Moscow is 870 years old! Our warmest congratulations!

While celebrating the capital’s 870th anniversary, we swell the congratulations' chorus and present a short story about one of the oldest Moscow streets - Solyanka street, on which the building of our museum is standing. This marvelous and iconic place is located in the vicinity of old China town (Kitay Gorod), where each street is shrouded in legends and secrets of the past.

Solyanka Street – originated from the ancient trade route leading to Ryazan, Vladimir and Suzdal. Dmitry Donskoy with his cohorts passed this road making his way to Kulikovo field in 1380. Ancient Russian chronicles narrated that in the times of Ivan the 3d and Ivan the Terrible the street western side street was grassed and people called it Vasilevskiy’s meadows.

Around the middle of the 17th century, the place was developed and built up with houses and estates of the Moscow nobility. The palaces and estates that belonged to Volkonsky, Shakhovskoy, Pozharsky, Buturlin, and Naryshkin families were located here. In the 17th century, the street was named Yauzskaya, since it leaded down to the bridge across the Yauza River. Beginning from the 18th century, it was renamed to Solyanka street, after “The Solyanoy Dvor” (the barns of the Imperial Salt yard) that was located there in the 17-19th centuries.

The 18th century was the time of the street active development; it was the time when the architectural appearance and the street were formed. The building of the Orphanage house, constructed in 1765-1772 upon the project of K. Blanc with M. Kazakov's participation; the group of the Board of Trustees’ buildings, created in 1823-1828 by architects A. Grigoriev and D. Zhilyardi – the landmarks that have been preserved in Solyanka street up to our days. The magnificent building of The Board of Trustees’ represented one of the major achievements of the Russian Empire style; its monumental composition became the determining factor for the subsequent street’s building-up. The Academy of Medical Sciences is located in this building in nowadays.

While constructing the Museum building we were extremely careful to the neighborhood and the major aim was the building harmonious integration in the specific landscape of the street. The project was continually reviewed and improved. The leading architects, art critics and specialists in urban culture history were involved in it. The verdict of the experts upon its completion was unanimous: the building of the Museum Collection was executed taking into account historical stylistics; it fitted logically in the architectural ensemble of the street and became a new point of attraction for the citizens and guests of the capital.