Saturday, August 8, 2015

Moscow 8 - GUM and ZUM

It may sound strange, but the above words are the names of two very respectable department stores in the very heart of Moscow: Gum (pronounced Goom) located along the Red Square, and Zoom (pronounced Tsoom) next to the Bolshoi Theater.

GUM is actually a shopping mall, and a very expensive one. 
I think there's something wrong in the location  of this extravagant mall in the historic center of Moscow, especially opposite Lenin's mausoleum.
Having said that, the place is well worth a visit as it is unique architecturally.

                          the red  color belongs to Lenin's mausoleum

It is not exactly an one - piece building like ZUM; it consists of a series of arcades on three levels connected by small bridges and covered with a glass roof. Inside, there are lots of designer shops with western brands. It definitely has class, and it fits the requirements of both the russian elite and the rich tourists.

                      the glass ceiling and the interconnecting bridges

On the ground floor there's a luxury supermarket (which sells among other goodies, finest vodka and black kaviar). For the people with a tight budget there are the ice cream stands which are very popular.( I must confess I didn't like the taste of the local ice cream sold there).

                         licking icecream always makes a good picture

On the third floor I got acquainted with an eatery called Solovaya 57. It's a sort of canteen where you can have a decent meal for a decent price. I had lunch there  twice, and fell in love with their pastry of cherry strudel and cherry pie.

                   people taking the escalator to the Solovaya 57 canteen

                                            Solovaya 57- inside and outside

ZUM is situated in the theater area (Bolshoi and Mali theaters). It is a high end department store with renowned brands in clothing, cosmetics, shoes, accessories, perfumeries. Those looking for real fur will find it here.Those who wish to relax with a cup of coffee will do so at the nice cafe on the fourth floor,

                          the facade of  ZUM department store

Across the store there are some shops, eateries and benches. People seem to enjoy sitting on those benches , and looking ahead at the entrance of ZUM, at people going in and out of the big store.

             in the background, the red sign of the back side of ZUM


  1. It looks like a very high-end shopping mall. So clean and so few people. Our mall here is always crowded and so loud!

    I really love the picture you posted of the bridges and the glass ceilings, very elegant and beautiful.

  2. Alicia,

    It was morning.The doors have just opened. They don't open before 10 a.m,and that's why you see few people. Usually it's crowded with tourists as the main attractions are in the vicinity.
    Yes, the architectur of GUM is impressive.

  3. Interesting post, Duta. I have never been to Russia so your personal account of part of your trip was interesting. The architecture is certainly beautiful. But it's kind of weird to think of consumerism in Russia, no matter how hard I try. I'm so used to an older conception that I have of that country.

    Thank you for welcoming me back to my blog. I hope to see you frequently both here and there.

  4. Lynda Lehman

    Thank you, and welcome to my blog.I definitely agree with your point about consummerism in Russia.

  5. The architecture is amazing! They definitely look like high end shops! What a wonder trip you have had so far and I am so glad to join you! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Nel,

    Thanks for your kind comments on my posts on Moscow. I have only one or two more posts to go on this topic. Please bear with me.

  7. It is interesting to see the new with the old architecture. I still, love seeing the old though, so much history in it.

  8. Angelina Pratt,

    New and old side by side gives the place a special charm.The old , historical architecture is my favorite too.

  9. Thanks once again for taking me on your trips with you and all the detailed information. Having not traveled much I always enjoy virtual escapes!😍

  10. I remember as a small kid reading in an encyclopaedia with my dad, that the GUM was the place to go in Moscow if you wanted to hear many different languages at the same time because of Sovjet Russia's many ethnicities & such. :)

    I love the architecture of both 'buildings', except for the backside of the ZUM. Just as you mentioned in an earlier post, it's terribly ugly compared to everything else there. :

  11. Pink Panthress,

    Hi Nokta,

    Both Gum and Zum are visited by lots of tourists, so naturally one hears many languages around.

    As for the buildings - they are different; Zum is a modern, functional building, whereas Gum is very special architecturally.

  12. Great photos! I've been scrolling through your Moscow posts. Amazing history!

    1. Sandi, you're something! Thanks for scrolling.
      Hope you go to Moscow and enjoy the sights in person.