Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky pereulok 10

English > Locations > Locations from the novel > Bolsjoy Gnezdnikovsky pereulok 10

The master and Margarita met each other for the first time in a lane down from Tverskaya. «Well, you know Tverskaya, of course», the master said, when he told his story to Ivan Bezdomny in the hospital of doctor Stravinsky.

Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky pereulok

The side street which Bulgakov referres to is the Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky pereulok, starting under a large arched opening from Tverskaya, Moscow's biggest shopping street, near to the metro station Tverskaya and the statue of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837).

It is no coincidence that Bulgakov described the encounter between the master and Margarita here. It's the place where he became acquainted with his third wife Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya (1893-1970).

In the beginning of 1929, both Mikhail Bulgakov and Elena Sergeevna were invited to a party at the home of the brothers and artists Moyseenko at Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky pereulok no. 10, apartment 527. In that same building, the Nirnzee house, was also located the Moscow office of the Berlin magazine editor Nakanune, the publisher of Bulgakov's work abroad.

We know little about the Moiseenko brothers. They were artists, and Mikhail Bulgakov would have known them in Kiev, but he was not font of them. In a letter to her brother Aleksander Sergeevich Nyurenberg (1890-1964), Elena Sergeevna wrote on February 13, 1961, that she did not want to go to the Moyseenko brothers at the time, but that they had convinced her by saying that «the famous Bulgakov» would also be there, along with «other interesting people», which were «not mentioned by name».

There is, however, some uncertainty about the date on which this meeting took place. On January 4, 1956, Elena Sergeevna noted in her diary that she first met Bulgakov, who was accompanied by his second wife, Lyubov Yevgenyeva Belozerskaya (1894-1987) on [Thursday] February 28, 1929.

But in the above mentioned letter to her brother, she wrote that she met Bulgakov on the occasion of Масленица [Maslenitsa], a public holiday comparable to the European carnival, on which often pancakes are made. In 1929, however, the Maslenitsa festival was not on [Thursday] February 28, but on [Sunday] March 17.

Mikhail Bulgakov and Elena Sergeevna left the party at the Moyseenko's together and went for a stroll through Moscow. Just like the master and Margarita, they were both married to someone else when they met, and they fell instantly in love. In the diary of Elena Sergeevna we read: «When I met Bulgakov I knew this was my destiny, no matter what, regardless of the incredibly difficult tragedy of a divorce. It was fast, unusually fast for me at least, it was love for lifetime».

Until early 1931, they met each other often, but when Elena Sergeevna's husband, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Shilovsky (1889-1952), found out about the affair, she tried to avoid Bulgakov, swearing that she would not go out anymore, that she would not answer any phone calls, and that she didn't want to receive any letters from him.

Eighteen months later, in June 1932, she went out again for the first time, and she walked into Bulgakov. The first words he said were: «I can not live without you». This time it was for good. In September, she got divorced and on October 4, she married Bulgakov, one day after his divorce from Lyubov Evgenevna Belozerskaya (1895-1987). They would stay together until Bulgakov's death.

When this article was written, the house at number 10 still existed, but I can not guarantee that it's still there when you read this. Like so many other places in Moscow, you will see in this street a contrast which is typical for the city. Some beautiful but dilapidated houses were restored, but others were demolished without much compassion. They were replaced by modern, soulless and far too high buildings, completely disfiguring «this crooked, boring lane».

For the trivia: just like Bulgakov, your webmaster also met his third wife for the first time in Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky pereulok. But this fairy tale did not last as long as Bulgakov's...

Metro: Тверская - (Tverskaya)

Share this page |