GUM

GUM

At the time it was built it was Europe's major shopping gallery. Here you will find the watch store of Mikhail Kalashnikov, where Leo Tolstoy and Pyotr Tchaikovsky bought their watches, while confectionary of the Abrikosovs, and Brocard perfumery are proud of the heritage as the official suppliers of the Imperial court. This historic shopping mall has always been associated with the upper class and has been a spot for exclusive luxury and style.

The building on Red Square designed in pseudo-Russian style was originally called the Upper Trading Rows. Outlined by architect Alexander Pomerantsev and engineer Vladimir Shukhov, the Trading Rows were meant to become Europe's most technologically advanced and most fashionable shopping mall, yet pertaining features of the Russian style. The three-storey building consisting of three parallel galleries with deep vaults housed about a thousand stores. The building also boasts of its magnificent curved glass roof (more than 14 meters in diameter). In the revolutionary 1917 the trade was stopped and in the 1930s the first line housed the office of Lavrentiy Beria. It seemed then that GUM ceased to exist. Twice, in 1935 and in 1947, Stalin planned to demolish the mall, but after his death the building was reconstructed and in 1953 GUM was opened for visitors. That was a new beginning for it.

Today Moscow's GUM (a Russian abbreviation translated as State Department Store) is the major department store in Russia. It is at the same time a shopping mall, an architectural monument, an art gallery and a popular spot for cultural events. The historical exterior of GUM is combined with the modern-day stores and boutiques. GUM features more than a hundred stores by the leading world brands, such as Baldinini, Ballin, Bogner, Bosco, Hugo Boss, Breguet, Bulgari, Burberry, Cartier, Dior, Emporio Armani, etc.

On the ground level of GUM you will find kiosks with vintage Soviet recipe ice-cream and sparkling water displayed in colorful tubes. Meanwhile, in the Soviet-style store called Gastronom No. 1 (created by famous Anastas Mikoyan) a great number of delicacies (including special Soviet era style ones) are available. The third level of the mall houses the legendary cinema complex, which is next to an advisable-for-a-visit café called Stolovaya No. 57. Festivalnoye is another Soviet-style café named after the 1957 Youth Festival held in Moscow. The café is decorated with drawings and slogans in different languages. In winter Red Square inaugurates its fabulously decorated GUM skating rink and GUM Fair with traditional winter festivities, which Moscow was so famous for during the years before the Revolution. It is also highly advisable to peek inside GUM for the New Year holidays, as the store is always stylishly decorated.

Address: 3 Red Square (Krasnaya ploschad, 3)
Opening hours: daily 10 am – 10 pm
How to reach: Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsii, Teatralnaya, Kitay-Gorod metro stations
Coordinates: 55.755366, 37.619660