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Underground Printing-Нouse

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Creativity and courage are two of the main attributes of revolutionaries and underground activists.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Social Democratic Party succeeded in accomplishing what is arguably the most audacious enterprise in the whole history of revolution in Russia. Not only did they legally settle right under the nose of the police department, but also arranged for the periodic publishing of “disruptive literature,” that is illegal newspapers and leaflets.

Today, the “1905-1906 Underground Printing Office” museum reproduces the atmosphere surrounding these extraordinary events with astonishing accuracy.

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Moscow Armed Escort Battalion
Government Wine Warehouse
Butyrskaya Prison Fortress
Miussky Tram Depot
Georgian Settlement / Tishinsky Market
Caucasian shop
covert printing office
The original safe house is still standing in an old Moscow district. It was here, during the First Russian Revolution (1905-1907)*, that the illegal printing office operated, masked away from unwanted curious eyes in quite a sophisticated and cunning manner.
The underground printing office was arranged in the basement of the fruit wholesale shop, opened specially as a “cover-up.” Among undergrounders this object’s codename was the “Caucasian shop”.
Yet the main danger lay in the surroundings of the house.

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The shop was situated on Lesnaya Street in Moscow, on the ground floor of a typical commercial apartment building. Its owner, Kuzma Kolupaev, a Cartwright, probably knew about the underground activity, but was afraid to report it: he would have inevitably ended up as a co-conspirator along with the tenants.

The cover-up story made to avoid attention was utterly simple and convincing.
The wholesale shop was registered in the name of Marian Kalandadze, who was not directly involved in the printing office activities and was actually nothing more than a frontman. Thanks to his impeccable reputation, he had the right to trade, including doing business in Moscow. However, according to the conspiracy plan he was not supposed to be seen in either in his “own” store or anywhere else in the city.
In the owner’s absence, the “manager,” who also controlled the covert operations, ran the store.
The hardworking Georgian family man could not be knit into any revolutionary activities for the authorities. The manager’s family, consisting of his wife, a young daughter and the domestic help, completed the decent image.

The shop’s owner, Marian Kalandadze, was in fact a revolutionary and a port loader in Batumi.

Please, use the interactive model of the museum to go inside!
Meanwhile, a completely illegal activity took place in the basement of the shop.
For a whole year, the best members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party printed revolutionary leaflets and the “Rabochiy” (“Labourer”) newspaper here.