Uncovering the legend: Can St. Petersburg drive you mad?

legend of St. Petersburg

“This is a city of half-crazy people… there are few places where you’ll find so many gloomy, harsh and strange influences on the soul of a man as in St Petersburg.” ( Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment) They say St. Petersburg can drive people crazy. But is the rumour true? And if so, why? Today, we go back to the origins of the legend. We remember the mysteries of St. Petersburg as well as famous inhabitants of the city, who at times exhibited some very unusual, if not mad behaviour. The yellow city “Yellow is the colour of fools and mad people,” said Slava Polunin, a popular Russian clown. He even organised World congress of fools with yellow as the theme colour of the event. If you go for a walk in the centre of St. Petersburg, you will notice many historic ...


10 unconventional ways to improve your Russian

Поздравляю! Reading this article, you either are or would like to learn the Russian language. This can be quite a challenge and with many hours of classes and self-study one can quickly find oneself considering giving up their new year’s resolution. But learning a language can be much more fun than most people would anticipate, and in this article, I will share with you a few tips I’ve acquired along the way.   Watch and Listen This tip is not revolutionary and many people are already putting it into practice yet it is important for me to emphasize just how valuable it can be. From my experience everybody loves to procrastinate and just spend one day (or two) binge-watching a good TV show. So why not combine your studying with this guilty pleasure. There are so many Russian TV shows a ...


Russian Emigre Literature – Nabokov and identity

Nabokov and emigre literature

A lesser known part of Russian history is the widespread emigration that happened during the Soviet Union. After the Communist revolution in 1917, a vast wave of 1-3 million Russian intellectuals, teachers and nobility were forced to flee the former Russian Empire. Among these emigrants were the famous literary figures Nabokov, Brodsky and Bunin, who all moved to the West but remained staunchly connected to their home culture and wrote many works in their native tongue. Here is short overview of Nabokov and how his dual-identity as an emigrant in America influenced his writing and forged a literary bridge between Russia and the USA.   NABOKOV – EARLY LIFE Born and raised in St Petersburg, Nabokov was an emigrant of the 2nd Wave, meaning he was among the Russians that left Russia ...


Goodbye from Valentina: пока Россия, I’ll see you soon!

Valentina in Moscow

Time has come to say goodbye to Moscow already and, just as I expected, my experience here was so intense and full of emotions. Five weeks have gone by incredibly fast and now a part of me is not ready to leave the school, my room, my friends, and my daily routine in this beautiful city. Once again I have to thank Liden & Denz for contributing in making my time in Russia so amazing. At first, attending Russian lessons in the morning and working as an intern in the afternoon was tough and tiring, but I don’t regret my choice of living this 360° experience at the school.  I am so happy with the opportunity I had to work here, to meet the other interns, and to find more information about Russia and Moscow. Nothing was better than writing articles about my personal experience and about Mos ...


The best viewpoints to see Moscow from above

Moscow from above

Moscow is so beautiful, it is worth to see from every angle, but the view from above is totally stunning. That’s why there are so many viewpoints around the city. They are historical buildings, parks, museums, and restaurants that also offer breath-taking views of the city. So, in this article you will find some hints to find your best spot to take pictures with amazing landscapes. Viewpoints in parks The most famous viewpoint in Moscow is Sparrow Hills, in Russian Воробьевы горы. The platform can be reached by going up through a park and, therefore, it is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a picnic. From the viewing platform you can catch a glimpse of the two different faces of Moscow: the modern glass skyscrapers of the Moscow-City on the one hand, and on the other ...