11 Facts About Arbat Street


Arbat Street, mainly referred to in English as the Arbat, is a pedestrian street about one kilometer long in the historical centre of Moscow, Russia.

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The Arbat has existed since at least the 15th century, which makes it one of the oldest surviving streets of the Russian capital.

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The part of this square which is adjacent to the Arbat Street is called Arbat Street Gate, as it is the site of one of the ten gates of the old city wall.

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Until the middle of the 20th century, the Arbat Street remained part of the main road from the Moscow Kremlin westwards.

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Non-Russian origin of the word Arbat Street is generally held to be more likely than a Russian origin.

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The location of the Old Arbat Street was in ancient times situated between the borders of today's Sadovoe Kolco, Ermolayevski, Vozdvizhenka and Arbat Street.

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Foreign invaders used the Arbat Street when attacking the Kremlin, and when retreating in defeat.

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Amongst the nobles who had houses built for them on or near the Arbat Street were such celebrated families as the Tolstoys, the Gagarins, the Kropotkins, the Galitzines and the Sheremetevs Nevertheless, despite its proximity to the Kremlin and to the seat of power, the district was considered to be tranquil, almost rural.

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However the Arbat Street continued to serve as the most important way into and out of Moscow towards the West.

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The fact that the Arbat Street remained part of the road between Moscow and Smolensk facilitated trade.

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However, the overall appearance of the Arbat is dominated by street artists, souvenir stalls and shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.

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