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

Program Number: 3318RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/15/2014 - 5/25/2014; 9/11/2014 - 9/21/2014; 9/18/2014 - 9/28/2014; 10/9/2014 - 10/19/2014; 4/16/2015 - 4/26/2015; 5/14/2015 - 5/24/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Russia
Price starting at: $3,495.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Arts, Misc.
Meals: 18; 9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 7 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.




Highlights

• 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
Departure

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

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.



Accommodations
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
   Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
  Moscow, Russia 4 nights
   Moscow Hotel
  St. Petersburg, Russia 5 nights
 Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel is located within the limits of medieval Moscow, on the city's major central thoroughfare, within walking distance from the Kremlin and Red Square. It offers all the comforts and services one would expect from a Marriott hotel, including a well-trained and professional English-speaking staff. The hotel boasts 390 modern and comfortably furnished guest rooms with excellent technical amenities, as well as a full range of excellent, well-equipped conference rooms and other business facilities. Conveniently located for business and leisure travelers, the hotel offers a comprehensive range of secretarial services in its Business Center and extensive conferencing facilities and meeting space.
  Contact info: Tverskaya Street 26/1
Moscow,  125009 Russia
phone: +7 495-937 0000
web: www.marriotthotels.com
  Room amenities: Standard twin rooms at the Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel vary slightly in size but are all spacious and come with two double beds and a full complement of comfortable furniture. In-room features are: Modern bathrooms with all standard amenities; Air-conditioning; Complimentary drinking water; Electronic door-lock; Hairdryer; Safe. Flat screen TV.
  Facility amenities: The 9-story hotel has 372 guest rooms and 15 suites; there are also 10 meeting rooms and 855 sq m of total meeting space located on 3 levels. Built as a conference-style hotel, the Moscow Marriott Grand has a beautiful, spacious lobby and a number of bars and restaurants. It offers comforts for all guests staying there, enjoying access to the Grand's excellent health center, featuring a gym, indoor swimming pool, sauna and solarium. Dining options are also numerous, with three separate restaurants offering European and Russian specialties. The hotel has 24-hour security and English-speaking staff.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $450/twin approx. Additional nights can be booked independently via www.booking.com or similar sites.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Moscow Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Moscow Hotel, built in 1977, is located in a modern seven-story building in central St. Petersburg, in front of the historic Alexander Nevsky Lavra (monastery) on Nevsky Prospect (the main street of the city) and the Neva River. The Lavra's cemetery is the burial place for many famous Russians, including the writers Lomonosov and Dostoevsky, composers Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky, the painter Kramskoy, and others. A metro station is located in an adjacent building, 2 metro stops away from the heart of the city.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 2 Alexander Nevsky Square
St. Petersburg,  191 317 Russia
phone: +7 (812) 333-2-444
web: www.hotelmoscow.ru
  Room amenities: All rooms have two twin or one single bed, a desk and coffee table with two armchairs. They are simple but pleasantly furnished, and rather small in size. Some rooms have a beautiful view of the river. All rooms have private modern bathrooms with standard amenities and hairdryers, a safe, air conditioning, TV, telephone, and a small refrigerator.
  Facility amenities: The Moscow Hotel, Russian-managed and recently renovated, is an international-class, conference-style hotel with 735 rooms and suites. It is air conditioned, has a spacious modern lobby, several restaurants and bars, a well-equipped health center, a business center, and excellent conference facilities. Free Wifi service is available in the hotel lobby. The hotel employs English-speaking staff and has 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: approx. $250 for a twin room Additional nights may be booked via www.booking.com or similar sites.
  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 Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 11: 10.00 am - Program ends. 12.00 noon - Room checkout. You will be staying at Moscow Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
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: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-arranged group arrival transfers. Public transportation (bus or train) is not recommended. If you hire a taxi at Domodedovo (DME) or Sheremetyevo (SVO) airports upon arrival, please go to an official taxi stand in the arrival hall and reconfirm the taxi fare in advance (expected cost: equivalent of $80-90, payable in rubles). In order to obtain rubles, there are a currency exchange desk and ATMs that dispense rubles located in the airport arrival hall.
  From End of Program
  Location:  St. Petersburg
  Nearest city or town:  St. Petersburg
  Nearest airport:  Pulkino Airport LED
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and depart on the group date. GROUP DEPARTURE TRANSFER SCHEDULES WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE LAST PROGRAM SITE 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.
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:
(Thursday, May 15)
   
 In Transit: Overseas flights from the US to Moscow

Day 2: Arrival in Moscow. Group transfers to hotel. Meet your Group Leader and fellow Road Scholars (expected number of program participants: 23)
(Friday, May 16)

Note: Upon arrival at the airport, look for the agent holding a Road Scholar sign. Be prepared to carry/roll your luggage to the bus and upon arrival at the hotel. All participants meet the Group Leader at 6 pm in the hotel lobby. NOTE: TRAVEL TIME FROM DME TO THE HOTEL IS 2-3 HOURS. FROM SVO -- UP TO 2 HOURS.



   
 Afternoon: Arrival transfers to the program hotel for all participants holding air tickets from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join a pre-scheduled group transfer from DME (which will be announced 5 weeks prior to departure).
 Dinner: Group dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Group's meeting and Lecture / Tretyakov Picture Gallery
(Saturday, May 17)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles, rest areas are available.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Attend a group orientation meeting with introductions of group members. Participate in a presentation on Russian cultural roots and modern society.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in the city.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy an on-site, expert-led 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, who were a group of 19th century artists, including Surikov, Kramskoi, Repin, and others.
 Dinner: Dinner in a city restaurant
 Evening: After dinner, return to the hotel via the famous Moscow metro. Take time to admire the magnificent underground stations decorated with colorful mosaics, beautiful crystal chandeliers, and bronze statues.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Moscow History and architecture / Ballet performance
(Sunday, May 18)

Note: Light walking.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a motor coach city drive. Learn about Moscow's history and architecture from an expert, see historical and architectural city landmarks, including the Cathedral of the Resurrection, Moscow University, Novodevichi (see the exterior only). See the exterior of the legendary Bolshoi Theater and learn about Moscow's cultural life and Moscow theaters.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the Kremlin theater for an afternoon ballet performance of "Sleeping Beauty" starting at 2 pm (dress code: smart casual, no jeans or sneakers).
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
 Evening: After dinner, transfer to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Talk on medieval Russia / Visit to the Kremlin compound and Armory Chamber
(Monday, May 19)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles. Be prepared for a full day in the city.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Today is dedicated to medieval Russian history. Enjoy an on-site presentation led by a licensed expert 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. See the exterior of the Kremlin palace, the legendary Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon, and examine the spectacular golden-domed Cathedral of the Annunciation and the majestic Cathedral of the Archangel, reflecting a harmonious melange of Italian Renaissance and traditional Russian architecture inside the Kremlin walls.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Kremlin compound with an expert-led visit to the adjacent Armory Chamber, housing a unique collection of Faberge eggs and royal Russian jewels of all eras. Later have free time in Red Square, where all rulers of Russia left traces of their reign; see the ancient Kremlin wall, the striking Kremlin Clock Tower, the GUM department store, and take pictures of St. Basil's Cathedral -- a multi-colored architectural wonder of the 16th century commemorating Russia's victory over the Tatars at Kazan. Free time in Red Square.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in the city.
 Evening: Evening free.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts / Travel to St. Petersburg
(Tuesday, May 20)

Note: Travel to St. Petersburg by high-speed train, 4 hours (facilities are available on board). Be prepared to carry your own luggage on and off the train and to possibly carry it to the hotel (ca. 100 yards).



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Hotel check out. This morning participate in an expert-led excursion to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, focusing on the museum's collection. Opened in 1912, the museum houses a collection of European art second in Russia only to St. Petersburg's Hermitage. Much of the strength of the collection is Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Explore a special attraction in the museum -- the collection of Schliemann’s Gold of Troy, which is also exhibited here.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant or packed lunch on the train (tba).
 Afternoon: Take an afternoon high-speed train to St. Petersburg (facilities are available on board, travel time is about 4 hours).
 Dinner: Dinner on your own upon arrival
 Evening: Evening arrival in St. Petersburg. Be prepared to carry or roll your personal luggage to the hotel (about 100 yards). Hotel check-in.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: History and architecture of St. Petersburg / Peter and Paul Cathedral / Evening performance
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: Light walking, up to 1 mile.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning learn about the history and architecture of St. Petersburg during an expert-led motor coach excursion. Have an inside visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral -- the birthplace of the city, and the burial place of the Romanov tsars. Enjoy the city, stopping at major architectural and historical landmarks. See (exterior only) the golden-domed St. Isaac’s Cathedral, pass by the Bronze Horseman statue, which is a tribute to Peter the Great, the founder of the city; then drive through fashionable Nevsky Prospekt, and see numerous palaces, gardens, canals, and graceful bridges for which St. Petersburg is also called the "Venice of the North”.
 Lunch: Late lunch in the city (2 pm).
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel to rest before the evening event.
 Dinner: Early dinner on your own, or consider a snack at the theater's buffet.
 Evening: Transfer for a performance of the opera "Madame Butterfly" at the Mariinsky 2 theater, starting at 7 pm.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Hermitage Museum
(Thursday, May 22)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in an expert-led visit to the Hermitage Museum, one of the world's greatest art galleries. Enjoy the dazzling collection of Old Masters and French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, as well as numerous unique art treasures of all eras from all over the world.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Hermitage Cafe or in town.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon at the Hermitage on your own or have free time in the city, returning to the hotel on your own. Suggestions of interesting sights to visit will be made by our local representative.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or a local restaurant.
 Evening: Evening free
   
Accommodations: Moscow Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: The Romanov Dynasty: Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and the Peterhof park and fountains
(Friday, May 23)

Note: Be prepared for extensive walking in museums and parks (up to 2 miles). Rest areas are available. An early evening return is possible due to city traffic.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: A full day is dedicated to visits to the summer estates of the Romanov tsars, who ruled Russia for 300 years. Have an on-site presentation on the Romanov dynasty and its ties with St. Petersburg. Take an inside visit to Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) -- an elaborate baroque palace built in 1752 for Tsarina Elizabeth to honor the memory of her mother, Catherine I (not "the Great"). 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 WWII, never found, and finally, meticulously reconstructed in 2003. Everything is presented by a licensed expert.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Continue on to Peterhof -- a favorite summer residence of Tsar Peter the Great. Walk alongside an expert to admire the stunningly famous golden fountains, the palace grounds, and other constructions in the park. See the Grand Palace (the "Russian Versailles", now a museum), Mon Plaisir palace, Tsar Peter's more humble villa, the Grand Cascade of fountains which is the centerpiece of this architectural design, and walk in the spectacular Lower Park, located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland and featuring over 150 fountains (note: inside visits to palaces and other museums on site are not part of the visit).
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or city restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Lecture on "Russia Today" / Free time / Farewell Dinner
(Saturday, May 24)

Note: Free time in the city



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Attend a lecture on "Russia Today" held at the hotel, presented by a university professor and focusing on various aspects of contemporary Russia. Q&A. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own; suggestions of interesting sites to visit will be made on site.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Free time in Nevsky Prospekt to spend time in the 'House of Books', a magnificent Art Nouveau building, or to explore a nearby museum of your choice, returning to the hotel on your own. Suggestions of interesting sites to visit will be made by our local representative.
 Dinner: Enjoy your Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Moscow Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Departure
(Sunday, May 25)

Note: Group departure transfer schedules to be announced 24 hours in advance. Independent travelers are welcome to join these group transfers.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 In Transit: Departure transfers. Independent travelers are welcome to join the designated group transfer bus.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Moscow Bolshoi Theater
Out of 2 included performances, one performance (opera or ballet) is planned at either the Bolshoi Theater (in Moscow) OR the Mariinsky Theater (in St. Petersburg), but not in both. The exact performances and dates will be announced on the Road Scholar website 5-6 weeks prior to departure, or sooner. 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 2 included performances, one performance (opera or ballet) is planned at either the Mariinsky theater (in St. Petersburg) or the Bolshoi Theater (in Moscow), but not in both. The exact performances and the dates will be announced on the Road Scholar website 5-6 weeks prior to departure, or sooner. 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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