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ZIL Cultural Center

A cultural palace with a library and an observatory


This eye-catching constructivist building by the Vesnin brothers embodied the avant-garde era and helped develop the new culture of Soviet people. In the newspaper Pravda, writer Konstantin Paustovsky wrote that it looked like a lump of quartz at nighttime.

The building belonged to the Likhachev Automobile Plant, which occupied several nearby blocks till 2008. Then, the Palace of Culture was transferred to the city government and turned into a cultural center. Just like in the Soviet era, the building is still a place for leisure and creativity. There are several stages for performances, a cinema hall, a winter garden, a library, and studio rooms. There is an observatory on the roof. It's not a functioning facility, but you can visit it on a guided tour. In summer, you can enjoy the view of the Russian capital from the rooftop.

The cultural center offers a lot of activities: it hosts lectures, concerts, performances. Many events are free but require electronic pre-registration. ZIL also holds a lot of classes in music, fine arts, dance, and English as a second language. The Soulful Creativity program focuses on inclusive education: students make decorative items and felt toys and paint dishes with the help of professional psychologists and teachers.

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