St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Dominating the skyline of St. Petersburg, St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Isaakievskii sobor) is an unmistakable landmark: its gold dome and proximity to the Neva River and Nevskii Prospekt make it hard to miss. The interior of the second largest Russian Orthodox church is richly decorated with exotic marbles and designs from both Europe and Russia. [Read more…]

The Hermitage Museum

The New Hermitage Building

The Hermitage (Государственный Эрмитаж) is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. The origins of the Hermitage can be traced back to the private art collection of Tsar Peter the Great, who purchased a large variety of works during his travels to Europe. Founded in 1764 by Tsarina Catherine the Great, it has been open to the public since 1852. [Read more…]

The Marine Façade and the Petersburg Myth in Post-Soviet Russia

Sophia Kosar (Russian Studies Program, College of William and Mary)

For Abstract of the Article in Russian Click Here. Чтобы прочитать краткое изложение статьи по-русски, нажмите кнопкой мышки здесь.


St. Petersburg has always been Russia’s “window to the West.” At the time of its construction in the eighteenth century, Peter the Great envisioned a city encompassing the greatest architectural achievements of Western Europe: the romantic island-canal systems of Venice and Amsterdam, luxurious baroque architecture, and a court rivaling that of the French in power and elegance. However, the city has not always lived up to its intended purpose—to prove that Russia could leave behind her backwards ways and enter modernity with the rest of Europe (Figes 10). Thus the Petersburg myth was born—its foundations lying in this discrepancy between the idealized city and its real counterpart. The myth, which expresses Russia’s complicated experience of modernity, continues to be prevalent in contemporary St. Petersburg. The Marine Façade development project embodies the Petersburg myth and the three-hundred-year-old dichotomy between dreams and reality that lies at the heart of the city.

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Tourism: The New Kid on Nevsky Prospekt

Megan Doneski (Russian Studies Program, College of William and Mary)

For Abstract of the Research Paper in Russian Click Here. Чтобы прочитать краткое изложение статьи по-русски, нажмите кнопкой мышки здесь.

      When one thinks of Russia, often the first images conjured are of snow, cold, and desolation. A rare few envision a bustling city center on a sunny day in August. And yet, this scene can be found in Russia, in St. Petersburg, at the heart of the city, on Nevsky Prospekt. Granted, the scene was not always the same. A picture of Nevsky Prospekt in the Soviet era would look different than a picture taken in the modern Post-Soviet era, a reflection of the social change throughout Russia. The changes in Russia, between the former Soviet era and the current Post-Communist era, have led to changes in the atmosphere and culture of Petersburg’s main street, most notably in the tourism industry on Nevsky Prospekt.

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