Bolotny Island/Krasny Oktyabr

Sergey Bobylev/TASS
Bolotny Island (Marsh Island) is an artificial island in the centre of Moscow, which owes its existence to Vodootvodny Canal (water drainage canal), built at the end of the 18th century. The island has several historic names, which even Muscovites often confuse. Some call this island Sadovniki after Sadovaya Village, which existed here in the 16th-18th centuries. Ulitsa Balchug (Balchug Street), a street next to Bolotnaya Ulitsa (Bolotnaya Street), was a swamp ("balchug" means "puddle" or "marsh" in Turkic languages) before Vodootvodny Canal was built at the end of the 18th century. Balchug is another folk name of the island. The street's other claim to fame is the fact that Ivan the Terrible ordered Moscow's first public house opened here in 1552. The island's other folk aliases are Bolotny Island and Kremlyovsky Island. The island owes its notoriety to Bolotnaya Ploschad (Bolotnaya Square), the arena of fist fights in the 17th century, where folk rebel leaders Stepan Razin and Yemelyan Pugachev were executed.

One other outstanding feature of Bolotny Island is its Strelka, or spit, which was the compound of Krasny Oktyabr (Red October) candy factory until the early 2000s. The factory has moved, and its historic red-brick buildings now house a creative cluster of the same name. The erstwhile factory shops have been rented out to galleries, studios, restaurants and glossy magazines, as well as the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design with an eponymous bar, both named after Bolotny Island's spit.