21 – 25 March 2015
St. Petersburg is renowned for being one of Europe’s most elegant cities and the cultural capital of Russia. It was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great who imported talented architects to create baroque extravaganzas that would rival Versailles and canals to rival Amsterdam. Among the highlights of the European architecture, art and decorative art collected or commissioned by the Russian aristocracy are the unbelievably opulent Catherine Palace, once home to the legendary Amber room; the splendid interiors of the Yusopov Palace with its little theatre; and, of course, the enormous Winter Palace which houses the Hermitage Museum, possibly the best collection of art anywhere in the world. Contrast this with a parallel history of the development of Russian art from the icon to Kandinsky at the Russian State Museum and with works in situ such as the stunning mosaics of the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood for an unforgettable experience.