Tverskaya Street

Tverskaya ulitsa

One of Europe’s most expensive streets is the central street of Moscow offering a variety of attractions and entertainments day and night. The Street appeared in the 12th century as a leading from Moscow to the city of Tver. Until mid-18th century Tverskaya was closed during the night, fenced with thick logs.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Tverskaya Street was already the city’s main artery: best Moscow houses were built here, alongside hotels and shops, including the most popular Yeliseyevsky Grocery Store. The main Moscow street hosted the famous English Club (currently turned into the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia), which used to be frequented by Alexander Pushkin. Tverskaya was used by the royal corteges travelling from St. Petersburg to the Moscow Kremlin. In 1792 Tverskaya Square was laid in front of the Governor-General’s house (currently the Moscow City Hall). The Square features the Statue of Yury Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow. Until the late 19th century the Street had been repeatedly restructured, combining different historical architectural styles. In 1903 the splendid Hotel National welcomed its first guests. It is now neighboured by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow.

Before the revolution Tverskaya was a rather narrow street with rich two and three-storey mansions on both sides with cosy little gardens. In the 1930s in accordance with a general lay-out adopted by the new government Tverskaya Street was broadened, bringing down or moving many historic buildings and monuments. The Street lost all its churches. Tverskaya accounts for the largest number of ‘wandering’ houses. They were moved during the nights without even disturbing the electricity and water supply systems. The City Hall was also moved 14.5 meters backward beating the world record – the operation was completed in just 41 minutes!

Take a moment to pass through the arched drive-way of house number 6 close to Kamergersky Lane. You will most probably be amazed by the sight of a fairy-tale tower decorated steeples, mosaics, columns, colourful glazed tiles painted with floral patterns and firebirds. If you proceed further into the inner yard, you will find yourself in a Baroque palace hall with frames of tall staircase windows decorated with figures of shells and flowers. This is former Savvinskoye townhouse of the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, currently used as an administrative and commercial building. It was designed and built in 1907 by architect Ivan Kuznetsov on the site, where previously the Resurrection Monastery had stood. In 1934 a threat of demolition loomed over the townhouse, but in 1939 engineer Emmanuel Hendel had the house moved 50 meters deeper into the quarter. The 24-ton building was moved during the night while its residents were sleeping peacefully.

Other noteworthy landmarks of Tverskaya Street include Marina Yermolova Drama Theatre, Moscow Art Theatre School and Central Telegraph.

Address: Tverskaya Street (Tverskaya ulitsa)
How to reach: Mayakovskaya, Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya, Chekhovskaya, Okhotny Ryad metro stations
Coordinates: 55.760121, 37.611006