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In the footsteps of the Master and Margarita (and others) walking tour
Daily life in Moscow in the 1920s and 1930s plays an important role in the multi-layered novel, The Master and Margarita — it is not simply a background for the fantastical events and the characters’ unusual adventures.
The novel, addressed to Bulgakov’s contemporaries, describes the lives of Muscovites in detail, with the arguments arising in communal flats, the issue of flats, the spy scare, the invisible but tangible atmosphere of the Great Terror and so on. The events of the novel take over the entire centre of Moscow, and Bulgakov was almost always very precise in the details – the exceptions include only a few addresses (Margarita’s house, the Dramlit house, Stravinsky’s clinic etc.).
Bulgakov’s contemporaries would easily recognize their city in the other details, had the novel been printed at that time. Since then, the city has changed a lot – some houses have been demolished, some have been rebuilt unrecognizably, but through the layers, it is possible to glimpse Bulgakov’s Moscow.
Participants will set off in search of the tram at Patriarch’s Ponds; the Giboyedov restaurant where one night the poet Ivan Bezdomny showed up in striped underwear with an icon around his neck; the alley where the Master and Margarita first met; and the critic Latunsky’s apartment, which Margarita wrecked.
Our journey begins in the garden where two suspicious individuals made an attempt on the life of Varenkuha, the administrator of the Variety Theatre. The distinguishing features of the suspects: one has a fang, the other has the face of a cat. Hot on the heels of Varenukha and his kidnappers, we will head to the ‘bad apartment’ where, aside from Woland and his retinue, the author of the world-famous novel himself lived for a number of years. We will discuss love by the house in which the writer’s beloved lived at the beginning of the 1930s—his ‘secret friend’ and the main inspiration for Margarita. ‘Who said… that there’s no such thing as real, true, eternal love? May his rotten tongue be cut off!’ Our investigation will end by the beautiful building known as Spaso House. In the spring of 1935, a magnificent ball was held here. This ball left a great impression on the writer and through his pen, it became the spring ball of the full moon from the much-loved novel.
Duration: 5 hours
Price: 700 roubles
Students and pensioners: 550 roubles
Schoolchildren: 400 roubles
Tour in english: 1000 roubles
Meeting point: in the Mossovet Theatre square (Aquarium Garden, Mayakovskaya Metro station)
After the tour, we can send you the tour route with a summary of the information by email (if desired).
This tour only takes place during warmer months. Make sure to check the schedule!
This tour is subject to advance registration.
Telephone: +7(915)393-03-60 — Elena Anatolevna Primorskaya, tour guide.