Gathering places favoured by homosexuals have operated for centuries.Reports from as early as the 17th century record the existence of bars and clubs that catered to, or at least tolerated, openly gay clientele in several major European cities.Other names used to describe these establishments include boy bar, girl bar, gay club, gay pub, queer bar, lesbian bar, drag bar, and dyke bar, depending on the niche communities that they served.
Other cities in the UK also have districts or streets with a concentration of gay bars, like for example Stanley Street Quarter in Liverpool, Canal Street in Manchester and the Birmingham Gay Village. After World War II, the Amsterdam city government acted rather pragmatic and tolerated the existence of gay bars.
In 2013, Moscow's largest gay bar, Central Station, had its walls sprayed with gunfire, had harmful gas released into a crowd of 500 patrons, and had its ceiling nearly brought down by a gang who wanted to crush the people inside.
Nonetheless, gay nightlife is increasing in Moscow and St.
The gay club Eldorado in the Motzstraße was internationally known for its transvestite shows.
There was also a relatively high number of places for lesbians.