Having been around at least since the 15th Century, The Arbat is one of Moscow's oldest streets and probably its most famous. Until the mid-twentieth century it formed part of the road leading from the Kremlin westwards to Smolensk, Belarus and Poland. At first it was populated mainly by craftsmen, later it became a trendy place of residence for the nobility and later still it became known as an artists' district and the birthplace of the Russian intelligentsia. In the 1960s, however, parallel-running New Arbat was built. These days "Old Arbat" is a pedestrian street populated by caricaturists, street performers and souvenir sellers while retaining a large number of pretty, historical buildings. Next door New Arbat is lined by restaurants, bars, shopping centres and, until they were banned in 2009, a lot of casinos.