Whilst by the sounds of it the Petrovsky Passage may sound like some iconic landmark in Moscow, which was called such after a moment of unforgettable treason or perhaps some heroism, the reality is, a little more tame. The Petrovsky Passage is not, as many may believe, some secret alleyway found in Moscow, but rather a department store, and a damn big one at that.
We have to recognize that not everyone comes to Moscow in order to enjoy the history and the incredible architecture and culture which is on display throughout the capital, but also to get involved in some good, old fashioned retail therapy. If you do fall into this category of tourist, then here is exactly why the Paetrovsky Passage is the best place for you to go, in order to get your retail kicks.
History of the Store
This elite department store was opened way back in 1906. To give this department store some context, it is the Moscow version of London’s Selfridges or New York’s Lord & Taylor, such was the importance of the store when it first opened. Prior to this store opening up, there were no department stores in Moscow and the very idea of such a store was incredibly foreign to most.
The store was in fact purpose built and the engineer of the building Vladimir Shukhov, was also responsible for many more designs across the Moscow skyline. It is the large dome filled with cylindrical glass that is most striking about this building and despite redesigns this has very much stayed the same throughout the ages.
In the early 1990s the building was given a makeover and very much brought into the modern era. The store remained elite and sold high end items such as clothing, homewares and food, and since that revamp it is widely regarded as one of the most expensive shopping areas in the whole of Europe.
Much like Harrods in London, many of those who come to the store do so from a tourism perspective rather than to actually buy any items.