Pokrovsky Barracks

Alexander Zelikov/TASS
The barracks were built in 1801 on orders from Emperor Paul I. The Emperor's idea was that the city residents would donate the money for barracks construction and in exchange they would be freed from the obligation to house the military at their homes. Construction demanded over two million rubles, and Muscovites had collected around 500,000. Those who invested in construction were given a spiffy sign that read "Free of quartering" and had to be hung near the entrance. This was the first building in Moscow that was designed as barracks, and not adapted from something else. Back in the days, there was a large drill ground in front of the monumental building, and mock drills and exhibition performances were held there regularly. In the 1950s, the drill ground was planted with trees and became a part of Pokrovsky Bulvar (Pokrovsky Boulevard).