GUM Department Store in Moscow
GUM Department Store (Pronounced as Goom in Russian) must be one of the most elite and expensive shopping centres in Moscow. Gum is in fact a very unusual name and I was curious to know where the name came from.
In short GUM stands for: Gosudarsestvenyi Universalnyi Magazin.
GUM Department Store is situated right on Red Square. In fact when you step outside of the building you find yourself on Red Square with a beautiful view of the Kremlin and St. Basils Cathedral. Interesting to know that in the former Soviet times many department stores were called GUM.
History of moscow`s largest department store
The building is beautiful with magnificent architecture. It was built between 1890 and 1893. The building features an interesting combination between Russian Medieval Architecture, steel construction and a glass roof. The building is breathtaking at night when it 1000`s of lights light it up. It took my breath away!
I guess we have to thank Catherine II of Russia, who commissioned a Neoclassical architect from Italy, to design a huge trade center along the east side of Red Square. Today we would call it a shopping centre. In 2005 this shopping centre had more than 200 shops.
Want to shop inside GUM Russian Department Store?
Unless you have a very thick wallet full of USD I would not recommend it. The joke is that ordinary people cannot afford to buy here. It is too expensive. When we visited the store the first time in 2008 I saw diamonds from South Africa – De Beers. The price tag for a ring: 45,000 USD. It was a decent size diamond though. The shops are stocked with many famous Western Brand names.
GUM Department Store is a very popular touris attraction in Moscow. You will often find art exhibitions here.
In my opinion, unless you are loaded, don`t buy anything here. It is a nice experience to walk through the shopping centre and to admire all the beautiful items they have to offer. You can use the restroom facilities free of charge – for now!
Where: Moscow, Russian Federation
When: 17 May 2012