Vladimir Putin,
The President
of the Russian Federation
 
Dear friends!

Russia today is an encounter with an undiscovered land.

Visitors have a fresh opportunity to explore and travel a vast array of exciting and ancient cultures, from the grand imperial Russia of St. Petersburg to the timeless small town life of Siberia. One of the most notable features of present day in Russia is a renewed celebration of the wealth of its past and its potential for the future. Throwing off the blanket of communist uniformity, Russia today is a nation of enormous diversity and tremendous vitality, and an open gate for all, this change made it easier in getting travel visas to visit our country. A new Russia is now in full bloom.

 


Photo Gallery

 
 
Russian "Imperial" flag. The tri-color white, blue, and red flag has made its way back after the Soviet Union collapse.
 
The double-headed eagle was adopted by the Russian tsars. One eagle head represents the East and the other represents the West. The horseman in the middle has been described as St. George. The orb and scepter are grasped in the eagle's claws. Above the eagle's heads is the crown.
 
  
 
A girl dressed in traditional Russian clothing, is presenting a loaf of bread symbolizing hospitality (the traditional "bread and salt" ceremony) during celebrations of welcome or marriage.
 
 
 
This traditional instrument is sometimes brightly painted with Russian designs and scenes from Russian folk tales. A balalaika is a triangular stringed instrument similar to a guitar.
 
 
 
Pushkin is to Russian literature as Shakespeare is to English literature. Pushkin's influence on Russian culture and literature is actually more extreme than Shakespeare holds over English. You'll see monuments to Pushkin everywhere you go in Russia. He is considered to be the "father of Russian literature".
 
 
 
Samovars are a part of the traditional Russian tea culture. Samovars are metal containers used for heating water. Concentrated tea is poured from a teapot into a cup. Then hot water is added from the samovar to dilute the tea to the appropriate strength.
 
 
 
The Russian banya (sauna) is very popular. Sometimes accompanied by bouts of drinking, and birch bark "whisking" (the process of whipping the limbs with birch bark branches to improve blood circulation), the banya experience is a social one.
 
 
 
Blini are traditional Russian pancakes. These can be plain, topped with sour cream, or filled with jam, chocolate, cheese or caviar. It might come with some vodka for aperitif.
 
 
 
Russian Orthodox Christianity is the most common religion in Russia, though religious practice was rare during Soviet times. After the fall of Communism, Russian churches and cathedrals were reopened and Russia has seen a renewed interest in religion.
 
 
 
The Russian troika is a sledge drawn by three horses harnessed abreast. This was a traditional style of cold weather transportation. Commonly featured on folk art, and occasionally Russian troikas are still used as novelties.