Sunday, June 14, 2009

Land of the Czars.

[Click on pictures to enlarge]

St. Basil Cathedral, landmark of Moscow, encompasses several chapels, one under each coupola and doesn't function as church anymore.

Years ago, I was Director of the Analytical Division of an environmental company. I supervised a staff of chemists performing analytical tests and worked on various government contracts. A monotonous predictable life that suddenly changed when I won a contract to refurbish a military laboratory in Belarus.

I traveled fifteen times to Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In Minsk, capital of Belarus I was well received by everyone, officers, directors, chemists, journalists. I worked with colonels and generals, was invited to theirs homes and became friend with their wives.

TO LOVE A HERO highlights the hospitality and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarussians officers who sing, toast with vodka and make a woman feel like a goddess.

  • Let me take you to the heart of Moscow, Red Square, the Kremlin and its churches, St. Basil Cathedral....

  • Stalin wanted to destroy St. Basil to allow his army to parade on Red Square. When the Mayor of Moscow resigned and the Russian people dared to protest, Stalin changed his mind.

It's a tradition for the young married couples in Moscow to take pictures at Red Square. We saw seven wedding parties on the Saturday we visited Red Square and the Kremlin.

And here against the Kremlin wall, the tomb of Lenin. Lenin's statue was removed in 1991 after the fall of the communist regime.

Inside of the Kremlin walls we counted seven churches with golden domes covered with real gold leaves that don't rust with time. The most famous being the Church of the Annunciation, of the Assumption, of St. Michael, one more elaborate than the other.

This fountain has a story. It's dedicated to the two architects that Ivan the terrible contracted to design and build St. Basil Cathedral. The Czar was so pleased with the cathedral that he had his guards poke the architects' eyes so that they could not build another church as beautiful as his cathedral!!

The University of Moscow on top of a hill overlooking the city of Moscow, is a superb building constructed by the Germans during the Nazi occupation.

Below Moscovite students celebrating the end of the school year at University Hill.

Tomorrow I will announce the winners of contest 3.

Meanwhile here is contest 4:

Wha's the favorite drink of Russians? You can't miss it if you read my book TO LOVE A HERO!!!


Barbara Monajem said...


I love your pictures, Mona. Have you been to St. Petersburg? I'd like to go there someday.

Jane said...

I've always wanted to visit the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Russians love vodka.

Anton said...

Excellent pictures, Mona! Love your blog!

Mona Risk said...

Yes I have been to St. Petersburg. I will post pictures tonight. Moscow is a more beautiful city but the Hermitage beats even Versaille.

Vodka? what else. You can see me a toast in hand.

Anton, I hope you will sign in my mailing list.

Mary Ricksen said...

Great pictures Mona! said...

These pictures are great I would have to say that russians like vodka the best.

Alice Audrey said...


Hi Mona. I didn't know you were blogging now. I just joined The Garden myself.

Estella said...

Awesome pictures, Mona!
Russians love vodka.

Mary Marvella said...

Mona! Those are breathtaking! Thanks so much for sharing.


I think it is vodka. Everyone going to say vodka.

Mona Risk said...

Yeah!!! vodka is the national drink in Russia. You raise your shotglas, you say Nazhtrovia, and you drink bottoms up. And if you are a vodka novice like I was, you rub your throat and screamm: grahhh, fire!!!

Alice Audrey, so good to see you here. Congratulations on joining the Garden. Is it Zac? Don't forget to sign up my mailing list. To be eligible for a prize.

PhyllisC said...

I was at the chat tonight and came over to check out your website. Those are great pictures. And I enjoyed all your comments on them.
Also to answer your contest question, I would have to say that Russians favorite drink is vodka.

Mona Risk said...

I am glad you stopped by Phyllis. I hope I will see you often here and please sign in my mailing list in the white box.

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

Mona, your pictures are lovely! How wonderful to have been able to visit such a historic and interesting place. Russian love their Vodka, but then everyone knows that!