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House of Unions (Assembly of the Nobility)

1, Bolshaya Dmitrovka St.

The House of Unions building (earlier Assembly of the Nobility) appeared in Moscow no later than 1755 and was built for the Moscow assembly of the nobility by M.F. Kazakov. 

The structure was built in the classical style created for Prince V.M. Dolgoruky-Krymsky but in 1784 his estate was acquired by the Moscow Assembly of the Nobility as a place to hold balls and public functions.  In 1784-1790 Kazakov conducted reconstruction of the building, significantly expanding it and changing the layout.  In the place of the interior courtyard he put a colonnaded hall with a marble statue of Ekaterina II.  After the fire of 1812, the building was resurrected by the architect A.N. Bakarev.  In 1903 - 1908 A.F. Meyser conducted major reconstruction, drastically changing the proportions of the building's façade and using the techniques of 18th century classicism.

The Hall of the Assembly of the Nobility where provincial and city-dwelling landowners searched out suitable parties for their daughters is reminiscent in many ways of the pages of works of Russian literature - for example, "War and Peace" (Natasha Rostova's first ball) and "Eugene Onegin" (Tatiana's first ball).  In 1860 a division of the Russian Musical Society the opening symphonic concert in the colonnaded hall; the organizer and conductor was N.G. Rubenstein.

After the October Revolution of 1917, by the decree of the Committee of People's Commissars, the building was handed over to professional organizations.  The first concert for a working class audience was held in 1918, in attendance were V.I. Lenin and N.K. Krupskaya.  Lenin lay in state in the colonnaded hall of the House of Unions from 23-27 January 1924. After this, the colonnaded hall became a commonly used place for high officials of the Soviet government to lay in state (for example with Stalin on March 6-9 1953)

Now, the CJSC "House of Unions" rents out halls of the House of Unions for holding various events, congresses and conferences.

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