MOSCOW WALKS: Skyscrapers in MOSCOW CITY

Moscow City is a ghost town on weekends. It also might very well be a ghost town on weekdays too – this skyscraper city known officially as the Moscow International Business Center has entered its third decade of development, and although a number of businesses have already moved in, the complex still has a “work…

MOSCOW WALKS: OLD ARBAT AT NIGHT

For many Moscovites the Old Arbat street is imbued with an almost mythical aura and a heavy dose of nostalgia. One of the most famed Russian bards, Bulat Okudzhava, even sang “oh Arbat, my Arbat, you are my Fatherland…” It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact source of this reverence. Arbat’s history is very layered. In the…

DEREVENSKOYE ZODCHESTVO OF SUZDAL (say what??)

Suzdal is ALSO famous for its zodchestvo — Russia’s traditional wooden architecture. Village (deryevenskiye) houses are decorated with ornate wood carvings, particularly around the windows, and painted in bright, sometimes clashing color combinations. They are a delight to look at in any season, but they really stand out in the winter, against white snow and grayish…

CHURCHES OF SUZDAL

Suzdal is famous for its churches. It is also famous for the sheer number of them – some 40 in a town of 10,000 folks. Back in the day Suzdal used to have one church for every 10 inhabitants!  I have no idea about the cause of this phenomenon; although Suzdal is a very old…

TALLINN: BITS AND BOBS AND A BEAUTIFUL PALACE

Here are some random interesting bits from Tallinn. A Tale of Two Churches The Soviet Union was not kind to organized religion of any stripe, and thousands of churches were outright destroyed or re-purposed for other needs of the people. Old Town Tallinn has two remarkable examples of ecclesiastic architecture with equally fascinating histories. The Russian…