Fairy Tale and War Heroes Statues in Manege Square, Moscow

The 1990s was a difficult, turbulent and overall pretty strange period in Russia. In the middle of that decade the famous Georgian-Russian painter, sculptor and architect Zurab Tsereteli was put in charge of the complete overhaul of the central part of Manezhnaya Square (or Manege Square) in Moscow, right next to the world famous Red Square and the monuments to the Russian... Continue Reading →

Lenin’s mosaic

Just a couple of blocks away from one of Moscow's most modern (and "western looking") buildings, the Planeta KVN, you can still see a 1950s looking mosaic with so many symbols of Soviet culture. Resting on the side of a grey, anonymous office building on the city's third ring road, its colours are faded but... Continue Reading →

100 days, 100 posts

Time flies, when you are having fun. That's how the old saying goes and I guess it also applies when you are posting your impressions on the largest country in the world: Russia. Since June 10th, when I published my first post with the first picture I ever took in Russia, another 99 have followed,... Continue Reading →

VDNKh: a Soviet Time Capsule

VDNKh is an acronym that stands for Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) and it is the largest exposition, museum and recreational complex in the world, one of the most popular public spaces of Moscow, visited each year by about 25 million people.

The magnificently eclectic Farmer’s Palace in Kazan

Situated in Kazan the capital and largest city of he Republic of Tatarstan, the Farmer's Palace is a pretty unique building. It serves as the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan (link in Russian), the Chief Veterinary Department, the State Enterprise "RACIN" and a number of other organizations. Amongst these the Agriculture Ministry is by far the most important, as the sector saw a very significant grow in the last number of years and today represents 5.1% of the total revenue of the republic.

1.500 steps to the Volga

Originally the staircase, which is has over 1.500 steps, was simply "Volga Staircase" but it was soon renamed Chkalov Staircase, after the world-famous test pilot and hero of the Soviet Union Valery Chkalov, the first man to fly from Moscow, to Vancouver, Washington, in the United States via the North Pole on an Tupolev ANT-25 plane, a non-stop distance of 8,811 kilometres (5,475 mi).

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.

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