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To Do in Saint-Petersburg Traveling in Russia

Yusupov Palace

The Yusupov Palace or Moika Palace was the house of the Yusupov family. One of the richest family of Russia at the verge of the Revolution. Its princes were well-known philanthropists and art collector. Preserved and transformed into a museum, it now tells us about the life of the nobility in the Russian Empire.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Palais Youssoupov (5)

Build in 1776 by the French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe, the Yusupov Palace stands on the Moika river in St Petersburg. In 1830 it was acquired by the Yusupov family. This family, well known for its philanthropy and its art collections, transformed it into a splendid residence, a real piece of art. Many different artists contributed to this palace and you can still admire this variety of styles nowadays. The luxury of this place, its art gallery, the charm of its private chambers and even a private theater, will make you travel to the time when emperors and empresses were governing Russia.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Palais Youssoupov (4)

This Palace holds a very important place in Russian history. It was one of the finest demonstrations of Russian art and a nest for future talents. But most importantly, it was between these walls that the murder of Grigory Rasputin took place, more precisely in the cave that can be visited nowadays!!!. The murder was organized by a group of monarchists led by Felix Yusupov, the last owner of this palace. The exact way the murder occurred is still obscure, many parts are still unclear. Here is one of the most famous version (and my favorite). After inviting the monk to this palace, the conspirators offered him wine and pastries with enough poison to kill 5 men. Since he didn’t seem to be affected by the poison, they shot him with pistols and beat him, then they wrapped him into a broadcloth and threw him into the Moika river. A doctor that examined the body said Rasputin didn’t die because of the poison, nor the pistols, but out of hypothermia (it happened in December).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Palais Youssoupov (6)

The Russian revolution turned it into a museum, one of the most visited of St Petersburg. It also hosts different diplomatic or artistic events. It is probably one of the finest and most beautiful palaces of the Imperial area that you can visit in Saint Petersburg.

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Traveling in Russia

The Bolshoi Theater

Who doesn’t know the Bolshoi? If you don’t know it, it’s a shame. Like a real shame. I mean the kind of shame you feel when you have to walk in the middle of two groups of judging babushkas.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (2)

Anyway the Bolshoi is one of the best Opera and theater in the world, especially known for its ballets. With nearly 200 dancers, one of the most extensive repertoires in the world, technically the best-equipped theater in the world, and with the modern stage opened in 2002 and the historical stage reopened in 2011 after six years of work, there are not enough superlatives to describe the Bolshoi. Opened in 1776 and two steps away from the Kremlin, the Bolshoi remains as one of the most vibrant and famous symbols of the Russia and the Russian arts scene.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï - Ballet (2)

This symbolism lies of course on the quality of its representations, its history, its continued world-tours and on its ornaments. From the chandelier and ceiling paintings to the loges, the Bolshoi itself offers to its visitors a magical decor. But the Bolshoi is more than that. The Bolshoi is a real historical milestone that saw as well as contributed to history. Indeed, if Lenin wanted to destroy it (no comment, I promise), it was Stalin that saved it. A bit later, the Bolshoi’s first representation after the dissolution of the USSR was Swan Lake and its nowadays the most well-known ballet among people.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (5)

 

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