Moscow Camera: Roof-Surfing at the GUM

Julia and the yellow Porsche

GUM, which is short from Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin, is the oldest and the largest department store in the capital. Having started long before the 19th c. as the trading hub of the city, it evolved to become a predecessor of shopping centres and department stores in combining the boutiques, cafes and restaurants with entertainment facilities.

The present building was erected by the architect A. Pomerantsev between 1891 and 1893 and consecrated by the Great Prince Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, Elizaveta Fyodorovna. To quote from GUM’s official website, today

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.

You get an idea. Nonetheless, the cafes are not expensive, meaning that you can pop in for a visit without a need to break your bank. Just enjoy exploring the place. Currently, for instance, there is an exhibition of Porsche cars from different years, and as I was wearing by hand-knitted yellow scarf I couldn’t resist posing in front of the yellow Porsche.

Without a doubt, one of the most striking features of the GUM is its roof. Designed by the engineer V. Shukhov, the roof represents a half-circle construction, 14 meters in diameter, made of over 50 thousand pounds of steel. It is a fascinating structure, and I somehow thought I’d try to film it. I got carried away, but the result is quite interesting methinks.

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