A Rocketship in the center of Moscow

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.

Admiring the Coronation Egg at the Fabergé Museum

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 – Kazan

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.

Lenin – the first nuclear propulsion ship in history

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.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

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 →

Peter the (un)great

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 →

Museum of Cosmonautics, Moscow

Amongst the many attractions of Moscow, the Museum of Cosmonautics (also known as the Museum of Astronautics or Museum of Space Exploration) is one of the easiest to spot from afar. That's because the museum sits under the huge Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The monument actually predates the museum by a whopping 17 years, as the... Continue Reading →

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