Most interesting facts about Russia


Russian Cross

It is fairly common to see a Christian cross with a crescent on the bottom. Many foreigners and even Russians alike consider this a sign of victory of Christianity over Islam. However, this is not true. The cross first appeared in Greece in the 2th- 3th century AD during Roman persecutions of Christians. It was long before prophet Mohammed was even born. Greek Christians used to hang anchors over their houses. For the Roman soldiers it was silly superstition, for Christians it was a secret code. Thus "Russian" crosses commemorate memory of early Orthodox martyrs, not physical extermination of fellow man.


Red Square

This symbol of Russia is ironically translated in a wrong way. Russian word krasnaya (красная) in fact has double meaning: red and beautiful. Today it makes sense since Historical Museum and Kremlin are red. However museum was constructed only in the late 19th century, and Kremlin was either white or painted white, so in this case the correct translation would be Beautiful Square.


Saint Basil Cathedral

Technically the church has nothing to do with Saint Basil. He was in fact alive when it was constructed. Its official name is Cathedral of the Protection on a Moat or Holy Theotokos on the Moat. Basil simply liked to hang out there. There is so many Russian churches devoted to Holy Mother of God it sometimes was confusing. Thus people referred to this particular church as Basil's Church or Basil's Cathedral. Later Basil was canonized and it became known as Saint Basil. In fact only a small chapel  was later added to commemorate the memory of Saint Basil.


The Moat

Since the main cathedral on the Red Square is named after Saint Mary on the Moat we have to explain how did this term came to being. You should not forget that Kremlin is a medieval defense fortification. It was used to defend Moscow citizens from constant raids by different enemies. Part of these defense was a moat that was dug along the perimeter. In the old times it was also used as a burial grounds for thieves, murderers and other society's rejects. It is not hard to find its former location. It is exactly where you will find tombs of Communist leaders with Lenin's mausoleum in its head. Yep. History is not without a sense of irony.


Onion Domes

Most of Russian Orthodox church have dome- shaped roofs. There is no specific meaning to the shape other than its similarity to the burning flame of the candle.


Russia is the largest country in the world, its area is 17,075,400 square kilometers. It is 1.8 times larger than the USA. The area of ​​Russia is approximately equal to the surface area of ​​the planet Pluto.

Russia has the largest active volcano in the world - Klyuchevskaya Sopka. Its height is 4 kilometers 850 meters. He throws pillars of ash eight kilometers in the air. With each eruption, it becomes higher. Volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka has erupted over the past 7 thousand years.

St. Petersburg metro is the deepest in the world. Its average depth is 100 meters.

In St. Petersburg, there are three times more bridges than in Venice. By the number of canals and bridges, it is more appropriate not to call Petersburg - Venice of the North, but Venice as the South Petersburg.

The oldest temple in Russia is considered to be the oldest temple of Thaba-Yerdy, located in Ingushetia, in the Dzheyrakh region, between the villages of Khairakh and Pui. It was built VIII-IX centuries. The three oldest temples in operation are located in the village of Nizhny Arkhyz in Karachay-Cherkessia. They were built in the X century.

The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world. The Great Siberian Path, connecting Moscow with Vladivostok, is 9298 kilometers long, crosses 8 time zones, passes through 87 cities and towns and crosses 16 rivers, including the Volga.

Siberian lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest source of fresh water on the planet. Baikal has 23 cubic kilometers of water. All the largest rivers of the world - the Volga, Don, Dnieper, Yenisei, Ural, Ob, Ganges, Orinoco, Amazon, Thames, Seine and Oder - have to flow for almost a year to fill a basin equal in size to Lake Baikal.

Russia is the only state whose territory is washed by twelve seas.

Russia is separated from America 4 kilometers. This is the distance between the island of Ratmanov (Russia) and the island of Krusenstern (USA) in the Bering Strait.

From Moscow to Chicago is closer than from Chicago to Rio de Janeiro.

There are 2,000 libraries, 221 museums, 100 concert organizations, more than 80 theaters, 80 clubs and cultural centers, 62 cinemas, 45 art galleries in the cultural capital of Russia, St. Petersburg.

The Ural Mountains on the border between Europe and Asia are the oldest mountains in the world. Mountains located in the Kusinsky district near the village of Aleksandrovka, Mount Pencil arose 4, 2 billion years ago. The historical names of the Ural Mountains are Bolshoy Kamen (Large boulder), Siberian Stone, Earth Belt, Belt Stone. Once the Ural Mountains were very high, but now only the foundations of the former mountains are left.

There are 7 absolutely identical tall buildings in Moscow: 2 hotels, 2 administrative buildings, 2 residential buildings and a university. In English, this ensemble is called Seven Sisters, and in Russian simply Stalin's skyscrapers. The style in which the high-rise built, called the Stalinist Gothic.

The Moscow Kremlin is the largest medieval fortress in the world.

The total length of the Kremlin walls is 2235 meters.

There is a large fountain in Moscow from which drinking water is flowing. The fountain is a part of the "Alexander and Natali" architectural group with a sculptural composition by Alexander Pushkin and Natali Goncharova in an elegant rotunda.

St. Petersburg is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over a million people.

The area of ​​Siberia is 9 million 734.3 thousand square kilometers, which is 9% of the Earth’s land.

Russia has borders with 16 countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, North Korea, Japan and the United States. Russia also borders on two unrecognized states: South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

There are more Kalashnikov guns in the world than machine guns of all other designs combined.


Russia declared the equal rights of men and women earlier than the United States. In Russia, the right to vote was granted to women in 1918, in the United States - in 1920.

Russia never knew slavery. The period of the most fully expressed form of feudal dependence, serfdom, in Russia was shorter than, for example, in England and most European countries. Serfdom in Russia had softer forms. Russia abolished serfdom in 1861, the USA abolished slavery in 1865.

On January 16, 1820, the Russian expedition of Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev discovered Antarctica.

The most famous computer game - Tetris - was created by Russian programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1985. This game became popular in the Soviet Union, and then, in 1986, in the West.


Ivan the Terrible was not a tyrant, he ruled unprecedentedly for his time gently. With the same size of Europe and Russia at that moment, Ivan, during his reign, executed 100 times fewer people than his European counterparts during the same period - 3-4 thousand people against 300-400 thousand people. By the way his Russian nickname "Grozny" can be more accurately translated as formidable, fearsome.


Trains in the Moscow metro run more frequently than in any other metro in the world. At peak hours, the interval between the trains in it is 90 seconds. Among them are “nominal” trains, such as the train “Aquarelle”, which is a traveling exhibition of painting.

In Peterhof, near St. Petersburg, there are 176 fountains, of which 40 are giant, and 5 cascades.

Samovar - the ancient version of the electric kettle. Samovar worked on coal, but served the same function, boiled water.

The lowest air temperature is registered in the Russian city of Oymyakon. The cold record was set in 1924 and was –71.2 ° C.

In the Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences there is a monument of a laboratory mouse, inspiringly binding DNA.

During World War II, subway stations were used as bomb shelters. During the air raids 150 people were born in this completely safe shelter.

In Russia, many wonderful sightseeing and tourist routes. The most famous so-called “tourist routes”: the Golden Ring of Russia, the Silver Ring of Russia and the Big Ural Ring.

The total length of the 12 lines of the Moscow metro is 310 km. Between 182 stations, almost 10,000 trains run there. The average duration of a passenger's trip is 13 kilometers.

In the 18th century, Russia was the 3rd largest empire in the history of mankind, occupying territory from European Poland to North American Alaska.

The Hermitage is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It has three million works of art from the Stone Age to modern times. If each of these works is given one minute, then it will take more than 25 years to go to the Hermitage, as if to work, and inspect the exhibits 8 hours a day to see them all.

Half of Chelyabinsk is located in the Urals, half in Siberia. At the same time, a camel is depicted on the coat of arms of Chelyabinsk. The reason for this symbol is simple. Chelyabinsk often took trade caravans of loaded camels.

The Russian Public Library is the largest in Europe and the second in the world after the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1862 in Moscow.

On the opening day in Moscow of the 700-seat McDonalds restaurant on Pushkin Square by 5 am, there was a line of 5,000 people in front of it. During the first day the restaurant served 3,000 customers. To this day, it remains the most visited McDonalds in the world.

The State Hermitage Museum holds a flock of cats to protect against rodents. Each Hermitage cat has a passport with a photo.

There are more than 820 glaciers in Altai, totally covering an area of ​​600 square kilometers.

In Russia, a new sport has appeared - helicopter golf. Two helicopters, equipped with 4-meter clubs, are playing with two balls with a diameter of one meter. Each team has five people. One is piloting a helicopter, the second is hitting the ball, the third is coordinating the actions of the first two, two more in reserve. They replace the one with the stick when he gets tired.

Russia regularly ranks first in various ratings of the least friendly countries in the world, but this is simply a misunderstanding associated with the difference in cultural codes. In Russia, children in schools are taught not to smile for no reason, considering a smile to be a sign of frivolous mood. In fact, the Russians are friendly and always ready to help foreigners.

In 2002, according to the UNESCO rating, Yekaterinburg entered the list of 12 ideal cities in the world.

The largest bell ever cast is the Russian Tsar Bell of the work of masters Ivan Fedorovich Motorin and his son Michael. The weight of the Tsar Bell is 12,327 pud (approximately equal to 16 kg) and 19 pounds, that is, 201 tons 924 kilograms. Its height is 6 meters 14 centimeters.

The city of Suzdal occupies only 15 square kilometers of area and has just over 10,000 people. At the same time, there are 53 temples in Suzdal.