There are many natural choices for architectural lovers when it comes to travel (Rome, Toyko and Athens come to mind). But here we take a look at some places in eastern Europe, with a special focus on Russia. We interview one of our readers Moshe Victor Keinig who recently returned from an architectural exploration into Russia.
Question: Moshe Victor Keinig, we know that you have been semi-retired from the architectural field for some years now. What do you do to fill your time?
Moshe Victor Keinig: Well, I try to visit at least 4 different countries each year, for about a week or so. So that takes up a lot of my time. I also enjoy walking around my home city of Tel Aviv which has some real beauties.
Question: What made you choose Russia for your most recent trip?
Keinig: I have never been to Russia and I had heard that architecturally it really is a paradise. Plus the flights from Israel are relatively cheap and there is only a one hour difference in time so all those factors made it an attractive option.
Question: Were you disappointed with your choice? Would you go again?
Keinig: Oh I was far from disappointed; quite the opposite in fact. I would totally go again for so many reasons. First, the architecture there is so uniquely different to other places in the world with 12 Kremlins! Most people are only familiar with the Moscow Kremlin but when I went I checked out the Astrakhan Kremlin, the Kolomna Kremlin and the Novgorod Kremlin. The reason I’d go back is to spend more time exploring other Kremlins. Novgorod for example, is also home to the country’s oldest Cathedral – the Cathedral of St. Sofia. I challenge any architect buff to not be blown away but this building.
Question: What struck you as most striking about the architecture on this trip?
Keinig: Oh wow that’s a tough one. There was just so much that blew me away. I guess the one thing that I kept telling my wife about on my return would have been the materials used with a particular emphasis on wood and brick architecture. You know I’d heard a lot about the brick architecture for many years but you can hear about it, read about it and even see pictures of it but nothing can do it justice like seeing Red Square. There are no words to describe it.
Clearly Moshe Victor Keinig had a wonderful experience exploring Russia and its architecture. This interview provides merely a brief appreciation for what can only be encountered in person.