Now, we'd like to tell you about another walk we recently took with Olga and my family at Chistye Prudy (“Clean Ponds”) area.
You probably have already walked near the Clean Ponds, since this is a popular gathering and walking place in Moscow. And you probably know that the place was historically called “Stinking Ponds”. We can thank Alexander Menshikov, the right hand of Peter the Great, who built a mansion in this place in the end of 17th century and cleaned the Ponds.
We also love this place for many beautiful buildings standing alongside. My personal favorite is Vashkov’s house, the blue rental house of 1909 with mythical animal bas-reliefs created by artist Sergey Vashkov. The animal bas-relief is based on the carving of Dmitrov’s cathedral in Vladimir (an old Russian capital which is a must to visit).
But the real treasures you can find if you walk into sidewalks.
First, we were amazed by a huge 2-store wooden house at Ogorodskaya Sloboda, wonderfully decorated. To our regret, wooden houses are extremely rare in Moscow, especially in its center. Therefore, seeing such a well-preserved wooden house made us happy. This house was built in 1870th and belonged to municipal hospital.
Now, real two treasures located at Bolshoy Kharitonievsky lane.
First is Volkov-Yusupovs Сhambers. This is a must see in Moscow! This is one of the oldest civil buildings in Russia, dated back to 16-17th century. The red chambers with chess-like roof and weathercocks. The Palace had multiple owners through its 5-century history, but Yusupov’s family lived there the longest, since 1727 till 1917 Revolution. Yusupovs were one of the noblest family in old Russia, descended from Tatars who turned into Christianity upon Ivan the Great taking Kazan. You might have heard of Felix Yusupov, the last representative of the family, who also spent his childhood in this Chambers and wrote about it in his memoirs.
As we can see from pictures, the Chambers are as amazing inside as outside. Unfortunately, the tours into the Chambers are currently suspended. We cant’ wait to see the museum is opened to the public again.
Next to Yusupov’s Palace are Ratmanov’s Chambers built in the end of 17th century. Their first owner was Military clerk Adrian Ratmanov. In 18th century the Chambers were rebuilt into a classic building by its next owner, prince Kozlovsky (the nearest B. Kozlovsky Lane is named after him). In 20th century again restored to its original look.
On the other side of the street there’re also multiple interesting buildings:
- House of diligence for Women, built in 1895 for widow women, providing living space, workplace and meals
- The building of Yusupov’s serf theater built in early 1800th, from 1839 used also as a workhouse
You might also enjoy the neighboring B. Kozlovsky Lane, a quiet street with very appealing rental houses of the beginning of 20th century and beautiful Sevryugov’s house, built in 1874, now a place for Foreign Affairs Academy.
In Mashkov’s Lane there’s a funny so-called “Egg-house” built in 2000th. Hardly suitable for living, it’s mostly used for corporate events.
And the last amazing piece is a birds zoo located in one of the yards, organized by one of the local inhabitants. My nieces were highly delighted. A huge variety of pigeons, pheasant, hens, even peacocks live there.
We hope you get interested in this area and also dive into its historically rich streets.