Communal paradise, or closest people without a will

Permanent exhibitions Rumyantsev Mansion
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Communal paradise, or closest people without a will

The exhibition is presented in a former communal apartment, which retained its original layout: four rooms, a narrow corridor and a common kitchen. It represents more than 1,000 items fr om the funds of the State Museum of History of St. Petersburg, most of which are exhibited for the first time.

In the 1920s the process of transforming city apartments belonging to one owner into communal apartments began in the large cities of the young Soviet country. The former owners of the apartment moved into one of the rooms and other rooms occupied in need of housing factory workers, military personnel, members of the various Soviet institutions, and so on. In this way, the Soviet authorities tried to solve the housing problem in the cities, primarily in Moscow and Leningrad, wh ere the population constantly increased due to the influx of labor from the provincial regions of Russia.

In the 1960s, the construction of five-story houses, the so-called “Khrushchevki”, began in Leningrad. In the 1970s and 1980s, the outskirts of the city were built up with whole arrays of multi-story houses, but the problem of “communal” in the city was not solved. Nowadays, 10% of housing in St. Petersburg are “communal”.

Cohabitation of strangers in one apartment gave birth to a whole cultural layer of urban folklore. Many residents of St. Petersburg keep memories of their childhood and youth spent in such communal apartments. Reputation of communal apartments is ambiguous, it seems “social evil”, but for many people the word “communal” causes a slight nostalgia.

The exhibition represents the reconstruction of the Leningrad communal apartment, in which different characters live: the former owner of the whole apartment of the 1920s, a family who moved to the city from the village in the 1930s-1950s, representative of the “informal youth” of the 1960s and artist-representative of the Leningrad underground 1970-1980s. The objects of the museum collection of the 1930s-1980s show the way of life of the Leningraders from different social strata and in different time periods. In the common kitchen you can see a retrospective of household appliances: the primus and the gas stove, the refrigerator table and the electric refrigerator, a galvanized washstand and a faucet, etc. In the corridor are presented radios, electric shavers, hair dryers, wall phones, vacuum cleaners and other “things of the past.” Also, the exhibition shows fragments of art and documentary films, which show the everyday life of Leningrad communal.

Individual visitors can visit the exhibition only as part of special excursion groups of the day off (only in Russian). Every Saturday and Sunday sessions are at 14.00 and 15.30. Excursions are conducted from 3 persons.

The cost of tickets for visiting the exhibition with a weekend excursion: 200 rubles for all categories of citizens.

For organized groups (up to 15 people) it is possible to record on weekdays and weekends.

Tickets for the visit to the exhibition with a guided tour by appointment: adults - 200 rubles, students - 100 rubles. Excursion service - 700 rubles.

Phone for making an appointment: 571-75-44.