Today boulevards are Moscow integral part, and it is difficult to imagine that only two centuries ago there were no trees and park benches but an assailable fortress wall, the wall which surrounded the area of the Kremlin and Kitai-Gorod. It was built of white stone, therefore the enclosed city was named Bely Gorod, or "White City". For many centuries this wall, built in the end of the 16th century, scared away the enemies with its imposing size - 10 metres (33 ft.) high and 5-6 (16-19 ft.) metres thick. By the 18th century it had lost its defensive significance and started to dilapidate; that is why it was dismantled and replaced with the Boulevard Ring.
The Boulevard Ring is comprised of the following boulevards: Gogolevsky Boulevard, Nikitsky Boulevard, Tverskoy Boulevard, Strastnoy Boulevard, Petrovsky Boulevard, Rozhdestvensky Boulevard, Sretensky Boulevard, Chistoprudny Boulevard, Pokrovsky Boulevard, Yauzsky Boulevard. It forms a semi-circle around the center of Moscow and is ideal for leisurely strolls. A walk along the boulevard ring's park-like areas is a great way to explore the city center, undisturbed by traffic. The park strip is situated in the middle of the road, in-between traffic lanes. Scores of beautiful old buildings are located along this route (and down the side streets leading off the Boulevard Ring), and there are plenty of benches to sit and relax on along the way. It is also well worth venturing into some of the side streets branching off from the ring - you will find lots of pretty lanes with interesting buildings, monasteries, convents, mansions, exhibitions, museums there.