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 Survival Guide
Polyanka-Yakimanka
Krymsky Val
Krymsky Val street is named after the palace of the Crimea Khan's embassy, which was located here till the 17th century. In 1970s a building supposed to house new State Art Gallery was built at Krymsky Val, 10. It was planned to move here the exhibits from Tretyakov Gallery and therefore forget the name of Pavel Tretyakov (as a merchant, he couldn't be respected by the Soviets). Luckily, new art gallery wasn't created; new building was called The Central House of Artists, housed an exhibition "Art of the 20th Century" and became a branch of Tretyakov Gallery.

Around the building of the Central House of Artists sprang up a lovely park of sculptures, now popular for promenades. Among fanciful creations of young and talented but not very famous sculptors, sullen statues of Soviet leaders serve as objects of curious children's and tourist's affection.

Bolshaya Polyanka
According to the historical evidence, settlement named Moscow appeared in the junction of two major roads: from Novgorod to Ryazan and from Smolensk to Suzdal. As Polyanka was the part of the first one, it is one of the oldest streets in Russian capital. In the 16-17th centuries the street in the South was surrounded by spacious fields and meadows; it explains the origin of its rather strange name (literally "Polyanka" means "Great Lawn").

Church of St. George Neokesariisky will be the only sight to attract your attention here. On the day of this saint tsar Vasily II returned from Tatar captivity and built this church in honour of this occasion; this is the reason for such an unusual name. Designed by Russian master craftsmen Karp Guba and Ivan Kuznechik, contemporary church with hipped roof was built in 1669 to replace its 15-century wooden ancestor.

Bolshaya Yakimanka
The street was named after the Church of Ioakim and Anne, which formerly stood here. Surprisingly, but such strange abbreviation (Iakim-Anka) is quite common for Russians. The street was almost completely rebuilt in Soviet era, and only two old buildings survived till now. First of them, the Church of Ioann the Warrior, was built in Baroque style by Ivan Zaprudny, one of the best Russian architects of the 17th century, in honour of the victory in the Poltava battle. The second one, Igumnov's house (architect Pozdeev, late 19th century) is an interesting example of pasticcio of Old Russian house linked with imitation of 17th-century brick architecture details. Now it is the Reception House of French Embassy.
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