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Excursion to the house of Russian travelers

30 may 2017

As a part of the cultural and educational project Open City, implemented with the support of Tricolor TV, an excursion to the building of the Russian Geographical Society screening «The Architect Gabriel Baranovsky» took place on May 25, 2017. The guests got acquainted with the history of the Russian Geographical Society Public Organization, and of the building erected for it on the Grivtsova lane, having visited those premises where ordinary people are not allowed.

The historical view of the Great Meeting Room includes a modern projector for demonstration of films and presentations.

The excursion is conducted by the head of the scientific library of the Society Svetlana D. Mangutova who not only has encyclopedic knowledge about the history and activities of the Russian Geographical Society but also is distinguished by the skill of the narrator. A small introduction prepares the guests for the perception of the film which is shown in the Great Hall where the meetings of the Society take place.

Details of the interior of the Great Hall and other rooms were created by the architect Baranovsky

Highlighted in the film «The Architect Gabriel Baranovsky» events and facts about the architect and the building he erected for Russian travelers are supplemented by a guide. So the tourists find out why the columns in the hall are so unusually covered with brass strips, why the number of holes in the seats varies from one chair to another, and what’s their function (they do have it!), what difficulties the restorers encountered with in 2010, and who stood behind this historic rostrum of a bizarre shape.

Maps located behind the podium should be considered in detail, as well as other design elements. So, stucco molding with floral motifs concealed a surprise that surprised restorers

Guests are introduced to non-standard solutions in the design and layout of the building — balconies, stairs, additional corridors that amazed a hundred years ago and delight now. The excursionists pass to the Middle and Small meeting rooms, and also inspect the office of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society where the incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin holds meetings.

The guide shows guests folios in leather bindings unfolding and displaying neatly the maps drown up in the nineteenth century, supplementing reports on expeditions. Each volume in the bookcases of these rooms is unique. Many of them still supply researchers with previously unknown and valuable information for history and geography information: ex-libris, donative inscriptions, litter on the fields help to supplement and even get new information about the life of the owners and authors of these books, travelers and their discoveries.

The cabinets of the small meeting room hold unique reports about the expeditions

The final part of the excursion takes place in the scientific library, whose head tells about the intricacies of manufacturing and storage of geographical atlases and reports on expeditions, the arrangement of shelving and tables, and also demonstrates a unique edition of an atlas with color images.

The Scientific Library of the Russian Geographical Society is the department of the library of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The originality of the building structure, the history of research, discovery and travel spreading the boundaries of the world, make a tour of the house of Russian travelers rich and exciting. We remind you that you can participate in this and other events of the Open City project by registering on  the site of the Open City.

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