Red October 1917: From Petrograd to Leningrad

The writing was on the wall for the Russian royal family prior to the 1917 revolutions when their trusted confidante, licentious mystic Rasputin, was elaborately murdered at the Yusupov Palace in late 1916 (poisoned, shot, beaten and drowned). Whilst the post-February revolution Provisional Government began the slow task of putting the wheels of democracy in … Continue reading Red October 1917: From Petrograd to Leningrad

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

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