The small old town of Dmitrov, Moscow Region, is located 50 km from the Moscow Ring Road to the north of Moscow. The city was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1154 in the valley of the Yakhroma River on the site of Slavic settlements.
Dmitrov Trade square is one of the most ancient places in the city.
Thanks to the finds of archaeologists (pottery shards, glass shards), it can be assumed that trade in this territory was conducted from the XII-XIII centuries. Vegetables and fruits grown in their own gardens, as well as handicrafts were sold at this place.
The Yakhroma River formed a semicircular loop here, on which a pier was built. Starting from the 15th century, small river ships with goods sailed here; here the goods were reloaded and transported by carts to Dmitrov and then to Moscow.
History of shops
In the second half of the 16th century, trade in Dmitrov acquired a local character (due to a change in the direction of trade routes and the shallowing of the Yakhroma River). During the Time of Troubles Dmitrov was ruined and badly damaged by fire. All this could not but affect trade. In 1624 there were 45 shops and 7 taverns in the city. Dmitrov hardly began to recover from the consequences of destruction and fire. At the beginning of the 18th century, Dmitrov’s trade relations changed from the founding of St. Petersburg. Apples, bread, garlic, onions and other products were sent to St. Petersburg.
In 1779, there were already 132 shops in the city. From Moscow and other cities, they brought silk, woolen and paper fabrics, Chinese women and kumach, made and dyed in the Persian manner; glassware, sugar, honey, various iron goods and copper utensils, etc. They also brought cereals, flour, grape wines and beer. Over time, the appearance of the Dmitrov shopping center changed, the city knew both decline and revival.
On the square itself, if it was free, booths and other entertainments were arranged. This happened during fairs. Local residents called them “yarmonki”. Fairs were held 2 times a year – in autumn and spring. Now, nothing remains of the wooden trading rows of the 19th century, but the trade itself takes place exactly in the same place.
The Alexander Chapel is located on the Torgovaya Square near the Nikolsky Gate of the Kremlin. It was erected by the architect Vladislav Osipovich Grudzin in 1868 to commemorate “the happy deliverance of Tsar Alexander II from an attempt on his life in 1866”. The chapel in honor of the holy prince Alexander Nevsky, attributed to the Assumption Cathedral, was solemnly consecrated in 1870.
The building is a brick plastered octahedron on a white stone base, topped with kokoshniks and a high tent. A chapel was built in the pseudo-Russian style with elements of classicism. In 1903, a stone fence was made around the chapel, which surrounded not only the buildings, but also a well with a key that suddenly “woke up” at its foundation. According to the recollections of the guardian, the water was very cold and clean.
In Soviet times, the chapel of St. Alexander Nevsky was badly damaged and completely lost its interior decoration. The iconostasis was destroyed, the picturesque images on the facade of the building were closed, the cross was removed from the dome. The chapel was used as a film distribution center, and later a funeral home was located here. Since the construction of the Yunost factory building, underground waters have changed their channels, the well and the Kremlin pond have dried up. In 1995, the chapel was returned to the Orthodox Church and was completely restored.
On that warm autumn day when we were in Dmitrov, the chapel was open, it is small, but very cozy. Walking around the shopping area, we plunged into the atmosphere of an ancient Russian city.