The street called ‘Kuznetsky Most’ (literally - ‘The Bridge of Blacksmiths’) in the center of Moscow was formed back in the time when there was the Neglinka River, a stream now caught in an underground tube. Long ago, its left bank used to be a place where blacksmiths, who worked for Tzar’s Cannon Yard where cannons and bells were produced, lived. Today, Kuznetsky Most Street is famous for shopping and as a part of a pleasant walk around Moscow center.
The bridge over the Neglinka River which gave a street its name was known since the 18th century. At first, it was made of wood, in the second half of the same century, it was of stone. There was a project to transform the Neglinka River into the broad canal with artificial waterfalls, pond, and a monument of Empress Catherine the Great. But somehow, this idea bit the dust, and in the 19th century, the Neglinka River was tubed. The bridge, after all, was forgotten and just buried.
After Empress Catherine the Great released permission for trading all over Moscow, and not only in special trading areas, Kuznetsky Most Street was turned into a profitable and posh space for such a business. Before, the number of residential houses prevailed, and later, many stores owned by merchants from France started appearing. Muscovites were able to buy their goods France was famous for, such as fashion clothes, and food. That’s how Kuznetsky Most Street gained its glory of being a commercial area.
Another curious fact is that during the 1812 Fire of Moscow, Kuznetsky Most Street had not been seriously damaged. They say it’s because French invaders decided to help their fellow country people to fight the fire. After the French invasion was over, Muscovites were quite skeptical about goods from France, but in some time, everything was the same again. Apart from fashionable clothes, it was possible to find new pieces of furniture, confectionery, glasses and other pretty and useful things in shops on Kuznetsky Most Street. Later, multi-storeyed houses started appearing, replacing small shops. Also, the first phone service in Moscow was opened on Kuznetsky Most Street, and the first traffic light, too, was placed there in 1924.
Nowadays, Kuznetsky Most Street is a well-known place where one can meet many locals and tourists walking, doing shopping, watching street musicians perform. First of all, it can be easily recognized by many outstanding buildings which are the witnesses of history. There are also many apartment houses where living premises were leased. For example, in one of them a famous restaurant ‘Yard’ (derived from French surname of an entrepreneur who opened it), often visited by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, great Russian writer and poet, as well as by many other notable persons, was located.
There are also many different shops and eateries on Kuznetsky Most Street, which makes this area perfect for walking and having a good time. Especially taking into account the fact Kuznetsky Most Street is now pedestrianized. This makes it a perfect area for a pleasant walk around Moscow center, especially when the sky is blue and weather is good.
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