A District’s Name Can Tell You A Lot About Its History

1147, (the year the city is first mentioned in historical chronicles), is considered the official date of the foundation of Moscow. From its humble beginnings as a small settlement lost in the forests, the city grew to the point where it became capital of the Russian Federation.

U2XEWIe7908

The city’s history is indelibly imprinted in the names of its streets and districts. Though the names often don’t even have meaning to Russian citizens, they are full of history and funny stories that have become part of the fabric of everyday life.

Big Time Moscow has decided to start a historical column which will feature a collection of interesting historical facts.

Babushkinskaya District (Grandmothers’ District in Russian): No, there aren’t a lot of grandmothers here!

LWiqG15K-8k

The district was named after a popular pilot who was a hero of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Babushkin, who was born and raised in this area.XkDVarz0dDE

Maryina Roshcha (Mary’s Grove in Russian): This district was named after the leader Maria Roshcha, who controlled a gang of robbers, active in the forests of the 14th century.

EPrKQHnMGOo1DELzubwHOA

Arbat District is named after the street of the same name, derived from the word ‘arba,’ meaning ‘cart.’

арбат

oz_13Ir6PO4

Zamoskvorechye (‘Behind the Moscow River’ in Russian): Unsurprisingly, the name originates from the phrase ‘a district behind the Moscow River.’ The first mention of this place dates back to 1365.

замоскворечье DLLYxogaQnQ

Tagansky District: the name originates from the Taganskaya Crafts Village along the Yauza River. Its inhabitants produced copper tripods which soldiers in the regular army used on campaign.

taganka8OXHLTEsDRs

Khamovniki District: At one time this was the location of a large Hamovnaya Crafts Village, where many weavers lived. The word Khamovniki is derived from the word ‘ham’ which referred to flaxen linen in the 14th century.

_0d13a7TqRQ

9HgJ5xHclFE
Bibirevo District:There are two different versions of how this area got its name.
It either comes from the word ‘Bibir’ (meaning ‘beaver’ in Russian), or from the fact that it was a settlement of Prince Bobrowniki, in which people in ancient times were granted the right to hunt beavers here.

kMlssok1PacmaIW_yq0y5U

Zhulebino District: The first mention of this district was in 1645. It was named after Andrew Osteev, a representative of the Boyar family (wealthy merchants in medieval Russia), whose nickname was ‘Zhuleba,’ meaning ‘sly.’ However, we cannot vouch for whether or not the modern residents are sly!

rRkv2ICGC9QUTURVQcv27k

Tushino District: This area was named after Vasily Kvashnin in the 15th century. He was called a ‘tusha’ (hulk) because of his portliness.0fOBQDsadBU

dG5XYZaQLr0

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s