13.08.2019 15:28
In a previous post, we looked at some great online resources for reading in Russian, but since you’ve come all the way to one of the most literary cities in the world, it would be a shame not to take advantage of Saint Petersburg’s ubiquitous bookstores and pick up some books to take home with you. In this post, we suggest a few books or series of books that might be of interest to Russian learners, as well as introduce some of the bookstores in the city. 
13.08.2019 15:14

Considered to be one the greatest of Russia’s poets, Anna Akhmatova, is a symbol of Russia and guardian of its culture and language. Born in 1889 in Odessa, her family quickly took up residence in Tsarskoye Selo outside Saint Petersburg, the city in which she would later reside for the greater part of her life. As a daughter of Russia, impacted by the time period in which she lived, her works reflected the changing tides of Russia by critically and poignantly confronting Stalinist Terror, World War II, and the subsequent Russian Thaw. 

13.08.2019 15:08

Wherever you go on March 8, you will be sure to see an abundance of flowers. Flowers in the hands of women, children and grandmothers. Flowers lining the streets. Flowers being passed out in cafes and shops. Bouquets wrapped and on delivery. Flowers, gifts and beauty are on every corner, and it is quite possible you will come across special events being held in honor of women and femininity. Around the streets you will hear congratulations, and, if you are a woman, may even receive congratulations or flowers of your own from strangers and business alike.

13.08.2019 15:05

Similar to other countries with such long histories, the Russian government has undergone various complete transformations. From early Rus, to the time of the Tsars, to a revolution that birthed the Soviet Union and finally the restructuring into a democratic Russian Federation. The mark of any democracy is the establishment of a free and competitive election process. That is what makes 18 March 2018 a day of significance, the Russian Federation Presidential elections.

13.08.2019 14:47

Forget your 300 rouble lattes or mochas – a time café can offer you much more for your money! Read on to find what exactly a ‘time café’ is, where the idea came from, and where to find such places in Saint Petersburg!

12.08.2019 22:01

Founded by Catherine the Great and boasting over 4 million paintings, sculptures, documents, artifacts, and other items, the Hermitage Museum is the largest collection of art in Russia and one of the largest in the world. It is well worth a visit any time, but if you don’t have plans, consider going this Thursday – the first Thursday of every month is free to all visitors.

12.08.2019 21:55
This Sunday (October 8th) would be the 125th birthday of Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941), one of the most important Russian poets of the 20th century. In her memory, learn about her life and read ten of her most famous quotes in Russian and in English. Which quote is your favorite?
12.08.2019 21:52
With more than 150 spectacular fountains, 32 museums, and over 400 hectares of parks and gardens, Peterhof Palace Complex is one of the most popular attractions around Saint Petersburg, and for good reason! This past Saturday, our students got to see the splendor of this UNESCO World Heritage Site for themselves on an unforgetable excursion organized by Derzhavin Institute.
If you missed it, don’t worry – there’s still another week before the fountains turn off for the winter, and after that, the entrance to the Lower Gardens is free of charge. Learn more about Peterhof and what you can see there.
12.08.2019 21:41

With over 200 museums to be found in Saint Petersburg, the most well known is the Hermitage. While the Hermitage, Russian Museum, and The Peter and Paul Fortress deserve a visit or two from anyone who spends time in the city, these museums are certainly not the only ones that should spark your interest. Here are my personal top five less visited museums in Saint Petersburg, with a few honorable mentions!

12.08.2019 21:38

When you think of theater in Russia, most likely the Russian Ballet performing Swan Lake comes into your mind. With images of the elaborate beauty of the classic Mariinsky Theatre, you can be transported back into a time of unparalleled elegance. As the cultural capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg is home to both classical and modern theatre companies known and respected throughout Russia and the world. Music theatres, ballet and opera theatres, puppet theatres and drama theatres all have something unique to offer. 

12.08.2019 21:36

Nikolai Gogol, born 31 March 1809, would go on to become one of the most renowned and influential Russian writers. Gogol can be claimed as the founder of realist literature, laying the groundwork for Russian prose that would influence great writers after him. However, it was in his surrealist writings that Gogol produced some of his most original and celebrated works that delved deep into the darker side of society by comically combing the fantastic with the grotesque.

09.08.2019 15:00

If you are fortunate to have visited St Petersburg during the summer you’ll notice 2 things. 1, the sun never really goes down all the way and it remains light for weeks, giving this period the name ‘White Nights’ (Белые ночи). And 2, there are many festivities one can attend as a result of this, such as Ballet at the Marinksy Theatre and Concert Hall or carnivals in the suburbs around St Petersburg. But perhaps the most famous festival of all during this time is The Scarlet Sails celebrationIf you are fortunate to have visited St

If you are fortunate to have visited St Petersburg during the summer you’ll notice 2 things. 1, the sun never really goes down all the way and it remains light for weeks, giving this period the name ‘White Nights’ (Белые ночи). And 2, there are many festivities one can attend as a result of this, such as Ballet at the Marinksy Theatre and Concert Hall or carnivals in the suburbs around St Petersburg.

03.04.2019 16:12

Easter, the most important and celebrated holiday for the Russian Orthodox Church, is observed based on the Julian calendar and often falls on a different Sunday than the Catholic or Protestant Easter. This year, the Russian Orthodox Easter will be celebrated 8 April. As in many countries, the Easter celebrations in Russia are full of significance, traditions, family and delicious Easter treats.

15.08.2019 23:10
Have you ever wondered where Russian language came from? Have you ever looked at its strange, unfamiliar words and its strange, unfamiliar letters and thought, “why is Russian so weird?”. In this three part blog series we’ll be trying to answer exactly that question by looking at the origins of spoken Russian and its writing system and how they have both changed and been reformed over time.
In this, the second of our three part blog series, we’ll be looking at how modern Russian was born and how it replaced Church Slavonic as the main written language in Russia, as well as how the country’s most ambitious reformer, Peter the Great, left his mark on his people’s language.

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