Russian studies in St. Petersburg
In St.Petersburg, the Imperial capital of Russia, the cradle of three Russian revolutions, the city of unparalleled courage during World War II, home to Russian science, arts and culture, you will find everything to enhance your knowledge of Russia.
You arrive in St.Petersburg and are transferred to your hotel (by chartered bus). In the evening you will have welcome dinner in the nearby café.
You will spend this entire day experiencing the cultural and historical highlights of St.Petersburg. You begin with an overview tour of the most important sights of the city center: Palace Square, Nevsky Prospekt, Decembrists’s Square, the Bronze Horseman and others. Your first visit is to the Cabin of Peter the Great, built by military carpenters overnight in May 1703, where Peter lived three years while supervising the construction of the city. The cabin was the first house in St. Petersburg. Peter subsequently turned the cabin into a museum. Your next visit is to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the birth place of the city. The most striking building inside is the Peter-and-Paul Cathedral, the burial place of the Russian Tsars, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. Free time will be allowed for lunch in the city center. In the afternoon you will visit the lavishly decorated St. Isaac’s Cathedral, which ranks among the largest Christian cathedrals in the world.
You start this day with a visit to Piskarev Memorial Cemetery, the world largest cemetery World War II cemetery. The Cemetery Museum is devoted to the heroic siege of Leningrad, which lasted from September 1941 until January 1944, 900 days and nights, where you will be able to learn about that tragic and heroic period. Free time will be allowed for lunch in the vicinity of the Summer Gardens. In the afternoon you will have a guided tour of the Museum of Leningrad Defense, which will give you a deeper insight into the life of people inside the besieged Leningrad.
In the morning you will travel outside St. Petersburg to Tsarskoe Selo to visit one of Bartolomeo Rastrelli’s crowning achievements – Catherine’s Palace, famous for the splendor of its Baroque interiors and its unique Amber Room. Following this visit you will have time for lunch at the Palace café. In the afternoon you will have a unique opportunity to see the Alma Mater of the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin – the Lyceum. You will return to St. Petersburg in the late afternoon.
You will start this morning with a guided visit to the Dostoevsky apartment-museum, the last apartment Dostoevsky lived in and where he wrote “Brothers Karamazov”. You will complete your morning with a walking tour following the footsteps of “Crime and Punishment” main characters, during which you will see the houses of Rodion Raskolnikov, Sonya Marmeladov, and the old pawn woman. After lunch in the vicinity of Hay Market Square, you will be familiarized with the apartment-museum of Anna Akhmatova, the leading poet of the Russian Silver Age.
In the morning you will attend the morning service at Kazan Cathedral, the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in St.Petersburg, the burial place of the world famous Russian Field-Marshall Kutuzov, the conqueror of Napoleon in the Patriotic War of 1812. After the service you will explore one of the world’s greatest museums – the incomparable Hermitage. Assembled over 250 years, the Hermitage collections of works of art (over 3,000,000 items) represent the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The tour will include the reception quarters of the Winter Palace, the former official residence of the Russian Emperors, the highlights of the Old Masters’ Collection: Italian, Dutch, Flemish, French Art, as well as the highlights of the famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections in the General Staff building.
You begin your day with a visit to the State Russian Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Russian fine art covering the period from the tenth century to the present day. The collection numbers over 400,000 works, including unique Russian icons, paintings, graphic art and sculpture, decorative and applied art, folk art and numismatics, as well as the world’s finest collection of Russian avant-garde.
This morning will be devoted to the political history of Russia in the 20th century. First you will visit the museum of “The history of Russian political police of the turn of the 20th century”. Then you will have a guided tour of the apartment – museum of Kirov, the head of the Communist Party Committee for Leningrad and Leningrad region at the time of Stalin. Upon return to the hotel you will attend the lecture on the contemporary life of Russia.
In the morning you will have a guided visit to Yusupov Palace, the most elegant former private palace (of the Counts Yusupovs) where they lived from the beginning of the 19th century till the revolution of 1917. Luckily, its original charm and fascinating interiors have been preserved. This is the place where Rasputin was murdered. In the evening of Day 9 the farewell dinner will take place in a traditional Russian restaurant.
You will be transferred to the airport via our chartered shuttle.