Russian banknotes

Russian currency has name “ruble” (“roobl`” with soft “l”) since the 13th century. Ruble’s name originates from word “rubit`”, which means “to chop”, because the first coins were cleaved with axes.

Imperial and soviet banknotes are quite boring. Soviet rubles mostly had Lenin’s bust on the front side and image of Kremlin on the back side. So I start with present Russian banknotes, which were issued in 1997. All of them have an illustration of famous monuments and viewpoints from different cities of Russia.

Great Novgorod; Millennium of Russia monument (1862); wall of Novgorod Kremlin (Kremlin = fortress)

Krasnoyarsk; Communal bridge across Yenisei; hydroelectric plant

Saint Petersburg; Rostral Columns (they were erected in 1810 to serves as beacons)

Moscow; Bolshoi Theater and the sculpture of chariot on the top of it

Arkhangelsk; monument to Peter the Great; Solovetsky Monastery

Yaroslavl; monument to Yaroslav the Wise; John the Baptist Church;

Khabarovsk; monument to Muravyov-Amursky; bridge across Amur

apolloApollo’s privates on a banknote are the reason of long holy war

some travelers aspire to make photos of banknotes next to the real monuments

metal coins

Russian cents are called “kopeika”, which literally means “tiny spear-man”. Kopeika got its name after Saint George, who was usually printed on a coin.

Saint_george_raphaelSaint George by Raphael (1506)

Finally in 2013 Russia has approved an international sign of ruble:


the new design



“9 months it’s cold and 3 months it’s freezing”
– people

Today, on the 3rd of October, it began to snow. So I decided to write about weather.

I live in Arkhangelsk city, which locates of the North coast of Russia. But I believe, notes below will be correct to the whole North-West region.
Arkhangelsk is close to polar circle

Considering the fact that winter is the major season here, I initiate with its beginning.

October: down to –5°C (23°F); cloudy sky, rains and snows.
Puddles may freeze during the night. People wear jackets and carry umbrellas.

November: down to –10°C (14°F); cloudy sky, snows.
Snow is everywhere, but sometimes it melts. People put on warm things like fur jackets, gloves and scarfs. River is freezing.

December: down to –15°C (5°F); cloudy sky, snows.
It’s already cold, at least people think so after a relatively warm fall. Russians wear winter jackets and furs. Ice-slick is an ordinary thing. 1 of 2 feet of snow on the New Year are usual.

icy sculptures are local New Year tradition

January: down to –25°C (–13°F); often clear sky, snows.
Now the true winter comes. Snow banks on the lawns are 3-5 feet high. It’s the best winter month for strolls, though.

February: down to –35°C (–31°F): cloudy sky, snows.
The worst time of the year. Terrible winds start to blow, they pierce your clothes to the bones. Nobody wants to get out of home without an important reason.

March: down to –15°C (5°F): often clear sky, snows.
Despite the calendar, winter never ends in March, but temperature rises and sun shines frequently. Winds weaken.

April: down to –5°C (23°F), up to +10°C (50°F); often clear sky, less fall-outs.
The most unstable month. The weather depends on the year. Sometimes snow melts and people put on light clothes (after severe winter it seems very warm), in other years snow stay for entire month. If you are lucky in this year, April will be the warmest month of spring. Otherwise, there will be no warm until midsummer.

May: down to 0°C (32°F), up to +10°C (50°F), often clear sky.
It’s cold again and Northern winds return. According to my memory, the were no warm Mays as a rule. River unfreezes and ice drift begins in the middle of the month.

ice drift

June: up to +15°C (59°F), often clear sky.
June is a continuation of May. Some days it may be even hot, but usually the weather is rather unpleasant and you have to put on something with sleeves. Trees turn green.

July: up to +30°C (86°F), sunny.
The only real summer month. People sunbathe on the beach. However, water is still cold, and only badasses dare to swim. In rare years even July may pass without heat. People joke: “Our summer is short and you better spend this day at the beach”.

Arkhangelsk during summer

August: up to +20°C (68°F), cloudy sky, a lot of rains.
Summer swiftly fades leaving us only daily rains. By the month’s end it becomes much colder, down to +5°C (41°F ).

September: around +5-10°C (+41-50°F ), cloudy sky, a lot of rains.
It rains every day; leaves turn yellow. Sometimes Indian summer comes for the last 2 weeks of the month. Weather turns mild and sunny, almost without rains; in that case, it’s a very nice time.