Sunday, June 27, 2010

Clean and dirty, old and new: late June in Moscow

I've been remiss about portraying some of the real sights in Moscow, so I thought I'd start rectifying this with some pics today.

A lot of people here think think the church above with the huge gilded domes -- The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour -- is ugly. It's practically brand new: it was rebuilt in the 90's after the break-up of the Soviet Union (the Soviets dynamited its predecessor in 1931). Whether or not you think it's ugly, it's striking. And hard to ignore. Oh, and it's also directly across the street from the institute where I'm working.

But there's still plenty of stuff left from the Soviet era. For example, in the foreground of this picture is the back of a statue to Friedrich Engels (of Marx and Engels... you know, the great communist thinkers ;). I know it's beyond cliché to say this, but Moscow really is a place of opposites. The religious and secular. The old and the new. The rich and the poor. The clean and the dirty. The big and the... well still bigger (it's hard to find anything small in Moscow).

You'll get pics of the Kremlin next time, but here's another important building in the center of Moscow: The Bolshoy Theater (or in Russian: The Big Theater).

They've done a lot of restoration on the building over the last few years, and I think it's looking quite nice (except for the box-thing covering up the horses on the the top).

Oh, and I promised depressing, suicide-provoking pictures from the inside of the newly opened Dostoevsky metro station. The first thing you see upon entering the station is Dostoevsky himself:

And here's a mural for his novel Crime and Punishment. In the top left-hand corner you can see a man with an axe preparing to chop up a woman. This is from the scene where Raskolnikov kills his landlady for her money. It's one of the images that caused controversy in the press. I don't know. It doesn't make me want to kill myself, but I'm not Russian.

And I apologize if my entry this week is sort of blah. It's really hot here. It has been about 88 degrees Fahrenheit and muggy every day for a week. I've been feeling slightly ill for several days, which might be because of the dense city heat & dirt, or maybe because I'm still not used to my new Russian diet. Anyway. I hope to have more inspired things to say next time☺

1 comment:

Christine said...

Who doesn't love a big gold building? Craziness. I hope you're feeling better. School started again so I'm suddenly feeling much worse.c