Margarita's House

Nikolay Galkin/TASS
The researchers of Mikhail Bulgakov's works are divided on the topic of Margarita's house. Bulgakov does not specify which of Moscow's mansions it was, describing it thus, "Margarita Nikolayevna and her husband lived alone in the whole of the top floor of a delightful house in a garden in one of the side streets near the Arbat. It was a charming place." In other chapter Bulgakov writes the following about her residence, "Margarita woke up… in her bedroom, that looked out of an attic window of their top-floor flat." In the third chapter her house is described as "lit on one side by moonlight, dark on the other, with an attic that has a triple-casement window – a house in the Gothic style."

The best fit for this description is building 17 at Ulitsa Spiridonovka (Spiridonovka Street), two steps away from the Patriarshiye Ponds. This is the mansion of Zinaida Morozova, the wife of entrepreneur Savva Morozov. The mansion was built by Fyodor Shekhtel, who worked in the Art Nouveau style. The interiors of this Gothic castle were done by Mikhail Vrubel. After the death of her husband, Zinaida Morozova sold the house along with all the furniture to the family of another industrialist and philanthropist Pavel Ryabushinsky. Today this well-tended mansion, surrounded by a lawn and a flower garden, serves as the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry, so entrance on the premises is forbidden without a special pass.