Jewish Bishkek: A Brief History and Guide

My experience with the Jewish community in Bishkek began on a weekday evening in September. I did not really expect to find a synagogue on Suyumbayev Street. I had been following the gradually narrowing road...

7 Secrets of the Russian Alphabet

The history of the Russian language and its alphabet is long and fascinating. Here are a few anecdotes from that history. The following is taken from a list that has been published in many places...

Tokarevski Lighthouse in Vladivostok

Tokarevski Lighthouse/Токаревский марк Мыс Токаревского Cost: $5-10 (includes roundtrip transportation and food; destination itself is free) “All I know about Russia is that it’s very cold.” This frequently encountered profession of ignorance, will wear anyone...

Tsaritsyno, a Modern Palace in Moscow

Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve/Царицыно Дольская Улица., 1, Москва Park open daylight hours, Museum as follows: Open Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:30 pm Open Saturday 11:00 am – 7:30 pm Open Sunday 11:00 am – 6:30 Closed Mondays...

Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow

Lenin’s Mausoleum/Мавзолей В.И. Ленина Красная площадь, Moscow Open Daily 10:00 am-1:00pm Closed Fridays and Holidays Admission is Free Lenin.ru Vladimir Illyich Lenin is a giant of recent Russian History. Outsiders attempt to describe his meaning...

The Tsoi Graffiti Wall on Stary Arbat

The Viktor Tsoi Memorial Graffiti Wall Stary Arbat and Krivoarbatskaya Lane Landmark – Never Closes; Free Coming across the graffiti wall on Stary Arbat last summer, I took a few pictures, and didn’t think about...

Bunker 42 in Moscow – The Nuclear Threat Experience

Bunker 42/Бункер 42 5-й Котельнический пер., 11, Москва Hours and costs vary, check website for details Student Tours: ~700 rubles www.bunker42.com One of my favorite excursions arranged by SRAS as part of our cultural program...

Underground Palaces – The Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro/Московский Метро Hours vary slightly by station, but generally closes daily 1:00am-5:30am Mosmetro.ru Unless you’ve seen pictures, you’re not prepared for the Moscow Metro System. For visitors, one of the great surprises of...

Memorial Apartment Museum of Dmitri Mendeleev

Free (small donations encouraged/expected) Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00-16:00 Twelve Collegia Building, Mendeleevskaya Liniya on Vasilievskiy Island Must call in advance to organize a visit +7 (812) 328-9744 www.eng.spbu.ru/university/culture/museums/mendeleev Dimitri Mendeleev, best known as the creator of...

10 Obscure Videos of Soviet Moscow

The following text was written by Vera Kichanova and originally appeared in Russian on the website “Bolshoi Gorod.” To read the original Russian, click here. This has been translated for the first time into English by...

Day Trip to Kronstadt

One of the best things about living in St. Petersburg is the ring of interesting day trip destinations that lay in the city’s suburbs. One of my favorite places to escape the hustle of the...

Day Trip to Gatchina

Gatchina Palace – Государственный музей-заповедник “Гатчина” Open Tue – Sun, 10 am – 6 pm The ticket office closes at 5.00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and the first Tuesday of the month Student tickets for...

7 Facts about the April, 1991 Economic Crisis

The following text was written by Aleksei Rudevich and originally appeared in Russian on the website “Russian 7.” To read the original Russian, click here. This has been translated for the first time into English...

5 Ways To Experience Buryat Culture in Irkutsk

Today there are approximately 500,000 people that identify with the largest indigenous group living in Siberia, the Buryats.  The Buryats are a group of people descendent of various Siberian and Mongolian people that inhabited the...

10 Differences Between Moscow and Saint Petersburg

“Moscow is the heart, and Saint Petersburg is the head” -This Russian saying was popularized in the time of Peter the Great and references Moscow’s place as the central upholder of Russian traditions while Saint...

9 Reasons To Study in Batumi, Georgia

When the world first came into existence, the Creator had a big meeting where he divided up the earth and gave different pieces of land to all the people of the world. As luck would...

Student Blog on Socialist Realist Art

Allie Bull studied Russian language and art over the summer of 2013 on a customized program with SRAS. As part of her studies, Allie has begun a blog “exploring what Socialist Realism is, how it...

The Do’s and Please Dont’s of Turkmenistan

Let’s face it everyone, Turkmenistan has a reputation that precedes it. The country has often been associated with the trope of the eccentric “hermit kingdom.” Characteristics such as extreme cults of personality surrounding their leaders,...

Mikhail Frunze Museum in Bishkek

Mikhail Frunze Museum/Музей М. В. Фрунзе 346 ул. Фрунзе Open Wednesday-Monday, 10-17:30 Tickets: Adults 25 som, Students 15 som, Foreign Visitors 50 som, Russian Excursion Service 30 som, English Excursion Service 50 som Bishkek hasn’t always...

Happy Nooruz from Bishkek!

Happy Nooruz! As soon as I knew I’d be spending time in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, I asked Google about the national holidays that would happen during my stay. Google gave me a neat little list of...

Czech House in Moscow

Czech House/ Чешский Дом www.cesky-dum.czechcentres.cz 3я Тверская-Ямская, д. 36/40 Hours: vary, call ahead +7-495-787 78 51 Many countries with an economic and diplomatic presence in Russia will likewise have a cultural center somewhere in the...

7 Facts about the Kremlin Stars

The following information was taken from the Russian 7 website. It has been translated here by SRAS Home and Abroad Translation Scholar Caroline Barlow. Some explanatory text and hyperlinks to further information have also been included...

Why So Many Manholes?

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 is one interesting entry from a...

Chernobyl Tour

Chernobyl Tour/Чернобыль Тур Chernobyl-tour.com Tours should be booked two weeks in advance One-day round-trip tour from Kyiv – $165 The town of Chernobyl, Ukraine is directly connected with arguably the most famous – or infamous...

National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War in Kyiv

National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945/Национальный Музей Истории Великой Отечественной Воины 1941-1945 Годов www.warmuseum.kiev.ua Main exhibition 10:00 to 17:00 Tuesday through Sunday 5 UAH students / 15 UAH adults...

Why do Russians Clap on Planes?

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...

An Oral Account of Yurt Making in Kyzyl-Too, Kyrgyzstan

Text By: Gabrielle Randall, SRAS Graduate Russian as a Second Language, Bishkek, Fall 2012 NGO, Cultural Internship, Bishkek, Spring 2013 Information Translated By: Gabrielle Randall; Nurzat Beishembaeyva; and Elnura Kairbekova Pictures Taken By: Gabrielle Randall;...

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad

Сергиев Посад/Sergiyev Posad Троице-Сергиева Лавра/Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius Троице-Сергиева Лавра – open daily 8:00 to 18:00 Weekends churches are closed to the public Lavra’s Museum on-site closed on Mondays Free Admission to the monastery...

Soviet Cafe, “Kvartirka” in St. Petersburg

Kvartirka/Квартирка Nevsky Prospekt 51 Metro Маяковская Naturally, there are still signs of the Soviet Union in St. Petersburg, or as the city was called about 20 years ago, Leningrad. However, it is still difficult to...