I am trying to identify a Russian location I stayed at many years ago.

  • I don't speak or read Russian
  • The place name was phonetically "Sher-na-ga-LOFF-ga" (or very close)
  • The community consisted of a series of medium-high-rise tower blocks
  • There was some kind of scientific research institute there that employed many of the residents. I believe I remember mention that the community was purpose built around this institution
  • The community was essentially a big clearing in the middle of a massive forest, with the aforementioned towerblocks and institution and as I recall just a single shop.
  • It was very approximately 50 miles out of Moscow, and I believe (vague!) it was south of Moscow.

What you have described fits the town of Черноголовка, or with in Latin font, Chernogolovka (directly translated to approximately 'Black Head')

It is to the North East of Moscow (rather than the South), just outside of the A107 'ring road' (beltway, orbital, etc).

The institute you referred to would be the Russian Academy of Sciences (Nauchny tsentr v Chernogolovka, Научный центр V Черноголовка).

You can use the Wiki page here, to confirm if this is indeed what you're after.

  • 8
    Yes! It's been google-street-viewed and I recognise the tower blocks, and even found the shop. Thank you so very much (esp. for the really quick reply - I doubted I would even get a response).
    – AndyBrown
    May 19 '15 at 16:28
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    I love it when this kind of question gets a correct answer. It's like those occasional news stories you see of a letter being delivered after several months when it was only addressed to "John the carpenter in Newcastle." May 19 '15 at 19:19
  • 3
    @DavidRicherby, not at all. Chernogolovka is a fairly well-known town, even more so for a brand of water.
    – ach
    May 19 '15 at 22:36
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    @AndreyChernyakhovskiy I agree that the fairly accurate pronunciation in the question makes this much easier than finding John. (Actually, if you change it to "chernagaloffga", Google says "Did you mean: chernogolovka". But, anyway, it's still nice when these get answered.) May 19 '15 at 22:42
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    @AndyBrown, good point. When you speak your phonetics out loud, you get 'black head'. Then you spell those two words correctly in Russian and things get clearer. After that, it's a matter of adding the inflections You need to speak Russian for that methodology though.
    – Gayot Fow
    May 20 '15 at 11:28

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