The Fireplace

While in the West we may associate the fireplace only with the arrival of Santa Claus, in Russia the more traditional Russian stove was an important ritual locus which with its chimney provided a path to the other world. The stovepipe was an exit or entrance for supernatural beings, including devils and witches (as in Gogol's "Night before Christmas"), and the soul left through the stovepipe upon death. (In the 1936 edition, Margarita herself entered Berlioz's apartment through the chimney for the witches' sabbath; M. O. Chudakova, Tvorcheskaia istoriia romana, 235.)

Some impressive Moscow fireplaces:

F.Shekhtel, Morozova's mansion on Spiridonovka, dining room

F. Shekhtel, Morozov's mansion on Vvedenskii per.,