It’s a fact!
As the world’s largest country by far, it’s no surprise that there are endless fun and fascinating facts about Russia. Here are just a few of them…
- Moscow's Fallen Monument Park contains a host of former Soviet statues, as well as more contemporary works.
- Postnik Yakovlev was the architect behind St Basil's Cathedral. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible blinded him afterwards, so he could never build anything to rival it.
- Russia has more time zones (11) than any other country.
- The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg has almost 14 miles of marbled corridors.
- You can visit Russia without applying for a visa by taking a ferry from Helsinki to St Petersburg. Otherwise, always make sure you have your visa before you travel.
- Russia has one of the world's most terrifying walkways: the 439-metre SkyBridge.
- St Petersburg has its own beach, next to the Peter and Paul Fortress. The city’s so-called ‘walruses’ (believers in the therapeutic effects of the River Neva’s freezing water) gather here to bathe in winter.
- Vasilevsky Island in St Petersburg offers a bizarre selection of attractions, including a pair of 15th-century sphinxes from Egypt and a museum of biological oddities where you can see the skeleton and heart of Peter the Great’s gigantic personal servant.
- 1800 skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes of Sheregesh in Siberia in 2015 wearing bikinis in a bid to create a Guinness World Record.
- There are plans to build an ambitious 12 400-mile superhighway linking the Atlantic and the Pacific.
- Around 10 000 British tourists visit Russia each year. Over 90 per cent of them go only to Moscow and/or St Petersburg.
- In Russia, you should always give flowers in odd numbers, unless you’re going to a funeral, when even numbers are the rule.
- Russia is home to the coldest inhabited place on the planet – Oymyakon. On 6 February 1933, a temperature of -67.7°C was recorded at its weather station.
- In 1908, the Russian Olympic team arrived in London 12 days late because it was still using the Julian calendar.
- They say that Peter the Great loved his toy soldiers so much that he executed a rat (by hanging) which chewed the head off one. He also imposed a tax on beards.
- The icicles hanging from the gutters in Moscow in winter grow so big that the pavements below are cordoned off, as they could kill passers-by if they fell on them.