Road Scholar : Home
Cultural Treasures of Moscow and St. Petersburg

Program Number: 3318RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/8/2013 - 5/20/2013; 10/8/2015 - 10/18/2015;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Russia
Price starting at: $3,784.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Arts, Misc.
Meals: 26; 11 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Thanks to modern technology, anyone with a computer can take a peek inside the vast collection of the Hermitage and see a virtual image of Mesopotamian papyrus or the snuff boxes of museum founder Catherine the Great. While the times may have changed, the treasures of Russia have not. Enjoy unique access to premier arts institutions in Moscow and St. Petersburg for a firsthand experience of the nation’s artistic past and its visionary future.


• Explore the Kremlin compound, art museums and galleries, and experience the beat of modern Moscow.
• Attend a performance at the Bolshoi or Mariinsky.
• A visit to the renowned Amber Room and a walk in the gardens of the imperial Peterhof with its world famous fountains.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles daily, standing in museums; no wheelchair facilities.

No medically required diet can be guaranteed. However, vegetarian diet is O.K.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Moscow, 4 nights; St. Petersburg, 5 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from U.S.
1 night
Arrival Moscow
4 nights

Learn about art treasures in Moscow and Russian culture in the new political era. Participate in a discussion on Moscovites' passion for performing arts and current Moscow art scene. Learn about Russian national character reflected in national dance and paintings. Explore the Armory chamber and Kremlin cathedrals, Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, and the Tretyakov Picture Gallery. Enjoy independent time to admire the art of French Impressionists, Peredvizhniki, Russian Avangarde and Constuctivism. Attend an evening performance.

Afternoon Train to St. Petersburg
5 nights

Survey the cultural heritage of St. Petersburg as it is reflected in its history and stunning architecture. Spend a full day at the Hermitage, housed in five huge buildings, including the Romanov’s former Winter Palace. During a visit to Tsarskoye Selo enjoy the opulent summer palaces and magnificent gardens of the Russian tsars. Have ample time to explore on your own the city’s rich art treasures, unique museums and galleries. Attend an evening performance.


Russia developed under the influence of intellectuals, peasants, tsars and demagogues. Byzantine origins meld with Christianity in vibrant architecture, while religion, folkways and revolution inspired artists from Stravinsky to Chagall. Oppressive regimes helped to create the Iron Curtain, but the late 20th century ushered in glasnost, perestroika and a democratic nation of billionaires, ongoing reforms and an integral role in modern geopolitics.

Moscow: Four-star hotel, close to the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and two miles from Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Bolshoi Theater. St. Petersburg: Superior three-star hotel in the heart of city facing fashionable Nevsky Prospekt.
Meals and Lodgings
   Sheraton Palace hotel
  Moscow, Russia 5 nights
   Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
  St. Petersburg, Russia 6 nights
 Sheraton Palace hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This modern, 4-5-star hotel is located in the center of Moscow overlooking fashionable Tverskaya Street, near the famous Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, and 2 miles from the Kremlin, the Bolshoi Theater, and major Moscow museums. Beautiful and comfortable, the hotel offers superior service and amenities. It is a member of the Starwood hotel group, employs English-speaking staff, and has 24-hour security.
  Contact info: 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street 19
Moscow,   Russia
phone: +011-7-495-931-9700
  Room amenities: All guestrooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. They provide all the modern amenities, including complimentary wireless Internet, cable channels, a minibar, and coffee machine. The private bathrooms feature a bathtub with shower, along with courtesy toiletries. All rooms have flat screen TVs and direct-dial telephone service, and all are airconditioned.
  Facility amenities: The Sheraton Palace Hotel has a pleasant modern lobby, 2 elegant restaurants serving Russian and International dishes, and a piano bar in the lobby. It has excellent conference facilities, a small fitness center, 24-hour concierge service, laundry and dry cleaning service, ATMs in the lobby, and all other standard hotel amenities. The hotel is fully airconditioned.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $300/twin room (approx) This hotel is not available for additional nights.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn is a recently opened 3-4-star hotel (270 rooms) in the heart of St Petersburg. It is housed in an impressive modern building occupying an entire city block and facing the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt and a side street. The hotel offers all modern amenities and it is conveniently located in walking or short driving distance to many tourist attractions and theaters and it is also next to a Metro stop and the Moskva train station. 24-hour security and English-speaking staff.
  Contact info: 4 Lit. A, Goncharnaya Street/ 91 Lit A Nevsky Prospekt
St. Petersburg,  193106 Russia
phone: +7 812-406-7310
  Room amenities: Newly furnished, comfortable air conditioned rooms have private showers (no bathtubs), telephones, and satellite TV. The rooms are tastefully furnished, although rather small, all have safes and hairdryers. There is a charge for Internet connection in the guestrooms.
  Facility amenities: The Park Inn Hotel has a pleasant modern lobby, elevators, a nice restaurant, several bars, concierge service for theater tickets, a small fitness center, a well-equipped business center with Internet access, and conference facilities. The hotel offers various services including laundry, dry cleaning, room service, etc. Free Internet connection is available to guests in the hotel lobby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: USD 320 /Twin (approx.). Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services. RSTS will confirm the reservation and rate and you will pay the hotel directly by credit card or by cash for the additional nights. Do note the reservation will be separate from the program reservation and it is likely that you will need to check out of the room and check back in to a different room with the group. Additional nights can also be booked independently via the Internet.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2: 3.00 pm - Room check-in starts. 6.00 pm - Meet at hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Sheraton Palace hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 13: 10.00 am- program ends. Room checkout is 12:00 noon You will be staying at Park Inn Nevsky Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains are available from major European cities to Moscow.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Moscow
  Nearest city or town:  Moscow RF
  Nearest airport:  DME Domodedovo
  Transportation to site: Participants traveling independently are responsible for their own transportation arrangements to meet the group at the first site and to get to the airport on the last day of the program. Public transportation (bus or train) is not recommended. If you choose to hire a taxi at Domodedovo Airport (DME) or at Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) upon arrival, please consider an official taxi stand in the arrival hall and reconfirm the taxi fare in advance (expected cost: equivalent of $80-90, payable in rubles). A currency exchange desk is located in the arrival hall of both airports.
  From End of Program
  Location:  St. Petersburg
  Nearest city or town:  St. Petersburg
  Nearest airport:  Pulkino Airport LED
  Transportation from site: Participants traveling independently are responsible for getting to the airport on the last day of the program. Public transportation is not recommended. Please reserve a taxi in advance from the hotel.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Wednesday, May 8)
 In Transit: International Flight

Day 2: Orientation meeting
(Thursday, May 9)
 Afternoon: Group transfers from Domodedovo Airport (DME) to the hotel. Several participants holding air tickets from Road Scholar and arriving at Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) will be met by our representative in the SVO arrival hall. Independent travellers are welcome to join the group transfers if they are at DME at the transfer times. Meet the Group Leader at the program hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: Short orientation meeting after dinner
Accommodations: Sheraton Palace hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: A talk on the Russian national character / Cultural traditions / Glinka Museum
(Friday, May 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Start this morning with a group meeting and official introductions of the program participants. After that, participate in a discussion on "the Russian national character" led by a university professor, followed by a Q&A session. Following the discussion, begin your expert-led exploration of Moscow by driving to the city center.
 Lunch: Lunch in a restaurant in the city .
 Afternoon: In the afternoon have a visit to the Glinka Museum of Russian Musical Heritage. The museum curator introduces us to the rich cultural traditions of Russia and displays the museum's rare musical instruments. We end our day with a stop at Grand Theater Square, where the legendary Bolshoi Theater and several major drama and musical theaters are located. Hear a presentation on Russia's theatrical traditions, Moscow theaters, and the current theatre scene.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant.
Accommodations: Sheraton Palace hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Moscow architecture / Bolshoi Theater performance
(Saturday, May 11)

Note: Be prepared for a full day in the city

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Continue your exploration of the city. Learn about Moscow's heroic past as reflected in the city's history and its architectural treasures. Hear about Napoleon's invasion of 1812. Stops are made at Moscow University, the New Maiden (Novodevichy) Convent where famous Russians are buried (view the exterior only), the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Russia's White House, drive by Gorky Park and many other sites. 12.00 noon: Attend a ballet performance of "Romeo and Juliet" at the historic Bolshoi Theater (music by S. Prokofiev). Dressy attire is recommended, and a jacket is required. NOTE: theater seats are assigned based on your enrollment date. .
 Lunch: Lunch snack on your own at the theater during intermissions.
 Afternoon: Continue city drive before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at a city restaurant
Accommodations: Sheraton Palace hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Moscow art treasures: Pushkin Fine Arts Museum / Arbat Street / Performance
(Sunday, May 12)

Note: Extensive walking (up to 2 miles)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in an expert-led field trip to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts to explore the museum's collection. Opened in 1912, the Pushkin Museum houses a collection of European art second in Russia only to St. Petersburg's Hermitage. Much of the strength of the collection is in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. A special attraction is the collection of Schliemann’s Gold (the gold of Troy), which is also exhibited here.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Take a ride (only if desired) on the Moscow metro system led by our representative to admire the magnificent underground stations decorated with colorful mosaics, beautiful crystal chandeliers and bronze statues. Return to hotel. Spend time in the Arbat pedestrian street famous for numerous arts and crafts shops and picture galleries. Explore Russian applied art, the art of lacquer boxes and other national crafts from all corners of the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Russian state.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant.
 Evening: Evening performance: a choir concert (a capella) featuring classical and Orthodox church music (conducted by maestro M. Borodiansky). Dress code: informal.
Accommodations: Sheraton Palace hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Talk on Medieval Russia / Kremlin compound and Armory Chamber / Free time
(Monday, May 13)

Note: Extensive walking (up to 2 miles)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Today is dedicated to medieval Russian history. Enjoy a presentaton on medieval Russia during your visit to the legendary Kremlin compound, which for hundreds of years was the symbol of the powerful Russian state. It is a self-contained walled city (fortress), with an armory, cathedrals, and palace. You will see the exterior of the Kremlin palace, the legendary Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon, the spectacular golden-domed Cathedral of the Annunciation and the majestic Cathedral of the Archangel, presenting a harmonious image of Italian Renaissance and traditional Russian architecture. A walk through the Kremlin grounds is led by a licensed expert.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Visit the Armory Chamber in the Kremlin compound, housing a unique collection of Faberge eggs and Russia's royal jewels of all eras. Spend free time in UNESCO-listed Red Square, where all rulers of Russia left traces of their reign; see the ancient Kremlin wall, the striking Kremlin Clock Tower, the GUM building, and admire the exterior of St. Basil's Cathedral -- a multi-colored architectural wonder of the 16th century commemorating Russia's victory over the Tatars.
 Dinner: Dinner at a hotel or city restaurant
Accommodations: Sheraton Palace hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Russian painting: the Tretyakov Picture Gallery / train to St. Petersburg
(Tuesday, May 14)

Note: Extensive walking in the museum. Rest areas are available. Be prepared to carry your own luggage on/off the train.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: A presentation on Russian painting during a field trip to the Tretyakov Picture Gallery, housing the world's finest and most extensive collection of Russian art. Learn about Russian spirituality and national values as represented in Russian paintings of all periods. Discover the art of Russian landscape painting by Isaac Levitan and other outstanding artists. Admire the ornate, Byzantine-influenced medieval icons and paintings by the famous Peredvizhniki, a group of artists of the 19th century, including Surikov, Kramskoi, Repin and others (a presentation on the museum collection is led by a licensed expert).
 Lunch: Group lunch in town.
 Afternoon: Board an afternoon high-speed train for St. Petersburg. Expected arrival time in St. Petersburg is 8:30 pm.
 Dinner: Box dinner snack and water are provided for the train ride.
 Evening: Evening arrival in St. Petersburg. Hotel check in.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: History and architecture of St. Petersburg / Peter and Paul Cathedral / Evening performance
(Wednesday, May 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Theme of the day: “History and Architecture of St. Petersburg.” A city exploration by motorcoach, with stops at major architectural and historical landmarks. Have a stop to see (exterior only) the golden-domed St. Isaac’s Cathedral, pass by the Bronze Horseman, a tribute to Peter the Great, the founder of the city; then drive through fashionable Nevsky Prospekt, the main thoroughfare of the city, and see numerous palaces, gardens, canals and graceful bridges for which St Petersburg is named the ‘Venice of the North”. Continue with a field trip to the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Visit the cathedral -- the birthplace of the city and the burial place of the Romanov tsars.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Return to hotel.
 Dinner: Early dinner
 Evening: A musical evening: Russian National Dance and Music performance.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: The Romanov Dynasty: Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and the Peterhof park and fountains
(Thursday, May 16)

Note: Extensive walking in the museum and parks (up to 2 miles). Rest areas are available.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: A full day is dedicated to visits to the summer residences of the Russian tsars. En route to Tsarskoye Selo hear the story of the Romanov tsars and their ties to St. Petersburg. Take an inside visit to the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo -- an elaborate baroque residence built in 1752 by Tsarina Elizabeth to honor the memory of her mother Katarina. See the eighth wonder of the world -- the extraordinary Amber Room -- decorated with six tons of solid amber carved and framed in gold leaf. The original room was lost or stolen by the Nazis during WWII, never found, and finally, meticulously reconstructed in 2003. This visit is led by a licensed expert.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue on to Peterhof -- an area Peter I chose for his summer residence facing the Gulf of Finland. Explore this 'Russian Versailles' and participate in an expert-led walk in the park to admire the stunning golden fountains (over 140), the Grand Palace, Mon Plaisir palace - Peter's more humble villa - and the Grand Cascade of the fountains - the center piece of the architectural design of this spectacular Lower Park (inside visits to palaces and other museums on site are not part of the visit).
 Dinner: Dinner at a hotel or restaurant in the city.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum / lecture on Russian ballet
(Friday, May 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Today we learn about the treasures of Russian literature and ballet. Drive through the district of St Petersburg where Dostoyevsky lived and which he depicted in his novels, and explore the memorial museum dedicated to writers' life and literary works as presented by a museum researcher.
 Lunch: Lunch in a city restaurant.
 Afternoon: A presentation on the "World of Russian Ballet". Explore composer Rimsky-Korsakov's memorial apartment museum, presented by a museum curator.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Matinee performance at the Mariinsky Theater / free afternoon
(Saturday, May 18)

Note: We recommend you to bring along walking shoes for the afternoon in the city.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Late morning transfer to the legendary Mariinsky Theater for a Gala Concert (including pieces from the theater's opera and ballet repertoire) at 12.00 noon. Dressy, but not formal attire, jacket is recommended, tie optional. Note: seats are assigned based on program enrollment date.
 Lunch: Lunch snacks are available for purchase at theater cafes during intermissions.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the city center by 3.30-4 pm. Free time. We suggest an independent visit to the 'House of Books', a magnificent Art Nouveau building, or the Yeliseyevsky deli store, also an elaborate Art Nouveau building.
 Dinner: Dinner in a restaurant in the city. Transfer to hotel.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Hermitage Museum / free time / Farewell Dinner
(Sunday, May 19)

Note: Extensive walking. Rest areas are available. Be prepared for a full day in the city.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: This morning we drive for a visit to the Hermitage Museum, one of world's greatest art galleries. Enjoy the dazzling collection of Old Masters and French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, as well as numerous treasures of all eras from all over the world (spend 3 hours with a licensed expert).
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own (we suggest having tea at the House of Books Cafe, (just across from the Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan), from where there is a splendid view of Nevsky Prospekt.
 Afternoon: During free time in Nevsky Prospekt we suggest a visit to a nearby museum of your choice, such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Resurrection, the Yousopov Palace [where Rasputin was killed], the State Russian Museum, etc. Also, consider an independent visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (a head cover for women is mandatory).
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Departure
(Monday, May 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 In Transit: Departure transfers for all participants holding airline tickets from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join the group transfer bus to LED 2., or to arrange a taxi at the hotel. Group departure schedule will be announced by the Group Leader 24 hours in advance.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Moscow Bolshoi theater
Out of 4 included performances one performance (opera or ballet) is planned at the Bolshoi theater (in Moscow) OR Mariinsky theater (in St. Petersburg). Additional tickets for these or other theaters may be purchased at the hotel theater desk or via the Internet.
  St. Petersburg Mariinsky theater
Out of 4 included performances one performance (opera or ballet) is planned at the Bolshoi theater (in Moscow) OR Mariinsky theater (in St. Petersburg). Additional tickets for these or other theaters may be purchased at the hotel theater desk or via the Internet.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Catherine the Great

Author: Robert K. Massie

Description: Eager readers of Massie's Nicholas and Alexandria or the Pulitzer Prize-wining Peter the Great will not be disappointed by this latest, an old-fashioned tale of politics, power and 18th-century Europe, drawing effectively from the ambitious Catherine's own memoirs.

Catherine the Great, A Short History

Author: Isabel De Madariaga

Description: A brief survey of the reign of Catherine the Great that nicely balances biography with descriptions of the economic, political and social life of the period.

Crime and Punishment

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Description: Dostoevsky's thriller of murder and redemption is redolent of St. Petersburg’s atmosphere. A cornerstone of Russian literature, and one of the greatest detective stories ever told.

Eyewitness Guide St. Petersburg

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Description: With excellent local maps and site plans, this outstanding visual guide introduces the culture, history and attractions of St. Petersburg.

Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg

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Description: With solid practical information on sights, excursions, restaurants, hotels and nightlife, and a chapter on the cities of the Golden Ring.

Land of the Firebird, The Beauty of Old Russia

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Description: Massie traces both minuscule details and larger movements in pre-revolutionary Russian art, literature and daily life in this affectionate overview of 19th-century palaces, courts and culture.

Lenin's Tomb

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Literary St. Petersburg, A Guide to the City and Its Writers

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Moscow Map

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Description: A handy, folding map of Moscow.

Natasha's Dance, A Cultural History of Russia

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Odyssey Guide Moscow, St. Petersburg & The Golden Ring

Author: Masha Nordbye, Patricia Lanza (Photographer)

Description: A comprehensive guide to the art, culture and history of two great Russian cities, filled with maps and fine color photographs.

Peter the Great, His Life and World

Author: Robert Massie

Description: In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Massie portrays the giant of history who transformed Russia from backwater tsardom into a major empire.

Romanov Riches, Russian Writers and Artists Under the Tsars

Author: Solomon Volkov

Description: Volkov effortlessly unwinds the twisted relationship between art and the royal family from the rise of the Romanovs in 1613 to their downfall in 1917, including a chapter on Catherine the Great and her era.

Russia of the Tsars

Author: Peter Waldron

Description: Waldron recounts the exploits of Peter the Great and the Tsars and the splendor of their capital city, St. Petersburg, in this lively, well illustrated and compact overview of the largest and most diverse empire of its day.

Russia, A Concise History

Author: Ronald Hingley

Description: Well-known scholar Hingley sketches Russia's multiple transformations from her illiterate, pagan, Slavic roots to a multi-ethnic empire in this highly readable, well-illustrated brief history.

Russian Short Stories

Author: Robert Chandler (Editor)

Description: This fine collection of tales captures the sweep and soul of Russian literature, including works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Tolstoy along with lesser-known greats.

Speak, Memory

Author: Vladimir Nabokov

Description: Nabokov's richly imagined memoir wonderfully evokes cultural life among the well-to-do in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Map

Author: Berndtson & Berndtson

Description: A detailed, laminated city plan of St. Petersburg, with street index inset. Place names are in transliterated English.

Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia

Author: W. Bruce Lincoln

Description: A wonderfully written, informative portrait of St. Petersburg, focusing on the city's development in the 18th and 19th centuries as Russia's "window on the West." Highly recommended for travelers with an interest in the character and significance of the city and its monuments.

The Hermitage: A Journey in Time and Space

Author: Kultur Video

Description: This 116 minute documentary, directed Vladimir Ptashchenko and accompanied by orchestral music, showcases the extraordinary collections, Originally established as the private collection of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

The Ransom of Russian Art

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Description: McPhee tackles a rather unusual topic for him: the story of suppressed Russian art and the man who brought it to America.

The Routledge Atlas of Russian History

Author: Martin Gilbert

Description: A fantastically interesting, useful survey of the history of Russia in maps. This revised edition follows the fate of Russia since the demise of the Soviet Union, with 161 maps covering rebellion, famine, expansion, trade, the military, communism's collapse and myriad other topics.

The Winter Queen

Author: Boris Akunin, Andrew Bromfield (Translator)

Description: Akunin sets a suspected murder among the glitterati of late 19th-century Moscow in this first book in the series of clever detective novels starring the rascal Erast Fandorin, wildly popular in Russia. The series continues with: The Turkish Gambit (RUS263), set during the 1877 Russo-Turkish War; Murder on the Leviathan (RUS225), an homage to Christie; and The Death of Achilles (RUS291), back in Moscow. Fandorin is deputy to the governor-general of czarist Moscow in Special Assignments (RUS371), facing a serial murder and a swindler.

Tsar, The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra

Author: Peter Kurth, Peter Christopher (Photographer), Edvard Radzinsky (Introduction)

Description: A tribute to the last of the Romanovs, featuring a treasure trove of never-published photographs and illuminating text. It brings to life in sumptuous detail the tumultuous life and times of Nicholas and Alexandra. Masterful.

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