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Nikolskaya Street

Nikolskaya Str.

One of the main streets in Kitai Gorod goes from Red Square to Lubyanskaya Square and is distinguished in its rich history and interesting buildings.

One of the main sights of Nikolskaya Street is the Print Yard. The famous Apostol was printed in 1564 in the Print Yard, which was built in 1553-1554. The first Russian newspaper Vedomosti saw the light in the Print Yard in 1703. In 1645-1646, architects T. Sharutin and I. Neverov created the stone building of the Print Yard with a tower, and a building in Gothic style appeared in its place in 1814. Right up until 1918, this building housed the Synodal Printing House and during the Soviet era it was home to the Historical Archive Institute. All that remains from the 17th century building is the yard’s stone, two-storey correction (proofreading) chamber (1679).

It is no surprise that by the early 19th century, Nikolskaya Street had become the centre of the Moscow book trade, with 26 of the 31 bookshops that existed in Moscow at the time situated there and on Novaya Square. Numerous second-hand bookshops were still there in the early 20th century. The house of the Academy of Sciences with its academic bookshop was located at the end of the street.

A sundial occupies a space on the Print Yard’s facade. In the 17th-18th centuries, sundials were often installed on public and private buildings, cathedrals and monasteries. It is also worth noting the bas-reliefs of a lion and a unicorn, which is the coat of arms of the Print Yard Sovereign.

Prior to the revolution there were two monasteries on Nikolskaya Street, and of the churches of the Zaikonospassky Monastery only Spassky Cathedral has been preserved. One can exit along Nikolskaya Street to Tretyakovsky Passage, and the trading gates in the walls of Kitai Gorod that no longer exist, built by architect A.S. Kaminsky in 1870-1871 by order of the Tretyakov Brothers.

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