The Old Merchant Court (Russian: Старый гостиный двор) in Moscow occupies a substantial portion of Kitai-gorod, as the old merchant district is known. It located near the famous Red Square about few hundred metres. Formerly accommodating both shops and warehouses, it was constructed of brick in the 1590s and underwent significant modifications from 1638–41. As the Russian capital expanded and the old structure became overcrowded, a new indoor market was completed nearby in 1665.
Giacomo Quarenghi, the favored architect of Catherine the Great, in 1789 replaced those medieval buildings with a new shopping mall designed in a sober Neoclassical style with innumerable Corinthian columns and arcades. Several local Moscow architects including S. Karin, I. Egotov and P. Selihov supervised the actual construction. The first phase was delayed because of the death of Catherine the Great and was not completed until 1805. Osip Bove made some modifications to adapt to the slope in the area and to finish following Quarenghi's original plans in 1830.
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