St. Petersburg Shotz

Monday, June 14, 2010 

I spent most of the weekend trying to get set up in my apartment. On Saturday I took some time out to walk around town. 

It's hard to believe that it's been seventeen years since my first trip to Russia back in 1993. Back then I spoke no Russian, but still had a great time visiting Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novgorod and Tver with an Irish woman with whom I was living in Turkey. We took hundreds of photographs, and were fascinated by just about everything we saw.

Over the years, I've come back to Russia numerous times. I visited as a tourist again in 1998, when I was still living full-time in Istanbul, and since then have returned on research trips on an almost yearly basis since 2002. Photos from some of those previous trips can be seen here.   

Nevskii Prospekt


This is the resurrection church, built on the site where Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. 

The Winter Palace
On Saturday afternoon I went to a small concert at a palace on Nevskii Prospekt. The orchestra played music by Bernstein, Sowash, and Brahms.


This is a little pathway which leads to my apartment on the Petrograd side of St. Petersburg.

Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the oldest structures in St. Petersburg

This mosque was constructed with funds provided by the Emir of Bukhara in 1914. It's still in operation today, and is used by St. Petersburg's sizeable Muslim community. The mosque is located just around the corner from my apartment.

One aspect of this trip which is different from most of visits I've made to Russia over the last decade has been that I'm speaking mostly Russian. Most of my previous stays have been in places like Kazan and Ufa, where I speak Tatar with most of my friends and Russian is generally limited to official exchanges in places like the archives or markets. In St. Petersburg, though, I've been speaking loads of Russian, which has been great--if a bit exhausting.

Tomorrow the archive opens up again, so I'll be heading there early in the morning. For now, however, I'm off to walk around and enjoy the break in the rain.

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