Experience Russia

The Best Constructivist Buildings in Moscow

Constructivism was an artistic philosophy which emerged in the mid-1910s in Russia, and called for the purposeful construction of art. In the early Soviet period, it was stipulated that all forms of art and design must have a function within socialism: Constructivism therefore presented itself as a suitable artistic movement for that period. It was considered that by making a person’s exterior surroundings harmonious with ideology, you could influence their interior thoughts and behaviour - buildings themselves could play an important role in constructing the New Soviet Man. This encouraged Soviet architects and engineers to embrace all manner of ground-breaking ideas and technologies: redesigning public spaces, workplaces and residential areas could inspire a Soviet mentality from the outside in. Many Constructivist buildings can still be seen throughout Russia, especially in Moscow. Here are four of the capital’s most striking Constructivist buildings, aiming to create utopia from ubiquity.

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New Year’s 2020 in Moscow

There’s something about big cities, something in their chemistry, which makes for awesome New Year’s celebrations. The bigger the better is the key rule to this bombastic event, so what city could possibly be better suited to play host to this night of flagrant flamboyance than the biggest city in Europe - Moscow?

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The Legend of Ded Moroz

Ded Moroz is very much the symbol of the festive season in Russia, and, with his silvery beard and twinkling eyes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ded Moroz was simply another name for Father Christmas. The truth however, as with all things magical, is a lot more complicated than that.

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5 Art Nouveau Masterpieces in St Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital, was shaped by the artistic trends that spread across Europe and the world. One such trend was Art Nouveau, which emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Check out our guide to five of the most outstanding masterpieces of Art Nouveau in St. Petersburg, and keep your eyes peeled when exploring the city.

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The 7 Most Beautiful Places in Russia

Russia has so much to offer. From the stunning architectural splendor of St. Petersburg to miniature deserts surrounded by green plains and mountains and on to the frozen fantasy landscapes of Siberia — the magical charm of Russia’s grandeur and nature enchants even the grumpiest babushka or traveler! To give you a hint about where you should start planning your visit, here’s a (subjective) list of 7 of the most beautiful places in Russia.

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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is the first philanthropic institution in Russia wholly devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 2008 by Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova, and located in Moscow’s famous Gorky Park, the museum showcases artistic movements from Russia and around the world. Alongside exhibitions, visitors can enjoy theatre performances, concerts and film screenings orchestrated by emerging local artists and creatives; they can also get involved in workshops, lectures and other educational programmes aiming to open up contemporary art to all ages. Garage is also home to Russia’s only public archive of Russian contemporary art and largest library of contemporary art books. In this all-encompassing project, Garage unites Russia’s artistic heritage with its contemporary cultural life.

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The Mongol Invasion

The invading Mongols accelerated the fragmentation of the Kievan Rus’. In 1223, the Kievan Russian army faced a Mongol raiding party at the Kalka River and was soundly defeated. In 1240 the Mongols sacked the city of Kiev and then moved West into Poland and Hungary. By then, they had conquered most of the Russian principalities. Overall, Mongol reign over the Kievan Rus’ lasted for roughly 200 years. Of the principalities, only Novgorod escaped occupation.

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Moscow’s Best Ice Sculpture Festivals in 2019-2020

Legend has it that hundreds of years ago two Russian men went ice-fishing. So engrossed were they in watching their lines that they failed to notice a snow storm hurtling towards them. The next morning, the locals found the fishermen exactly as they had been the day before, crouching over their ice-holes— frozen in time. But instead of shocking the villagers, this sorry sight inspired them to try carve figures from ice. Ever since that fateful day, ice sculptures have been at the center of Russian winter celebrations.

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How To Celebrate The New Year in Style in St. Petersburg in 2019-2020

Without a doubt, New Year is the loudest, largest and rowdiest Russian holiday. Though it is true that Russian New Year shares a few of Christmas’s traditions, such as Father Frost hiding presents under a Christmas tree, it is definitely not a stay-at-home and light a fire kind of celebration; it’s more like turn the speakers up and set the fireworks off!

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St. Petersburg’s Annual Ice Fantasy Festival in 2019-2020

Ice— stone-hard, devilishly cold and yet strangely beautiful— is the embodiment of Russia. With that in mind, could there possibly be a better way of learning about Russian culture than through the medium of ice? We think not.

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Kievian Russia

The history of the first Russian state, that of Kiev, is semi-legendary and therefore resembles a fairy-tale, much like the ones grandmothers often tell children to make them fall asleep. Yet the early history of Russia also resembles a mysterious detective story, because sources on the topic aren't plentiful and therefore we don't know much about it. Although it's difficult and even impossible to produce all the correct answers, we can at least be able to avoid the cruder mistakes and oversimplifications.

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Russia Before the Russians

It could be said that Russia's historical mission has always been to connect two great civilizations, that of the East and of the West. This was also the case centuries ago, when there were no actual Russians on the territory now occupied by the Russian state. At present we know, vaguely, the historical development of southern Russia before the appearance of the Russians and the Kievian state. It is important to appreciate this background in order to understand Russian history.

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Winter Activities in Moscow

Moscow truly is the beating heart of Russia and in the run up to New Year’s, visitors can really feel it thumping! Merry-makers from all over Russia come to see Moscow in all its shining glory. At a time when most northern cities go into dormancy, Moscow blossoms.

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The Best Contemporary Art Museums in Russia

When you think of Russian cultural institutions, what springs to mind? The Hermitage, the Russian Museum, and the Bolshoi Ballet; the opulent palaces and churches of Tsarist history; revolutionary artwork taking the country by storm. Yet Russia is an incredibly rich source of unique contemporary art, which can be found in museums documenting the artistic development of the country from the late Soviet period onwards. These museums not only exhibit the work of household names, but also support emerging artists and showcase the varied cultural features of Russia’s regions spanning from Europe to the Far East. So where can you find the country’s best contemporary art museums?

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Winter Activities in St Petersburg

Sometimes it seems as if Russians are a completely different species from the rest of us. In summer they hibernate en masse at their sleepy dachas, whereas in winter the cities turn into a hive of activity. It seems Russian’s take pleasure in having their behinds frozen off! No matter what the weather, you’ll find herds of rosy-cheeked Russians skiing through the city’s parks, dashing off to the theatre or taking the family out for a ride on vatrushkas.

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