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Museum of Archaeology of Moscow (Moscow)

1A Manezhnaya Square, Moscow (tel.: +7 495 692-41-71), Metro stations: "Okhotny Ryad", "Ploshchad Revolutsii", "Teatralnaya".

Map

http://www.mosmuseum.ru

The Moscow Archaeological Museum (the Museum, for short) was opened in 1997. It is situated in the city centre, in a pavilion, 7 metres (23 feet) underground, directly at the spot of the large-scale archaeological research performed in Manezhnaya Square in 1993 to 1997. The exposition of the Museum is based on the piers of the 16th — 17th century Voskresensky Bridge discovered during the excavation; in the past, the bridge used to connect the two banks of the Neglinnaya River.

The excavation (as preservation works) was organized by the Moscow Centre for Archaeological Research (the Centre, for short). In occupation layers (6–8 metres (19–26 feet) deep) toys, stove tiles, copper and silver coins, arms, and various household objects were discovered. The archaeologists managed to lay bare foundations of the stone buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries and to discover cobbled and wooden streets, well chambers, and other structures. This allowed reconstructing designs and buildings of the ancient Zaneglimeniye, a district on the right bank of the Neglinnaya River; to discover traces of the handicraft industry; to reconstruct the life of the people who inhabited this district of Medieval Moscow.

Coordinated efforts of archaeologists of the Centre, of architects-restorers of the workshop no. 11 of the Mosproekt-2 Institute, and of employees of the Moscow City Museum led to establishment of the first Russian underground archaeological museum at the spot of the preserved piers of the Voskresensky Bridge.

The Voskresensky Bridge across the Neglinnaya River is one of the largest structures discovered by the archaeologists. Originally, there was a wooden ferry there; it used to start the Tverskaya Road leading to the Russian North-West.

During the reign of Boris Godunov, a stone bridge across the Neglinnaya River was erected; it was the first stone bridge in Moscow. A depiction of the bridge on the 17th century Moscow maps is still preserved. In 1740, instead of the dilapidated bridge a white-stone bridge was built by the architect P. Geiden. The bridge, above 100 metres (328 feet) long and around 30 metres (100 feet) wide, had five arches; however, only one of them was a flow-through arch — the rightmost one, looking at the bridge from the gallery of the Museum. The good state of the structure is explained by the fact that in 1817–1819, when Moscow was being rebuilt after a fire, the Neglinnaya River was confined to an underground tunnel and the Voskresensky Bridge was buried. The exposition of the Museum features a model of the early 19th century Voskresensky Bridge.

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Museum of Archaeology of Moscow

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