Teatralnaya Square - uVisitRussia
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Teatralnaya Square

This elegant square is named Theater Square because three of the surrounding buildings are theaters and several others are located nearby. Until the 19th century this was Petrovskaya Square, since Petrovka Street traversed it and the Royal Peter Theater sat on the site of the Bolshoi Theater. Briefly, it was known as Tsvetochnaya (Florist) Square, because the flower sellers did a roaring trade here.

The modern name appeared in the 1820s when the architect Osip Bove (1784-1834) buried the Neglinnaya River, and built the Bolshoi and Maly Theaters. Since 1919 it was known as Sverdlov Square after the first chairman of the Central Committee; recently the old name has been revived. During the 1930s modernization of Moscow, Teatralni Proyezd was constructed and divided the area into two sections.

Originally this was marshland adjacent to the Neglinnaya River. As part of the flood plain, the well-to-do inhabitants within the Kitai Gorod walls used the area as a rubbish dump. When the river was channeled underground during the post Napoleonic War reconstruction, this became a grassy square designed by Osip Bove. From 1839 through 1911 a military parade ground occupied part of the square. Today a large fountain graces the center of the plaza immediately in front of the theaters.