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

Program Number: 3318RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/2/2013 - 10/14/2013;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Russia
Price starting at: $3,468.00 - 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
   Peking Hotel
  Moscow, Russia 5 nights
   Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
  St. Petersburg, Russia 6 nights
 Peking Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Peking is situated in the heart of Moscow, next to the famous Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and less than 2 miles from Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Bolshoi Theater. It is a 3-star, Russian-managed hotel and a famous Moscow architectural landmark. It is housed in one of the city's unique 'wedding-cake' buildings, constructed in 1956, a typical example of Soviet neogothic-style skyscrapers.
  Contact info: Bolshaya Sadovaya Street 5
Moscow,  RF 123001 Russia
phone: +7 (495) 650 2215
  Room amenities: Guest rooms may differ in decor and configuration, but they have been renovated and are decorated in a traditional style. All are rather spacious, have high ceilings, large windows, and smart reproduction furniture. However, depending on room location one must be prepared to hear street noise if the windows are opened. Rooms are air-conditioned, have safes, a small refrigerator, telephone, and traditional television with satellite and local channels. All have updated bathrooms with basic amenities and a hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: The Hotel Peking represents the architectural grandeur of the Soviet era and has elegant, renovated but somewhat old-fashioned rooms (a total of 122 rooms and suites). There are 2 restaurants (independently managed), a bar, a small gym, and a small business center with Internet access (a fee applies). Free Internet connection is now available throughout the hotel, including in standard rooms. The hotel is air conditioned, has elevators, and a newly renovated lobby with an ATM machine. There is also a currency exchange office directly off the lobby. Services at the hotel are limited, with no laundry service. The friendly hotel staff speaks English and there is 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: approx. $250 twin room Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services, who 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 hotel nights can also be booked independently via the Internet.
  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.
  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. At this writing, the hotel has announced that free WiFi will be available in all rooms, but this feature must be reconfirmed at the hotel.
  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: Room check-in starts at 3:00 pm. 6.00 pm Meet at the Peking Hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Peking Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 13: 10.00 am. 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 Start of Program
  Location:  Moscow
  Nearest city or town:  Moscow RF
  Nearest airport:  DME Domodedovo
  Transportation to site: Public transportation (bus or train) is not recommended unless you speak Russian. If you hire a taxi at Domodedovo (DME) or Sheremetyevo (SVO) airport upon arrival, please use an official taxi stand in the arrival hall and reconfirm the taxi fare in advance (expected cost: equivalent of $70-80, payable in rubles).
  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 their own transportation arrangements to get to the airport on the last day of the program, per Road Scholar policy. Buses and local trains are not recommended, unless you speak Russian.
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, October 2)
 In Transit: International Flight

Day 2: Arrival in Moscow / Road Scholar Registration
(Thursday, October 3)

Note: IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO CONSIDER: walking up to 2 miles daily on cobblestone/uneven surfaces. No suitable conditions for wheelchairs or walkers. Luggage space on train and bus limited to 1 piece/1 carry-on. Bottled water included at meals, additional for purchase. Distilled water not available. Group meals cannot be changed on demand, and special diets other than vegetarian not available. Any personal/medical expenditures must be paid by participants on site.Thank you for your kind cooperation.

 Afternoon: Upon arrival at Domodedovo (DME) all participants with Road Scholar air tickets must go through passport and customs control and look for our representative with a Road Scholar sign in the arrival hall. Participants with Road Scholar air tickets and arriving at SVO will be met in the SVO arrival hall. Participants arriving independently are welcome to join the group transfers from DME only as per the group transfer schedule listed in this mailing. In this case ARRIVAL FLIGHTS MUST BE INDICATED ON THE PARTICIPANTS' FORMS TO SECURE SPACE ON TRANSFER VEHICLES. Hotel check-in. All participants meet in the Peking Hotel lobby for registration at 6 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
Accommodations: Peking Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Group meeting/ Lecture/ Russia's musical traditions
(Friday, October 4)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, attend a group orientation meeting and meet the Group Leader and fellow Road Scholars. Afterwards, participate in a DISCUSSION ON THE RUSSIAN NATIONAL CHARACTER and modern Russia's realities, as presented by a university professor. Following the discussion, join your local expert for a short drive through the city center. Pass by the UNESCO-listed Red Square and see the Kremlin towers.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: RUSSIA'S MUSICAL HERITAGE. Participate in a field trip to the Glinka Museum of Russian Musical Traditions. Hear a presentation by the museum curator on Russian classical music, composers, and musical instruments.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant.
Accommodations: Peking Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Moscow architectural treasures / Russian arts and crafts / Evening concert
(Saturday, October 5)

Note: Walking up to 1 mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Moscow city highlights continue with an expert-led city drive covering major architectural and historical landmarks. Learn about Moscow's heroic past reflected in the city's history and architectural treasures, and about Napoleon's invasion of 1812. Stops are made at Moscow University, the New Maiden (Novodevichy) Convent, where famous Russian are buried (view the exterior only), the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Manezh Square, Russia's White House, Gorky Park, and many other sites.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: A walk in the Arbat Street -- Russian arts and crafts. Take a ride (only if desired, not part of the official program) on the Moscow metro to admire the magnificent underground stations decorated with colorful mosaics, beautiful crystal chandeliers, and bronze statues. Return to the hotel for a short rest.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant
 Evening: Transfer to a choral (Acapella) concert of Russian classical and Orthodox church music (dress: casual)
Accommodations: Peking Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts / Moscow theater scene
(Sunday, October 6)

Note: Walking up to 2 miles

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: An expert-led field trip to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts to explore the museum's collection. Opened in 1912, the museum possesses a collection of European art second in Russia only to St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. 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: Stop at Theater Square, where the legendary Bolshoi Theater and several other major drama and musical theaters are located. Hear a presentation on Russia's theatrical traditons, Moscow theaters, and the current theatrical scene. Return to hotel to prepare for the evening.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant
Accommodations: Peking Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Medieval Russia - the Kremlin compound and the Armory Chamber/evening performance.
(Monday, October 7)

Note: Extensive walking (up to 2 miles). All day in the city.

 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, representing 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.
 Dinner: Dinner in the city or at a hotel restaurant
 Evening: Evening performance - Ballet "La Esmeralda" at the Stanislavsky theater.
Accommodations: Peking Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Russian art of painting: the Tretyakov Picture Gallery / travel to St. Petersburg
(Tuesday, October 8)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles. Be prepared to carry your 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 (presented by a licensed expert).
 Lunch: Group lunch in town.
 Afternoon: Board an afternoon high-speed train for St. Petersburg. Travel time 3:45. Facilities are available on board. Be prepared to carry your luggage on/off the train. Luggage limit: 1 standard piece/1 carry-on.
 Dinner: Boxed dinner and water are provided.
 Evening: Evening arrival in St. Petersburg. Be prepared to walk and roll your luggage from the train station to the hotel (about 150 yards). Hotel check in.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: History and architecture of St. Petersburg/Peter and Paul Fortress/free evening
(Wednesday, October 9)

Note: Light walking.

 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 aptly named the ‘Venice of the North”.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: A field trip to Peter and Paul's Fortress -- the birthplace of the city and see the interior of the cathedral -- the burial place of the Romanov tsars.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum / Lecture on Russian ballet/evening free
(Thursday, October 10)

Note: Be prepared to spend all day outside the hotel. Light walking.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Today we learn about the treasures of Russian literature and ballet. Visit the Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment Museum. Learn about the life and literary works of Fedor Dostoyevsky from the museum curator.
 Lunch: Lunch in a city restaurant.
 Afternoon: .Attend a presentation on the history of Russian Ballet and the Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet Theater. Visit the Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum, presented by a curator.
 Dinner: Dinner at a hotel or a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: The Hermitage Museum/Evening performance
(Friday, October 11)

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

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: An expert-led 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 items of all eras (3 hours with a licensed expert)
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at the Hermitage on your own or spend free time in the city. Meet at the hotel at 4.30pm.
 Dinner: Dinner at a city restaurant
 Evening: Attend an evening performance - Opera "FloriaTosca" at the Mikhailovsky theater.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: The Romanov Dynasty: Summer residences of the Romanovs.
(Saturday, October 12)

Note: Extensive walking in museum and parks (up to 2 miles). Rest areas are available. Late evening return is possible.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: A full day is dedicated to visits to the summer residencies of the Russian tsars. Learn about the Romanov tsars and their ties to St. Petersburg. This morning drive to Peterhof -- a summer residence of Peter the Great on the Gulf of Finland, built in the early 18th century. Walk alongside an expert to admire the famous, stunning golden fountains, the Grand palace and other constructions in the park: see (exterior only) the Grand Palace, (known as the Russian Versailles), now a museum, Mon Plaisir palace, Peter's more humble villa, the Grand Cascade of fountains which is the center piece of the palace grounds, other pavilions, and the spectacular Lower Park itself along the Gulf of Finland, featuring over 140 fountains (note: inside visits to palaces and other museums on site are not part of the visit). (note: in case of rainy October weather, this visit may be replaced by a visit to Pavlovsk - a favorite summer estate of Tsar Paul, the son of Catherine II, the Great).
 Lunch: Lunch (incl.)
 Afternoon: Continue on to Tsarskoye Selo. Take an inside visit to Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) -- an elaborate baroque residence built in 1752 for Czarina 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 confiscated by the Nazis during WW II, never found, and finally, meticulously reconstructed in 2003. The information is presented by a licensed expert.
 Dinner: Dinner upon return to the city.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Full day for independent discoveries/Farewell Dinner/ Evening performance
(Sunday, October 13)

Note: Independent visits, free time.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Free time in the city. Take a walk in Nevsky Prospekt. Consider an inside visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan during the morning service to hear the church choir (a head cover is mandatory for women).
 Lunch: For a light lunch on your own we suggest having tea at the House of Books Cafe, just across from the Kazan Cathedral.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon. We suggest a visit to the 'House of Books', a magnificent Art Nouveau building, or consider an independent visit to a nearby museum of your choice, such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Yousopov Palace, the State Russian Museum, or others. Meet at hotel at 4.30pm.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in a city restaurant.
 Evening: Attend an evening performance- Ballet "La Sylphide" at the Mariinsky Theater.
Accommodations: Park Inn Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Departure
(Monday, October 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 In Transit: Departure transfer to the airport for participants holding tickets issued by Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join the group departure transfer bus on the program end date or to take a taxi, which can be arranged at the program hotel. Group Departure transfer schedule will be announced 48 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

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky, David McDuff (Translator)

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

Author: Eyewitness Guides

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

Author: Salwa Jabado

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

Author: Suzanne Massie

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

Author: David Remnick

Description: A gripping eyewitness tale of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Remnick, the Washington Post reporter on the scene, combines fine historical scholarship with great storytelling.

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

Author: Elaine Blaire

Description: Blair shows St. Petersburg through the words, museums and haunts of 15 writers, including Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Nabokov.

Moscow Map

Author: ITMB

Description: A handy, folding map of Moscow.

Natasha's Dance, A Cultural History of Russia

Author: Orlando Figes

Description: In this lively cultural history, Figes looks at both the great works by Russian masters and longstanding folk traditions. The title is drawn from a scene of Tolstoy's War and Peace in which a European-educated countess performs a peasant dance.

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

Author: John McPhee

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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