The House-Museum of the 1st Congress of the RSDLP in Minsk

The house-museum of the First Congress of the RSDLP is a historical monument and museum dedicated to the event, which took place in March 1898. This event was the first congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. It began to spread ideas of social democracy throughout Europe and other countries all over the world.

The 1st congress of the RSDLP took place in a house, located in Zakharievskaya street. At that time, P. Rumyantsev rented a room in the building of noblewoman Frantiska Rzhetskaya.

Yevgeniya Gurvich, a member of the socialist party BUND, was responsible for organizational moments and she had to find a place. The choice was not accidental. The building was near the stables of the gendarmerie, so the police could not suspect anything. The celebration of Rumyantseva’s birthday (wife of the tenant, in whose room the meeting took place) was the official reason for the meeting.

The first congress of the RSDLP lasted for 3 days, on March 1-3 (March 13-15 according to a new calendar). Although a program and its regulations weren’t developed but it was decided to create the party.  

Peter Struve initiated the congress. Nine participants attended the congress. In April 1898, in an underground printing press, located in Bobruisk, manifesto of the Congress was released, as well as the decisions taken during the meeting.

A museum was opened in the house, on March 14, 1923, on the day of the 25th anniversary of the RSDLP. Participants of the First Congress - Rumyantsev and B. Adelman attended the ceremony. It is necessary to note that before the war, the second part of the house also remained residential.

In summer 1941, during the bombing of the Belarusian capital, the building, where the First Congress of the RSDLP took place, was destroyed.

In 1948, the house was rebuilt on the same foundation. It was restored according to the project of architect Volodko.

Five years later, during constructions on Stalin Avenue (now Independence Avenue), the house was moved closer to the river Svisloch. Nowadays, the house-museum is located on 31A Independence Avenue. Today, the cafe "Berezka" is located in the initial location of the house.

The museum has over 400 exhibit items, most of which are documents associated with the organization of the Social-Democratic movement.

In 1954, the arrangement of furniture in the house was restored according to congress times. Materials related to the life of Minsk during XIX-XX centuries are collected and presented to the public.

The house-museum was popular during Soviet times. Meetings with the party leaders took place in the house. Well-known politicians such as Leonid Brezhnev, Fidel Castro, and others visited the museum. However, today the museum is an important object of general and thematic excursions in Minsk.