Organisers of the Times & Epochs Historical Reenactment Festival, scheduled for 10-22 August, have prepared 340 free walking tours around the centre of Moscow. The tours will include historical streets and squares and 27 of the 30 festival venues.
Guests will find out when Petrovka Street was created, why Chistye Prudy (Clean Ponds) are called “clean,” and what pre-1917 Tverskaya Street looked like. They will see a Viking Shipyard and an 11-metre warship on Chistoprudny Boulevard, as well as other festival sites – the Moscow Criminal Investigations Department, the Turn of the Century Through the Eyes of Antosha Chekhonte (on Strastnoi Boulevard), and Journey Beyond the Three Seas (near the Karl Marx monument in Revolutsii Square).
Times & Epochs Festival guides will accompany their groups on each 1.5-hour tour. To participate, please register on the festival's website, where you can also find a schedule of the tours for the next few days. Each group can take up to 20 people. The tours will take place daily from 10 to 22 August, twice a day on weekdays (at 4 pm and 6 pm), and four times a day on weekends (at noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm).
Ivanovskaya Hill, Petrovka and Chistoprudny Boulevard
Ten different tour routes are planned, designed specifically for the festival. One of them will include Ivanovskaya Hill, located within Maroseika Street, and Yauzsky and Pokrovsky boulevards. This hill is one of the historical hills on which Moscow was built. On the slopes of the hill, there once were princely chambers, manors, churches and monasteries. Many buildings have survived.
The guide will tell the story of Khitrovskaya Square. Before 1917, it was known as one of the most dangerous places in Moscow where robberies often occurred. The final stop will be Yauzsky and Pokrovsky boulevards for the festival venues devoted to the American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Great Embassy – the diplomatic mission of Peter the Great to Europe.
The tour along Chistoprudny Boulevard will be no less intriguing. During the walk, guides will tell the participants about the construction and disassembly of the White City wall that surrounded it from the 16th to the 18th century. Guests will find out where butchers’ shopping stalls used to be on Chistoprudny Boulevard, later replaced with aristocratic manors and tenement buildings. This tour will also include the festival sites dedicated to the Viking Age, Ancient Rus, and ancient wars and Scythia – a country described by Herodotus, the “father of history.”
Another tour will be devoted to the history of Petrovka Street, known since the beginning of the 14th century. Originally, it was used as a link between the centre of Moscow and the Petrovsky Monastery, founded in 1315 by Metropolitan Peter of Kiev, Vladimir and All Russia and still operating. The road to the monastery was gradually lined by newly-built manors and turned into a busy city street. The tour ends with a walk along Strastnoi Boulevard and Revolutsii Square.
This year, the Times & Epochs Festival will be held for the eighth time. Organised as part of the Moscow Seasons open-air events cycle, the festival will run simultaneously at 30 venues in different parts of the city, with programmes delivered by Russian and foreign reenactors’ clubs. They will recreate various ages, from the Stone Age to the 1980s.
Guests will be able to see costumed reenactments of historical events, watch the work of craftsmen, visit exhibitions and become students of a medieval university. They will also see a flotilla of medieval ships. All sites will be open daily from 11 am to 9 pm. Admission is free.
Last year, Times & Epochs: The Gathering took place from 1 to 12 June and was attended by about five million people. The guests visited a Greek settlement, a Celtic village, and camps of Roman legionaries and soldiers of the Russian Imperial Army.