An artefact in the city: The restored well of Mytishchi water pipeline

January 8

An old well is located near the Rostokino Aqueduct. It is a unique facility of the 19th-century city infrastructure turned museum exhibit. The cast-iron lid of the well is 102 cm in diameter, and the circular shaft with a stone lining is around 143 cm in diameter.

The well used to be connected to the Mytishchi water pipeline. Its construction began in 1779, and the well was finished around 1830. For a long time, it was the main source of clean drinking water for Muscovites – until the Rublyovskaya water-retaining facility was launched in 1903 to supply water from the Moskva River.

“The well is an element of the secondary structure of the Mytishchi water pipeline. Not only is it an object of archaeological study, but it is also a historical monument demonstrating the science and technology of its time. The Mytishchi water pipeline is an old structure whose fragments can still be seen around Moscow. Restoration experts carefully fixed up the well, and now it is on display in the park near the Rostokino Aqueduct,” reported Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage.

The department head noted that the well had an innovative design for its time. It actually consists of sections and can be disassembled. The well is built out of standard bricks but has some handmade components that have been preserved. For example, the top of the well is made of white stone blocks squared off manually and carefully fitted together, with a massive cast-iron lid. The lid itself is an example of the highly developed metal production in Russia during the reign of Nicholas I.

It is noteworthy that the well, located near the building at 28 Sretenka Street, was discovered during the archaeological survey conducted as part of the My Street landscaping project in 2017. . When it came to preserving the historical object, local authorities decided to restore the well and convert it into an open-air museum exhibit for the general public.

Restoration teachers and students from the College of Architecture, Design and Re-Engineering No. 26 took charge of the renovation, under the supervision of the State Research Institute for Restoration. The outcome of the restoration project was praised by the Moscow Government’s Moscow Restoration contest in 2018.

The Prefecture of the Northeastern Administrative Area proposed relocating the well to the area near the Rostokino Aqueduct. Now it can become a new landmark and a point of interest during guided tours on the history of Moscow’s water supply system.

The well was installed in its new location and provided with a metal plaque containing a QR code. Later, there will be information stands about the history of the water pipeline, archaeological works, the discovery of the well and its restoration. Restoration students from College No. 26 will be involved in the annual maintenance of the well as part of their internships.

There are some 400 archaeological heritage sites in Moscow. Many sites are discovered thanks to the archaeological surveys preceding maintenance, construction or landscaping works. Unlike archaeological finds, these are large objects that are difficult or even impossible to relocate. Some of them are ruins or fragments of ancient structures, traces of settlements and ancient burial grounds.


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