This time I take you for #awalkthrough Moscow in another way than usual. “Unusual” because I don’t take you on a tour for the typical sightseeings – no – I show you my personal Moscow in the way how I see and perceive it when I spend time there and my photographic approach is influenced by anthropological-ethnographic observations and documentation of the everyday life.
Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation, the biggest city in the country and with approx. 16 million people one of the global megacities. It is rapidly developing into a high-tech city – you might not believe but even much faster than a lot of other European cities. I just want to mention it even if I rather will show you the Moscow of the common people – thus no expensive cars, golden jewellery or the life in clover of the oligarchs.
From the Sparrow Hills, a natural elevation in the west of Moscow and an enormous park at the same time, you have a wonderful view over the size of the city. The Moscow State University on your backside you can enjoy this nice view on the Luzhniki Stadium.
The architecture is very various and interesting with a lot of different influences of the last centuries, e.g. the Mayakovsky Theatre in the style of Brick Renaissance. It is a straight theatre which shows the stage plays of Leo Tolstoy and others.
Likewise, the many colourful Russian-Orthodox churches belong to the defining cityscape. Despite the Soviet era the Orthodox religion is deeply rooted in the Russian culture.
Often you can find them in direct neighbourhood of modern buildings which depicts nicely the strong contrast within the urban image of the city.
Broad multi-lane roads show the Soviet city planning but back then there were not so many cars as nowadays. Even if not seen in the picture, usually this street, like many others, is shaped by horrendously long and slow stop-and-go traffic.
A typical transportation is the “Trolleybus“. Meanwhile they are primarily existing only in the East-Central Europe, Asian countries but also in Italy and Switzerland. In Moscow it exists since 1933 and the traction overhead system characterises the streetscape of the city and furthermore it is the biggest in the world.
Though, the main transportation of Muscovites is the Moscow Metro. Interestingly on some lines are driving old but modernised trains from the 30s and 40s from Berlin.
The particular about the metro stations is that they have a very spacious and splendour architecture. Marble is the main material and you can find a lot of art, e.g. those creepy appearing sculptures of children at Rimskaya Metro Station.
Of course you also can find buskers here but different from most western cities, here, they are elder people who play nostalgic songs from the Soviet era to get some money for their livelihood because the pension is more than low.
Not only busking helps the elders to have some income; a lot of the women sell home-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and other things for their subsistence. People here like to deal and communicate.
Those of you who search for street art will find it only in a few places of the city because it is mostly illegal and just a few projects get a permission after a council of the city has granted it. Therefore it is no street art paradise like many other cities in the world.
An interesting sight is the Ostankino Tower in the north of the city. It is the tallest free-standing structure in Europe and the fourth tallest tv tower in the world. On top is a restaurant in which the time seems to have been standing still since it was built.
From up there you have the possibility to take a look at the outskirts of the city, the typical and so called “sleeping regions” with their monstrous plattenbau complexes which sometimes even could be small towns measured by the amount of people living there.
In such places live most of the Muscovites and they like to spend their evening with friends because friends and family are the most important thing in such an anonymous mega city.
This was my somewhat different walk through the Russian capital and I hope you enjoyed it. If I could make Moscow tempting for you then don’t miss the chance to visit this more than interesting city at least once. I highly recommend it. In case you got interested in my photography just have a look at my Instagram profile @_baunovart_.