Varvarka Street is the oldest street of Moscow that dates back to the 12th century, at that time simply called the ‘Main Street’. It has preserved many churches and the old atmosphere of Kitai-Gorod.
The panorama of the church architecture in Varvarka is opened by the Church of the Protecting Veil of Our Lady on Pskov Mount (1698). It is often called the St. George’s Church by its northern side-altar. In the 16th century this neighborhood was inhabited by people from Pskov, whence is the name. The modern image of the church dates back to the 17th century.
Opposite St.George’s Church Ipatyevsky lane leads to the 1630s Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki, one of the Moscow’s finest churches, with onion domes and lovely tiers of red-and-white gables rising from a square tower. The inside of the church is covered with 1650s gospel frescoes by Simon Ushakov and others which reveal much about 17th century Russia. The 1640s iconostasis also has Ushakov works surrounded by the tsar’s family tree. A carved doorway leads into St. Nikita the Martyr’s Chapel, above the vault of the Nikitnikov merchant family, one of whom had the church built.
Next to it there is the Monastery of the Holy Sign that was founded in 1684 on the Romanov’s family estate; and it includes the cathedral, monks’ cells and the former palace of the Romanov boyars. Small but interesting "Chambers in Zaryadye” Museum are devoted to the lives of the Romanov family in the days before they became tsars. The house was built by Nikita Romanov who was Ivan the Terrible’s first brother-in-law. His grandson Michael later became the first tsar in the 300-year Romanov dynasty.
Next door is the yellow Church of St. Maxim the Blessed (1698).
On the corner is the small Church of St. Barbara the Martyr (1658). The origin of the street’s old name was a church on this site.
The so-called English House is next to the church of St. Barbara. There English merchants lived in the 16th century. They in exchange for military supplies to Ivan the Terrible were allowed to sell their goods duty-free in Russia. (The old English court yard of the 16-17 cent.) One floor was used as living quarters and the others as stores.