The Leningrad Zoo: Under the Tsars, during WWII, and Today

The Leningrad Zoo was first found in August of 1865 as the private collection of Sophia and Julius Gebhardt. Although a small zoo, its history has been incredibly dramatic, surviving wars, revolutions, economic and political collapse and, perhaps most notably, the 872-day siege of Leningrad, when the whole city had to survive bombing and potential […]

The Hermitage State Museum: Exploring Art and History

The following provides a short history of The Winter Palace building and The State Hermitage Museum as well as details the museum’s current programs and world-wide activities today. It also provides reviews of self exploration and guided tours of the Hermitage. Hermitage tours are included with most St. Petersburg SRAS Programs and Moscow SRAS programs. […]

Peterhof: A Museum of Tsarist Splender Outside St. Petersburg

The Tsars had several summer palaces outside St Petersburg. Peterhof is perhaps the most famous now, and is one of the best maintained and oft-visited. It is one of Russia’s unqiue museum reserves, a whole estate that has been turned into a museum with protected The following are two experiences that SRAS students have had […]

Self-Guided Saint Petersburg Walking Tour

Saint Petersburg is an incredibly walkable city. Throughout any season, you will see the streets full of people strolling around, and appreciating the beauty of the city. This makes it great for a pastime of time – planning out scenic walks that highlight some of the city’s loveliest sights. The tour I describe below will […]

Peter and Paul Fortress Excursion in Saint Petersburg

As part of our SRAS program, we had a guided tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress. On a beautiful summer day, we took a tram out to the fortress. Once there, our guide started off by explaining the history of the fortress. Peter the Great established the fortress on May 16, 1703 on Hare […]

The Legacy of Alexander Pushkin in Moscow and St. Petersburg

In Anna Melikian’s 2015 film Pro Lyubov (About Love), a film divided into vignettes focusing on modern love ala Love Actually, one of the vignettes focuses on a young woman from Japan who comes to Russia due to her love of Russian literature. While in Russia she hopes to find a Russian boyfriend. She goes […]

Excursion to New Holland Island in St. Petersburg

New Holland Island dates to the 18th century, but today is a compact and beautiful center of modern culture and international food in St. Petersburg. It’s a great place to grab some food and relax. It’s very similar to any brewery district in a hipster city – and was right up my alley. I visited […]

Grand Maket in St. Petersburg: A Miniature Tour of Russia

After two months in Russia where have I been? Only in St. Petersburg, but what have I seen? The entire country. How is this possible? Well, I took a tour of the Grand Maket Rossiya. The word “maket” in Russian can be translated as “layout” or “model,” and the Grand Maket is the world’s second […]

Loft Project Etagi: A Modern Art Community in St. Petersburg

The Loft Project Etagi (Этажи) is a creative space affectionately known as “the loft” by those who frequent it. A community-driven project to develop modern art in St. Petersburg, it has a nuanced history that reflects Russia’s transition from communism to a market economy and represents Russians’ desire to contribute to the development of their […]

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