Name: Olga Titova

Age: 44

Profession: Advertising

City: Tver

How long have you been doing photography? What style or genre most interests you? I have been doing photography since 2012. Mainly I do street photography, and during the time I have been doing it, I have won a number of Russian and foreign competitions in this genre.

Can you give us a short description of your city? Where is it located? What is it famous for? Tver is located at the junction of three rivers: the Volga, Tmaka and Tvertsa. During the time of the Tatar-Mongol Yoke, under Prince Mikhail Tversky, Tver was the capital of the middle Russian lands. It was a strong, fortified city where various crafts thrived. During the uprising of Ivan Kalita, the city was destroyed, and it never regained its previous greatness. 

Today, Tver is a typical oblast capital, a statistically average provincial Russian city with very nice architecture. The city has a unique, radial street plan with round public spaces, which in itself is a monument to city development. It was bequeathed to us by Catherine II. On her personal directive, the city was rebuilt by her favorite architects after a huge fire in the eighteenth century. Tver stretches along the banks of the Volga river, giving the city a sense of spaciousness and width. 

What is something about your city that only locals would know? Tverichi [that's the name locals have for themselves] love to give their buildings and monuments nicknames, for example:

  • The victory obelisk is called "The Candle" (Свечка), as its form suggests a thin candle.
  • In the 1980s they began building a tall hotel here. It was a building with a long, thin cement foundation and a square, narrow body. It reminds one of a bottle of wine standing on its neck. That's how the building was built, and since it went up during perestroika, at the height of the anti-alcohol campaign, it was given the local nickname, "Monument to Gorbachev."
  • "Trash" (Хлам) is what they named the city's only disco for people over 30.
  • Today, very few people remember why the city borough Yuzhny ("Southern") is called "needed by no one" (никому не нужный, which of course rhymes with южный). When it was being built it was the very furthest outer region of the city, situated out beyond the railway, beyond the industrial areas. It was considered a cause for sorrow and sadness to receive an apartment there. Today it is a completely normal region with a well-developed infrastructure, but there was a time when people shed copious tears when they moved there, as if they were heading off into exile. Everything has changed, yet "needed by no one" has stuck.

Tver has many rivers and bridges and there is the tradition here, on one's wedding day, after registration at ZAGS, for the groom to carry his bride in his arms across all seven bridges. When this is taking place, all passing drivers will slow down and honk, cheering the groom on. Traffic slows to a crawl on the bridges and everyone expresses great empathy for the young man. No one hurries, waiting for the husband to get his wife to the end of the bridge.

Which places or sites are a must for someone to see if they visit your city? 

  • Visit Catherine's Touring Palace (Екатерининский Путевой дворец) and the local art gallery.
  • Stroll along the embankment between two bridges, and be sure to walk across Stary Bridge. It has a sister city bridge in Budapest, the Freedom Bridge. They are identical bridges, only ours is a bit shorter.
  • One of course must try some of the local beer, Afanasy, in particular the unfiltered variety.
  • Stroll along quiet boulevards and streets in the area of our local "Arbat" - Tryokhsvyatskaya Street.
  • Go swimming in the quarry, a place where locals relax in the summer. The sand quarries dug here uncovered very clear waters, which are now surrounded by delicate sand..
  • Visit the Goat Museum. The goat is on our city seal, in honor of the little goat who became entangled in the belfry rope and accidentally warned locals of an enemy attack.

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