KGB Headquarters Lubyanka, Moscow
Back in 1979 I was on a student tour in the Soviet Union (as it was called) While in Moscow I walked around the KBG headquarters to see what it was all about. There was a basement window with steel bars. It was bare except for some metal cups and eating utensils. In the next room were crew-cut young men in white shirts and black neckties sitting at tables and playing chess against each other. On the wall was a picture depicting martial arts karate attack positions!
As I walked further, I was approached by a well-tailored, blonde haired formidable looking man in his mid-30's
"You need information?" he asked
"No, not really."
"You know where you are?"
"How do you know?"
"I read a lot."
"You certainly do. Where do you come from?"
"I just arrived from New York."
By now I wanted to get away from there as fast as possible. I think I'd seen enough!
Lubyanka Square in downtown Moscow is the site of the site of the Lubyanka head-quarters of the KGB.
The center of the square was dominated centre by a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the first communist secret police, the CheKa. Like many others, the statue was removed in August 1991.
The Lubyanka actually consists of three buildings:
The main yellow building, which is often shown on television, predates the Revolution and was taken over by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Containing the Lubyanka prison, this building is now the headquarters of the Border Troops, and it also contains a single Federal Security Service (FSB) Directorate.
The Federal Security Service headquarters building is the gray one to left side, No. 1/3.
Since 1984 (when KGB chief Yuri Andropov became chairman of the Communist Party and decided to improve the KGB's public image) tourists have been able to visit a KGB museum in a gray stone building behind the Lubyanka.
And since the Soviet collapse in 1991, Russia's intelligence agencies have tried to create an impression of openness, giving guided tours through the yellow Lubyanka.
The new KGB Museum, which is open to the public, is housed in the Lubyanka building.
The Lubyanka building was built in 1897 as the head office of Russia's insurance company. In 1918 it was taken over by the Bolscheviks and served as the headquarter of the secret police KGB and a prison.
Nowadays the building houses the FSB (Federal Security Service) and a KGB Museum, which can only be visited with guided tours.
The Lubyanka is located in Moscow's city centre at Lubyanskaya ploshchad (Metro: Lubyanka).
Every year on the first weekend in September, Moscow celebrates the city's birthday - these events date back to 1986 and were intiated by Boris Yelstin as family entertainment. Signs are the week before, you see every building getting a lick of paint and every shop gets a sign usually showing the father of the city, Yury Dolgoruk (Yury the Long Arm) astride his horse. You can see his statue half way along Tverskaya.
Red Square, Tversakaya, Theatre Square, Lubyanka, opposite Pushkin's Statue and elsewhere
There's a lot of hype about Lubyanka. That is, when you tell people that you're going to Moscow, there will inevitably be someone who tells you that you have to go to see Lubyanka, or visit the prison or something. Once you get there, however, you realize that there are far better things to do in Moscow than come to Lubyanka. Like many edifices dedicated to bureaucracy, this one is not quite exciting or beautiful - even less so when you consider the number of people who were tortured and murdered by the NKVD and then KGB within its walls. There is a museum, but you must be a citizen of the Russian Federation to be able to enter, and you must arrange your visit beforehand.
Some British people told me that their most interesting expirience in Sankt-Peterburg was an excursion to a prison. So, I think that a visit to KGB museum in Moscow will be also unforgetable.
We have been there a few years ago, and it was quite interesting to see the Russian version of the Agent 007's equipment, and it was all original. So, it is entetaining for the kids and the whole family.
The Lubyanka is the popular name for the headquarters of the KGB and affiliated prison on Lubyanka Square in Moscow. It is a large building with a facade of yellow brick, designed by Alexander V. Ivanov in 1897 and augmented by Aleksey Shchusev in 1940-1947.
The Lubyanka was originally built in 1898 as the Neo-Baroque headquarters of the All-Russia Insurance Company, noted for its beautiful parquet floors and pale green walls. Denying its massiveness, the edifice avoids an impression of heroic scale: isolated Palladian and Baroque details, such as the minute pediments over the corner bays and the central loggia, are lost in an endlessly-repeating classicizing palace facade, where three bands of cornices emphasize the horizontal lines. A clock is centered in the uppermost band of the facade.
Following the Bolshevik Revolution, the structure was seized by the government for the headquarters of the secret police, then called the Cheka. In Soviet Russian jokes it was referred to as the tallest building in Moscow, since Siberia could be seen from its basement.
They seem to happen a lot, especially in September, this one was outside the Lubyanka - former headquarters of the KGB. The pictures tell the story.
I came across this randomly whilst walking about the city.
Metropol with its fin-de-cicle style is probably the most prestigious, beautiful and expensive hotel in Moscow. Try to visit its restaurant to savor its astonishing style.
Other similarly styled hotels of that period are Natzional and Savoy. They are also beautiful, but definitely not as grand.
Russia has waged wars in the XIX century to liberate the Balkan Orthodox nations, and one of the decisive battles was at Pleven. It cost the joint Russian and Romanian forces close to 40,000 dead, but led the way to freedom of Bulgaria.
In memory of the fallen and friendship between Russia and Bulgaria a striking monument was erected in Moscow. It is located behind the Polytechnical museum on Novaya square.
Since 1917 this area was home to the state secret police, KGB. There were plans to move it to a new building after the war, but it remained on this site. If you are particularly interested, there is a way to arrange a guided tour, inquire at your hotel. In front of the building stood a large statue of Dzerzinsky, the founder of the organization. And on the other side of the square there is a modest memorial to innocent victims of secret police which arrested, jailed and executed scores of innocent people during the regime of Stalin.
If your in Moscow and somewhat fascinated by the legacy of the Soviet Union and the secret police that went with it, responsible for countless mass murders and purges of the Russian State then the Lubyanka is well worth a visit. Although visits inside are not allowed as it remains a government building, its impressive and somewhat oppressive as you wander around the outside and try to picture what must have gone under Stalin.
the former KGB headquarters located on lubyanka square in central moscow was home to the soviet secret police. founded by feliks "iron feliks" dzerzhinskiy the KGB was originally named the cheka. under this building was the infamous lubyanka prison were hundreds of thousands of russians were interrogated, tortured and imprisoned. during the stalin era millions of russians were sent to gulags and many of them passed through this building. this infamous site is not open to the public.
The ex KGB building at Lubjanka is still the home of the organisation that succeeded the KGB, a move which sparked a lot of controversy. Due to its notoriety, there is still a constant stream of visitors to see the facade of the building, although there is no way of entering the building for tourists. It has become a monument unwittingly, representing the oppression and brutality of the KGB regime from the Soviet era. Worth doing en route somewhere else but not really a sight of merit in its own right otherwise.
Lubyanka is about 30 min walk from Red Square and the walk can easy take you via the most impressive Bolshoi Ballet which is housed in a very ornate building which opened its doors in 1825.The Lubyanka is outstanding, partly due to its size, but also for its dark history. Conducted tours can now be arranged to view inside this notorius place and a useful contact for these are as the following website