Willamette World News

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In the Palaces of Russia

Having grown up in U.S, I’ve seen Russia only as a tourist.Every other year or so, my family has traveled to St. Petersburg, where most of our family lives. Frankly, it’s my favorite city in the world (but don’t tell the other cities that). The “Venice of the North,” as it is sometimes called, holds so many cultural and architectural treasures. Museums, palaces, operas! The city’s history has a lot of European influence, and so the architectural style is very

much a mixture between Western and Slavic architecture. One of my favorite places in St.Petersburg is the Peterhoff Palace. During the Imperialistic Era, it served as the summer residence for the royal family. The Palace has a beautiful park, which begins near the palace and stretches down to the bay, in a sort of cascading manner. Its crowning glory is its fountains and waterfalls with magnificent golden statues. Amazingly, the fountains, constructed centuries ago, worked simply by the force of gravity.

Another one of my favorite places, which I somehow managed to spend three days at, is the Hermitage Museum, which served (you guessed it), as the winter residence of the royal family. Here, the beauty all lies inside the palace itself. A beautiful grand stairwell, richly-decorated royal suites, elaborately painted hallways, and ballrooms lined with golden columns and huge chandeliers… the palace gives you a small taste of that era. The palace now serves as a museum with a huge collection of art from all over the world – especially European art, but really the rooms which hold the exhibits are perhaps even more worth the visit. When I was little, I would pretend to be the last royal family’s youngest princess (also Anastasia), and would imagine that the palace was my own.

For all those interested in art and architecture, visit beautiful St.Petersburg! You won’t regret it.

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