Visiting Putin’s Parish

“You take holiday in Russia. You are crazy…but welcome.” The man who uttered this to me in a St. Petersburg café wasn’t the only one who thought I was crazy visiting Putin’s Parish. Indeed, all but one person in my social circle questioned my sanity. It was a series of subliminal coincidences which prompted me … Continue reading Visiting Putin’s Parish

From Peter the Great to February 1917

With two revolutions in St. Petersburg during 1917, Russia dominated news headlines that year. The February revolution (March in the Gregorian calendar) saw the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II bringing an end to several hundred years of rule by the House of Romanov. And whilst the political landscape of the city underwent vast subsequent change … Continue reading From Peter the Great to February 1917

Saint Petersburg: Cultural Colossus

St. Petersburg is deservedly known as Russia’s cultural capital. It’s breadth and depth of cultural heritage is astonishing and in this post I’ll attempt to distil several hundred years of various art forms into a couple of paragraphs. Aleksandr Borodin, Igor Stravinsky and Dmitri Shostakovich are the three prolific St. Petersburg natives in the classical … Continue reading Saint Petersburg: Cultural Colossus