Ulitsa Varvarka Moscow Reviews
The oldest street in Moscow Aug 07, 2007
The street Ulitsa Varvarka claims to be the oldest street in Mocow. Once this neigbourhood was the living area of the traders who sold their wares on the Red Square.
One of the most prominent buildings, at Varvarka 6, is the Rossia Hotel. It is a monumental concrete block with 3200 rooms, built in the late sixties, and a perfect example of horrible socialist architecture. At Varvarka 4 is the English court, also known as the Old English Embassy. Originally this was a palace built for the wealthy merchant Bobrishchev around the 16thcentury, but not long after it was finished it was taken by Ivan the Terrible and given to a delegation of English merchants who arrived in 1553.
At Varvarka 3 is the Stary Gostiny Dvor, an late baroque trading arcade build in the 18thcentury. It was built to replace the muddle of stalls and warehouses that had stood at this spot for hundreds of years.
At Varvarka 8 is the Znamensky Monastery, a building that is inextricably linked to the Romanov family. Before Mikhail I, the first Romanov Tsar, got to power, the Romanov family had long been prominent aristocrats.
After the family moved to the Kremlin, the building was turned into a monastery, nowadays it also houses a museum showing the lifestyle of Moscow’s medieval nobility. Unfortunately the monastery was closed when we were there, so I can’t say if the inside was interesting. The outside is gorgeous though, and Ulitsa Varvarka is a very nice street to stroll through. Keep a guidebook at hand to read about the history of all the different buildings though!
Part of the Western Russia 2007 travel blog
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