There are three ancient monasteries along the banks of the Moskva River, in the southeast section of Moscow. They date to Moscow's earliest days, when it was the center of a fledgling principality and constantly under threat of enemy attack. Two of these monasteries were built across the river from the Kremlin as part of a ring of defense fortifications.
Formerly suburban, this area didn't fare well as the city grew. Beginning in the 19th century, factories were built along the banks of the river, including the famous Hammer and Sickle metallurgical plant. This industrial center is long gone, and these quaint monasteries remain and are being slowly restored.