LEISURE Newsletter, January 2019

This issue is devoted to Saint Petersburg - "Venice of the North" and one of the most beuatiful cities of the world. It was recently recognized once agian as the best cultural city in the world and anybody can witness it once arriving here.

Helen Isaeva

The northern capital of Russia is recognized as the best cultural city in the world

Saint Petersburg was awarded the World Travel Awards Saint Petersburg was awarded the World Travel Awards, considered the Oscar in tourism.
Award is in the nomination "Leading Cultural Direction of the World" (World's Leading Cultural City Destination). Saint Petersburg was awarded for the third time. Previously, the city was awarded in 2016 and 2017.
According to the city tourism development committee, the ceremony of presenting the most prestigious tourist award of the planet took place in Lisbon (Portugal) on December 1, 2018. In the fight for the title of “the cultural capital of the world” in 2018, St. Petersburg left behind Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Sydney, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing and Quito.
The award from the hands of the founder of the Award (Mr Gram Cook) was received by Andrei Matsarin - general director of the Congress and Exhibition Bureau of the Tourism Development Committee in St. Petersburg.

Communal Paradise or closest people without a will – exhibition in the Rumyantsev Mansion

Communal ParadiseThe exhibition is presented in a former communal apartment, which retained its original layout: four rooms, a narrow corridor and a common kitchen. It represents more than 1,000 items from the funds of the State Museum of History of St. Petersburg, most of which are exhibited for the first time.
In the 1920s the process of transforming city apartments belonging to one owner into communal apartments began in the large cities of the young Soviet country. The former owners of the apartment moved into one of the rooms and other rooms occupied in need of housing factory workers, military personnel, members of the various Soviet institutions, and so on. In this way, the Soviet authorities tried to solve the housing problem in the cities, primarily in Moscow and Leningrad, where the population constantly increased due to the influx of labor from the provincial regions of Russia.
In the 1960s, the construction of five-story houses, the so-called “Khrushchevki”, began in Leningrad. In the 1970s and 1980s, the outskirts of the city were built up with whole arrays of multi-story houses, but the problem of “communal” in the city was not solved. Nowadays, 10% of housing in St. Petersburg are “communal”.
Cohabitation of strangers in one apartment gave birth to a whole cultural layer of urban folklore. Many residents of St. Petersburg keep memories of their childhood and youth spent in such communal apartments. Reputation of communal apartments is ambiguous, it seems “social evil”, but for many people the word “communal” causes a slight nostalgia.
The exhibition represents the reconstruction of the Leningrad communal apartment, in which different characters live: the former owner of the whole apartment of the 1920s, a family who moved to the city from the village in the 1930s-1950s, representative of the “informal youth” of the 1960s and artist-representative of the Leningrad underground 1970-1980s. The objects of the museum collection of the 1930s-1980s show the way of life of the Leningraders from different social strata and in different time periods. In the common kitchen you can see a retrospective of household appliances: the primus and the gas stove, the refrigerator table and the electric refrigerator, a galvanized washstand and a faucet, etc. In the corridor are presented radios, electric shavers, hair dryers, wall phones, vacuum cleaners and other “things of the past.” Also, the exhibition shows fragments of art and documentary films, which show the everyday life of Leningrad communal. Individual visitors can visit the exhibition only as part of special excursion groups of the day off (only in Russian). Every Saturday and Sunday sessions are at 14.00 and 15.30.

Caviar bar «CAVIAR RUSSIA»

CAVIAR RUSSIA CAVIAR RUSSIA the biggest black caviar store and the most correct caviar bar with a unique selection of caviar and traditional Russian drinks. The bar menu consist exclusively of black caviar snacks – from classic combinations to original sets devised St.Peterburg’s leading chefs. Special gastronomic events.

CAVIAR RUSSIA was founded by experts in the Russian caviar business of developing the legal market and promoting the culture of eating black caviar.
A visit to the bar creats a delicious memory. If you want to try different types of caviar it’s a fabulous place to do it. For light lunch you can choose 5 tastings, have vodka and wine, followed by dessert. The staff is great in explaining about all the different caviars and the different vodkas. You wont be full after the tasting but you'll smile. Great way to spend an afternoon along with a lot of money. Well worth it...memorable. Tasting different styles of caviar? tasting different caviar of related stugeons or sterlings? all possible in here!

Peter the Great's Summer Palace and Gardens

Peter the Great's Summer Palace and Gardens Across the river from the Peter and Paul fortress you can visit the historical Summer Garden. Behind the beautiful wrought iron fence there is an old park that has witnessed some of the most spectacular moments in St. Petersburg's early history.

Impressed by the royal parks that he had seen in Europe, Peter the Great was very keen to create something similar in his newly built "Venice of the North". In Peter's new park everything was created according to the latest fashions; the trees and bushes were trimmed in the most elaborate way and all the alleys were decorated with marble statues and fountains. Peter the Great used to organize regular receptions and balls in the gardens, his " assamblei ", which involved dancing and drinking and impressive firework displays.

Tsar Peter commissioned the city's first and foremost architect, the Italian Domenico Trezzini, to build a small palace in the park. The palace had no heating and was intended only for summer time use, hence its name "Summer Palace", as opposed to the "Winter Palace" that Peter had built just down the same embankment of the Neva. The Summer Palace, a small two-storey yellow building, was built between 1710 and 1714, with 7 rooms on each floor. After the Second World War the palace was carefully restored, the older interiors were recreated and a collection of early 18th century artifacts, many originally owned by Peter the Great, was put on display.
It is always a great pleasure to take a stroll down the alleys of the Summer Garden, passing by the palace, the marvelous marble statues and the pond. A pair of white swans returns every year to the Karpiev pond in the Summer Garden, even though the park is located in the middle of a bustling city...

The Summer Palace will be open for visit from May 01 till September 30.