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We went to St Petersburg in 2009 for a meeting on an EU project called ISAAC about heritage tourism. The May weather was marvellous and we stayed in a nice hotel next to the Fontanka River in walking distance of Nevsky Prospect.
The high spot of our trip was a private tour of the Impressionist paintings in the Hermitage and Russian art in the Russian Museum. The Hermitage Museum, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great is spectacular – lavish, ornate with the most impressive collection of art. The collections occupy a complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment. They include the Winter Palace, home of Tsars, centre of imperial power, scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre of protesters in 1905 and subject to storming by Red Army troops in the October 1917 Revolution.
We also had a boat trip to Peterhof Palace, the Russian Versailles, begun in 1714 by Peter the Great as his Monplaisir’.
Front Cover: Church of Our Savior of the Spilled Blood