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1853 map of Zaryadye

Green: surviving structures

Red: Rossia Hotel

Yellow: Moskvoretsky Bridge
Zaryadye ( ) is a historical district in Moscowmarker established in 12-13th centuries within Kitai-gorodmarker, between Varvarka Street and Moskva River. The name means "the place behind the rows", i.e., behind the market rows adjacent to the Red Squaremarker.


This section is based upon P.V.Sytin's "History of Moscow Streets"

Zaryadye is the oldest trading settlement outside the Kremlin walls. The first chronicle notice is dated 1365, when a fire destroyed the area. Fires continued in 1390, 1468, 1493, 1547; in 1451, the fire was set by Tatar raiders. Zaryadye's Main Street (Великая улица), later called Mokrinsky lane (Мокринский переулок), connected Kremlin with the docks and warehouses on Moskva River; some sources call it the first street of Moscow outside Kremlin walls.

In 1536-1538, the walls of Kitai-gorodmarker fortress separated Zaryadye from the river; access to the river was possible only through the gates in south-western and south-eastern corners of the neighborhood. The businesses changed their logistics pattern, walking away from river trade to supplies by land. Population of traders became more and more diluted by craftsmen and court servants.

Peter I reforms struck two blows on Zaryadye. First, when the court relocated to Saint Petersburgmarker, the area lost the tenants, many businesses closed. Second, Peter's rampart, built between Kitai-gorod wall and the river, closed all the sewage moats, trapping all the waste inside Zaryadye. For at least a century, Zaryadye became an unhealthy and unsafe social bottom of Moscow.

Things improved after the fire of 1812. The State, fearing future fires, banned all wooden construction. Poorer landlords of Zaryadye could not afford stone buildings and sold their properties. They were purchased by real estate developers, who quickly converted Zaryadye in an area of cheap rental housing, usually two or three storey high. For nearly a century, Zaryadye was the garment district of Moscow, a back yard of the wealthy Kitai-gorod.

Since 1826, Glebovskoye Podvorye (Глебовское подворье), an inn in Zaryadye, was a hub of Moscow Jewish community. In 1856, Jews were allowed free settlement in the city, and preferred settling nearby, in Zaryadye. By 1891, Moscow housed an estimated 35,000 of Jews, at least half of them settled in Zaryadye (the first synagogue opened in 1891 two blocks north-east).

After 1918, with the collapse of traditional small business, Zaryadye tenants relocated to the remote workers' neighborhoods. The properties were taken over by State offices.


Demolition of Rossiya, February 3, 2007
1935 master plan of Moscow called for demolition of Zaryadye, clearing space for the Industry Building (Narkomtiazhprommarker) and its riverside ramps. This project did not materialize as planned.

The first round of destruction (1936) cleared the blocks adjacent to Moscow Kremlinmarker for the ramps of Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridgemarker.

This was followed by a destruction of most of Zaryadye in 1947, clearing the ground for the skyscrapermarker, designed by Dmitry Chechulin. This project was cancelled at the foundation stage. A 1947 postcard shows that, in addition to existing row of churches on Varvarka Street, this round of demolition spared the 2-story buildings on Moskvoretskaya Street, right next to the bridge, and the Kitai-gorod wall facing the river. According to P.V.Sytin, historical church of St.Anna and other relics had to be disassembled and rebuilt in the Kolomenskoyemarker park; this did not materialize. The site was left vacant for over 15 years.

A third round, in 1960s, cleared these buildings near the bridge. In 1967, Rossiya Hotelmarker was built on this site. The hotel is being demolished since 2006; as of February, 2007 only the hotel tower is standing, the main block is completely torn down.

Historical legacy

Spared historical buildings include:
  • Cathedral of the Sign (1679-84)
  • Church of All Saintsmarker (1610s)
  • St. George Church on Pskov Hill (1657)
  • St. Maksim Church (1698), St. Anna's Church at the Corner (1510s)
  • St. Barbara Church (1796-1804)
  • The Old English Embassy (1550s)
  • 16-century Romanov boyar residence
  • Two fragments of Kitai-gorod wall on the western edge of a lot

Image:Romanov boyar residence.JPG|16th-century Romanov boyar residenceImage:Kitai-gorod wall.JPG|Kitai-gorodmarker's WallImage:Church of All Saints Zaryadye.jpg|Church of All Saints


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