When you feel like walking in Moscow, you absolutely should not miss the Boulevard Ring. Actually, it is quite a useful route which you can do easily, as long as one boulevard smoothly flows into the next one. Chistoprudny Boulevard is the place where good strolling is guaranteed. It still has its past years charm, yet looks modern. Taking into account that is also contains the city's famous pond, Chistoprudny Boulevard is one of the best places to pass the time.
Chistoprudny Boulevard is considered as the biggest one among the others of Boulevard Ring in terms of square meters, and it holds the 2nd place in terms of length. The boulevard itself is located close to Myasnitskaya Street, which was widely known for its butcher shops some time ago. Back then, in the 16th century, waste products from such trade were thrown into the pond located nearby. It was called ‘Filthy’ (in Russian - ‘Poganye’) as long as spoilt meat smelled bad.
In the 19th century, soon after the Fire of Moscow in 1812, the pond was cleaned out, that is why it got its current name ‘Clean Ponds’, or, in Russian, ‘Chistye Prudy’ (previously more ponds existed, but nowadays, there is only one). Anyway, it is the most common version explaining the origin of ponds. Besides, the current pond is not the one known historically as ‘filthy’. It is located a little bit further than the one we know today. But historically, the name was fixed to another place, also located close to Myasnitskaya Street.
Since the day of the cleaning, the pond became one of the favorite places of Muscovites who loved city boating in summer and skating in winter. Skating rink of Chistye Prudy was positioned back then as the one of English style, or just like in Saint Petersburg, which meant European. Even professional skaters had their training on Clean Ponds in Chistoprudny Boulevard. In 1960, the banks were reinforced with stone, and later with concrete. Also, in 1958, it was decided to dismiss a boat station which operated there, but at the end of 1990s, it was reopened. Now, there is also a ‘floating’ restaurant. Chistye Prudy, as the whole area is called, is one of the most favorite places of city guests, as well as of Muscovites themselves. One may see them in different Russian movies.
With a length of more than 800 meters, Chistoprudny Boulevard has a lot to offer. It starts at the intersection with Myasnitskaya Street, and at first, you see the ‘Chistye Prudy’ metro station and the monument to Alexander Sergeevich Griboedov, a famous Russian playwright. Then, you walk through a small park, often with some open-air photo exhibitions. Soon, you will see another monument, dedicated to the Kazakh poet Abai Qunanbaiuly. It’s located before the pond.
There are also many noteworthy buildings on Chistoprudny Boulevard. For example, one of them is the former apartment house owned by a church, decorated with fairy tale animal figures. Also, the famous theater ‘Sovremennik’ (‘Contemporary’) is located on Chistoprudny Boulevard. Moreover, one may find there a cinema called ‘Rolan’.
Being the place where good strolling is guaranteed, Chistoprudny Boulevard brings joy to everyone who wants to walk along. No matter if you decide to include it into your itinerary while going around Moscow center, or start your walk there, it will give you the feel of visiting historical place loved by many generations.
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