Fun facts about Russia
When you consider the history of Russia it can be tempting to concentrate so much on the bleak periods of the past that it’s easy to forget some of the other aspects of this fascinating country. Here are some fun facts about Russia that you may not know.
Small to Large
These days, Russia is the largest country in the world but it came from some very small origins. In the 12th century, Russia was known as Muscovy and it essentially consisted of the area in and around Moscow itself.
The saying ‘time flies’ is particularly apparent in Russia and the country is so vast that it spans an incredible eight time zones from one end to the other.
Speaking in tongues
While Russian is the official language in the country, there are in fact over 100 different languages spoken in Russia today.
These include fairly common languages such as Chechen and Tatar right down to ones that are spoken by just a handful of people. Some of the less common languages include Vod, Orok and Tofolar.
With its iconic onion shaped domes, St Basils is known the world over, as is the myth that Ivan the Terrible who commissioned the building and had the architect blinded so that he couldn’t produce anything as magnificent again.
It’s not quite so well known that Stalin was considering whether to have the building demolished because it got in the way of his many parades. Thankfully he changed his mind!
While older architecture in Russia may be the most beautiful, some of the modern buildings are particularly fascinating and Ostankino Radio tower in Moscow is the tallest building in Europe at a staggering 1,770 feet high.
Russia is so vast that you will find great extremes of temperature across the country but above all, it boasts some impressive records when it comes to extreme cold.
Russia can claim the coldest city in Europe in Yakutsk – the only city in the world to be built on permafrost and at the White Sea temperatures are at a record constant of minus 2 degrees centigrade.
More natural records
With a country so vast, it may not be a surprise to learn that there are other natural records here as well. It has the largest reservoir of fresh water in the world while Lake Baikal is the deepest lake on the planet.
Meanwhile, the Urals are the oldest mountains in the world.
So when you’re learning about Russia, you don’t have to be drawn solely into the bleaker periods of history and while this is a fascinating subject, Russia can be a fun and vibrant place.
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