This picturesque old neighborhood is known as the Kropotkinsky District after the famous Russian anarchist Prince Pyotr Kropotkin. Heading out of the district's metro station, which is also named in honor of him, you'll find yourself at the intersection of the Boulevard Ring and the area's main street, ulitsa Prechistenka, which leads southwest out to the Garden Ring. This is yet another ancient section of Moscow with a history that dates back nearly to the foundation of the city itself. Almost none of its earliest architecture has survived; the area suffered badly during the 1812 conflagration of Moscow, so most of its current buildings date to the postwar period of reconstruction, when neoclassicism and the so-called Moscow Empire style were in vogue. Before the revolution, the area was the favored residence of Moscow's old nobility, and along its thoroughfares you'll find many of their mansions and homes, often called "nests of the gentry." It was also the heart of the literary and artistic community, and there were several famous literary salons here. Prince Kropotkin compared it to the Saint-Germain quarter of Paris.
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