Central House of Writers
The legendary House on Povarskaya, the Central House of Writers is a cult place. The literary destinies of the Russian literary and poetic elite of the Soviet Union were decided here, and before the revolution, meetings of the largest noble Masonic lodge in Russia were held.
Since its founding in 1932, the House of Writers immediately became the center of the literary life of the entire multinational Soviet state, and its luxurious halls during the “working day” changed their purpose from meeting rooms to a restaurant. Here Mayakovsky “thundered” and Pasternak “sang” his poems, Andrei Bitov, Fazil Iskander, Bella Akhmadulina and Bulat Okudzhava ran here for a cup of coffee, Yuri Gagarin, Indira Gandhi and Gina Lollobrigida visited, and Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Ronald Reagan ” washed” the end of the Cold War.
It was impossible for a mere mortal to get into this “literary reserve” – the entrance was carried out strictly with passes and membership books of the Union of Writers of the USSR. They say that at one time they did not let Anastas Mikoyan in here, and in the nineties – even Alla Pugacheva.
You will have a fascinating journey into the holy of holies of the literary elite of Russia, and acquaintance with the luxurious mansion-castle of Svyatopolk-Chetvertinsky, to get into which was once the cherished dream of every Moscow intellectual. You will get acquainted with the amazing personality of Prince Svyatopolk-Chetvertinsky, who was more noble than the Romanov emperors (since he came from the Rurik family), and his fate is exciting, like an adventure novel!
Historical luxurious interiors of the mansion have been preserved almost unchanged! You will admire the two-tiered Oak Hall with an oak ceiling and light oak furniture, with magnificent Gothic colored stained-glass windows, antique clocks, precious tapestries, fireplaces and chandeliers. See the “writer’s frescoes” in the Motley Hall, where an entire wall is covered with autographs, drawings, cartoons and poems by legendary Soviet writers and poets. Robert Rozhdestvensky, Andrey Voznesensky, Rasul Gamzatov “signed” here… The writers themselves called it the “Wall of Wailing and Laughter”, and an indescribable creative atmosphere is especially clearly felt here.
Surprisingly, even today, in 1995, an assembly was held in the mansion, at which the Great (Masonic) Lodge of Russia was registered. During a tour of the mansion, you will come across hidden Masonic signs that have been preserved in the interior.
And you will also learn:
– why is the CDL called “a house on two streets”
– what gift did Stalin make for the House of Writers and why did the Moscow Metro “suffer” at the same time
– how were they supplied and what privileges did Soviet writers have
– where the ghost of Emperor Alexander III appears
– what did Chief of Police Arapov, the father-in-law of the first owner of the mansion, earn?
CDL – a restaurant-epoch! The permanent director of the CDL became the prototype of the restaurant administrator of the House of Griboyedov, Archibald Archibaldovich, in Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita, and the departmental writer’s kitchen was supplied with scarce products of the “very first freshness”. Here you could always order black caviar and hazel grouse, and fresh cucumbers and strawberries – even in winter. Historical restaurant traditions are still observed today, and in 2021 the CDL restaurant entered the international shortlist of Michelin star nominees.
Everyone will be able to dine in the chic interiors of the CDL restaurant, enjoying the special atmosphere of the “literary reserve”.* (additional fee)
And we will work up a “literary appetite” on an exciting walk along Povarskaya Street – the most aristocratic street in Moscow.
Despite the fact that initially on Povarskaya Street there were yards of sovereign cooks, already under Ivan the Terrible, the mass settlement of the street with noble nobility begins. The Golitsyn, Baryatinsky, Gagarin, Sibirsky families settled on Povarskaya. And even the sister of the future Emperor Peter the Great, Natalya Alekseevna, also lived on Povarskaya.
Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolai Gogol and Pyotr Chaadaev, Taras Shevchenko and Aksakov, the Decembrist Sergei Volkonsky lived and visited Povarskaya. By 1917, Povarskaya became the most aristocratic street in Moscow – among its inhabitants there are seven (!) Count families and a princely family.
You will see the church where the “Russian Cinderella” Praskovya Kovaleva-Zhemchugova and Count Nikolai Sheremetev were secretly married. Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol also often came to this church. You will see the “Sighted Themis” – the Russian “variant” of Justice, and admire the Gilardi House – the best example of pre-fire Moscow architecture. Admire the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, which can compete with the royal palace, and see the legendary Gnesinka, where Lyudmila Zykina and Iosif Kobzon, David Tukhmanov and many great musicians and singers studied.