Interesting facts about the Sandunov baths

"The only place that not a single Muscovite has passed is the baths." This phrase belongs to Vladimir Gilyarovsky, a well-known writer and journalist, a great connoisseur of the history of Moscow. And the most famous baths in the city, of course, are Sandunovskie. Their history is fraught with a lot of interesting, romantic and mysterious.

It all began with the fact that in 1806 the famous comedian Sila Sandunov and his wife Elizaveta Uranova bought a land plot in Moscow on the banks of the Neglinnaya River and decided to build a public bath there. In 1808, the institution was opened to visitors.

Despite the fact that the actors Sandunov and Uranova received good royalties, they did not have enough money to build a huge premise, if not for one story.

Young Elizaveta Uranova attracted the attention of Count Bezborodko. His persistent courtship remained without reciprocity, moreover, during one of the speeches before Empress Catherine II, Uranova was able to get an audience with her and complained about the count. Bezborodko received a strict suggestion from the Empress, and Catherine presented the actress herself with a gorgeous jewelry with diamonds. Having sold this gift, after the death of the empress, the couple were able to open their own business.

When in Moscow, the great Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin certainly visited the Sandunov Baths. Having warmed up well in the steam room, Pushkin dived into a wooden tub of ice water, in which pieces of ice floated.

Fyodor Chaliapin loved not only to bathe, but also to sing in Sanduny. He assured that the acoustics are excellent here, and the steam bath has a good effect on the vocal cords. The singer came here on Tuesdays, therefore, many tried to get to Shalyapin's "bath" concert. Once in immigration, Fyodor Ivanovich lamented that it was impossible to take the Sandunovskie baths with him.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Vladimir Mayakovsky often visited here. It is known that the poet was very squeamish and tidy. For him, a bench with a signature was specially installed in the Sandunovsky Baths, which was not allowed to anyone except Mayakovsky himself.

Despite the popularity of the Sandunov baths among the elite public, they were not an institution intended only for the rich. It was possible to go to the hall for ordinary clients for only 5 kopecks. Moreover, this amount also included a broom with a washcloth.

Many viewers are sure that the heroes of the legendary comedy "Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath" went to the Sandunov Baths. But this is not the case. The creators of the picture recall that towels, sheets and a palm tree were rented from Sandun. And the shooting itself took place in the lobby of Mosfilm. It was cold there, but the actors tried to depict the atmosphere of a hot bath as accurately as possible.

Despite the fact that the baths have retained their name for more than 200 years, they have changed owners many times. After the revolution, many regular customers went abroad. And the Sandunov baths themselves were on the verge of closing, the new government decided that it was not proper for a Soviet person to wash in such a luxurious bourgeois atmosphere. Fortunately, the Sandun collective of workers was able to defend their right to exist. And in 1991 they were recognized as an architectural monument of the city of Moscow.