Did you know that less than a century before being admitted to the USA as the 49th State Alaska was part of Russia and it was called Russian America? Alaska was actually discovered by Russia and it was part of the Russian empire until the emperor Alexander II sold 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of land to the United States on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million.
The Bulgakov House is situated on the ground floor of Bolshaya Sadovaya ulitsa no. 10 in Moscow, in the building where the Soviet writer used to live, and in which some major scenes of his masterpiece are set. In the novel, though, Bulgakov didn't situate the building at number 10, using instead the number 302-bis, to denounce the complexity of the Soviet administration in his time.
Pictured above is Pygmalion's point of view when admiring his beloved statue/wife in the interpretation of Italian sculptor Pietro Ceccardo Staggi (1754-1814) in his Pygmalion and Galatea (1790-1792). The attribution of the statue to Staggi comes directly from the Hermitage museum, where it is on permanent display in the European Fine Art Collection, alongside statues of Antonio Canova.
The Vostok rocket, still proudly sporting the USSR (CCCP in Cyrillic) acronym in bright red letters on the side. To understand the historic importance of this rocket suffice to say that the first human spaceflight in history was accomplished on this spacecraft on April 12, 1961, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
The Coronation Egg at the Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. This, perhaps Faberge’s most iconic egg, was presented by Emperor Nicholas II (the last Emperor of Russia) to his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, as a memento of her entry into Moscow on May 26th, day of their Coronation in the Uspensky Cathedral.
Museum of Soviet Lifestyle in Kazan. In the winter of 2011 the citizens of Kazan had an opportunity to travel some 30-40 years back in time. An exposition called "Jeans as a cult (60s - 80s)" gave a pretty unique prospective on the last two decades of the USSR, when a simple fabric (Jeans) could express all the desire for change of a nation, during the immobilism and stagnation of the late Brezniev years to the tumultuous end of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev.
Murmansk, Russia (above the Arctic Circle). There is a lot to see, but for a technology and history geek like me, one attraction is clearly the most special of all. I am talking about the 1957 icebreaker Lenin. Now a museum, it was both the world's first nuclear-powered surface ship and the first nuclear-powered civilian vessel, when it entered operation in 1959. Visiting the Lenin is a truly unique occasion to see what a state-of-the-art operational Soviet nuclear icebreaker looked like in 1989.
The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the many interesting places to visit in Moscow's famous Gorky Park. To be honest, the name "museum" might be a bit deceiving, as the permanent collection of this institution primarily acts as a center for the study of Russian contemporary art, rather than showcasing its masterpieces to... Continue Reading →
If you walk toward Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, before passing under the late 18th century arc by George von Velten and the monument to the 1812-1814 Russian victories over Napoleon, you might encounter a diminishing representation of Peter the Great, the likes of which would have probably pleased Lenin himself! This is actually a prank by... Continue Reading →