GUM: the Main Universal Shop. The 120th anniversary.

Before 1815 the site had been occupied by trading stalls. Retail trade and whole sale prospered there. The stalls needed renovation badly but the tenants were against it since it would decrease their revenue. The building was in such a bad condition that "once a layer of plaster fell on the buyers, but another time, a lady, trying on a velvet dress that suited her very well, failed through the rotten floor, broke her leg and so was taken to the hospital in the unpaid new dress. The owner was afraid to remind her about it, at the meantime being happy that she didn’t recover for her loss."

However, after a long-term opposition between the government officials and merchants who owned the stalls and the plots of land on which they were located,  in 1893 the grand opening of a new building of the Upper trading stalls took place. You can learn more about the GUM building construction on its site.

Nowadays it is  an enormous boutique with hundreds of departments. Its one side overlooks Red Square and the others - picturesque old-fashioned narrow Moscow streets. It also houses the Gastronome №1 (a large food shop), some cafes, and occasional exhibitions.


It's better to be feared than loved. Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


The press-conference, 19th December (broadcast by public channels all over Russia) held to honour putin's reign and general effulgence was preceded by the detention of 20 activists.
The people had come in order to hand over to putin the letter of support for Bolotnaya's square held prisoners.
The policemen refused to introduce themselves.
It's getting scary here… really.