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Fodor's Moscow & St. Petersburg
Pronounced "goom," the initials are short for Gosudarstvenny Universalny Magazin, or State Department Store. This staggeringly enormous emporium, formerly called the Upper Trading Rows, was built in 1889–93 and has long been one of the more famous sights of Moscow. Three long passages with three stories of shops run the length of the building. A glass roof covers each passage, and there are balconies and bridges on the second and third tiers. Another series of passages runs perpendicular to the three main lines, creating a mazelike mall. It all feels like a cavernous turn-of-the-20th-century European train station. There are shops (both Western and Russian) aplenty here now, with all the world's big-name boutique brands crowding the first floor, and a saunter down one of the halls is enjoyable. One can't-miss spot is the newly restored Gastronom No. 1, which runs the length of one side of the ground floor. It's a nostalgic supermarket with pricey caviar and champagne, as well as lowbrow canned meats that Russian World War II vets would recognize. In the adjacent hall, the store also runs a row of small cafés that serve affordable and tasty eclectic fare. Back across the ground floor from the market is the elegant Bosco restaurant, which has a small summer terrace that looks out onto Red Square.
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