Historama, March 29

Tolstoy’s best novel and world’s longest railway line made up this day in Russian history.

­Record railway line set up

Tsar Alexander III gave the green light to the Trans-Siberian Railway today in 1891.

It is the longest railway in the world, connecting European Russia with Siberia and the Far East.

Despite the severe Siberian climate and lack of modern technologies, the railway was completed by 1905.

Today it takes about six days to get from Moscow to Vladivostok by train.

You can also enjoy the journey without leaving your house: a joint project by Google and Russian Railways offers a virtual trip along the entire route.

Read more on this event in Russian history

­Tolstoy’s envy to Pushkin bears fruit

Leo Tolstoy started work on his novel “Anna Karenina” today in 1873. It is widely regarded as his best book.

Tolstoy was inspired to start writing it the morning after reading a line by Pushkin. “That’s how one ought to write!” Tolstoy exclaimed. By the evening, he had shown his wife the first page of the manuscript.

“Anna Karenina” was serialized in a magazine as it was being written. This made the book popular even before it was finished in 1877.

Today it stands as one of the towering giants of Russian and world literature.

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