Did you know about Castle Quarter's Russian cousin?

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow. - Credit: flowcomm Flickr

Castle Quarter has been a Norwich institution for decades, but did you know it has a twin some 1,749 miles away in Russia?

It all came about after then mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, visited Norwich shortly after the mall's construction in 1993.

Impressed with the shopping centre, Mr Luzhkov asked the architect Michael Innes to design an identical structure in the city's Manczhnaya Square, where he had been struggling for a number of years to construct a shopping mall at an affordable cost.

The top of the Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow, showing its two glass roofs which are identical to those at Castle Quarter.

The top of the Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow, showing its two glass roofs which are identical to those at Castle Quarter. - Credit: Government of Moscow Press Centre

The new mall, named Okhotny Ryad, was built in Moscow in 1997, four years after what was known at the time as the Castle Mall, at a cost of £200m.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow. - Credit: Marc Buehler Flickr

It has had an eventful life, even before it was built, former US president Donald Trump involved in talks to build the mall, before it was bombed by a terrorist called Khalid Khuguyev in 1999.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow. - Credit: flowcomm Flickr

Looking at pictures of the Russian mall, its two glass roofs look identical to those in Norwich, although not based in the grounds of a castle, while inside its central staircase and three storey design are the spitting image of its Norfolk relative.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow.

The Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow. - Credit: Valery Pizhanski video & photographer

The top of the Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow.

The top of the Okhotny Ryad mall in Moscow. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

And for comparison here are some pictures of Castle Quarter.

Castle Quarter during COVID19 lock down. All shops are closed except Boots and Poundland which sell

Castle Quarter during COVID19 lock down. All shops are closed except Boots and Poundland which sell essential items. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

castle quarter Norwich

Work going on to clean up the rain coming in at Castle Quarter - Credit: Archant

Castle Quarter shopping centre, which is located below Norwich Castle, is currently being used as a coronavirus...

Castle Quarter shopping centre, which is located below Norwich Castle, is currently being used as a coronavirus vaccination centre - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Castle Quarter during COVID19 lock down. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Norfolk's first mass Covid-19 vaccination centre will be based in the food court at Norwich's Castle Quarter shopping centre. - Credit: Brittany Woodman


Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter