The iconic Saint Basil’s Cathedral is what many people see in their minds when they think about Moscow. Located in the Red Square, It is one of the largest, most intricately beautiful cathedrals around and a symbol of the country. The cathedral was built in 1560 by Postnik Yakovlev and is a major Russian tourist destination.
Sadly, according to the stories, Postnik was not rewarded for his amazing work on the cathedral. Rumor has it that once Saint Basil’s was completed, Ivan the Terrible had him blinded. His reasoning was that he didn’t want Postnik to build anything so magnificent again or anything that could even compete.
Despite their image in the world, Russians are not only fans of winter sports, even though they are good at them. The most popular sport in the country is actually soccer. They also enjoy ice hockey, handball, boxing, tennis, athletics, and car racing.
Many Russian athletes have made a name for themselves in professional sports. Tennis players Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova are amazing athletes and international superstars. Alexander Ovechkin and Sergei Fedorov spring to mind immediately whenever someone brings up the sport of ice hockey.
Pollution at Lake Karachi
This oddly colored body of water is Lake Karachi, and it has the dubious honor of being the most polluted lake in the world. That is hardly surprising since it is situated beside the biggest nuclear facility in all of Russia, which is leaking. The nuclear waste flows straight into the stream of the Techa River, which flows directly into Lake Karachi, where it unfortunately remains.
The solution that was offered by the Russian government, they filled the lake with concrete to keep it from touching the shore.
Cloakrooms, Cloakrooms, Everywhere
It must be something in their blood, but the Russian people adore a good cloakroom. It may have started due to the cold winters, but these days any business that respects itself has one.
It doesn’t matter if you step into a restaurant, a bar, a theater, or a museum; the first thing that will occur is the request to place your coat in the cloakroom. Most of these garment storing rooms are operated by older Russian women known as babushkas. They not only offer great service, but it is also a way for them to make some extra money. In that case, how can we refuse?
Dangerously Cold Winters
Russia is famous for its icy winters. The weather is so cold it has literally stopped invasions. Both Napoleon and Hitler’s armies could not survive the frigid temperatures in Russia and suffered from disease and lack of food, which eventually forced them to retreat.
Another danger that is typical of Russian winters can be found in gutters all over the country. The icicles that form have more than once fallen on people walking underneath and caused serious injuries or even death. In the winter of 2010 in St. Petersburg, more than 150 pedestrians were hurt by falling icicles. So if you are visiting in the colder months, don’t forget to look up.