The Origin of Moscow Street Names (part 1)
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The Origin of Moscow Street names (part 2)

You can read the first part of our article about the origin of Moscow street names.

Many streets of Moscow got their name from old settlements that were implanted there. Слобода (Sloboda) was a district in the city or its suburb, where craftsmen of one profession had settled. The first mention of these “free settlements” dates back to the 10th-11th centuries, and they quickly expanded during the following 200 years. The main reason for their rapid expansion was due to the fact that the settlers were freed from various taxes. In the beginning of the 18th century, these privileges were abolished and these settlements became ordinary villages.

The name Слобода is derived from the Slavic word “freedom”. These districts of artisans left their memory in many modern street names: Гончарные переулки (Pottery Lane, a small district where craftsmen were making dishes out of clay), Каменщики (Masons Street, related to master of stone constructions), Каретный ряд (Carriage Place, professionals in the making of carriages), Котельническая набережная (Tinkers Embankment, for specialists working with coppers), Кожевническая улица (Tanners Street, working leather), Ружейный (Artisan making weapons), Серебренический (Silversmith), Скорняжный переулки (Furrier’s shops Lanes). On Кадашевская набережная you could find кадаши (masters making barrels).

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Military districts of archers were often called of the name of their commanders, their colonels; such as Зубовской площади (Zubovskaya Square), Лёвшинских переулков (Levshinsky Lanes), Лефортова (Lefortov).

Елена Коновалова