Soviet Lifestyle Museum – Kazan, Russia - Atlas Obscura
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Kazan, Russia

Soviet Lifestyle Museum

This nostalgic Russian museum is full of USSR cultural artifacts from the 1970s and 80s. 

While there is much about life under the Iron Curtain that was despicable and unfortunate, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t culture, even if it was fraught with propaganda and misinformation. The Soviet Lifestyle Museum explores the USSR’s musical, educational, and yes, propagandistic days of yore. 

Kitsch isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about the old USSR, but at the Soviet Lifestyle Museum, it’s king. Held in a former communal apartment that would have been home to 20 some people, the little museum is now home to a collection that has items from time periods ranging from the 1930s to the 1990s, focusing on a few distinct aspects of Soviet life.

One portion of the exhibit focuses on the high school experience, and claims to be one of the most comprehensive collections on the subject in existence. There is also a gallery that displays a collection of Soviet-era artwork, and a selection of propaganda books. However maybe the strangest aspect of the museum is the section dedicated to the influence of rock-and-roll in the Soviet Union. With a collection of around 60 guitars signed by artists ranging from Sting to Scorpions, it shines a light on the influence of Western music in the culture of the time.

There is also a rack of clothes that guests are welcome to try on and take pictures in. Because if you are going to travel back to the Soviet 80s, it’s pics or it didn’t happen.

Know Before You Go

Take Universitetskaya to Ostrovskogo. The museum is on the corner. Go upstairs.