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 Russia Moscow Red Square and Kitai Gorod Variant Guide

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The name of the Great Trading Quarters located to the East from the Kremlin since the 13th-14th century originated in 1534, when an Italian architect Petroc Minor built a white stone fortress wall around it. It is supposed that the name, so unusual for the Muscovite language, comes from the word “kit”, which meant a bunch of poles, which were used to build the wall. In ancient times in this area, between the River Moskva and the Yauza, boats carrying goods landed, merchants and craftsmen settled here, and trading quarters appeared. Since time immemorial this was a lively trade area. In the 16th-17th centuries boyar houses and monasteries were built in the main Kitai-Gorod streets, the Varvarka, the Ilyinka, and Nikolskaya Street, as well as government offices – the coach office, the tax office and the land office; here the first Russian book was printed, the first ecclesiastical academy was opened, and the quarter of the Patriarch’s choirmen was set up. In the 18th century, the mint, Gostiny Dvor, the first Russian theater, and the first Moscow university were located in Kitai-Gorod. In the 19th and early 20th century Kitai-Gorod was the “Moscow City”, the area where the largest banks, the Moscow Stock Exchange, the most significant trade and industrial companies had their offices. During the day, Kitai-Gorod was the center of business life, while in the evening this corner in the very center of Moscow became quiet and deserted. In the 1960s-1980s, the lifestyle in Kitai-Gorod was the same, as the bigger part of the district was occupied by various offices of the Communist Party Central Committee..

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