Including this handsome Art Nouveau mansion tucked away on a quiet Moscow street. For those interested in Art Nouveau this mansion which used to belong to the Ryabushinskys clan of business tycoons, and later housed Gorky after his return from exile, is a must see, particularly the flowing, organic-looking marble main staircase.
There are a few negatives however. The place could definitely use a refurb. The original Art Nouveau furniture which came with the house is gone, as is the spectacular chandelier and the fireplace which used to adorn the living room, victims to a procession of Soviet Government offices which used to occupy this space. Instead there is some rather ugly dark furniture which looks like it came from some central Government warehouse. Why not restore the mansion to its former glory since photographs and possibly blueprints of the original interiors exist? One reason has got to do with a lack of funds, but the answer given is that the house is a memorial to Gorky, not Ryabushinsky, so the idea is to preserve it more or less how it looked during Gorky's stay there. Unfortunately there is not much there that screams "Gorky" either as the writer divided his time between at least 2 other houses made available to him.
PS: A hidden stairway leads to a secret upstairs prayer room. Why secret? Like many prominent Russian businessmen of the era the Ryabyshinskys belonged to the Old Believers sect banned by the Czars...
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