The News of the Week seems to be the tragic fire that destroyed the roof, the spire and some of the interiors of the Norte-Dame de Paris Church, in the French capital, and the worry that it will be extremely hard to restore it to its former glory. Russia, sadly, suffered the destruction of many... Continue Reading →
This is the second part from the previous post. If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you go and read it here. If for some reason you can not be persuaded to go and read it, here's a quick recap Top Gear / Grand Tour Style In the previous episode Khrushchev drinks a Pepsi...... Continue Reading →
This is a true story, and definitely one that deserves to be told. This is the story of how the Soviet Union (briefly) turned the Pepsi Corporation into a military superpower, the 6th largest military in the world, to be exact, at least in terms of fleet equipment. Everything in this story is true. Well,... Continue Reading →
In Russia it is often the case that the museums themselves (meaning the buildings where they are housed) are as beautiful and as interesting, if not more, than the artwork they display. One of such examples is, I think, the State Historical Museum of Russia in Moscow. Housed in one of Russia's most recognisable structures, wedged... Continue Reading →
Pavel Mikhaylovich Tretyakov was a Russian businessman, patron of art, collector, and philanthropist who gave his name to the Tretyakov Gallery. The Moscow merchant acquired works by Russian artists of his day with the aim of creating a collection, which might later grow into a museum of national art. He started collecting art in the middle of 1850. The founding year of the Tretyakov Gallery is considered to be... Continue Reading →
This large Neo-Baroque building with a facade of yellow brick, illuminated by a still warm autumn sun would probably bring a smile to the lips of the unaware tourist. Its very sight or even the sound of its name, Lubyanka, used to instil terror in the soul of every Soviet citizen. It was originally built in 1898 as the... Continue Reading →
On Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, a 5 minute walk from Chistye Prudy metro station, you can find of Moscow's most seemingly out of place buildings: a three-storey-high Chinese pagoda in the center of the Russian capital! Originally a high-renaissance style building typical of most of the others on this street, the building housed the offices and show... Continue Reading →
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 →
On January the 31th, 1990, the first McDonald's opened in the Soviet Union, less than two years before that country actually ceased to exist. The road to that historic opening had been long, with some people saying that the talks with Soviet officials had started as far back as 1976, almost a quarter of a century.
Many people saw this opening as a sign of distension in the international relations between the USSR and the USA and on both sides of the Ocean, the interest was really high. This was, in fact, going to be the first ever foreign restaurant in the Soviet Union and for McDonald this was, at the time, their largest restaurant ever, a venue with 900 seats.