Construction of Moscow State University: years, history, interesting facts

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Construction of Moscow State University: years, history, interesting facts
Construction of Moscow State University: years, history, interesting facts

One of the oldest and largest universities in Russia is Moscow State University. Its construction began in the distant 1755. Since 1940, the university has been named after Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov. Now the university includes 15 research institutes, more than 40 faculties, 300 departments and 6 branches, five of which are located in the CIS countries.

How did it all start?

Construction began in 1755. Then many important people influenced the formation of this university. The decree of Elizaveta Petrovna was signed in 1755, so the establishment of the oldest university in the Russian Empire was not delayed for long. The project was created under the leadership of Shuvalov. Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov also participated in it.

The beginning of the teaching activity of the university took place on April 26, 1755. At that time, there were only three faculties: philosophy, law and medicine.

New charter

Already in 1804, a new charter began to operate. Now the university was managed by the Council of Universities, which included professors headed by the rector. At that time the Imperial Moscow Universityhas already acquired four faculties: moral and political, medical and medical, verbal and physical and mathematical sciences.


A new stage in the history of the construction of Moscow State University began during the Patriotic War of 1812. On August 18, an order was received for a general evacuation of the university. But it turned out that there were few funds in the treasury, so we had to prioritize.

Opposition was provided by Golenishchev-Kutuzov (a trustee of the university) and Rostopchin (the Moscow commander in chief). They tried in every possible way to make the evacuation difficult, advising to save only the most expensive and meaningful things.

Already on August 30, a convoy arrived at the university, which was able to take away valuable exhibits, books, tools and devices. Many professors and students were left to fend for themselves, but the rector was able to agree that the next day, measures would be taken to at least partially evacuate students.

Imperial Moscow University

But many dedicated professors also helped save everything that had been acquired over the 60 years of the university's existence. Some even left their personal belongings in exchange for important university exhibits and traveled to Nizhny Novgorod on foot. On September 18, it was in this city that Moscow University received a home.

On the night of September 4-5, the main building of the university on Mokhovaya burned down, followed by all adjacent educational buildings. After 5 days, the other buildings of the university were also damaged, in which the explosions were arranged by Napoleon, who settled in the Kremlin.

Restoring activity

Already in Nizhny Novgorod, I had to think about the future fate of Moscow State University. Construction was expensive to start, so the option was considered to move the educational institution to Simbirsk or Kazan. But in November, the retreat of the French began, so the rector insisted on returning to Moscow.

Starting from December 30, 1812, the restoration of the university began. It was necessary to find buildings for temporary accommodation. Buildings near Mokhovaya were chosen.

University of the Russian Empire

Already 5 months later, all the evacuated professors returned from Nizhny Novgorod, as well as the salvaged property. As a result, a year after the evacuation, classes resumed. In 1819, the reconstruction of the building on Mokhovaya was completed.

Main building

History went on as usual. A very large number of statutes came out during the existence of the university. But there were no concrete changes. One of the most memorable stages was the construction of the main building of Moscow State University.

Now it is the central building of the complex on Sparrow Hills. It is considered the highest of the seven Stalin skyscrapers. The total height with the spire reaches 240 meters, and without it - 183 meters.

The number of floors in Moscow State University is still not exactly known. According to some sources, there are 32 of them, but there is an assumption that 4 more closed ones can be added to them. The construction of this building began in 1949. A large number of well-known architects and engineers were engaged in it. Also a significant contribution was made by the workshop of Vera Mukhina, who workedabove the sculpture. For over 40 years, this building has been the tallest building in Europe.

Building on Sparrow Hills


It's worth saying right away that Moscow State University was built in the Stalinist Empire style. At that time it was one of the main and popular destinations in the USSR. Stalin's skyscrapers in Moscow are still considered a symbol of the Stalinist Empire style. The main details of this design were massive wooden furniture, stucco and very high ceilings. The interior often used carved cabinets, bronze lamps and figurines.

But Stalin's Empire style did not last long. This fashionable trend was crossed out 10 years after its appearance by a decree of 1955, which de alt with the elimination of excesses in design and construction.


The years of construction of Moscow State University - 1949-1953, but the design began two years earlier, namely with a decree that was adopted by the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Joseph Stalin proposed a plan to build eight skyscrapers in Moscow. Secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks offered a job to Georgy Popov.

Construction of Moscow State University in Moscow

According to the plan, on Sparrow Hills it was necessary to erect a building on 32 floors, which would house a hotel and housing. Also, the building was not supposed to stand out from the Stalinist reconstruction of Moscow. It was planned that it would indicate the development of the capital.

Already six months later, it was decided to place the Moscow University in the building being designed. This happened after Stalin's meeting with the rector Nesmeyanov. It's obvious thatFor a long time, the academician asked the authorities for a new building for the faculties, but he probably did not expect that it would be a building where the entire university could move.


Stalin without thinking twice agreed to the construction of the now main building of Moscow State University. Already at the beginning of 1948, a plan was approved, which called for construction during 1948 to 1952. The Politburo decided to build a building with a height of at least 20 floors, and its volume was to be 1,700 thousand m³.

Since it was decided that the university would enter the building, the number of lecture and group audiences, educational and scientific laboratories, as well as specialized buildings were immediately included in the plan. A decision was also made regarding residential premises where students and graduate students could live.

First project

The construction of Moscow State University was entrusted to the Construction Department of the Palace of Soviets. On the Vorobyevsky highway, they found a plot with an area of ​​​​100 hectares. It was he who was allocated for the construction of the structure. In addition to the construction of the building itself, the plans included the creation of a botanical garden and a forest park. For the draft plan, management gave 4 months, and for the technical - 10.

Boris Iofan was hired to help build such a skyscraper. At that time, the architect already had a huge number of works, among which were important state buildings. It was Iofan who presented the general architectural idea of ​​the future university.

Years of construction of Moscow State University

He designed the composition of buildings, consisting of five elements. The main part was the high-rise central part, next towhich housed four symmetrically located lower blocks. They were supposed to be topped with pinnacles.

Boris Iofan also suggested placement on the central block of the pedestal, most likely under the sculpture. Some believe that the architect planned to install a sculpture of Mikhail Lomonosov there. But, most likely, this idea was rejected and, by order of Stalin, a spire with a five-pointed star appeared on top.

Change of leadership

Boris Iofan had his own ideas regarding the construction of the building. He ignored some of the demands. For example, he was asked to move the building to the depth of the site from the Moscow River, but the architect considered this action a huge loss for the artistic ensemble of the capital. Iofan's idea was dangerous from the point of view of the stability of the foundation.

That is why, literally a couple of days before the presentation of the completed sketch, he was removed from the construction of the Moscow State University high-rise and the entire complex. Stalin and Chadayev decided to transfer the design to a professional Rudnev team, which also included architects Sergei Chernyshev, Pavel Ambrosimov, Alexander Khryakov and engineer Vsevolod Nasonov.

The decision on the appointment of a new architectural group also included requirements that the construction should be moved 700 meters from the highway towards the South-West region.

Lev Rudnev did not have many projects before, but in his thesis he created the project "University of a large city". Also in it, he mentioned some features of such a structure, which were just later used inconstruction of Moscow State University.

Engineer Vsevolod Nasonov also had a lot of experience. Until 1947 he was the chief engineer of the new buildings of Moscow State University. He also had a hand in designing the metal structures of the Palace of Soviets.

Nikolai Nikitin, the creator of the Ostankino television tower, also played a huge role. He worked on the foundation and frames of the main building, and in the process proposed new technical solutions, which later proved to be time and weather tested for stability and reliability.

Starting construction

The architectural complex of Moscow State University began to be erected in December 1948. It was during this period that earthworks began. A month later, all sketches and technical projects were approved. By April, work with the soil and the foundation pit was completed.

Architectural complex of Moscow State University

The first stone was solemnly laid on April 12, 1949. Thus began work on the foundation, which ended by September. At the end of the year, the builders presented the frame of the main building with 10 floors. We decided not to waste time and transport services. In parallel with the construction of the building, the organization of a railway line from the Ochakovo station began.

Reflections on sculpture

Rudnev also at one time began to think about installing a separate monument on the central building of the high-rise building of Moscow State University. Now it is not known exactly, but there is an assumption that it could be a statue of Stalin, Lenin or Lomonosov. It was planned that its height would be 40 meters. In one of the interviews, the chief architect expressed a desire to install a sculpture of Lenin,to show the aspiration of science to the heights of knowledge.

But as we already know, the idea of ​​installing the sculpture remained only in words. It’s hard to say what it was connected with, but many suggest that it was decided to show the best visual proportionality of the skyscraper with the help of a spire.


This is how we decided to finish the main building of the university. The spire of Moscow State University is 57 meters high, and on its top there is a five-pointed star, which, by the way, fluctuates due to the wind.

Installation of this part was extremely difficult. Most of all, this was due to the weight of the structure - 120 tons. It was collected using a self-elevating crane UBK-15. But even he could not cope with some of the structural elements, so the heaviest ones were delivered through a temporary shaft inside the building.


The building of Moscow State University on Sparrow Hills was personally visited by Stalin already in March 1951. He walked around the territory, where he checked the organization of roads and landscaping. Lavrenty Beria was in charge of the construction itself. The skyscraper was erected thanks to some nuclear facilities, as well as the labor of several thousand prisoners.

Grand opening took place on September 1, 1953. Cutting the ribbon at the entrance was entrusted to the Minister of Culture Panteleimon Ponomarenko. The first classes in the new building started at 12 noon.

High-rise Moscow State University

Some media have been counting funds, so more than 2.5 billion Soviet rubles were supposedly spent on construction.


The building of Moscow State University onSparrow Hills has its own characteristics. This architectural ensemble harmoniously fit into the site next to the main river of Moscow. The center, as originally intended, was the main building. Above the main entrance flaunts the date of construction. This part of the ensemble is considered the tallest Stalinist skyscraper. It is considered absolutely symmetrical. 18-story "wings" depart from the central tower. These structures are decorated with huge clocks, thermometers and barometers. By the way, in 2014 the Moscow State University clock was the largest in Europe.

High-rise Moscow State University

"Wings" of the main building have a number of even smaller buildings - 12 floors. Separately from the main building there are buildings for the physics and chemistry faculties. The approach to the central entrance of the university is decorated with alleys and fountains. And the whole ensemble as a whole consists of 27 main and 10 service buildings.


There is also a future for Moscow State University in the urban planning of Moscow. In 2016, a major renovation was announced. Namely, it was about the site from university buildings to residential development of Ud altsova and Ramenka streets. The renovation should take place in two stages.

One of the sites will be transferred for the construction of a university campus, housing, five kindergartens and two schools. Also, a commercial and residential complex, a medical center of Moscow State University and polyclinics should appear on the territory.

The Department of Urban Planning Policy announced the appearance of a hostel for students, a boarding school, and other cultural objects on the territory of Moscow State University.


Where is the Moscow State University, perhaps those who do not even live in Moscow know. Its legal address is Leninskiye Gory, 1. The university also has several viewing platforms. Rudnev provided for the view from them to be as impressive as possible, which is why this place is called the “crown of Moscow”. The main platform offers a view of the Luzhniki Arena and the city panorama.

As mentioned earlier, for a long time the building was considered the tallest in Europe, until the Fair Tower appeared in Germany. But in Moscow, Moscow State University was the highest until 2003. Then the Triumph Palace residential complex appeared in the city.

Main building of Moscow State University

40,000 tons of steel were used to create the steel frame, and 175 million bricks were used for the walls.

A whole city is located in one skyscraper of Moscow State University. Three faculties, the administration and a scientific library are based here at once. You can also visit the Museum of Land Ownership and the Palace of Culture.

There are a huge number of sculptures and decor on the territory of the university. But there was also a place for a monument to Mikhail Lomonosov. It is located just in front of the main university building.

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