How Kitay-Gorod appeared in the center of Moscow

In the very center of Moscow there is an ancient district called Kitay-Gorod. Probably, many are interested in why he received such an unusual name? There are many interesting facts about Kitay-Gorod. Here is just one of them - the name of this region has absolutely nothing to do with the state of China.

At the same time, none of the experts can give an exact answer about the appearance of the name "Kitay-Gorod". There are many assumptions, the most common of which is that in the Old Russian language the word “whale” means “wicker fence”. According to another version, "citta" is an abbreviated form of the Italian word "cittadelle", which means "strengthening." This option is also possible; masters from Italy were invited to build the Kremlin. For example, the Assumption Cathedral was erected in the 15th century according to the design of Aristotle Fioravanti.

There is even a fantastic assumption - Kitay-Gorod was built by the Chinese, for which it got its name. The assumption, of course, is interesting, but no documentary evidence has been found that builders from the Middle Kingdom worked in Moscow in the XIV century.

It was in the 14th century that Moscow's borders began to expand, and a new district arose near the Kremlin. By the way, Kitay-Gorod had another name - Veliky Posad. Already in the 16th century, it turned into a prestigious place; representatives of the Moscow boyars and noble merchants willingly moved here.

In the first half of the 16th century, a brick wall was erected around Kitai-Gorod, which was called Kitaygorodskaya. The total length of this structure exceeded 2 kilometers. Moreover, another Italian, Petrok Maly, supervised the construction of the wall.

In the thirties of the last century, the Moscow City Council decided to dismantle the wall, as it interfered with the passage of vehicles. Only a few fragments have survived from the Kitaygorodskaya wall in our time, which are included in the Red Book of Arkhnadzor, as objects of the cultural heritage of Moscow, which are under threat of destruction due to dilapidation.

One of the main attractions of Kitay-gorod is the Intercession Cathedral or, as it is also called, St. Basil's Cathedral. According to legend, Ivan the Terrible ordered to blind the architects Barma and Postnik, who were building this cathedral. The king wanted them to no longer be able to build anything equal in beauty. However, historians claim that this is an ordinary legend that appeared many years after the completion of the construction of the Intercession Cathedral.

In 1988, the shooting of the action movie "Red Heat" took place in Kitai-Gorod. The role of the captain of the Soviet militia Ivan Danko was played by the famous American actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. The filmmakers had to wait six months for permission to shoot in the center of Moscow. Therefore, a number of "Moscow" episodes were filmed in Budapest.

In 1990, the metro station "Ploschad Nogina" was renamed into "Kitay-Gorod". True, the exits from the lobbies of this station are no longer in Kitay-gorod, but in the White City.