Moscow’s Seven Sisters – A Short History of Stalin’s Skyscrapers

Moscow’s skyline is largely defined by the seven towering skyscrapers nicknamed “The Seven Sisters.” Also known locally as “Stalinskie Vysotki” (Сталиские высотки – Stalin’s Highrises), they are one of the leading architectural legacies of the Stalinist period. The Soviet Baroque architecture that The Sisters embody is seen by some as unattractive; the buildings themselves are […]

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History & Myths of Moscow State University

The following was originally written in Russian by amateur historian Igor Aksyuta and published on LiveJournal. It went viral on the Russian Internet for some time. It has here been translated by SRAS Home and Abroad Translation Scholar Caroline Barrow for the education and entertainment of our students and readers. Additional notes and hyperlinks have […]

The Moscow Metro: The “Why” Behind Two of Its Quirks

The Village is a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, their upcoming events, changes, and history. The following are two interesting entries from a series of short articles geared to answer the “strangest questions about city life” in the cities covered by the publication. […]

Moscow’s Seven Oldest Buildings

The following information was taken from a Facebook post by Москва и Москвичи. It has been translated here by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Caroline Barlow. Some explanatory text (in italics) and hyperlinks to further information have also been included for those readers who are not well versed in the history of Moscow and Russia. […]

What Moscow Could Have Been… The Palace of the Soviets

In 1931, the Communists began drawing up plans to tear down Christ the Savior Cathedral and, in its place, build the Palace of the Soviets. It would have been the world’s tallest structure (and would still be #9 today). It would have been topped with 6000 ton statue of Lenin and included, among other things, […]

The Moscow We’ve Lost

The following was originally written in Russian by the popular Russian blogger and photographer Zyalt. It can be seen in the original in his blog. It is presented here for the edification of English speakers interested in Russian architectural heritage and history.   The Moscow We’ve Lost: 10 Architectural Losses of the 20th Century For […]

The Leningrad Zoo During the Blockade

The following history has appeared in various forms around the Russian internet. It has been presented here, translated for the first time into English, by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Lindsey Greytak. The Leningrad Blockade is one of the worst chapters in the city’s history. The severe winter of 1941-1942 finished what was started by […]

Lubyanka and the GULAG: a walking tour of Moscow’s history

There is always history surrounding us. In a city like Moscow, this can seem overwhelmingly apparent. Moscow has many imposing buildings from many eras – some are immediately recognizable and others only invite wonder as to what stories lay behind their beauty or grime. The stories of Moscow’s Lubyanka District were recently opened for me […]

Saint Michael’s Vydubychi Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine

Saint Michael’s Vydubychi Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine 1.5 hour visit with my host family Cost of candles: 10-20 UAH (~$0.35-0.75) On most weekends, I’m guilty of sleeping in late and lounging around my host family’s apartment until the afternoon. My host mom, who serves me mouthwatering meals every day, typically lets me sleep in until […]

Moscow’s Theater Square: History in Old Photos

Moscow’s Theater Square is not only one of the most beautiful and popular squares, but also one of the oldest. There are three theatres in total that surround the square—the Bolshoi, the Maly, and the Russian Youth Theatres. At the beginning of the 19th century, the square was named Petrovskaya Square, after the nearby Petrovka […]

5 Minutes in Russia

This footage was captured by SRAS Assistant Director Josh Wilson: “This was city day in Moscow, but the amount of foot traffic on the new pedestrian streets in the city center – and the amount of open art displayed – are actually fairly typical for a weekend evening in Russia’s capital these days. Note that […]

Krutitskoe Podvorye: A Hidden Gem of Moscow

Krutitskoe Podvorye Religious History in Moscow Free area of town to stroll in Directions: Take the metro to Proletarskaya station. After leaving the metro, head straight down Krutitskiy Per., toward the Moscow River. Continue past the four-way intersection with Novospasskiy Pr-d. On your left, you will see Krutitskaya Ul. Head down the road, and at […]

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