Zamoskvoreche ("beyond the Moskva River") applies to the southern area of the old city opposite the Kremlin. Until modern times Zamoskvoreche had a sleepy rural feel—even today the old twisting streets give it a character all but obliterated in other parts of the city. By the 17th century Zamoskvoreche was well settled by artisans serving the court; it was also the first line of defense against the Tatars. In the 19th
century members of the most distinctive of classes, the Moscow merchants, built their homes here. They also sponsored artists and after time created Russia's first art museum, the Tretyakov Gallery.
Gorky Park, popularized by Martin Cruz Smith's Cold War novel of the same name, is situated along the right bank of the Moskva River, just beyond Krymsky Most (Crimea Bridge). Aside from the park and the Tretyakov Gallery, ulitsa Bolshaya Ordinka is a draw for its many Russian Orthodox churches.