Manezhnaya Square (in 1967-1990 – the area of the 50th anniversary of October) is one of the largest squares in the center of Moscow, located next to the Kremlin and Alexander Garden. Created in 1931-1938 during the implementation of the master plan for the reconstruction of Moscow and includes the former Moiseevskaya Square, Obzhorny Lane, Loskutny Lane and a dead end, adjacent parts of Bolshaya Nikitskaya, Mokhovaya and Tverskaya streets.
The square got its name in 1931 from the facade of the Manege overlooking it. In connection with the anniversary of the October Revolution in 1967, it was renamed the square of the 50th anniversary of October and was called that until 1990, when it was returned to its original name.
The square overlooks the facades of the buildings of the Manege and the State Historical Museum. In the 1990s, the Resurrection Gate and the chapel of the Iverskaya Icon of the Mother of God were restored on the square. Near the chapel is the Museum of Archeology of Moscow, founded in 1997, and the building of the Four Seasons Hotel Moskva (the former Moscow Hotel). Mokhovaya, Tverskaya, and Manezhnaya streets of the same name and Okhotny Ryad street depart from the square.
One of the main sculptures of Manezhnaya Square is the monument to Georgy Zhukov, erected in honor of the 50th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War at the entrance to the Historical Museum. In the center of the square, the glass dome of the Okhotny Ryad underground shopping center comes to the surface, topped with a sculpture of George the Victorious.
A canal was dug between Manezhnaya Square and the Alexander Garden, along which sculptures that Zurab Tsereteli made were installed.
Fountains built in 1996 in honor of the 850th anniversary of Moscow complement the ensemble of Manezhnaya Square. Inside the “Geyser” – the central fountain of the composition – there is a sculptural group “Seasons”, presented in the form of four horses. Since 1996, on the square near the Voskresensky Gates, there has been a sign “Kilometer Zero of Russian Roads”, from which the mileage of Russian roads is counted.
The Manege and Manezhnaya Square are located in a place that was historically called Zaneglimenie – across the Neglinnaya River (now tunneled). The first suburban settlement on the right bank of the Neglinnaya appeared in the 12th-13th centuries.
In 1993, Manezhnaya Square was freed from the traffic flow and the construction of the Okhotny Ryad underground shopping complex began under it. The construction of the complex was completed by the day of the celebration of the 850th anniversary of the city in 1997. The underground shopping and recreation complex has a polygonal elongated shape and is located between the subway tunnels. The structure is about 300 meters long and 137.5 meters wide and has a total area of about 70 thousand m².
Manezhnaya Square has repeatedly become the venue for mass rallies and demonstrations. The most numerous protests of the perestroika period and the post-Soviet period occurred on the square: on February 4, 1990, a rally was held here in which 300,000 people demanded the abolition of the sixth article of the USSR Constitution. On January 14, 1991, more than 100,000 people came to Manezhnaya under the slogan “We will not allow the occupation of Lithuania!”. During the August coup, Manezhnaya became one of the places for mass demonstrations by opponents of the State Emergency Committee.
Manezhnaya Square is also a venue for open-air concerts and performances: in 1997, The Prodigy performed at this place, gathering about 250 thousand people.
Nearest attractions: Russian State Library, Vozdvizhenka Street, Bolshoi Theatre, Maly Theatre, Ploschad Revolyutsii (square), State Duma building, House of the Unions, Teatralnaya Ploschad, TSUM, Tretyakovskiy proezd, Central Children’s Store, Lubyanka Building, Metropol Hotel, Red Square.