Eastern Europe Culture in Photos

Images of Crafts, Customs, Costumes, Holidays, Flags, and More

East and East Central European countries have strong cultural heritages defined by centuries old traditions. These photo galleries illustrate Eastern European and East-Central European cultures. From national symbols such as flags and coats of arms, to regional dress, to handicrafts made with centuries-old techniques, you will discover just how colorful, rich, and proud these cultures are.

  • 01 of 11
    Russian Girl with Bread
    Russian Girl with Bread. © Oleg Filipchuk

    When you think of Russia, certain cultural references may spring to mind, like Russian food, the writings of Pushkin, and troikas. This cultural photo gallery includes all of these and more.

  • 02 of 11
    Bulgarian Martenitsa
    Bulgarian Martenitsa. Grisha Strundzhev © 2006

    Bulgaria's culture is rich with the history of the region. Bulgarians also love celebrating holidays with costume, food, and crafts. One interesting aspect of Bulgarian culture is the giving of martenitsa, dolls or tassels made of red and white thread, in the spring.

  • 03 of 11

    Croatia culture 101 in Photos

    Croatian Traditional Costume
    Croatian Traditional Costume. iStockphoto/Arpad Benedek

    Croatia claims credit for the invention of the necktie, was once ruled by Venice, and holidays feature traditional Croatian folk costumes. Croatia also has a long history that is evident in its many historic landmarks from as far back as Roman and Greek times.

  • 04 of 11
    Latvian Kokle
    Latvian Kokle. Vladimirs Koskins © 2006

    Customs, music, and Latvian souvenirs are illustrated in this photo gallery. Latvia is a Baltic country with strong ties to its historic roots.

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  • 05 of 11
    Lithuania Weaving
    Lithuania Weaving. Eliana Dulins © 2006
    Lithuania takes pride in its place along the Baltic Coast and was located on the Amber Road of ancient times. Lithuania also has ties to the sea and agriculture.
  • 06 of 11
    Czech Puppets
    Czech Puppets. iStockphoto/Czech Puppets
    The Czech Republic's culture was enriched by innovative individuals, who contributed to the art of the 20th century, the world of beer, and jewelry fashion, and more.
  • 07 of 11
    Hungary Embroidery
    Hungary Embroidery. Jozsef Szoke © 2004

    Hungary is known for beautiful embroidery, delicious cuisine, and its winemaking industry. To discover Hungary is to delight in spices, luxuriate in thermal baths, celebrate color and creativity, and travel the road of history.

  • 08 of 11
    Polish Pisanki
    Polish Pisanki. Fotohmmm © 2006

    Poland's culture brings us decorated eggs, mushroom picking, and colorful holiday celebrations. Visit Krakow to get to the heart of Polish culture--this city is not only the most popular destination for travelers in the country but arguably has the most extensive calendar of cultural events.

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  • 09 of 11
    Romanian Horezu Pottery
    Romanian Horezu Pottery. Calin Ilea © 2006

    Traditional crafts from Romania make wonderful souvenirs. Romania also attracts vampire hunters and Dracula buffs. However, behind the fun lies a long and interesting past, where vampire namesakes are national heroes and ancient castles recall the ghosts of prior leaders.

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    St. Sophia Cathedral Kiev
    St. Sophia Cathedral Kiev. Ron Mertens © 2005

    Kiev has long been an established entity in Eastern Europe, and it is here that the conversion to Orthodoxy began. Ukrainian food, holiday celebrations, and traditional clothing make an appearance here and in Ukraine Culture in Photos 102.

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    Slovenian Lace from Idrija
    Slovenian Lace from Idrija. Matej Michelizza © 2006

    Slovenia is a country with surprising traditions, from the training of world-class horses to the maintenance of the world's oldest producing grapevine.