Russian Valenki Museum in Moscow, How to get there exposition

Museum of felt boots

There is a museum in Moscow where visitors have the opportunity to learn more about such a seemingly ordinary item of clothing as valenki.

Valenki is a shoe that is considered one of the traditional elements of Russian culture. The importance of this item of clothing for the Russian people is reflected in songs, ditties, riddles, proverbs, sayings and other cultural elements, which touched upon the theme of valenki. The importance of this type of footwear displayed in the various traditions and customs. For example, on Christmas Eve girls through valenki fortune-telling. It looked as follows: a felt boot was thrown over the fence, and a conclusion was made depending on how it landed: if the toe it was turned away from the house, this meant that soon a girl expects marriage. If the felt-toe was falling towards the house, respectively, it meant that this event could not be expected in the near future.

And if a girl dreamed that she was buying valenki, it was interpreted in the dream books as a sign that she was waiting for a marriage with a loving and caring husband. In this interpretation, you can see the connection with valenki as a symbol of warmth, comfort and family well-being. It is no coincidence that these shoes in the old days often acted as a gift on the occasion of the wedding. However, the described examples are not a complete list of options for the use and interpretation of valenki in various elements of Russian folk culture.

Moscow museum, devoted to the Russian felt boots, was opened in December 2001. On the occasion of this event a great holiday was organized. Walking into the opening of the institution, the guests could see the dancing brown bear, holding in his paws a felt boot. During the celebration the entourage of Russian folk culture was respected: the festival was attended by folk groups, in the performance of which you can hear the author’s ditties along with well-known folk, and the artists and guests danced round dances. On this remarkable day for the museum various dignitaries of Moscow who were present at the celebration left their wishes to the new institution in the guest book. That was the way the activities of the Museum began.

The advantage of the museum is the fact that you can not only see the made felt products, but also get acquainted with the processes of making this kind of shoes. In particular, here is an opportunity to see the wool, which is the source material for felting felt boots, as well as various accessories needed during their manufacture. The devices that are present in the museum include a tool designed for felting wool, a felting loom, a weaving loom and other similar devices.

Of course, it would be difficult to imagine such a museum without the valenki themselves. The collection of this type of footwear, located in the museum, is vast: here you can see valenki for every taste, made of different materials, and descriptions to the exhibits allow you to learn more about them. Colorful are the examples of valenki covered with Gzhel paintings. Original exhibit is the space valenki, designed to keep your feet warm in zero gravity. Quite clearly demonstrate the imagination of their creators valenki made in the form of an airplane (with attached wings and propeller), steam locomotive (with its wheels), mushrooms (with typical bright hats), etc. As the authors of valenki were different categories of people from children to professionals, such as designers, who could make this clothing item for participation in certain competitions.

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Special attention should be paid to historical exhibits, which are elements that illustrate a particular era. Such exhibits include, for example, unique painted valenki, belonging to the end of the XIX century. Interesting shoes are felt boots with hollows for heels – such shoes were made in the 1920s and 1950s. The advantage of such shoes was the ability to wear them over, say, shoes, and then, coming to some institution like a village club, take off the outer shoes and stay in the shoes.

Another interesting historical exhibit is the black cloth shoes, which in the Soviet Union were nicknamed “Farewell Youth” and “Farewell”. These cheap shoes, which were sometimes worn over boots, were popular among retirees, hence the nickname “Farewell Youth. Another explanation for the origin of this nickname could be the fact that wearing such stiff shoes causes discomfort to elderly people who suffer from arthritis. Another interesting example is the felt boots, worn by Russian athletes at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, USA.

Interestingly, the museum exhibition includes not only boots and objects associated with them. Here visitors get a chance to see, in particular, a unique collection of shoe soles. There are examples of footwear from different regions of Russia. There is a separate section of the museum, where visitors can recreate the interior of a peasant hut. Here you can see various objects belonging to the everyday life of bygone times.

The museum slogan “HAND Touch is a MUST!” highlights one of the advantageous features of this institution. The opportunity to touch unique exhibits at this institution may be of interest to a variety of visitors. Tourists may also be interested to watch a video related to the Russian history of valenki production. The institution also offers an interesting opportunity: here you can buy a special blank and create a souvenir felt boots with your own hands.

On the wall of the institution draws attention to a portrait of Viktor Mikhailovich Timoshenko, who acted as the founder of this museum, being the head of an enterprise called “Horizon”, engaged in the production of felt boots among other things. Near the museum there is a store, which sells products made by this factory. Here you can buy products made of felt, designer valenki and other interesting things.

The museum offers master classes. Children can learn how to decorate felt boots. Adults can learn skills of felting.

Address: 115114, Moscow, 2nd Kozhevnichesky Lane, 12. 12 Phone: +7 (910) 402-59-13

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Museum of Russian Valenki in Moscow: history, exposition, rules of visiting

One of the most common associations that haunt foreigners and associated with Russia is a frosty winter. Inhabitants of warmer climates begin to shiver just at the thought of the real Russian cold, and certainly how to cope with them, can not even imagine. Fortunately, our ancestors found a great solution to combat the cold. This, of course, valenki. Traditional Russian footwear made of natural wool will perfectly warm your feet at extremely low temperatures. Unfortunately, not all our contemporaries know about this remarkable invention of the ancient Slavs, and if they are familiar with this subject of shoes, then only indirectly. And we all know that better to see once than hear a hundred times. That is why we advise you to go to the museum of felt boots, where you can not only look at the most different models, but also to learn the history of the product and the manufacturing process of such shoes.

No frost is not terrible!

Whose idea?

The museum of felt boots was opened in 2001 on the private initiative of entrepreneur Viktor Mikhailovich Timoschenko. He was not just interested in the subject of felted shoes. Himself he worked at a felt factory in Kazan, so that the process of making felt boots he knew from within. In order to show it to others, Victor Mikhailovich designed the museum exposition, devoted to the warm woolen felt boots. The opening of the museum turned into a real holiday: the visitors, together with members of the folk ensemble, danced round dances, sang ditties, and the real highlight was dancing with felt boots in the paws of the bear.

Since then the museum has been popular not only with Muscovites, but with visitors as well. The statistics of the museum workers shows that 10 to 30 people visit the museum every day.

Features of the museum

The founders and staff of the museum are trying to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in the exhibition rooms, not forgetting about the atmosphere as well. The soft sound of a gramophone, traditional ornaments and patterns used in the decoration of the stands – all this allows you to soak up the spirit of antiquity and from an ordinary viewer to become a participant in the history that is unfolding right in front of you.

A unique feature of the museum, is its motto “Touching with your hands is a must”. And in fact, every visitor can not just look at the individual exhibits, but also take them in hand, feel the thick felt and even try on a felt boot to assess how it will look on your foot. Children are just delighted by this opportunity and a visit to the exhibition is a bright surprise and memory for a long time.

The museum offers a very interesting excursion program. Each tour has its own themes, ranging from the history of felt boots and traditions of manufacturing of valenki in Russia, ending with the role of the valenki in the history of World War II, etc. Excursions allow you to learn a lot of new and useful information, will enjoy both children and adults.

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Fancy felt boots with unusual embroidery, paintings and decorations, can be found on many stands of the museum. These exhibits attract the most attention of visitors, and the opportunity to touch them, only fuels the interest of adults and children to the original shoes.

Rules of visiting

The museum of valenki in Moscow is quite small, so it works by prior call. You can check the phone number on the official website of the museum. The entrance ticket for adult visitors costs a hundred rubles, for seniors and children it will be twice cheaper. If you are planning a mass visit to the Museum of the felt boots group from 10 to 30 people with the excursion, then the ticket will have to pay extra. In this case, the standard ticket will cost about 300 rubles, the price of a discount will be slightly lower. In this case, for an adult who accompanies a child, there is a special discount – the entrance fee will be 500 rubles for two people.

We love museums, which are not made in a museum-like way, not by the rules, but with soul. The museum “Russian valenki” – such a museum. So we decided to tell our readers about it and recommend it to visit.

Прогуляться по музею валенок и посмотреть экспонаты —>

This is the premises of the museum. Not enough? No, very much actually! In such a small room is placed a lot of interesting exhibits and informative comments on them, each exhibit is described in detail. But it is better to book a tour, it will be more interesting. The guide will tell you everything in detail and very vividly! By the way, “Russian felt boots” is a museum, where you can and should touch the exhibits, which is very appealing to children.

These valenki were made by visitors. In the museum you can buy a blank and make your own souvenir valenki:

The valenki in the museum are mostly made for various contests. Only in this corner of the wall pictures are signed in Russian and English, but, according to the guide, foreigners rarely come here. And, by the way, in vain.

And now we will show some exhibits. But just a little bit! Because you must see it with your own eyes!

Gzhel Valenki

Space valenki, called “untyata”. They are used in zero gravity conditions to keep feet warm.

Airplane valenki

…and valenki steamer.

Wool, from which felts felts

Tools for felting wool

A felting machine

A separate stand is devoted to the lapti, the national Russian summer shoe

Improvised hut

Weaving loom. It’s not used for felting felt boots, it’s just there as a peasant’s hut interior.

On the wall hangs a portrait:

Victor Timoshenko, the chairman of board of directors of ZOA Horizont that produces valenki, created this museum almost 10 years ago

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Next to the museum, there is a store of the Horizon factory, where you can buy felted goods, even designer felt boots costing about 6 000 rubles, as well as various textiles

“There’s nothing more original Russian than valenki. To preserve them is to preserve the Russian culture” – this phrase, written in the visitors’ book, became a kind of motto of the museum.

Information for visitors: Cost of visit for adults – 50 rubles. for pupils and pensioners – 20 rubles. Cost of the tour Group of 10 to 25 people Adults – 100 rubles per person Pupils and Pensioners – 70 rubles per person

Address: Moscow, 2nd Kozhevnicheskiy lane, 12 tel: +7 (495) 77-525-77 (ext.279) Phone: +7 (910) 402-5913

Museum website:

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm and is filed under Where to go, Museums, Recommended. You can subscribe to RSS 2.0 to comment on this entry.

A group visit

As part of the excursion service guests will be told about how man throughout history has used sheep’s wool, will be shown how to make valenki by hand, demonstrating the process of making shoes on step-by-step samples. Visitors will also watch a unique documentary, filmed at the very first factory for the production of felt boots.

The main exposition of the museum “Russian felt boots” is represented by a variety, sometimes even surprising instances: there are painted white felt boots for little girls, there are models with heels, there is a massive version, in which you can walk only in the wood drifts.

Valenki authors

You will see not only felt boots but also a collection of their summer counterparts – booties. There is also a place that recreates the atmosphere of a Slavic hut.

Russian Valenki museum

This original museum “Russian Valenki” opened its doors to visitors back in 2001. Valenki are not only traditional Russian footwear, but also a work of art, and you can see it in the museum located in the house № 12 on Second Kozhevnichesky Lane. Millions of Russians have long worn these comfortable, warm and inexpensive shoes. And only in the XXI century they succeeded in immortalizing the history of felt boots by opening to the public an amazing and unique exhibition – there is no other such show anywhere in the world.

The exhibition program allows you to learn a lot of interesting facts about the life of such a somewhat obsolete object. A documentary, which is on display at the Russian Valenki museum, will introduce you to the path a sheep’s wool takes to become a shoe. On the stands of the exhibition is a collection of the most diverse and amazing models of valenki. There are even rarities, such as painted models of the XIX century. In those days they were made to measure. And the greatest fashionistas and aesthetes decorated them with embroidery.

During Soviet times valenki began to be produced on an industrial scale. Then at some time in the cities they were abandoned as being unfashionable things, not like what they are worn in the West. But people in the regions always continued to wear these simple, warm and reliable shoes. Today, national traditions are being revived in the capital. Young and talented designers turned their eyes on the good old felt boots, proven by time to be functional. And as exhibits have appeared many amazing models of valenki by modern masters, for example, funny steam locomotives or planes, mouse and cheese, fly and cat house – and all these valenki you can wear.

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The uniqueness of the museum “Russian valenki” is also that all museum exhibits are allowed not only to touch the hands, take pictures and shoot photos on the camera, but you can even try them on. If any of the visitors are interested, you can learn more about all the wisdom of handmade valenki and even sign up for a master class. There will show how you can decorate this original footwear.

Every year the Russian Valenki museum participates in all sorts of cultural programs: exhibitions, contests, exhibitions and holidays. In the museum’s book of reviews there are many positive comments not only from ordinary visitors, who are always welcome here, but also from many dignitaries of the capital.

Briefly about the main things

As the workers of the museum of valenki say, the main thing for them is to create a cozy atmosphere, as warm as the valenki themselves, which are exhibited here. Therefore, the main law of the cultural center is the maximum involvement of visitors in the excursion program. Besides, unlike usual museums, where all exhibits are hidden under glass, in this place you can touch everything. It is so interesting to feel the warmth of wonderful shoes, or to hold an ancient grub, try to get a pot out of the stove with it, in general, to plunge completely into the presented topics.

Machines for pulling the felt boots

You can choose from

Museum of felt boots on Paveletskaya Street, located at: Moscow, 2-th Kozhevnichesky pereulok, bld. 12, p. 10, is not the only one of its kind.

An extensive collection of traditional Russian winter footwear is presented in similar museums in Kineshma (Ivanovo region) and Myshkin (Yaroslavl region).

The world of felt boots

Here you will also enjoy a fascinating and interesting tour.

History of creation

The museum works since 2001 and is located in a picturesque building in the Second Kozhevnichesky Lane. The exhibition was founded thanks to the work of enthusiasts and state support.

The museum is very important for the awareness of Russian identity, because the opportunity to touch traditional crafts and appreciate the conditions of life of their ancestors. They allow you to have a positive experience incomparable to anything else. The importance of the museum is difficult to overestimate, because its exhibits span several eras, during which the felt boots have evolved from a compulsory and essential footwear, to a greater extent in a stylish, designer accessory, reminding us about our roots.

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