Fairy Tale and War Heroes Statues in Manege Square, Moscow

The 1990s was a difficult, turbulent and overall pretty strange period in Russia. In the middle of that decade the famous Georgian-Russian painter, sculptor and architect Zurab Tsereteli was put in charge of the complete overhaul of the central part of Manezhnaya Square (or Manege Square) in Moscow, right next to the world famous Red Square and the monuments to the Russian... Continue Reading →

Travel on Russia’s Olympic Train

In 2009, Russian Railways made an order with Siemens for a development of an electric multiple unit train adapted to the Russian environment. The new trains were planned to be used in Sochi for suburban passenger traffic during the 2014 Winter Olympics, and then to be partially transferred to other train lines. Now, three and a half years after the Games, you... Continue Reading →

Floating watermelons at GUM

As I wrote in a previous post, Moscow's most famous shopping mall, GUM, "dresses up" differently for each season. This year the central fountain still display the floating watermelons (and cantaloupes on the upper portion of the fountain). The rest of the mall is dressed up in fall colours, with red-leafed trees "sprouting up" at... Continue Reading →

The Soul in the Shed

No trip to understand Russian culture would be complete without a visit to a country shed, or its urban equivalent: the garage. The shed and the garage are a heritage of Soviet culture, which has survived in modern-day Russia. An interesting social study and explanation of how the shed became such an important part of... Continue Reading →

Lenin’s mosaic

Just a couple of blocks away from one of Moscow's most modern (and "western looking") buildings, the Planeta KVN, you can still see a 1950s looking mosaic with so many symbols of Soviet culture. Resting on the side of a grey, anonymous office building on the city's third ring road, its colours are faded but... Continue Reading →

When absolute beauty turned into absolute horror

Suzdal is a wonderful little town in Vladimir Oblast. It is one of the oldest Russian towns, and it is the smallest of the Russian Golden Ring towns with population of less than 10,000, but a major tourist attraction. Several of its monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wikipedia lists 17 notable monuments in the city and there are even more... Continue Reading →

The Aurora at Sunset – Photo tip

Having being launched on 11 May 1900 and commissioned on 29 July 1903, the Russian Cruiser Aurora stands today as the oldest commissioned ship of the Russian Navy, still flying the naval ensign under which she was commissioned (even if today it's under the care of the Central Naval Museum). She is still manned by an active service crew commanded by a Captain of the 1st Rank.

Music in the Moscow Metro

I wrote before about how stunningly beautiful the Moscow Metro is. Take for instance the Komsomolskaya station (you can read about it in my post "A Museum with Two BILLION Visitors"). But did you know that Russia's capital city metro can also be entertaining? Street musicians are a common sight in metros around the world, but the... Continue Reading →

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