Dachas of Kratovo - an exhibition in the Museum of Architecture

The Russian word “dacha” was transferred to many languages without translation. This concept of the second house arises a lot of interest as deep-engraved part of the Russian mental code. Dachas reached the peak of their splendor during Stalin’s era when they were provided as a reward to the remarkable people for their achievements. Peredelkino settlement got famous as the writers’s dacha, artists were provided with 1 hectare plots in the settlement called “Soviet Artists’, and polar explorers – people’s heroes of the 1930ss – were rewarded with dachas in Kratovo, 40 km South-East of the today border of Moscow.

Today these wooden, usually brightly painted houses with spacious verandas are slowly going, getting replaced with “modern” concrete boxes. Nostalgia for that classical dacha from the one’s happy childhood inspired the exhibition in the Moscow Museum of Architecture. It all started with the Instagram of Fyodor Savintsev (fsavintsev) – a photographer who got his plot on land in Kratovo from his polar explorer great grandfather. In 2020 he started taking pictures of the old neighboring houses and writing down the stories of their owners. At the exhibition the photos he has taken are accompanied by the “islands” of recreated dacha interior from the dachas’ golden age. On the first floor, leaned against the wall, there are wooden doors and window platbands thrown away by the houses new owners.

How to find Museum of Architecture? If you know the Lenin’s Library, you will find the museum easily. It is the next building up Vozdvizhenka street (towards Arbat) – Vozdvizhenka, 5 Buy the ticket there (300 RUB) and go through “The Ruin” - an old building in the museum’s yard. The museum is open daily except Monday.

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