Not every tourist makes it to the Mikhail Bulgakov museumRussian: muzey Mikhaila Bulgakova or музей Михаила Булгакова at 10, Bolshaya SadovayaRussian: Большая Садовая street, although this former communal flat has had a distinguished history worthy of attention. It was in this flat that Mikhail Bulgakov and his first wife Tatiana Lappa lived during their first four years in the capital. There is some confusion once you arrive at your destination due to the fact that there are two Bulgakov museums in same building. The Museum Theatre “Bulgakov House”Russian: teatr-muzey «Bulgakovskiy dom» or театр-музей «Булгаковский дом» welcomes visitors as they enter the courtyard, and only further on do visitors find the entrance hall they are looking for with the “sinister apartment” #50. Both museums are notable for their small size and intimate atmosphere.
Bulgakov’S “SINISTER APARTMENT”
Before the revolution in 1917, this house built for well-off citizens in the Art Nouveau style used to house a dormitory for students of the Higher Women’s CoursesRussian: Vysshie zhenskie kursy or Высшие женские курсы. When the Bolsheviksmembers of a wing of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, which, led by Lenin, seized control of the government in Russia (October 1917) and became the dominant political power  came to power, the flats were involuntarily “stuffed” with all sorts of people. The writer’s family lived in one of its rooms from the autumn of 1921. Its sinister image is captured in many of Bulgakov’s works (“Zoyka’s ApartmentRussian: Zoykina kvartira or Зойкина квартира”, “PsalmRussian: Psalom or Псалом”, “Moonshine LakeRussian: Samogonnoe ozero or Самогонное озеро”, “#13 – House Elpit-RabkommunaRussian: №13 – dom Elpit-Rabkommuna or №13 – дом Эльпит-Рабкоммуна”).
According to the plot of the famous novel “Master and MargaritaRussian: Мастер и Маргарита” it was here, in entrance hall 6 on the top floor, that Voland and his party decided to stay when they arrived in Moscow. A real Annushka, whose spilled milk triggered the plot of the whole novel, lived in the same house, just one floor below.
The museum founders tried to recreate the atmosphere of Bulgakov’s life during that period – a time of poverty and obscurity as well as of expectations and his first literary successes. This flat has preserved its initial layout of the 1920s. It comprises a corridor, the White HallRussian: Belyi zal or Белый зал, a kitchen, Bulgakov’s room, the living room, the Blue studyRussian: Siniy kabinet or Синий кабинет and a space for temporary exhibitions. On display in the “Sinister FlatRussian: Nekhoroshaya kvartira or Нехорошая квартира” are items which belonged to Bulgakov’s family, including manuscripts and photos. Similarly to most other museums, exhibits can only be fully understood when accompanied by a Bulgakov historian or museum employee’s account of events. You can get these explanations during a themed tour of the flat or on one of the night walks. The Bulgakov museum follows current cultural trends and organises interactive exhibitions so that its visitors can experience the communal flat lifestyle of the beginning of the previous century at their own pace. This exhibition is called ‘The ShadowsRussian: Teni or Тени‘.
EXHIBITS AND MUSEUM ATMOSPHERE
The weather-beaten house at #10, Bolshaya Sadovaya street has become inseparable from the Bulgakov museum because its focus is to provide a separate exhibition where visitors can enjoy solving riddles and revealing the mysteries of its residents. Moreover, the “Sinister Flat” gives the impression that it lives, whispers, and breathes – a separate division of the museum called “The Fifth DimensionRussian: Pyatoe izmerenie or Пятое измерение” aims to involve people with poor vision into the museum space by reconstructing the sounds of Bulgakov’s time.
The inner layout of the flat and the remarkable staircase became a convenient setting for many productions of the Comedian theatreRussian: teatr «Komediant» or театр «КомедиантЪ». Occasionally it stages performances based on Bulgakov’s works and biography in collaboration with the museum.
While walking up the staircases, do not forget to leave a message: it is highly recommended that you write down your wishes and quotes on the walls here. So that visitors don’t forget that dark forces are in control of apartment #50, there is a glass bottle just outside the door where you can put some coins for some oil for Annushka. You never know what the next twist of your fate will be and you may well appease her spirit to ease your own path.
It is not difficult to see the place where the oil was spilled – all you need to do is to go out of # 302-bis (this is how house #10 is referred to in the novel “Master and Margarita”) and head for the Patriarch’s PondsRussian: Patriarshiye prudy or Патриаршие пруды nearby where the mystic events took place. There are other places connected with Bulgakov close by – his friends, the Kreshkovys’, house in Malaya BronnayaRussian: Малая Бронная street, the Aquarium GardenRussian: sad «Akvarium» or сад «Аквариум» and the Theatre of SatireRussian: teatr Satiry or театр Сатиры (the former Music-HallRussian: Мюзик-холл aka the Variety ShowRussian: Варьете in the novel), and Margarita’s mansionRussian: osobnyak Margarity or особняк Маргариты in SpiridonovkaRussian: Spiridonovka or Спиридоновка street.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com