GUM Department Store



Red Square, 3
Subway: ploschad revolyutsii

A Grand Shopping Tradition Located in the heart of Moscow, facing the iconic Red Square and the Kremlin, GUM (Main Universal Store) is not only a shopper's paradise but also a landmark of Russian history and architecture.

gum department store moscow

Few department stores in the world boast such a prestigious address or such a rich heritage. GUM's connection to the social, political, and cultural development of Moscow makes it a remarkable institution, one that has witnessed tsars and communist leaders, revolutions and reforms, and the eventual rise of modern-day Russia.

GUM Department Store History

GUM's history dates back to the late 19th century. The site where GUM stands was historically a trading place, with the Upper Trading Rows being constructed between 1890 and 1893 by architect Alexander Pomerantsev.

This transformation marked a shift from a medieval marketplace to an emblem of Russia's growing commercial prowess, reflecting significant economic progress.

GUM was designed to house a variety of stores under one roof, a novel concept at the time, and it boasted stunning features such as its glass roof, which allowed for natural illumination of the grand interior.

Revolution and Soviet Era

Throughout its history, GUM has mirrored the tumultuous journey of Russia itself. After the 1917 Revolution, the store was nationalized and continued to function as a department store, but under various names and organizational structures.

During the Soviet era, it was known as the State Department Store, and it was both a symbol of state consumerism and, at times, a stark reminder of the shortage economy, with empty shelves and long queues.

Post-Soviet Revival and Modernization

With the fall of the Soviet Union, GUM experienced a renaissance. The department store was privatized in the 1990s and underwent extensive renovation to restore its historical facade and modernize its facilities.

Today, GUM operates as a luxury shopping mall and is a destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. Its three parallel arcades, linked by bridges, house a wide array of high-end boutiques, including international brands and exclusive Russian designers, complemented by restaurants and cafes that offer everything from fine dining to traditional Russian fare.

In many ways, GUM is more than just a department store. It functions as a cultural hub, playing host to various events, fashion shows, exhibitions, and festivals throughout the year.

Notably, during winter, the GUM ice rink becomes a magical focal point for the locals and tourists alike, contributing to the festive atmosphere around Red Square.

GUM Architecture

Architecturally, GUM is a spectacle of 19th-century engineering and design. Its elegant facade is an embodiment of the Russian architectural style known as "Russian revival," while the interior represents a pioneering use of metal and glass indicative of the same era.

Under the large glass roof, arches and balustrades extend across multiple levels, demonstrating an enchanting blend of form and function.


GUM department store is a cultural, historical, and commercial icon of Moscow. Its evolution from a medieval marketplace to a contemporary luxury shopping destination reflects the dynamic history of Russia itself.

A visit to GUM is not merely a shopping experience, it is a step into the living history of Moscow, a place where every corner tells a story. Whether you come to admire the architecture, indulge in the retail offerings, or simply soak in the atmosphere of Red Square, GUM is a testament to the enduring spirit of one of the world's most fascinating cities.

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