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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Light Up Your Day

MTOgni Moskvy offers more than just old lights.
Ogni Moskvy, a little museum located across from the Armenian Embassy, documents the evolution of the Moscow streetlight, starting from the 18th century, when the city installed a few lights in the Kremlin, Kitai-Gorod and other central areas, and had to call in professional lamplighters from St. Petersburg to operate them. At that time, the lamps hardly gave off more light than a candle and were only lit on special occasions.

The senate even obliged Muscovites whose houses faced the street to put candles in their windows to help make the streets brighter: four candles for a big window and two for a small one. However, Moscow thoroughfares were pretty much pitch black at night until the industrial era hit the city full-scale at the beginning of the 20th century. You can see the early electric street lamps and note the changes in their design through the 20th century.

The collection is housed in 17th- century chambers with vaulted ceilings and low doorframes. The museum was set up here in 1984 and was first opened by MosGorSvet, the company responsible for operating streetlights and street clocks in the city. This explains why there is a small room full of giant clocks, one of which ticks so loudly that it makes visitors jump. Ogni Moskvy is also known for its evening bus tours around central Moscow and interactive programs for children, which can include science experiments, fireworks and candle painting. See their web site for complete information.


"Ogni Moskvy" museum,, 624-73-74
3/1, Armyansky Pereulok M. Lubyanka, Chistye Prudy or Kitai-Gorod
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.