Today's family death march took us to the Gorky House Museum, just a 20-minute walk from the Embassy.
The house was built for the Ryabushinsky family back in 1900. They fled the country after the Russian revolution; in 1931, the house was given to Maksim Gorky by Stalin himself. Gorky, for those of you who didn't study Russian literature in college, is one of Russia's most famous authors. For awhile, the Soviets were his biggest fans. But only for awhile. He died in 1936 - rumor has it that Stalin sent him a box of poisoned chocolates.
Designed by Fyodor Shechtel, the art-nouveau house looks a bit like an underwater mansion, with wave patterns on the windows and balconies, green and blue-hued stained glass, and a jellyfish lamp on the central stone-carved staircase. It's really quite amazing. Even more amazing is that the kids all liked it.
|Looking up at the jellyfish lamp and the staircase.|
|Looking down from above at the jellyfish lamp.|
|One of the many stained glass windows.|
|I think this column of snakes would give me nightmares if I lived here.|
|That jellyfish lamp again...|
After our tour we continued on to the Arbat, where the kids were rewarded for their good behavior with lunch at Shake Shack. But first: we had to make snow angels.