If you’ve ever watched “Doctor Who” or “Back to the Future” and dreamed of hopping in your own time machine and seeing the world of centuries past, then, starting August 10, Moscow is the place to be. For almost two weeks, the city will be home to the “Times and Epochs” festival — an event that takes visitors from the poleis of ancient Greece to the castles of medieval Europe, and even to the apartment parties of the Soviet Thaw.
In thirty interactive platforms spread along the Boulevard Ring and other central locations, the festival aims to help the curious experience more than 2000 years of history. Whether you’d like to peer inside an 11th century Novgorod peasant dwelling and have a chat with its inhabitants; attend Knight School, where you’ll learn the Knight Code of Conduct and the proper way to saddle and mount a horse; learn to shoot a bow and hit a moving target; or try your hand at wood- and metal-working — the festival has something for every age and interest. Organized with the help of historians from all over Russia and Europe for maximum authenticity, it promises that every visitor will come away with plenty of rare history trivia to show off to their friends. And best of all, you’ll feel as if you learned it all firsthand.
During a stroll through the festival it’ll be easy to forget the rush and worries of the 21st century. Every element has been carefully designed by a team of expert craftsmen. They might not be able to bring you personally to the past, but at least they’ll bring the past straight to you. It’s not an easy task: the clothes alone require a tremendous amount of research, and everything, from the fabrics to the patterns and colors, has to exactly match the materials and styles of its age.
The further back in time, the more room there is for artists to use their own creativity and intuition to fill the gaps in our knowledge — and that only underscores the unique perspective the festival gives you.
We can never learn all of history, but as you walk past a faithfully reconstructed Scythian Stella or check out a spot-on World War I replica airplane, you might get a glimpse of how the people of ages past actually lived. So come along, and be sure to bring the kids — with so many exciting activities all around, “Times and Epochs” is fun for the whole family, and you don’t have to spend a single kopek.
Runs August 10-August 22
Find all locations on the festival website.