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Malaya Bronnaya and Patriarshie Prudy

Malaya Bronnaya Str.

The street that links the Boulevard and Garden Rings is marked by its interesting historical buildings, while Patriarshie Prudy – Muscovites’ favourite place for a stroll – above all reminds us of M.A. Bulgakov’s famous novel Master and Margarita.

Malaya Bronnaya got its contemporary name from Bronnaya Settlement that appeared here in the early 16th century (the settlement’s population consisted of master weapon-makers who also manufactured armour, “bronya”). Patriarshaya Settlement was located at Patriarshie Prudy, which emerged in the early 17th century around the residence of Patriarch Germogen. In 1683-1684, in order to dry the swamps and breed fish for the patriarch’s table, Patriarch Ioakim ordered three ponds (“prudy”) to be dug. From these three ponds of Patriarshaya Settlement, the name Trekhprudny (“three ponds”) Lane emerged, but with the decline of Patriarshaya Settlement the ponds were abandoned and they were buried in the first half of the 19th century, leaving one decorative pond and a square lain around it. In the 19th to early 20th centuries, this square was called Boulevard of Patriarshy Prud.

The area around Patriarshie Prudy was actively built up in the early 20th century. In 1924, Patriarshy Prud was renamed Pionersky by the authorities, but the population did not take to the new name. In 1976, a monument to Ivan Andreevich Krylov appeared at Patriarshie Prudy, a work by sculptors A.A. Drevin and D.Y. Mitlyansky and architect A.G. Chaltykyan.

Patriarshie Prudy gained particular fame thanks to M.A. Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita, which we are reminded of by a contemporary, humorous sign that bans talking to strangers. The action in Bulgakov’s novel begins precisely on Patriarshie Prudy: “Once at the hour of a hot, spring sunset in Moscow, two citizens appeared at Patriarshie Prudy”.

Moscow Dramatic Theatre was also located on Malaya Bronnaya, founded in 1946 and having obtained its current name in 1968, and a monument to the writer Sholom Aleikhem was installed next to it.

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