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The Museum of Russian merchants history

The Museum of Russian merchants history

   “Museum of “Russian Merchants’ Life”
   Epifan is an ancient Russian town. It was founded on the shore of the Don River in 1566. From now on it has become a shelter town on the border of Rus and protected Moscow from the Tatar invaders.
   In the late 17th century, Russian borders became wider and Epifan loses its guardian positions. Comfortable location on the crossway of many roads largely determined its future as a trade center. A lot of rich merchants moved to Epifan and started their own business in that comfortable town.
   “Museum of Russian Merchants’ Life” is situated in the estate that used to belong to one of the famous Epifan’s merchants - Anton Baibakov. After revolution his house was given under a state control. In different periods a hospital and a pharmacy situated there. In the 90th years of the last century Russian government adopted a law on restitution of property to the rightful owner. And Nadezhda Klimova, a descendant of Baibakov, sold the estate to the State Museum-Preserve “The Kulikovo Field”.
   The house occupied an important place in the life of a merchant. And today our guests can get acquainted with the traditional living quarters of the merchant’s house.
   The “Merchant’s Living Room” was the biggest and the lightest room of the house. Hosts could receive guests in that room; entertain to them with Russian pryanik and tea from samovar. Combination of traditional principles and newfangled trends are reflected in the design of the drawing room. Old furniture and dishes, a camera and an accordion, clocks and a letter of commendation, all that merge together without style and time in our exposition.
   The “Study” was done of one of the rooms in the merchants’ house, in which he worked. In this room the merchant counted profits, planned trips to obtain goods and maintained different business notes and accounts.
   There were special recommendations for the design of this study. It needed to be well lit and the windows looked out onto the garden or orchard, in order to avoid the noise that might come with other areas of the property. The furniture included a large writing table, bookcases, sofas and armchairs. Sometimes the design was supplemented with a nightstand or bedside table, a candlestick and a clock.
   Russian merchants liked to use all the possibilities for saving money. That’s why they used adjoining territory of the house for construction of shops. One of traditional merchants’ shops our guests can see in as a part of the museum.
   The  “Merchant’s Shop” is one of the most interesting exposition. As far as the 19th century, merchant’s estate consisted of a dwelling house, of a store and of a cellar, our museum continues that tradition and today you can visit a real merchant’s shop and even to buy some souvenirs there. Variety of goods and playing program “being a guest of Baibakov” will help you to feel yourself in the 19th century, to understand traditions of Russian merchants and to feel the spirit of Russian hospitality. In our exhibition you will be acquainted with locksmith's work, food, dishes, souvenirs, small wares, harness and many others goods. Besides goods, the exposition will acquaint us with monetary unit of those times, with prices and trade relations between towns.
   The “Store Cellar” is the exhibit of tare, measures and weights used in the end of the 19th century. Such kind of cellars is still widely used in villages and in small towns to keep vegetables and food for the winter. In our cellar you will see the way it was done in the end of the 18th century, the way people stored food, alcohol, meat and vegetables. Also you will be acquainted with different types of weights.

   8, Kimovskaya st., Epifan village, Kimovsk district, Tula region, 301740 Russia
   Main office: + 7 (4872) 36-28-34, 36-16-63
   Branch office: + 7 (48735) 7-22-65

   Museum is daily open:
   Summer time (from 28 of April till 30 of September) from 10.00 am till 05.00 pm without day offs.
   Winter time (from 01 October till 27 of April) from 10.00 am till 05.00 pm, day off - Tuesday.
   Cleaning day is the last Monday of each month.