Presnensky District

Presnensky District

Presnensky District ( _ru. Пресненский район), commonly called Presnya ( _ru. Пресня), is a district of Central Administrative Okrug of Moscow, Russia. The district is home to the Moscow Zoo, White House of Russia, Kudrinskaya Square Skyscraper, Patriarshy Ponds, Vagankovo Cemetery and Moscow-City financial district (under construction). It is unusually large and diverse among the Central Okrug Districts, combining affluent residential, administrative and old industrial neighborhoods.


"This section is based on P.V.Sytin's "History of Moscow Streets" (1948)"

The name of Presnya (noun; adjective: Presnensky) district is inherited from the Presnya river, now flowing in an underground pipe and entering Moskva River immediately west of White House of Russia. Ponds that were set up on Presnya river and its tributaries in seventeenth century survive as Patriarshy Pond and the Moscow Zoo ponds.

Another small north-south river or brook, flowed two kilometers west from Presnya river. Today, it fills four ponds separating old Presnya district from Expocenter and Moskva-City. This nameless river is frequently confused with Studenets cold spring that discharges in one of these ponds and gives its name to Studenets villa and park. [Russian: "Памятники архитектуры Москвы. Окрестности старой Москвы", М., 2004 ISBN 5-98051-011-7 (Moscow architectural monuments. Suburbs of old Moscow, 2004)]

Present-day Krasnaya Presnya street is a part of a historical road connecting Moscow with Novgorod via Volokolamsk since the twelfth century. In seventeenth century, lands south of the road were managed by Patriarch Joachim's court, lands north from it belonged to Voskresenskoye settlement, laid down by Tsar Feodor III. This royal village housed a private zoo, a distant predecessor of current Moscow Zoo. Peter I, Feodor's brother a co-ruler, was a frequent guest here. In 1729, Voskresenskoe became property of Vakhtang VI of Kartli, a deposed Georgian king in exile. The memories of Vakhtang and his court remain in the names of Gruzinskaya (Georgian) streets, however, the Georgian community there dispersed within nineteenth century. At the same time, there was and still is a sizable Armenian community; Armenian cemetery remains in Presnensky district (adjacent to Vagankovo Russian Orthodox cemetery).

By 1787, there were four ponds on Presnya, with a wooden bridge, two dams and a water mill; in 1805, a stone bridge was built. Studenets area was a popular picnic destination; the same time, 1798, the famous Trekhgornaya textile factory was laid down. Entertainment relocated east, closer to Presnya river, and the Kremlin Administrator, Valuev, made a short-lived miracle of converting dirty banks of Presnya into an upper-class promenade.

Entertainment continued with the private Studenets Park and the public Moscow Zoo (1864). But the district itself became an industrial, densely populated working-class area. In December 1905 the whole district was taken over by revolutionary militias; government troops had to bring in artillery to subdue the revolt. In November 1917, Presnya workers took over the neighborhood again.

Modern history

In 1920s, streets of central Presnya were rebuilt into five-six story housing for the workers, although most of the district remained wooden lowrise. Stalinist construction projects concentrated on Garden Ring, while the working-class areas east of it were neglected. Brezhnev age produced major administrative buildings like White House of Russia (1975-1981), Comecon Building (1964-1968) and the Center for International Trade (1977-1981), as well as numerous look-alike apartment blocks.

Moscow-City project, conceived in 1992, commenced after the 1998 crises. At the same time, old industrial properties are torn down and replaced with office space of varying quality. Tram network in Presnensky District, severely cut in 1950s and 1973, was destroyed in 2000-2004 (see photographs with Englist text [] ).


*Moscow-City, future financial district of Moscow, also intended to house all administratice offices of City Hall
*Patriarshy Ponds, an affluent residential area within the Garden Ring, the site of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita.
*Tishinskaya Square (Tishinka) is another expensive area on the other side of Garden ring, between the Zoo and Tverskaya
*Shelepikha, a five-story residential area on the eastern end of Presnensky District, is the next candidate for major redevelopment.
*Yermakova Roshcha, once a park on Studenets Brook, is an industrial area within a triangle of railroads (between Shelepikha and Moscow-City). So far, the City Hall has no plans to redevelop this area.

Famous places in Presnensky District

*White House of Russia
*Patriarshy Ponds
*Moscow Zoo
*Vagankovo Cemetery

ee also

*1929 map []
*Current map [] (Acrobat PDF file)
*Informal site of the district []
*FC Presnya Moscow


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