Zemlianoi Gorod

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zemlianoi Gorod


part of Moscow, which from the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th surrounded the Belyi Gorod (White City). Its perimeter was demarcated by an earthen (Russian, zemlianoi) bank, from which it received its name in the first half of the 17th century.

The Zemlianoi Gorod covered the territory between the present-day Bul’varnoe (Boulevard) and Sadovoe (Garden) circles. Earlier, this area had been given the name “Skorodom,” which refers to its hurriedly built houses; later, it was called Dereviannyi Gorod after the construction of an earthen bank with a wooden (Russian, dereviannyi) wall and towers at the end of the 16th century. In 1611, at the time of the Polish intervention, the wooden fortifications were burnt down. From 1638 to 1641 the bank was improved and lengthened to 15 km. In 1659 a new wooden wall was built on the bank; at its gates a duty was collected in the late 17th and early 18th centuries on goods imported into Moscow. Toward the end of the 18th century, the wall fell into decay, and the bank was leveled in many places. After the Moscow fire of 1812, the bank was destroyed. The circular street which was thus formed was planted with trees in 1816–30 and began to be called Sadovaia Street (it was later divided into separate streets). Among the neighborhoods located within the Zemlianoi Gorod were the Bronnaia, Koniushennaia, Ogorodnaia, Patriarshaia, and other slobodas (tax-exempt settlements). The present-day territory of the former Zemlianoi Gorod is a densely settled part of Moscow.


Sytin, P. V. Iz istorii moskovskikh ulits, 3rd. ed. Moscow, 1958. Pages 333–39.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(78) A Muscovite decree of 5 August 1640, outlining sanitation measures to be taken in an effort to halt the spread of an epidemic, ordered that all dead animals--from horses and cattle down to dogs and cats--be removed from Kitaigorod, Belyi gorod, Zemlianoi gorod, and all streets and settlements beyond Moscow's outskirts, taken to places away from habitation and buried, up to and after Dormition Day, thus in the "dog days" of August.