Discovering the History of the Uprising

Warsaw Rising Museum Grzybowska 79 See Website for Details During a class taken as part of my Security and Society program, a professor noted that the Poles were great at two things: “Uprising, and terribly failing at it”. Since the city of Warsaw is history everywhere you look, I decided to go to the Warsaw […]

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History and Art Off the Beaten Path in Warsaw

Most foreigners in Warsaw tend to the stick to the center of the city and Old Town, with some maybe venturing as far as the Praga district. Being that these areas are mostly discovered and easy to tour — along with being packed with tourists and locals — I decided to start taking trams to […]

Travel from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Travel from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau An Eye-opening Experience ~$80 for a day trip While in Poland, I decided to take in one of its most famous tourist sites – which also happens to be the site of one of the 20th century’s most horrific and painful events. In terms of budget, if you are looking […]

Controversial Theater in Warsaw: Curse

Curse Teatr Powszechny Powszechny.com Throughout my stay in Poland, I have found that one of the most pressing concerns in society is the role the Catholic Church plays in state and public affairs. A Croatian theater director, Oliver Frljić, known for creating theatrical productions that focus on pressing contemporary problems in specific countries, has now […]

International Women’s Day Eve in Kyiv

Pre Women’s Day Festivities in Kyiv, Ukraine Every March 8th, but really March 7th, too.  Perhaps no one in the world takes the celebration of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, as seriously as those in Kyiv. It makes sense that the day is especially heralded in Ukraine and Russia, as it was a […]

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Anniversary of the Shooting of 100 Protesters in Kyiv Remembrance Event Independence Square, Kyiv February 18, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for the third anniversary of the day snipers killed 100 protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on February 18, 2017. The deceased […]

Victory Day in Vladivostok

Behind New Year’s, May 9th is the largest holiday in Russia. Victory Day celebrates the Soviet victory in World War II over the German Reich. This year marked 71 years since hostilities ceased in that war, but it seems that time has done little to weaken the remembrance of that great event. The main event […]

Why Do Russians Shout «Горько!» (Bitter!) at Weddings?

The following information originally appeared as part of a longer article on The Village, a Russian-language lifestyle publication.  It has been adapted by SRAS and translated here by SRAS intern Mae Liou.   Gerda, a professional Russian wedding emcee: People often ask me about this, so for some time now I’ve been aware of several […]

Russian Greetings Through the Ages

The following information originally appeared as part of a larger article on Russkaya Semyorka, a Russian-language history and culture site. The information has been translated and adapted here by SRAS. According to one legend, the name “Slavs” comes from the verb “славить” (slavit’; to praise, to give a blessing). This seems unquestionable, actually, as nearly […]

History of Vegetarianism in Russia

The following article originally appeared in Russian on Vegetarianskij.ru. It has been translated and adapted by SRAS for presentation here. History of Vegetarianism in Russia The official coming of vegetarianism to Russia was inaugurated with the opening of the first vegetarian society. This was in Saint-Petersburg in the mid-1860s. The society was humorously called “Ни […]

A History of Sayings and Expressions about Moscow

Russian has many sayings and expressions that revolve around Moscow and places within or near Moscow. The most famous for foreigners is probably “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” but there are many others such as “to yell to the whole of Ivanovskaya” and examples that might not seem to refer to a specific place […]

Exploring Russian Traditions in Vladivostok

The international department at VGUES has, throughout the semester, taken us on various excursions around Vladivostok. This week, we ventured back into time to explore some of the old Russian traditions. At a rather nondescript apartment building near the city center, a kind babushka beckoned for our group to come inside. We were then ushered […]

‘Beatnik Market’: Russian Beat in St. Petersburg

Универмаг «Битник» Итальянская улица 17 find them on Facebook Interested in some retro fashion or events while in Piter?  Between Nevsky and the Russian Museum, the Beatnik project boasts a bar and a gallery/event space.  They hosted the Beatnik market from the 6th-9th of October, showcasing DJs, artist Stas Kazimov, and retro market with local […]

Vladivostok Fortress Museum

Scattered across Vladivostok’s coastal slopes in quite a few places one can see the metal and concrete remains of the old coastal batteries built to defend the city in years past. Most of the emplacements are just curios–disused relics that add a little extra spice to an already flavorful city. But near the old city center, […]

Milk Bars: How to Survive in Warsaw

This is a quick introduction to both Warsaw’s milk bars, which are important cultural institutions as well as great places to eat, and to the Polish language needed to order in them. While English-speaking eating establishments can be found, they will typically be more expensive and less of an important local experience than a Milk […]

Warsaw Uprising Mound

Warsaw Uprising Mound / Kopiec Powstania Warszawskiego Located in Park Akcji „Burza” in Czerniaków (Mokotów district) Open to the public 24/7 This week the weather was finally nice enough that I decided to walk to the end of the long street that my dorm is on and explore the area a little. The trees in […]

Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw

Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw / Cmentarz żydowski w Warszawie ul. Okopowa 49/51, Warszawa tel. 22 838 26 22 Beisolam.jewish.org.pl Mon-Thurs: 10am-5pm (or dark) Fri: 9am-1pm ; Sun 11am-4pm Saturday closed There are actually a number of Jewish cemeteries in Warsaw, but the one at Okopowa street is by far the largest. At 83 acres or […]

Łazienki Park and the Palace on the Isle in Warsaw

Łazienki Park and the Palace on the Isle in Warsaw / Łazienki Królewskie i Pałac na Wyspie w Warszawie ul. Agrykoli 1, 00-460 Warszawa, Polska Lazienki-krolewskie.pl The Gardens are open daily, from dawn until dusk The museum in the Palace on the Isle is open: Mon – 11am to 4pm Tues-Sun – 9am to 6pm […]

History Meeting House in Warsaw

History Meeting House (Dom Spotkań z Historią) Karowa 20 Opening Hours: Tues-Fri from 10am to 8pm Sat-Sun from 11am to 8pm, Mondays closed Admission free DSH.waw.pl After attending a lecture at Collegium Civitas (CC) on the topic of the First World War (in a class entitled “The History of Central Europe”), I thought a visit […]

A History of The Union of Lublin Square

The Union of Lublin Square (Plac Unii Lubelskiej) is not actually square as the English translation would lead you to think, but a circular traffic roundabout located where the downtown district (Śródmieście) meets the district directly south of it, i.e. Mokotów. In fact, the square was even originally called Rondo Mokotowskie (or “Mokotów Roundabout”) when […]

Spielberg Auschwitz Documentary Now Online

A brand new 15-minute documentary on the history of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, produced by Steven Spielberg and narrated by Meryl Streep is now available for free, in its entirety, on YouTube. It premiered January 27th in Poland in the presence of 300 Holocaust survivors. It is part of the permanent installation at the […]

Piłsudski Square in Warsaw as Microcosm of Polish History

Pilsudski Square “plac marsz. Józefa Piłsudskiego” Śródmieście Północne 00-078 Warszawa Take bus 175 or 128 from Centrum Open to the public 24/7 Piłsudski Square is Warsaw’s largest open square. It is named for Jozef Piłsudski, a Polish WWI general, statesman, and national hero who turned the tide of the Polish-Soviet War in Poland’s favor by stopping […]

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 for blocks, eventually across the wide Jibek-Jolu Avenue. On the other side of this thoroughfare, Suyumbayev was sidewalk-less, and full […]

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 on the Russian Internet. One version can be seen on Russian7.ru. It has been translated to English and revised by […]

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 out after a while. I was hardly surprised, then, to note the reaction of my Russian fellow-passenger in response to […]

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 80 rubles with Student ID www.tsaritsyno-museum.ru Tsaritsyno is a beautiful palace and nature reserve just out of town to the […]

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 among Russians using spiritual leaders, historical figures, and mythology, and always these comparisons seem insufficient. Father of the revolution, champion […]

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 in Moscow was this dark little surprise, Bunker 42. The exterior is very well marked with a giant red star, […]

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 the Periodic Table of Elements, is a Russian national hero and one of the foremost thinkers of the 20th century. […]

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 city is the town of Kronstadt. About 30 km west of the city center, Kronstadt is located on the island […]

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 palace and park: 120 rubles Gatchinapalace.ru One of the best things about living in St. Petersburg is the ring of […]

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 Petersburg looks west into the social and scientific developments of the future. Is it still applicable today? – You decide. […]

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