10 October Gorky House Visit

The Moscow Museum dedicated to Maxim Gorky is an incredible building. It was gifted by Stalin to Gorky in 1932 upon his return to the Soviet Union from his self- imposed exile in Italy. The Tour is really two tours in one, and one can argue which is the greater or of more importance.

Maxim Gorky played an immense part in Soviet history and culture and was feted by the Soviet leadership. He was politically active in pre-revolutionary Russia, an enemy of the Tsar, incarcerated for his views and a personal friend of Lenin.

Roads, a city (Nizhny Novgorod) and even an aircraft (the Tupolev ANT-20 – the world’s biggest aircraft in the 1930’s) were named in his honour. His impact on Soviet culture cannot be underestimated. The Museum houses his personal effects and visitors can enjoy seeing how the writer lived and worked.  Leo Tolstoy lived in the servant’s quarters at a later date.

However, whilst home for a while to the famous, the mansion is also a masterpiece in its own right. The building was designed by the talented architect F.Schechtel and built between 1901 and 1903 for the Russian industrialist Ryabushinsky. Confiscated by the Bolsheviks after the 1917 Revolution, the building is remarkable in that it is still in its entirely original condition. It may be a faded glory but it is glorious to behold and aficionados of art nouveau can delight in the surviving modern-style architecture: beautiful stained glass windows, the mosaics, doors and door-handles, stunning chandeliers, wood tiled floor and the unique, majestic marble staircase.

One can easily imagine Gorky or Tolstoy a creating a literary masterpiece in an adjacent room, as one passes through the chambers.

We are meeting at 13.30h by the Pushkin Monument outside Pushkinskaya metro station

Cost: 1250 rub per person