Neighbourhood history

History of Meshchansky District

History of Meshchansky District

Meshchane inImperial Russia denoted asocial estate ofpoor town residents who did not qualify asmerchants orcivil servants; inmodern Russian, itisapejorative name for anarrow-minded philistine. Meschansky District acquired its name earlier, inthe second half of17th century, through the Ukrainians and Belarusians abducted from their hometowns inthe course ofRusso-Polish War (16541667). These people settled north from present-day Garden Ring, reaching 692 households by1682. Intheir languages, meshchane meant simply town people, the locals, without negative connotation; the name ofMeshchanskaya sloboda persists todate. Meshchanskaya sloboda became aconsiderable commercial and handicraft district ofMoscow; ithas alocal self-government which was very progressive for those days.

Three-quarters ofall the archeological reserves onthe territory ofMoscow are located inMeshchansky district, and most ofits landmarks are considered ashistorical and cultural heritage ofthe capital. Ancient palatary, tenement houses, mansions are well-known architectural monuments.

Bolshaya Lubyanka Street iscontinued bySretenka and then byProspect mira. These streets were thoroughfare running north-east and leading toVladimir and Yaroslavl. Since olden days the road was used bypilgrims going tothe Trinity Lavra ofSt. Sergius which isthe most important Russian monastery and the spiritual centre ofthe Russian Orthodox Church. The monastery issituated inthe town ofSergiyev Posad, about 90km tothe north-east from Moscow bythe road leading toYaroslavl.

Chemists garden was laid out in1706 byPeter the Great onthe territory ofMeshchansky district. Later itbecame the first Botanical Garden ofMoscow. The hothouse collections goback tothe late 18th century and are ofgreat scientific value. But the Botanical Gardens are not just for experts. Once inside, its hard tobelieve that youre close tothe centre ofEuropes biggest city, and its awonderful place tocome toget away from the noise and stress ofurban living. The gardens change their character and their attractions according tothe season, and the enormous greenhouses mean that even inthe depths ofwinter theres plenty tosee.

The district isalso famous for its other gardens and parks such asEkaterininsky Garden, Festivalny Park, Sretensky and Rozdestvensky, Tsvetnoy boulevards.

Tsvetnoy Boulevard was laid out inthe 1830s toreplace the river-bed ofthe Neglinnaya after this rivulet and the adjacent large pond had been earthedup. Its name isderived from the Russian word for flowers, alluding tothe nearby flower market. The street gives its name toaMoscow metro station Tsvetnoi Bulvar. The most notable landmarks are the Moscow Circus onTsvetnoy Boulevard and alofty column supporting the statue ofSaint George slaying the dragon (i.e., coat ofarms ofMoscow).

Rostokinsky Aqueduct, also known asMillionny Bridge, isastone aqueduct built in1780-1804. Itisthe only remaining aqueduct inMoscow, once apart ofMytishchi Water Supply, Moscows first centralized water utility. The Aqueduct was commissioned byCatherine IIofRussia toengineer Friedrich Wilhelm Bauer. Construction, frequently interrupted, dragged for 25years. Finally, the aqueduct was completed atanunprecedented cost of2million roubles, thus the name Millionny Bridge. Aqueduct was renovated, furnished with hand-rails and false decorative roof and open for visitors in2007/2008.

Wehope that unique atmosphere ofMeshchansky district will make your stay atHoliday Inn Moscow Suschevsky remarkable and our hotel will beaperfect place tostart exploring Russian capital.

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