the wandering chick
in the era of Communism
These pictures were taken in the mid 1970's when Russia was deep in the throes of Communism. As a tourist, one could not wander as freely as they might today.
Red Russia painted a glorious picture of itself , creating an impression that her people were well-treated and furnished with all the finer luxuries in life. Materialistically, perhaps they were, with exquisite subway systems adorned with marble statues and fountains, and with chandeliers in many grocery stores.
But most surely, the quality of life ended there.
Above, Left and Below: Red Square is located in the heart of Moscow. Due to its rich history, it is the main tourist attraction in Moscow and perhaps all of Russia.
It holds Lenin's Tomb and the State Historical Museum (above and below), St. Basil's Cathedral (left), the Gum Department Store (below) and the Kremlin, the seat of the Russian government.
Guards at Lenin's Mausoleum on Red Square, Moscow.
The Kremlin Wall
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg is one of the oldest and largest art and culture museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great.
When I visited, St. Petersburg was named Leningrad. The image in the picture above is of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union and creator of the Soviet Communist Party. He lived from 1870 to 1924.
The surrounding pictures are of Catherine's Palace in Pushkin, just outside Saint Petersburg. The palace originated with Russia's Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great, in 1717. It became the summer residence of various tzars of Russia, including the daughter of Catherine, Empress Elizabeth ,to whom the lavish refurberation that we see today is mostly credited. Upon the death of Catherine the Great (Catherine II), 1796, the palace was abandoned in favor of other nearby palaces, and in World War II the palace suffered severe damage by occupying troops. Today, the palace and grounds are open to the public.
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