The house that moved and grew

Moscow's Tverskaya Street existed as early as the 12th century. Its importance for the medieval city was immense, as it connected Moscow with its superior, and later chief rival, Tver. At that time, the thoroughfare crossed the Neglinnaya River. The first stone bridge across the Neglinnaya was set up in 1595. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Tverskaya Street was renowned as the centre of Moscow's social life. The nobility considered it fashionable to settle in this district. Among the Palladian mansions dating from the reign of Catherine the Great are the residence of the mayor of Moscow (originally built in 1778–82 by architect Matvey Kazakov for the Governor-General of Moscow).

The Mosque of Kazan

The Qolşärif Mosque in the city of Kazan is one of the most impressive mosques in Russia and arguably in the whole world and it is the main mosque in the Republic of Tatarstan. Situated inside the Kazan Kremlin, it was built between 1996 and 2005 in honour of the old  mosque of the Khanate of Kazan, which was destroyed in October 1552 during the siege of Kazan by the Russian Tzar Ivan the Terrible.

The very Gehrysh Planeta KVN in Moscow

The former “Havana” Movie Theatre, now transformed in the Planeta VKN Youth Center. The three big letters you see on the front of the building are actually not "KBH" as one instinctively reads them in English (or Latin alphabet), but they are the Cyrillic letters KVN. They stand for Klub Vesyólykh i Nakhódchivykh or Ka-Ve-En, which translates into “Club of the Funny and Inventive”.

Straight lines, or lack thereof

Wooden house in Russia, Tver. When photographing a building it is always important to try and keep vertical and horizontal lines straight. In this respect, Russian architecture frequently poses a serious challenge and often not by design!

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 →

Art Deco, underground

This is the "second instalment" of the Moscow Underground series after the one about Komsomolskaya station. I hope this series will one day reach 243 posts, the number of stations in the Metro, but before that happens I am afraid quite a number of the new 67 stations planned to open between now and 2020... Continue Reading →

The walls of Smolensk

After travelling eastbound for four hours from Moscow on the Lastochka, a recorded announcements informs you that "the train is now arriving in the Hero City of Smolensk" and you have reached a lesser known, but incredibly interesting destination. Hero City (Russian: город-герой, gorod-geroy) is a Soviet honorary title awarded for outstanding heroism during World... Continue Reading →

Spilled blood

I usually advocate the merits of avoiding tourist-traps, exploring and travelling off the beaten track. I must admit, though, that there are must-see places that you really must see when you travel to a new city. Saint Petersburg offers a number of those and the one you see in today's picture is the interior of... Continue Reading →

Where Russian Robots are born

I love how even the most touristic cities have amazing places that actually very few people know about! Take for example the Russian State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics in Saint Petersburg with its outstanding architecture. Located right next to the city largest park (Sosnovka) in the vicinity of the Polytechnic University, it... Continue Reading →

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