The Tsars’ family tree

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 →

The huge masterpiece that Tretyakov could never buy (and a Photo Tip!)

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 →

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 →

McUSSR – The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union

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.

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