Life in Old Russia compared to “Life in Russia” Today


The Russian Izby of Yesterday

I’m not really sure when the Russian Izby came about but many peasants across the countryside lived in them their entire lives. They were simple homes similar to what were built on the open prairie of America during the 18th and 19th century.  They had no running water inside nor did they have electricity. Life was simple. The toilet was outside (outhouse) or a bucket was used and taken to the river and dumped if they were lucky to live by one. Showers just didn’t exist. See more here.


The Izby revived Today

Today in the Russian countryside life is very different. The once old and worn out Izby houses are being bought and fixed up, we were fortunate enough to have gotten to stay in one of them during our vacation. A good friend of ours owns a “Izby” that he and his wife  have been remodeling for the last couple of years. This actually isn’t an isolated case it’s just one of many of the old homes that are being bought and restored. In the same tiny village we got acquainted with a couple from Moscow that had done the same thing. They got tired of life in Moscow and began to search through the outlying areas in every direction. In some parts of Russia land ownership can be quite expensive but in the surrounding Smolensk area this isn’t the case (as of right now). The costs of owning one of these unique homes costs anywhere from Fifty thousand to two hundred thousand rubles, in American dollars this equates to one to four thousand dollars. Of course it does take a bit of an investment to restore, remodel, or add to the homes themselves.

Then Somethings are just priceless

But not everything is about money, right. It’s really easy to fall in love with the Russian countryside, we did. As we explored our surroundings we found wonderful fields, lakes, and forests that are simply beautiful. Many prominent Artists and writers have lived in the countryside of western Russia. It’s easy to see why.  The Soviet writer Konstantin Paustovsky fell head-over-heels in love with the “depths of Tarusa,” writing that he “wouldn’t swap the Russian heartlands for any exalted and astonishing beauty-spots the length of the wide world!”


Maybe it’s your time to get a small piece of Russia

If you are tired of city life maybe it’s your time to get a small piece of the Russian countryside. Contact me if you are interested. We ourselves are in the process of purchasing property in the area, let us know if we can be of help.



18 thoughts on “Life in Old Russia compared to “Life in Russia” Today

  1. The country side is beautiful but I love the art galleries of Russia. They’re usually in the cities. There’s so much talent and great works of art there.

  2. As i know, foreigners\not citizens are forbiden to own the land in Russia. (What is right imo).
    Exist only two legal ways – to maryy russian and get citizenship otherwise one should passexam in russian language to get citizenship(not talking about other difficulties).

    So i dunno how foreingers can really get coutryside house…

    All other methods are tricky and no any gurantee exist that foreigner will not lose his property one day.

    And i’m not talking about ppl at countryside – it is not Moscow.
    They ,softly saying, almost for sure will not be very happy about non-russian speaking neighbors…esp. english one. ))))
    They will welcome you as tourist, but as a neighbor – i have srious doubts about that.
    Situation is very similar to Japan, but even more serious b\c of historical west role in Russia’s lifetime.

    1. In this I will challenge you, I’ve read the history now and know that foreigners were invited to come to Russia especially those who were involved in the industrialization of Russia, in fact they were favored over Russians at the time. Why? Because the government was busy suppressing their own people. I was also surprised that our potential neighbors were encouraging the process, things are changing. In some areas this may still happen I’m sure. Regardless the property will be in my wife’s name for this reason.

      1. Yup, you are right that during industrialization BEFORE WWII foreigners were invited to force the industrialization durin 1922-1938 during STALIN times.


        [b]First:[/b] That were mainly FOREIGN COMPANIES- not ppl or some very high rated professionals.
        [/b]Second:[/b] most os usual ppl weren’t well educated… let alone knowing history. 90% of them even didn’t know that not so long time ago FOREIGN INTERVENTION TO RUSSIA happend (1918−1921) with a main targed to robe it and anex some part s of it.
        [i]Only and EXACTLY STALIN stoped that![/i]
        Basic data on this subject:
        I’m even afraid to think what would happen if not him.

        You probably will not find a lot of useful quality information in english on this shameful for the west historical subject.

        [b]Third:[/b]Today the situation is the same. Investors who want to invest in real sector of economy, build new plants\factories where russians will work, bring new technologies in industry etc – are wellcomed if they are ready to follow the rules and respect the host.

        RE: [Because the government was busy suppressing their own people.]

        This is VERY questionable statement, b\c Stalin get the country in 1000 times worse condtion than ,for example, current Ukraine and exhausted and demoralized by civil war.
        It was full of national traitors, foreign agents and so on during that time.
        [b]Hope do you know who financed Lenin and Trotskiy?[/b]
        They btw during October revolution destroyed a lot of patriotic intellectuals begining from academic workers and ending by engineers.
        Stalin had no choises, he was need to act in oder to clean it and safe in end. No options existed.
        About him a lot of misinformation and just pure blatant lie exist.

        RE:[ I was also surprised that our potential neighbors were encouraging the process, things are changing. ]

        Sure, Steeve, you are no american – y r almost russian already. he-he … Ppl feel that! 😉
        Also the reaction depends on the level of knowing history and sure education level.

        But, cmon, if ppl don’t want to share the land even with chinese ppl, who considered as friendly nation. Let alone what they think about europenians and esp brits and americans with other ones from British Commonwealth.
        (again i’m making notice that we are talking not about tourists or seasonal workers)

        [b][i]Anyhow, very much depends on if person have a good command of russian and know culture well. [/i][/b]

        Very much alike to Japan for example.
        They also don’t like impudent gaijins\ 外国人. 😀
        To live there you have to become japanese.

        [i]p.s. [u]Offtopic:[/u] It is interesting but many in Russia consider Japanese and Korean ppl much more positive than north american\canadian or europenian.[/i] Among europenians more positive attitude might be towards Italians, Greeks, Spanish, Hungarians, Czech, Slovak, Serbians, Macedonians.[/i]

      2. Honestly I feel I need several more years of really hard work to even begin to understand, which means really humbling myself. I’ve got to admit it’s hard. In my mind there is absolutely returning to what I believe is total falsehood and propaganda bent to make things look better there.

        And to who financed Lenin, I suspect I have a really good idea whom that might have been. When I read about the march to the winter palace by the people and supposed church leadership I felt something was missing but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. What doesn’t make sense to me is that Russia and America in the past have both come to each others defense so I just don’t get it. Guess I will never make a good politician.

  3. RE: [Regardless the property will be in my wife’s name for this reason].

    Wisely, but you are a citizen, you are almost russian, you know culture to some not bad level already, knowing and impovering your russian.

    I don’t think that you might any troubles with that.

    1. I would like to think so, my heart is totally here. Just wish I could get my head here as well. This trip to Abkhazia was a extreme eye opener for me. I got to hear so much Russian (my mind was swimming at times). One thing I’ve always had trouble with is patience. Oh well, Ladna.

  4. Steeve, he is some addiotional arguments why me and russians in general don’t want land ownership avaiable for foreigners and why we in general against western foreigners in Russia.

    Americans about signing the petition of preventive nuclear strike against Russia

    compare with this

    Russians about signing the petition of preventive nuclear strike against USA

    Ppl in Crimea about signing the petition of preventive nuke of USA

    Later, i probably will make a big broad post on this theme…but i’m afraid that it will anihilate a lot of brains of those who can’t stand the truth and for whom the truth and reality is too hurtful.

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