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Shopping in Moscow: GUM, State Department Store

17. May 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

GUM, State Department Store, Moscow, Russia

When traveling to meet gorgeous Russian girls in Moscow, be sure to visit one of the largest, oldest, and most extravagant shopping mall in the city. GUM (pronounced goom) faces Red Square, and while it may not be the most affordable place to purchase souvenirs, tourists often visit to stroll along the expansive hallways, appreciate the amazing architecture, and dine at the unique bars and restaurants.


Old trading booths and cramped buildings were once responsible for Russia’s economy, but they became dilapidated over time and frequent fires from faulty heaters ravaged the structures. In 1815, a larger mall was built but the construction was not strong enough and incidents of plaster toppling upon customers and Russian ladies falling through rotted floors caused the Duma to eventually order new construction.


The grand opening of what was initially called the Upper Trading Stalls took place in 1893 with the attendance of royal guests such as the Great Duke Sergey Alexandrovich and Great Duchess Elizaveta Petrovna. With 3 floors, mirrored walls, beautiful furniture, and elevated glass ceilings, families traveled from all over Russia to sample the new shopping experience. In addition to stores, the mall began including services such as a hairdresser, dentist, post office, and bank. In 1895 the first restaurant was opened.


By 1917, GUM was thriving with over 1,200 shops, but Stalin chose to use the vast space for office buildings. Government institutions moved in and occupied the mall for more than 30 years. After Stalin’s death, the government decided to evict all institutions and resume trade. A second grand opening took place in 1953 after a much needed restoration. Many people over the years have wanted to relocate GUM, saying it has no place near nationally honored structures such as the Kremlin and the History Museum, but it has become a significant part of Russian culture and history itself.


Today, GUM is not only a beautiful building filled with goods and services from around the world, but it’s also an artistic entertainment complex. Since 2006, the skating rink has become a perfect place for a fun date with your favorite Russian bride. High quality cafes and bars offer a wide variety of dishes and spirits, and the fountain in the mall’s center provides for a popular photo opportunity and meeting place. Fashion shows and various cultural displays and presentations are always occurring as well.


Gorgeous glass ceiling in GUM

Visitors pose for photos by the fountain

Today GUM has over 200 shops

Gorgeous Russian girls are seen shopping at GUM

Ice skating rink at GUM