St Petersburg

The Bronze Horseman in Translation

Most people will tell you that Pushkin without meter and rhyme isn’t really Pushkin. Just about any English translation of his famous poem, the Bronze Horseman, follows the rhyme scheme of the original. However, the tradeoff is that much of the original meaning is lost in translation. I was fascinated by the Bronze Horseman before […]

The Hermitage and the Tretyakovskaya: East, West, Neither, Both?

  Perhaps the most famous attraction in St. Petersburg is the Hermitage, a sprawling complex of art museums centered around the Winter Palace, the former residence of Russian tsars. Built by the Italian architect Rastrelli for Empress Elizabeth in the first half of the 18th century, the palace is a dizzyingly ornate Rococo confection of marble, […]

City of Sleight-of-Hand

The bridges over the Neva River in St. Petersburg go up every night to let oceangoing ships pass. I’d heard that staying up until 1:30 a.m. to watch them was a magical experience. But the night I went, we were inexplicably out of luck. There were plenty of other people standing on the embankment, also […]

Saint Petersburg – Not a European City

If you recall from my first post, this is my first experience abroad.  However, this inexperience did not stop me from having a preconception of St Petersburg as a European city separate from the rest of Russia—which is not definitively European.  And, to some degree, I was right.  The canals evoke ideas of Venice, there […]

Saint Petersburg Inside and Out

Saint Petersburg Inside and Out

The historical city center of Saint Petersburg is indisputably gorgeous. Sparkling canals are crossed by artfully curving bridges, and the skyline is peppered with cathedrals, spires, and monuments that pay tribute to the city’s rich history from 1703 onward. Strolling along Ekaterininsky Canal after sundown, one is struck by the reflections of timeless architecture and […]