Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

The Art and Museums Program was a highly fulfilling and engaging experience, combining guided museum tours with independent research. I would recommend this program to any student who is interested in Russian art, culture, and history, and who is not afraid to be a little adventurous. The program will have a lasting effect on my […]

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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. […]

Top 10 Bookstores in St Petersburg

St Petersburg has a prominent literary history and bears associations with Russian literary giants such as Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoyevsky. It makes sense, then, that the city also is bursting at the seams with both hip and traditional bookstores. After spending a semester here as a literature major, here are some of my favourites! 1. […]

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 […]

Stopping to Smell the Roses in Moscow and St. Petersburg

By far one of my favorite pastimes is taking pictures of flowers. I love capturing their temporal beauty, as well as appreciating their many varieties in species, size, and color. Below are just four of the many places flowers thrive in Saint Petersburg and Moscow.   VDNKh (Moscow) I first noticed the beauty of the […]

Russia Reunites Two Major Art Collections, May Found New Museum

Russia has reunited the great pre-revolutionary art collections of Ivan Morozov and Sergei Shchukin. The collections of both Tsarist-era businessmen were nationalized after the revolution, partially auctioned abroad and then split between museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Each exhibition has been reported as an inspirational event, as the righting of a historical wrong, and […]

Russia’s ‘Ticket Mafia’ and Other Challenges to Managing Russian Cultural Institutions

The “ticket mafia” has long been a problem in Russia. Scalpers buy tickets, often at deep discounts by employing the pensioners who qualify for them, and then sell the tickets at wildly inflated costs. This is not, however, the most interesting inefficiency in managing Russia’s cultural institutions. For instance, the story below details the Bolshoi’s […]

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