Matryoshkahe story of а Russian nested doll called Matryoshka may seem complicated. It had been brought to Russia from Japan in the end of the 19th century. Although the similar toys had already existed in India for a long time. But it was not an obstacle for Matryoshka to become one of the most recognized Russian gifts all over the world. Having appeared in time of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, Matryoshka had not disappeared in the Soviet period. On the opposite it became even more popular both in Russia and abroad. So today Matryoshka is probably the best known symbol of contemporary Russia.
Matryoshkas are simple and complicated at the same time. They are usually carved of wood and hand painted. Traditionally Matryoshka is a young lady wearing a "sarafan" - a sort of a summer dress – and a colourful shawl. But today Matryoshka may represent a wide range of images. Popular politicians like Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, film stars and pop musicians and even football players could be painted on nested dolls today. The most surprising thing for people unfamiliar with Matryoshka is that each doll contains a set of the smaller ones. The largest set of Matryoshkas had been created in Soviet Union in 1970. It contained 72 dolls. While there are usually five dolls in the set. Some Matryoskas may be designed like a case for a bottle of fine Russian vodka!
Matryoshkas are incredibly popular among tourist so you have to be aware of the price. It start from 500 rubles and then has no limit. The price depends on the number of dolls in the set, the size of the set and the kind of painting. So everyone who comes to Russia will be able to find a Matryoshka of his or her dreams.
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