Murmansk turns 101 years (and one day) old

So many things happened in Russia on October 4th in the course of the centuries! I chose to dedicate yesterday's post to the anniversary of Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite, but yesterday also marked the 101st birthday of the city of Murmansk. Murmansk was the very last city founded in the Russian Empire. In 1915, World War I needs... Continue Reading →

Happy birthday Sputnik 1!

Exactly 60 years ago today, on 4 October 1957, Earth got its first ever artificial satellite. It was the USSR made Sputnik-1. Sputnik 1 was launched during the International Geophysical Year from Site No.1/5, at the 5th Tyuratam range, in Kazakh SSR (now known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome). The satellite travelled at about 29,000 kilometres per hour (18,000 mph; 8,100 m/s), taking 96.2 minutes to complete... Continue Reading →

Moscow’s Nativity Convent – 360° panorama and Photo tip!

The Rozhdestvensky Convent, or the Convent of Nativity of Theotokos (Russian: Богородице-Рождественский монастырь) is commonly referred to just as the Nativity Convent and it is located inside the Boulevard Ring, on the left bank of the Neglinnaya River. Not only this is one of the oldest nunneries in Moscow (it was founded in the Moscow Kremlin in 1386, probably by Maria of Rostov, mother of Prince Vladimir the Bold and... Continue Reading →

Alexander Lodygin, the Russian who invented the lightbulb

Who invented the lightbulb? Here's a question that will certainly spark discussion! (pun intended). In addressing this question, historians Robert Friedel and Paul Israel list 22 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Thomas Edison. They conclude that Edison's version was able to outstrip the others because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others... Continue Reading →

The Lady of the Korolenko

The town of Vyborg lies on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Vyborg Bay, 130 km (81 miles) to the northwest of St. Petersburg and 38 km (24 miles) south of Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland. The town has changed hands several times in history, most recently in 1944 when the Soviet Union captured it from Finland during World... Continue Reading →

Heroes without a single picture

Inside the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin you can see a display (like an open-air museum) of WWII military vehicles. Amongst them, the famous Katyusha rocket launcher, a series of guns, trucks, tanks and even a Lavochkin La-7 fighter plane and the sail of Soviet submarine S-13. What struck me most are not the vehicles themselves, but rather the "photo mosaics"... 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 →

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