The Hermitage, St. Petersburg City Hall, American Embassy


Russia - Hermitage, St. Petersburg City Hall, American Embassy

The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of the largest museums in the world, with three million works of art  and one of the oldest art galleries and museums of human history and culture in the world. The vast Hermitage collections are displayed in six buildings, the main one being the Winter Palace which used to be the official residence of the Russian Tsars9-25-2012 Russia 6502 - Version 2

Catherine the Great started the famed collection in 1764 by purchasing more than 225 paintings from Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky, after bankruptcy in the year before. Gotzkowsky provided 225 paintings to the Russian crown, to be able satisfy to his obligations. Flemish and Dutch masters such as Dirck van Baburen, Hendrick van Balen, RembrandtRubens, Jacob Jordaens, Antoon van Dyck, Hendrick Goltzius, Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Gerrit van Honthorst formed the basis and the beginning of the collection in the Hermitage. Russian ambassadors in foreign capitals were commissioned to acquire the best collections offered for sale: Brühl’s collection in Saxony, Crozat’s in France, and the Walpole gallery inEngland. Catherine called her art gallery my hermitage, as very few people were allowed within to see its riches. In one of her letters she lamented that “only the mice and I can admire all this.” She also gave the name of the Hermitage to her private theatre, built nearby between 1783 and 1787.9-25-2012 Russia 6503 - Version 2

9-25-2012 Russia 6508 - Version 2


The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts of the world culture.

9-25-2012 Russia 6516 - Version 2

Antonio Canova

It is said that if one spends 1 minute in front of each museum exibit, it would take 10 years to see them all.

9-25-2012 Russia 6524 - Version 2

Rembrandt – Danae

9-25-2012 Russia 6527 - Version 2

Rembrandt – Flora

9-25-2012 Russia 6530 - Version 2

Rembrandt – Return of the Prodigal Son

9-25-2012 Russia 6533

Botero – Still Life w Watermelon

9-25-2012 Russia 6538

Marquet – Notre Dame

9-25-2012 Russia 6540

Renior – Woman on a Stair

9-25-2012 Russia 6546

Cezanne – Blue Landscape

9-25-2012 Russia 6549

Van Gogh – Madame Trabuc

9-25-2012 Russia 6551

Renior – Ladies of Arles

9-25-2012 Russia 6556

Matisse – Lady on a Terrace

Matisse - Music

Matisse – Music

Russia - St. Petersburg, Hermitage

Matisse – Dance

Matisse - Young Woman in Blue Blouse

Matisse – Young Woman in Blue Blouse

9-25-2012 Russia 6566

Matisse – Woman in Green

Matisse - Family Portrait

Matisse – Family Portrait

Matisse - Conversation

Matisse – Conversation

9-25-2012 Russia 6574

Matisse – Portrait of the Artist’s Wife

9-25-2012 Russia 6576

Kees van Dongen – Lady in a Black Hat

9-25-2012 Russia 6578

Picasso – Violin and Guitar

9-25-2012 Russia 6504 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6511 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6513 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6514 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6519 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6537 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6553 - Version 2

Church of the Birth of St. John the Baptist (Chesme Church)
Built alongside the Chesme Palace as an Imperial posting house on the way to Tsarskoe Selo, this wedding-cake gothic building is one of the most unusual and attractive in St. Petersburg..

9-25-2012 Russia 6580

City Hall Building, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg was named for its founder, Tsar Peter I, better known as Peter the Great. He was the grandson of Mikhail Romanov, founder of the Romanov dynasty that ruled Russia from 1613 until the Russian revolution in 1917. Peter’s rise to power was not as easy as most monarchs. He was the son of Tsar Alexis (1645-1676) and his second wife. In order to become Tsar, Peter had to deal with his older half sister Sophie who was ruling Russia. After building up loyalty among the army, Peter overthrew Sophie and sent her to a convent in Moscow in 1689. In May 1703 Peter laid the cornerstone of the fortress he named St. Petersburg, in honor of the guardian of the gates of heaven. (And, coincidentally, his name!) Peter built a shipyard across the Neva River from the fortress, giving Russia a European trading seaport and important access to the West. In 1712, Peter moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg and required all of the aristocracy to (1) move there, (2) build lavish homes for themselves, and most importantly, (3) contribute to paying for the construction of the government buildings there. Peter had studied fortification and shipbuilding in Western Europe and greatly influenced the design of the city with his ideas.City Hall of St. Petersburg

9-25-2012 Russia 6583 - Version 2

City Hall from the inside looking out.

9-25-2012 Russia 6589 - Version 2

Russian interpreter.

9-25-2012 Russia 6607 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6609

Portrait of Lenin in City Hall.

9-25-2012 Russia 6610 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6612 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6613 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6615 9-25-2012 Russia 6617

Lenin’s office is kept as it was when he last left it…this is the desk of his admin, right out side his door.

9-25-2012 Russia 6619 - Version 2

Lenin had a cot in room around the corner of his office that use to catch some rest.

9-25-2012 Russia 6626

Lenin’s desk as he left it.

9-25-2012 Russia 6627 9-25-2012 Russia 6629 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6630 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6632 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6634 9-25-2012 Russia 6637 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6641 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6642 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6643 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6644 - Version 2

This reception at the American Embassy on September 11th began with a moment of remembrance of that fateful day.  What am amazing feeling it was to be in Russia and paying tribute to 9/11 – 11 time zones from home where the news was no doubt all about remembrance.

9-25-2012 Russia 6647 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6648 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6649 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6651 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6655 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6658 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6660 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6661 9-25-2012 Russia 6662 - Version 2

Cafe Singer

9-25-2012 Russia 6088 - Version 2

Singer House, also widely known as House of Books is a historical landmark building located at intersection of Nevsky Prospekt with Griboyedov Canal, just opposite of the Kazan Cathedral in Saint PetersburgRussia. It is officially recognized as an object of Russian historical-cultural heritage.Singer Cafe

9-25-2012 Russia 6096 - Version 2

The building was designed by architect Pavel Suzor for the Russian branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Initially, the management of the Singer Company had ambitions to construct a skyscraper, similar to the Singer Building – company headquarters being built at that time in New York. However, the building code of Saint Peterburg center did not allow structures taller than 23.5 meters (the height of the Winter Palace – tzar’s residence). The architect found an elegant solution – the seven story building featured a tower on the top crowned with a glass globe.[1] This tower makes an impression of high rise, but due to its lightness, it doesn’t shadow neither the Kazan Cathedral nor the Church of the Savior on Blood. The sculptor was the Estonian Amandus Adamson.

After the October revolution, the building was given to the Petrograd State Publishing House in 1919. It quickly became the city largest book store and earned the nickname of “House of Books”. The bookstore remained functioning during the Siege of Leningrad until November 1942. It reopened again in 1948. The building was closed for reconstruction during 2004-2006.

Singer House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

9-25-2012 Russia 6095

9-25-2012 Russia 6094 9-25-2012 Russia 6093 - Version 2 9-25-2012 Russia 6092



Kafe Zinger (Singer Cafe) // Nevsky Prospekt 28 (2nd floor of Dom Knigi) // Daily 9 a.m. to 11 .p.m., credit cards accepted // Menu in English and Russian // Lunch for two without alcohol 1,885 rubles ($60)

By Rachel Wetherfield

The St. Petersburg Times

Published: June 11, 2009 (Issue # 1482)

Nestled on the second floor of the iconic building opposite Kazan Cathedral that formerly housed the Singer company and is now home to the popular bookshop Dom Knigi, this hidden gem is a refreshing change from the monotonous franchises found elsewhere on Nevsky.

Recently renovated, with an impressive cake counter on the right as you walk in, the interior is characterized by dark wooden circular tables, gleaming white china, an authentic-looking parquet to match the rest of the shop and walls and chair covers in a deep green color scheme, so that guests can almost imagine themselves transported back to St. Petersburg’s glorious imperial past.

The serving staff, dressed in green and black to match the decor, were falling over themselves to serve us. Their willingness to speak English, with the courteous touch of inquiring which language we would prefer, suggests that the cafe is no stranger to the tourist trade.

The window seats, with their impressive view of the fountain in front of Kazan Cathedral, are certain to be the most coveted, but the cafe does not lack space, and stretches beyond the first hall into a second, much larger room with extensive seating and a bar serving alcoholic drinks.

The clientele is an eclectic mix: two English students at a neighboring table were soon replaced by a quartet of immaculately dressed Russian women who appeared to be St. Petersburg’s answer to “Sex and the City,” while across the aisle, a young Russian family looked to be enjoying a quiet lunch.

The menu is attractively presented on a single sheet of card, with a slightly pretentious nod to its surroundings in the form of literary quotes in both Russian and English decorating its edges. It offers a range of sandwiches (350 rubles, $11), both European and Russian soups (150 to 175 rubles, $5 to $5.50), fresh salads (175 to 450 rubles, $5.50-$14.50) and a few hot dishes, including omelets and blini.

The Caesar Salad with jumbo prawns (450 rubles, $14.50) was beautifully presented in a deep white china dish, garnished with strips of parmesan cheese and the ubiquitously Russian touch of a sprig of dill, but the toughness of the prawns and the rather-too-generous sauce somewhat marred the overall experience. A much better bet was the solyanka soup (175 rubles, $5.50), which was both well-presented and flavorsome, followed by a toasted tuna sandwich (350 rubles, $11), the attractive presentation of which was only tainted by the somewhat incongruous addition of fluorescent cocktail sticks.

Having walked past the shiny glass counter containing tempting pastries and gateaux on the way in, diners may find it impossible to leave without sampling them. The wait staff are happy to offer personal recommendations about the impressive selection of cakes, which unfortunately are not listed on the menu.

The hot chocolate with chili (150 rubles; $5) was divine — served in the Russian style and more like a cup of melted chocolate than many Western equivalents, and topped off by the chili’s warming kick. The cappuccino cake was a decadent accompaniment to this, though it was a little pricey (250 rubles, $8) and slightly dry. The alcoholic drinks menu is separate, and far more extensive than the range of specialty teas.

St. Petersburg – At First Glance

Russia, St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

As many times as I have seen this signature icon in pictures, when I came around the corner and it came into my view, it still took my breathe away.

It is The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  This Church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory.

On March 13, 1881, as Tsar Alexander‘s carriage passed along the embankment, a grenade thrown by an anarchist conspirator exploded. The tsar, shaken but unhurt, got out of the carriage and confronted the presumed culprit. A second conspirator took the chance to throw another bomb, killing himself and mortally wounding the tsar. The tsar, bleeding heavily, was taken back to the Winter Palace where he died a few hours later.Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

9-25-2012 Russia 5718

Russia St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg

Russia - St. Petersburg