During the Days of Historical and Cultural Heritage event, which will run until the end of May, a variety of unique buildings, museums, exhibition halls, libraries, and cultural centres in Moscow will be open to the public free of charge. As usual, HSE University is participating in these events and extends an invitation to students, staff, and anyone interested to take part in the activities it has prepared.
Every year, HSE offers open tours in which visitors can explore the contemporary interiors of Durasov House, a historical estate which is typically not open to the public. Today, it serves as an administrative building of HSE University, but formerly it was the nobleman Nikolay Durasov's estate built in the in late 18th century in the classical style.
Throughout the tour, visitors will discover the history of the estate's previous owners and view its carefully restored interiors. An interactive guide featuring augmented reality effects will enhance the immersive experience by bringing the past to life. With the assistance of the AR guide, visitors to Durasov House can witness the evolution of the building's architecture over time, hear the crackling of the fire in the fireplace, and see the busts of Marx, Engels and Lenin and the bas-reliefs of Peter the Great, Kutuzov and Suvorov which adorned the interiors in the 20th century.
The next tours will be held on May 13, starting at 1 pm and 3 pm. Registration for the tours will open on April 26 at 9 am on the project's website.
As part of a project aimed at preserving and promoting cultural heritage sites, students and faculty members from the Faculty of Computer Science and the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development have collaborated to create a new mobile quest entitled 'HSE in the History of Social Responsibility'. The quest enables participants to connect with the history of HSE University and learn more about the university's social mission.
The creators of the quest focused in particular on the history of the Practical Academy of Commercial Sciences, the forerunner of economic education in Russia, which at various times was housed in the buildings on Solyanka and Armyansky Pereulok, and in Durasov House.
The quest route winds through the picturesque and occasionally enigmatic alleys and courtyards of Ivanovskaya Gorka, which are certain to captivate anyone with an interest in old Moscow. The quest participants will see fascinating and not always obvious historical sites, such as the Home for Elderly Members of the Moscow Post, the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages, the Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky Palace, the Gagarin-Tyutchev Estate, the Menshikov Tower, and many others.
The quest developers also address the history of social responsibility. 'Together with students, colleagues and experts, we made an effort to incorporate the history of public and private philanthropy into the quest's route, including the charity practices of merchants and the current experiences of corporate social responsibility. Our aim was to raise awareness of the role of trustees in the life of HSE University today and to bring together the history of economic education, the emergence of social responsibility, and the university's public image into a cohesive narrative,' explains Ivan Mitin, Associate Professor of the HSE Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism and project co-author.
4th-year bachelor’s student at the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development
The most captivating segment of the route is when you pass through the courtyards. Although inconspicuous, intricate, and not immediately apparent, this pathway is a significant shortcut. The quest-like spirit comes alive as you don't simply walk between predefined points, but rather engage in solving a spatial puzzle while attempting not to lose your way. The reward for completing the challenge is not only progress in the quest but also a gratifying sense of exploration. Perhaps it is the same feeling that our ancestors had when exploring uncharted territories and something that many of us yearn for in the modern world.