If you up to shopping while you are in Moscow, GUM Trading House or, you could call it department store as well, would be my first choice. It offers great shopping in Moscow and location is really convenient – right next to all main Moscow tourist attractions.
But it is not just a simply Moscow shopping - GUM has interesting history as well. In XV century the Red Square had already been a center of the merchant trade. At the beginning of the XIX century, Tsar Alexander I ordered to build here the Upper Trading Stalls, i.e. the first Russian trading center. The contemporary building was constructed in 1893 according the architect Pomeranstev's and the engineer Shukhov's project for the joint means of the Moscow merchants' guild. Three spacious passages of glass and metal in the European style enclosed in the traditional ancient Russian walls became for that time Russia the most progressive phenomenon.
After the revolution and till the middle of the XX century was dark period - the Trading stalls were occupied by the state lower organizations. Just after the famous reconstruction in 1953 the first and the biggest country's store — GUM — opened its doors. The new GUM became «Main Soviet Store», «Exemplary trade shop» and one of the <>Russian capital's symbol. At the beginning of 1990 GUM is a trading center with a historical interior, area over 30,000 square meters, and housing shops of the popular brands of clothing, footwear, furs, jewelry, sport goods, make-up and perfumery, presents and souvenirs in such a way marching in step with the country's history.
GUM presents worldwide renowned names of fashion industry such as Louis Vuitton, Corneliani, Dior, La Perla, Ermanno Scervino, Escada, Sonia Rykel, Marina Rinaldi, Burberry, MaxMara, Max&Co, Kenzo, Hugo Boss, Wolford, Iceberg as well as different competent bags and elite luggage manufacturers such as Samsonite Black Label and Mandarina Duck. Popular jewelry companies as Chaumet and Frey Wille are also located in GUM. At the same time we don't specify GUM a luxury direction. The trading house offers in its goods assortment some leading sport brands as Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Puma and popular casual clothing and footwear manufacturers as Pinko, Gant, Dimensione Danza, CK, Levi's, Ecco, Monsoon, Accessorize, Chevignon. Well, not too shabby…
Not stopping at the state-of-the-art, GUM goes on developing. Here the inside space is improved. The project of the updated design supposes passages reorganization in a palazzo style: mosaic floor and green natural plants. GUM today is a leisure center pretending to an art space status.
The outside facade has an already realized unique illumination project: architectural building's elements are emphasized with electric lamps lines. The legendary Demonstration Hall is restored that left its traces in the history of the national cinematography.
Since 2006 and every year further the GUM-Skating rink is opened. It is not just a Muscovites favorite ice ground, but a place to organize different events from charitable to sport or entertaining ones. The Gastronome № 1 is working in GUM and is severe in the fifties style. Behind the Soviet vintage there is a contemporary store hidden, corresponding to the highest trading standards and able to satisfy any gastronomic whim. Café «Festivalnoe» is working here, named in honor of the youth festival that took place in Moscow in 1957. The «nations' friendship» subject is sequentially realized both in café's interior and in the menu, offering different national dishes. «Stolovaya № 057» is realized in the same Soviet style of the fifties, combining surpassing Russian and European cuisine, rich choice of cold drinks and spirits with a classic line of self-service.
GUM today is not a simple Moscow shopping spot and famous architecture monument; it is a cultural center where different artistic expositions, fashion shows and bright presentations are organized. Go and check it out – you won’t regret!
Your Moscow Russia Travel Guide
*Some information and pictures were taken from GUM Trading House official website.