Upper trading rows (GUM Department store)
GUM is a huge trade center, one of the biggest in Europe. Its total area takes the whole block, the main face looks at the Red Square. GUM is an architectural monument of federal significance. The main and the most famous shop of the city has long and interesting history.
Trading in Moscow as a rule was in the center of the city and was located on theRed Square. Merchant’s shops appeared here under Ivan the Terrible order and consentrated according to the speciality: Zavyazochny ryad, Mylniy ryad, Belilniy ryad (ceruse and rouge), men and women hat ryad, Golenischniy and Podoschvenniy ryad etc Bright chaotic market which located from Vetoschniy proezd to Lubyanka existed on the Red Square until the beginning of XIX c.
After the 1812 war when Moscow had been rebuilding the emperor Alexander 1 ordered to ennoble the trading rows at the Kremlin walls. According to Bove project luxurious façade in the empire style was build. It was the first building of Upper trading rows. But in reality from Red Square side that very bright rows of the old market were only hidden.
The second half of the XIX c in Russia was characterized by an increase in industry and trade. Old Moscow rows didn’t meet the requirements of the new period. Bove’s building destroyed gradually. Plaster poured from the ceiling, the floor was falling, the fires took place. The necessity of demolition the old market and building the new one was evident. However the idea didn’t find the support among the owners of small shops that fed generations of Moscow traders. But still in 1880 City Duma obliged all the owners to create joint stock company Upper Trade Rows.
In Naidenov album (big Moscow merchant famous Russian historian philanthropist), one can find Upper City rows before the demolition. The competition was advertised for the best project, 23 works were represented. The 1 award belonged to academician, the author of famous Tower on Shabolovka. The main advantages of the project were rationality and economy.
The construction started in 1890 using the money of Moscow Merchant Guild. New trade rows appeared complete in 1893 and arouse exaltation from the city inhabitants. It was a significant trade construction not only in Russia, but of all Western Europe.
Built in pseudorussian style, the building ideally fitted the ensemble of Red Square. In inside and outside decoration details of XVII architecture are used 2 towers, set above the central part, connect it with the Kremlin and the SHM building. It was the progressive construction for that time because glass and iron were used in the constructions. New construction was original, famous Shakhov’s glass roof aroused exaltation of contemporaries. Day light increased by the system of prismatic glasses, refracting straight rays so that the light reached basement rooms. The rows were heated, artesian well was digged which gave up to 500 000 l of water every day. For the revetment of the face socle Finland red and Donskoy blue granite was used, the main façade and inside stairs are laid out by warm taruss marble.
New complex that used the whole block consisted from 3 storeyed passages in which there were more than 1000 various shops. Deep basement rooms were used for the wholesale trade. It was the most popular place at that time, and there was no family that didn’t visit it. One can walk here for hours looking over the goods seat at the restaurant drink tea or coffee use post service etc. It was the prototype of modern trade centers.
After the revolution 1917 up to 1950 instead of luxury shops Soviet offices were placed.
Only in 20s at the times of NEP the shops were opened here, than first appeared the name GUM — General Universal Shop.
In 1953 after a serious reconstruction the largest shop was reopened. Having the previous name, the store became the window of soviet trade and one of the capital sights. Today GUM is the main shop of the country. In honor of 850 anniversary of Moscow celebration GUM was renewed and returned its luxury style.
GUM is a trade center where you can buy all the necessary things. There are famous brands: Louis Vuitton, Corneliani, Dior, La Perla, Ermanno Scervino, Escada, Sonia Rykel, Marina Rinaldi, Burberry, MaxMara, Max&Co, Kenzo, Hugo Boss, Wolford, Iceberg, Hermes, Etro, Paul Smith, Pal Zileri etc. Luxury brands take the 1 line, democratic brands are on the 2d and 3d lines. Cafes and restaurants, beauty salon, bank offices are at your disposal.
GUM is famous also as a cultural center. Art and photo exhibitions, presentations, defile are held here. It’s one of the places of the International art festival “Chereshneviy les”, founded in 2000.
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