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Russia has made a priceless contribution to the world culture. It has given to the world not only great classics and fine arts masterpieces but entire schools. Russian drama school of Stanislavski and ballet school are the world-famous ones.

Alexander Pushkin

Russian literature in known all over the world. The books by Leo Tolstoy and Feodor Dostoevsky are known the same as the works by Shakespeare and Dumas. “War and Peace”, “Anna Karenina”, Crime and Punishment” are translated into almost all languages. “Eugene Onegin” by the great Russian poet Pushkin is included into the list of world literature masterpieces of the 19th century, and many remarkable books appeared in the 20th century, for example “Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov.

The places where the most famous Russian writers lived and created their outstanding works have themselves become cultural monuments.

Leo Tolstoy

Yasnaya Poliana Memorial Estate of Lev Tolstoy is located 200 kms to the south from Moscow. Cultural festivals and international literary meetings are held here.

There are many places in Saint Petersburg related to Dostoevsky and Pushkin, as well as to the characters of their books. Pushkinskie Gory (Pushkin Hills) is a literary memorial museum placed in Pskov Region in the north-west of Russia. Every year the International Pushkin Poetry Festival is held there.

Russian classical music is well-known too. The best orchestras in the world play the symphonies by Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergey Rachmaninoff and Alfred Schnittke.

Every staging of “Eugene Onegin” and “The Queen of Spades” by Tchaikovsky, “Boris Godunov” by Mussorgsky, “Tsar’s Bride” by Rimsky-Korsakov and “Prince Igor” by Borodin is a remarkable cultural event. Russian opera singers and musicians are world-famous. Opera fans of Paris, London, Berlin, Milan and New-York applauded to Feodor Chaliapin. Great Russian conductors Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Spivakov are today’s idols of classical music fans all over the world.

Feodor Dostoevsky

Russian ballet, its rich traditions and famous names of the ballet dancers –are the most important cultural symbols of Russia. Russian school of classical ballet is considered to be the best in the world.

Classical ballet came into Russia in the 18th century. By the end of the 19th century the national school of ballet had finally formed. It has concentrated achievements of the best ballet schools of the world and enriched their with Russian national dance traditions. Sergei Diaghilev’s “Russian Seasons” project of the early 20th century had a great significance for the Russian musical and dancing art. Russian opera and ballet actors’ performances organized in Europe by Sergei Diaghilev achieved much success in Paris, London, Rome, Berlin and other cities.

Swan Lake ballet

One of the greatest ballet dancers – Anna Pavlova – was one of the “Russian Seasons” stars. Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Michail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nuriev were included in the world ballet hall of fame in the 20th century.

Nowadays Russian classical ballet traditions are supported and developed by dancers and choreographers not only from Russia but from all over the world. Visits to ballet or opera are included into many tourism programs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

Great masters of Russian avant-garde of the 20th century have brought priceless contribution into the world art.

They have generated new aesthetics of art, architecture and design. The works by Kazimir Malevitch and Vasily Kandinsky are being explored by critics of various countries. “The Black Square” by Malevitch (1915) is kept in Moscow, at the State Tretyakov Gallery.

A special place among the cultural symbols of Russian is occupied by its architectural monuments. The development of Russian culture is inseparably linked with religious tradition. The Orthodox Christianity came into Ancient Russia in the 10th century. Churches, cathedrals and monasteries constructed in different centuries reflect spirituality of Russia. It is possible to call cultural symbols of the country Basil’s Cathedral in the centre of Moscow, white-stone temple on the Nerl river, unique Church of Transfiguration in Kizhi.

Russian folk crafts

The Hermitage, Russian Museum and Mariinski Theatre in Saint Petersburg, the Bolshoy Theatre and Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow are recognized as significant symbols of cultural Russia.

Folk art is also very important for culture of Russia. Russian fine arts, literature, music and dancing art have incorporated centuries-old national cultural traditions and achievements.

Originality and national peculiarity are reflected in folklore music and dances, in legends and tales, in traditions of national crafts.

Having visited Russia one can get such remarkable souvenirs as samovar from Tula, Gzhel ceramics, Palekh caskets, trays from Zhostovo and many other things.