Historical Center of Moscow is Ivanovo hill – one of the Moscow hills, that got its name at end of the XV century. The ancient name of this place is Kulishki (or Kulizhki, or kulichki), which meant a swampy place. Here it is appropriate to recall the famous Russian expression “in the middle of nowhere”. This is what the area was in ancient time. The memory of Moscow Kulishki is preserved in the names of some temples located here: All Saints on Kulishki, Three Saints on Kulishki, the Church of St. Cyrus and John on Kulishki. The Ivanovskaya Gorka-Kulishek district has preserved its historical and architectural environment to the greatest extent in comparison with other Moscow districts located in the city center.

During Moscow walking tour in Historical Center by locals  You can see here the number of ancient chambers, temples, noble and merchant estates. We will start with one of the most interesting places – a unique public space for recreation, cultural leisure and entertainment for children and adults – Zaryadye Park

1.Zaryadye Park

As for the history of Zaryadye, it should be noted: since the first settlement in the XII century, Zaryadye has always been full of life – at first it was a busy river port. In the XVI century, when Moscow became the tsarist capital, the quarter was inhabited by aristocrats and diplomats. In the XVIII century, they moved with the capital to St.Petersburg, and Zaryadye turned into a colorful slum. At the beginning of the XX century, it was a densely built-up cozy quarter of the old city, demolished during the Stalinist reconstruction of Moscow. The most magnificent Moscow high-rise building was supposed to grow on this site, but the largest hotel in the world, the Rossiya hotel, appeared on its Foundation. In 2006, the hotel was razed to the ground, and the place was surrounded by a fence, which became the largest advertising area in Europe. The fence stood for six years, until in January 2012, when Vladimir Putin visited the territory of the demolished hotel, he proposed to Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin to set up a Park next to the Kremlin. Thanks to its exceptional location,  Zaryadye Park now is an open – air Museum, where the city itself is a permanent exhibit.

Let’s walk along Varvarka to Slavyanskaya square and go to the Church of All saints on Kulishki.

2. Church of All saints on Kulishki

The ancient Church of All saints on Kulishki is one of the oldest Moscow churches. According to legend, the Church was built here in the early 1380s at the behest of the Grand Duke of Moscow Dmitry Ioannovich in memory of the soldiers who died on Kulikovo field. In the XVI century, a stone Church was built on the site of the old wooden Church, which was rebuilt in the next XVII century. At the same time, the existing bell tower – the “leaning tower” of Moscow – was built. Its slope, apparently, is associated with the marshy soil of this place.

Turn to face the square

3. Choral synagogue

If you stand facing the Church of All saints on Kulishki, then above the roofs of houses on the right you can see the dome of the Choral synagogue, located in the nearby Bolshoy Spasoglinishchevsky lane. The synagogue was built at the end of the XIX century, and opened in 1906. For a long time, there was no dome on it (it was built only in 1990), although the original architectural project of S.Eibushits provided for it. One stable Moscow legend is associated with the absence of a dome throughout the twentieth century. Passing near the building under construction and believing that a Church was being built, the Governor-General of Moscow, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, crossed himself on the dome. When he learned that a non-Orthodox Church was being built, he became very irritated and ordered the dome to be removed immediately, which was done


 And we will go with you along Solyansky passage.

4. House of the Moscow merchant society

On the right, at the corner of Solyanka and Zabelina street, is the gray bulk of the house of the Moscow merchant society, located on the site of the Salt court.


Let’s go up Zabelina street .

5. Apartment house of A.V. Krasnogorova-Blinov

On the left hand, behind a beautiful fence, is the Estate of Sumarokov, which is based on the chambers of the XVII century. Behind the Estate of Sumarokov, a little higher up the slope, at the corner with Starosadsky lane, stands the Apartment house of Krasnogorova-Blinov. It also offers a beautiful view of the St. John the Baptist monastery and the Church of St.Vladimir in the Old Gardens. But we will definitely return here today, and now we will continue our journey

Turn left into Starosadsky lane and walk to the house number 9.

 6. Residential house, XVII-XIX centuries

For many years, this old mansion has housed a Historical library. At the end of the XVIII century, a new house was built here, which stood at the end of the lane. This building is included in the current building built for the men’s and women’s schools of the “Auxiliary society of merchant clerks” in 1901. There were lectures on commercial subjects, in particular on accounting, not the most famous, but regularly attended.

We will go further along Starosadsky lane to the Church.

7. Church of Peter and Paul

The Lutheran Church of Peter and Paul is the oldest Moscow Lutheran Church built in 1819. The Church was rebuilt twice, the last time in the early twentieth century by the academician of architecture V. A. Kosov. In the Soviet years, the Church was closed. The building was adapted for the cinema “Arctic”, and in the post-war years it housed the Studio “Diafilm”. In the 1990s, the Church was returned to the faithful. Restoration and restoration work were carried out. In 2010, the building was again decorated with an elegant spire.

Turn right from Starosadskii alley in gate Peterparker go through the Church yard.

 8. Chambers of the XVII century. (so-called “Mazepa’s Chambers”)

On the right is a chapel built in the 1890s by F. O. Shechtel. At the back of the courtyard are old chambers. Chambers of the XVII century (so-called “Mazepa’s Chambers”). Who was the Builder of the building is unknown, and its owner is unknown in the second half of the XVII century.


Author: Nadezda Pushkina

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