Y.A. Gagarin Joint Memorial Museum
An idyllic small Russian town, which is associated with the childhood of the pioneering cosmonaut and the life of his family
The small town of Gagarin (known as Gzhatsk until 1968) is located 200 kilometers west of Moscow and has gone down in history as the birthplace of the planet’s first cosmonaut. Yuri Gagarin was born on March 9, 1934 in the suburban village of Klushino.
In 1971, his family’s hut was replicated there, as well as the dugout where the Gagarins survived the Nazi occupation. In 1945, Gagarin Sr. dismantled the original hut log by log and moved it to the northern outskirts of the city. It still stands here today and is home to the Gagarin Childhood Museum. The cosmonaut came from common people, so both huts reveal the life of ordinary Russians in the mid-twentieth century.
Next to the city hut is the house of the cosmonaut's parents, which was built for them in 1961, and nearby is a car which was presented to Gagarin in the same year.
In 1983, all this was supplemented by a hotel for delegations (primarily for future cosmonauts), which was also home to the apartment of Anna Gagarina, the widowed mother of the hero. These buildings were transferred to the Museum in 1989. The hotel now displays an exhibition of Gagarin's personal belongings, his crafts of wood and metal (indeed, he was a carpenter’s son and once studied to become a foundry man), his uniform over the years and gifts to the hero from all over the world.
Gagarin, Smolensk Region
Web site: www.gagarinm.ru
In addition to “Gagarin” items, there are also purely technical exhibits in the Museum, such as the oxygen regenerator from the flight of the Belka and Strelka canine space team.
How to get
from Moscow by train, electric train or bus, 2.5-3 hour trip