Places of the Decembrists meetings and Franz Liszt visits. Walking along Malaya Dmitrovka street

November 19

Since the 18th century aristocratic people and merchants began to settle in Malaya Dmitrovka street, and after the Moscow University was founded, famous scientists added. The first half of the 19th century is associated in the history of the street with the Decembrist movement that was joined by many of its noble inhabitants; and in the second half of the century the street’s manor houses were places of literary and musical salons.

The street received its name from the 16th century road to the town of Dmitrov, and changed only once — in the 20th century. In connection with the 40th anniversary of Anton Chekhov’ death, Malaya Dmitrovka was renamed into Chekhov Street In 1944. The initial street name was restored in 1993.

The building of Moscow merchant assembly club ("Mark Zakharov Lenkom Theater")

6, Malaya Dmitrovka Street

Улица Малая Дмитровка, дом 6, строение 1

One of the turrets of the Mark Zakharov Lenkom Theater building bears the Roman numerals MDCCCCVIII — they indicate the year of construction. The building was constructed in 1908 not as a theater, but as a club for merchants, which members were the most famous Moscow entrepreneurs — the Mamontovs, Volkonskys, Dolgorukovs, and Botkins. The exterior of the building was of no less interest than the literary evenings and performances that took place in the club: there was a hanging garden on its roof in the early 20th century. Besides, the house is interesting in terms of architecture.

Its architect is Illarion Ivanov-Shits, a master of Art Nouveau, who created his own recognizable style combining the Vienna Secession and old Greek classicism elements. The Ivanov-Shits style was in great demand in Moscow: for example, he designed the Morozov Children's Hospital (1905), and the municipal maternity hospital named after A.A. Abrikosova (1906). The Secession and classicism elements were also used for the club design.

The center of the building's façade is decorated with an Ionic colonnade. Two turrets with entrances to the building are on the sides of this colonnade; they are decorated in different ways: one — with a bay window that makes a balcony on the first floor, and the other has a cast-iron canopy. The facade elements of the Art Nouveau style — mascarons with female heads and curled stucco — are combined with elements of classicism: stucco of wreaths and bas-reliefs with antique figures.

After the October Revolution, the building belonged to the House of Anarchy political club. An 800 seat cinema opened here in 1923, where mainly foreign films were shown. The theatrical history of the building began in 1932, when the Theater of Working Youth moved here, renamed in 1938 as the Theater of the Lenin Komsomol.

The Shubins city manor house

12, Malaya Dmitrovka street, building 2 (main building)

The history of the manor house dates back to 1815 — then it was built for the Shubins aristocratic family. The main building, a two-story mansion with a five-window wooden mezzanine, was decorated with a six-column portico and stucco in the then fashionable Empire style. The main house has wings — they were connected with it by fences with gates for passage of carriages.

In the late 19th century the house was redesigned by architect Alexander Nisselson. The portico was replaced by three balconies with openwork metal railing. Two of them, located on the sides of the building, survived to this day. The manor house was transformed to tenement house by that time, and Chekhov's sister Maria had residence here. Maria Pavlovna rented four small rooms. In addition to apartments, there were educational institutions in the house at that time: a drawing school later merged with the Stroganov School, music classes of N.S. Klenovsky, drama school of A.F. Fedotov.

The house was reconstructed once again in 1905, according to the project of architect Sergei Zharov. It was decorated with rich stuccowork, antique themed panels and two friezes with harps appeared in the mezzanine underwindow niches. Also, the facade was decorated with lion faces and female heads mascarons and shells and oak leaves stucco.

In the 1920s, the building was occupied by the Moscow Institute of Journalism, where Anatoly Lunacharsky, Pyotr Kogan, Andrey Bubnov were professors. Future playwright Alexander Afinogenov and the poet Joseph Utkin studied here.

City manor house of A.N. Soymonov

18, Malaya Dmitrovka Street, building 1 (main building)

The manor was built at the turn of the 18th – 19th centuries, presumably by architect Nikolai Lvov for Alexander Soymonov, the nephew of the State Secretary of Catherine II. At that time, the main house facade was decorated with a portico of the Tuscan order — with a smooth frieze and columns. The house was surrounded by two side wings, forming cour d'honneur. Such manor ceremonial place dates back to the days of knightly tournaments.

Soymonov's illegitimate son, Sergei Sobolevsky, lived in the manor house for some time. He was a renowned bibliographer, author of epigrams and a close friend of Alexander Pushkin. The owner's nephew, Decembrist Mikhail Mitkov, also lived in this house in the 1820s. Many important meetings of the Northern Secret Society took place at the minor house.

Wife of the guard captain Varvara Ladyzhenskaya purchased the manor house in the 1850s. In her time the Tuscan portico was replaced with a Doric one — the frieze was decorated with stucco, and columns were covered with cannelures. A coat of arms appeared on the pediment, entwined with plants and flowers stucco.

After the October Revolution, the building housed the Sverdlovsk District Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for a long time. In the late 1980s, the Central Council of the All-Union Voluntary Society of Struggle for Sobriety was located here.

I.G. Grigoriev – the Pisemskys city manor house

27, Malaya Dmitrovka street, (main building)

The manor house was built in the late 18th century for Ivan Grigoriev. According to a family legend, he was born in a family of peasants. After settling in Moscow in search of work, he rose to the noble rank. His grandson was well-known literary and theater critic Apollon Grigoriev. At that time, the manor house included a two-story main building and stables in the courtyard.

The restoration of the manor house after the Patriotic War of 1812 added southern extension to the main building. The first half of the 19th century saw multiple changes of manor house owners, but the greatest impact was left by the family of talented harpist Vera Pisemskaya, whose music and literary salon was famous in 1840-1850. Nikolai Gogol, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Fyodor Glinka attended Pisemskaya's evenings, and in 1843 composer Ferenc Liszt dined here to celebrate his departure from Moscow after the tour. One of Pisemskaya’s friends, Slavophile Ivan Aksakov, lived for some time in the manor house; the editorial office of his newspaper "Moscow" was located here in 1867-1868.

A decade later, family of future architect Roman Klein, then a student of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, moved to the manor house. Probably, thanks to him, the main building of the manor house acquired its modern look.

The facade is decorated with elements of various styles. The friezes between the floors and under the cornice are reminiscent of the Gothic architecture. On the side extensions of the manor house, there are caryatids — statues of female figures that replace pilasters. They are elements of the classicism; however, they were also decorated with the Gothic script. A frieze with bizarre flowers divides the wall over the caryatids.


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