Russia, Through Pictures…

This past week I went to Russia with my girlfriend Sveta. Here are some pictures of our visit:

St Basil, Moscow

St. Basil Cathedral...

Ivan The Terrible, Russia’s infamous ruler, commissioned St. Basil in 1561. The structure houses nine churches on one foundation. The colorful spires pointing up are the church roofs, which were designed to look like candle flames. Once the structure was completed, Ivan The Terrible blinded the architect, as to ensure he could never build anything more beautiful. I wonder how he got his nickname…

Dog Nose, Moscow

Rub The Nose And Make A Wish!

Moscow’s subway is spectacular: built 60 metres deep underground, it’s stations are adorned with glistening chandeliers, intricate soviet-era mosaics depicting military successes, and even brass statues of dogs, whose noses you must rub to have your wishes come true.

I’ve been told there are a few stray dogs living in Moscow that take the subway to get around town. I wonder if they get a discount on the fare…

Off to St. Petersburg…

On The Train, Sharing A Meal With Our Neighbor...

Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg, is a charming city north of Moscow. Built by Peter The Great only 300 years ago, its purpose was to increase Russian influence over Finland. The city is split in two by the Neva River, and is home to the massive Hermitage Museum. Built by Catherine The Great in 1764, the museum houses her vast art collection, which is estimated at 3 millions pieces.

The Hermitage On A Brisk Sunday Morning...

Menshikov Building, St. Petersburg

Menshikov's House...

While this building does not look too spectacular from the outside, it houses a great story: Peter The Great needed to leave St. Petersburg for a lengthy trip and called on his friend Alexander Menshikov to be the city’s mayor. In Peter’s absence, Menshikov built this mansion for himself using city funds and neglected his duties as mayor. When Peter returned and discovered what had happened, he came up with a brilliant idea: rather than fire or kill Menshikov, Peter declared that all future city-sponsored parties, galas and receptions will take place at Menshikov’s house!

So there you have it: Menshikov had to put up with years of parties inside his mansion without being able to relax and enjoy the home he built…

Inside the Church Of The Savior, St. Petersburg

The Walls And Ceilings Are All Made Of Tiny Mosaics...

This church was built as a memorial to Tzar Alexander II, who was assassinated by rebels in 1881. There are over 7,500 square metres of intricate mosaics adorning the church walls and ceilings. It’s quite a view…during the Soviet times the church was looted and left to decay. It was even at one time used as a warehouse to store potatoes…

Back to Moscow in Time for the Ballet…

Russian Champagne? I'll Take Two...

On our last evening, Sveta and I saw a ballet performance inside the presidential Kremlin. The performance was great, and so was the champagne. I searched around for Medvedev, but I couldn’t find him. My Wikipedia search revealed that he was a weightlifter in his youth, and liked listening to Deep Purple and Black Sabbath while in college. Cheers to that!

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3 Responses to Russia, Through Pictures…

  1. emilyebba says:

    Looks fun Vanick! Happy Halloween from USA. XO

  2. Courage says:

    Sir Vanick!!! nice one… chillup som-morrr! thanks for your posts! I’m learning more about the countries you visit.

  3. Sveta Selivanova says:

    What does have dog on the nose??

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