolshaya Polyanka street
6. The destroyed church of Paraskevy Pyatnitsy the street called after that churchbuilt in 1739 and destroyed in 1935, now Novokuznetskaya metro station on its spot Novokuznetskaya metro station
7. The church of St. Kliment was the outpost during the liberation of Moscow from foreign invaders during the Time of Troubles in 1612;is an architectural monument of federal significance and is included in one of the main tour and pilgrimage routes of the Golden Ring of Moscow 26 Pyatnitskaya, building 1
8. The church of Live-Giving Trinity an architectural monument of the late Empire style and Classicism, first mentioned in 1630s 51 Pyatnitskaya
9. The church of the Beheading of Ioann the Baptist was first mentioned in 1415 and was still under construction till 1904;was moved when Ivan the Terrible was born 2  Chernigovsky lane
10. Church of St. John the Warrior  was flooded and rebuilt on Peter I’s orders; was reconstructed in 1709, during the war with Sweden and was not significantly rebuilt since then;  46 Bolshaya Yakimanka

Happy sightseeing around Zamoskvorechye!


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Coffee break on our Zamoskvorechye tour


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