The village of Preobrazhenskoye first appears in records in 1661. At that time two churches were built there; the village took its name after one of them - the Church of the Transfiguration at Preobrazhenskoye. In 1672, during the rule of Alexis of Russia, the first professional theater in Russia was founded here. On November 18 1699, secret diplomatic negotiations between Peter the Great and Western embassies started here, resulting in the signing of an alliance between Russia, Denmark, and Poland-Lithuania against Sweden (November 22, 1699) and the subsequent Great Northern War of 1700-1721.
The district has a reputation as the cradle of the Imperial Russian Navy. Peter the Great (born 1672) spent his adolescent years here together with his mother Natalya Naryshkina - exiled by the order of his half-sister the Tsarevna Sophia Alekseyevna of Russia (regent: 1682-1689). The famous toy army of Peter the Great consisting of Preobrazhensky and Semyonovsky regiments developed here in the 1680s. Peter began implementing the idea of creating a Russian Navy on the nearby Yauza River. His famous botik, which came to be known as the "grandfather of Russian Navy", was re-launched there.
There are forty streets total in the district.
The bridges in the district include:
- Preobrazhensky Metro Bridge
- Matrossky Bridge
- Elektrozavodsky Bridge
Public transportation consists of bus, trolleybus, and tram routes.
The historical Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery is located in the district.