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Museum of Elabuga merchants

Museum of Elabuga merchantsThere is a small one-storey red brick building, part of architectural ensemble of the university court in the courtyard of the main building of Elabuga state teachers training university. On June 11, 2006 in this building after capital repair works museum of Elabuga-Russian merchants was opened, and it has no analogs in the country. Museum of the merchants intended to show the many-sided Russian tradition of charitable work on the example of merchants families of Elabuga: Staheevy, Girbasovy, Ushkovy, Chernovy.

Museum of Elabuga merchants was placed in the university not accidentally, its building was constructed at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries by an amazing woman, hereditary honorary citizen Glafira Feodorovna Staheeva (1847-1927), who accomplished a real feat by building a monument of its kind – erected by a wife forevermore in memory of her dead husband – Vasily Grigoryevich Staheev (1842-1896). She was the one who laid pedagogic traditions of our city and continued philanthropic traditions of Elabuga merchants, who have traditionally spent huge amounts of money for charity not only in Elabuga, but all over Russia.

Museum of Elabuga merchantsThe Museum consists of two rooms and includes several thematic exhibitions: "Merchant dynasties of Elabuga", "Entrepreneurship of Elabuga merchants", "Social and charity activities of Elabuga merchants", "Merchants' legacy in modern Elabuga and Russia". Stands represent the genealogy of the largest merchants’ families: Staheevy, Ushkovy, Girbasovy, Chernovy; pictures of merchants and their families; photography of schools and churches, built at the expense of merchants and other.

The main part of the museum exhibition is the section "Life and mores of provincial merchants”, that recalls the interior of merchants room, working room, ladies’ room and trade shops. In this section original museum objects dominate – unique items and antiques from the private collection of University Rector – Professor N.M. Valeev.

At the entrance to the Museum, "the merchant's shop" is located, where on shelves are exposed goods that were traded in the XIX century by all merchants. There were many wine shops in Elabuga. Traditionally, the shops were located next to a house or occupied the first floor of a house. Since the second half of the XIX century trade was conducted in stores, which had large windows, which at the same time served as a showcase and a place for advertisement. Most of the merchants' shops remained in the old part of Elabuga to this day, giving it a unique flavour of a provincial merchants’ city of the XIX century.

Women in the merchants’ families spent a lot of time doing needlework: they embroidered monograms on bed linen, curtains, and bedspreads. There was a special ladies’ room in the rich merchants’ houses that is represented in the Museum by sewing machines "Singer" of the XIX century, dressing table, a pair of bentwood chairs from the collection of Staheevy’s chef, embroidered tablecloths.

The perfect addition to the Museum is a monument of writer-merchant D.I. Staheev in front of the main building of the University and bust of G.F. Staheeva on the second floor of the main building of ESTTU symbolizing the contribution of Elabuga merchants to the culture of Russia.

Museum address: 423600, Elabuga, Kazan str., 89.

Telephone (85557) 7-03-17

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