Tag Archives: Russia

The office tower dance

There’s some jostling in downtown Moscow. Buildings are trying to attract the attention of visitors by using its body or by highlighting their main asset. Give them smart phones (or mobile phones) and they’ll take photos of themselves. Building selfies! Why not!

They compete in a space known as the Moscow International Business Center, known to Muscovites as Moscow-City or Moskva-City. Others call it the Manhattan of Moscow.

It’s a futuristic business area that continues to expand in the heart of the Russian capital. It climbs to the sky, as it also contains four of the five tallest buildings in Europe, including the tallest one. Vladimir Putin and Russian billionaires are ambitious.

What are these buildings?


There’s the very sensual Evolution Tower. It grabs everyone’s attention by twisting to the extreme. The twist is so perfect that it’s almost a spiral. Continue reading


The sky fell on their heads

It happened in Val d’Or. Unable to sleep, Geneviève gets up at dawn. She jumps into her slippers and walks to the window. She opens the curtain and contemplates the sky. Day breaks. Not a sound. Everything is quiet. Then bang ! A huge clap of thunder followed by a blinding light in the sky. Then the window shatters. Screaming, Geneviève brings her hands to face. She is bleeding.

Robert wakes up startled. He heard the thunder, the windows shattering, Geneviève screaming. Then a second bang, a third, a fourth, a fifth. One per second for twelve seconds.

Robert runs to the living room. All of the windows on the side were shattered. There are shards all over the floor. Geneviève’s face is covered in blood. The children are crying upstairs. The entire family jumps into the car and heads to the hospital.

On the way, Robert sees dozens of shattered windows. He sees people coming out of their houses and looking at the sky. The roof of the factory that he drove by every day had collapsed. All of the windows were broken. Continue reading

The room’s walls disappeared!

Chambre d’ambre Murs WIKIPEDIA inusite
Amber Room by Jeanyvan (Wikipedia Commons)

We laughed at Indiana Jones at the time. It’s only a movie, we said, watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. Treasure hunters no longer exist. Archeologists searching for the Ark of the Covenant are pure fiction.

First off, it’s true that some archeologists still hope to get hold of the Ark of the Covenant—unless it was destroyed. They look for it without lassos or guns, but they still look for it.

Second, treasure hunters do indeed exist. And one of the most coveted treasures is the Amber Room. Why? Because six tonnes of rare amber covered the walls. What’s more, the amber panels were backed by gold leaf and mirrors.

Let’s travel back to the time of the Russian tsars. In 1701, a Prussian king ordered construction of the room for the Charlottenberg Palace. In 1716, as a political move, he gave it as a gift to Tsar Peter the Great, who decided to increase the splendor of the room with additional work. Finished in 1755, the Amber Room was moved from the winter palace to the summer palace, near Saint Petersburg. Continue reading