Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Love for Russia!

Oh Dr. Zhivago!

Let me just tell you that I have traveled around this world, many, many times and I finally landed in an unknown place - St. Petersberg, Russia. Just as I pictured it and breathtaking. Let me share!

Russian Cuisine – let’s have a party and celebrate this great history of food and “vodka!” So I arrive in St. Petersburg to work and knowing that this was my first trip to Russia I was so excited to see what I have only read about in books or watched in movies. I was thrilled to find the hidden gems that make up this vibrant city. For those that know me, I have always been a big fan of “vodka.” Dirty martinis have been among my favorite – but now – I am all about the chilled shot glass with the Russian Standard Vodka with eggs and caviar.

Let's talk about the beautiful architecture: The Church of Our Savior on The Spilled Blood is just magnificent Walking through the city on a cold, snowy day just conjures up images in your mind of years gone by. This marvelous Russian-style church was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881. After assuming power in 1855 in the wake of Russia’s disastrous defeat in the Crimean war against Britain, France and Turkey, Alexander II initiated a number of reforms. In 1861 he freed the Russian serfs (peasants, who were almost enslaved to their owners) from their ties to their masters and undertook a rigorous program of military, judicial and urban reforms, never before attempted in Russia.

However, during the second half of his reign Alexander II grew wary of the dangers of his system of reforms, having only barely survived a series of attempts on his life, including an explosion in the Winter Palace and the derailment of a train. Alexander II was finally assassinated in 1881 by a group of revolutionaries, who threw a bomb at his royal carriage. The decision was taken to build a church on the spot where the Emperor was mortally wounded. The church was built between 1883 and 1907 and was officially called the Resurrection of Christ Church (a.k.a. The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood ). The construction of the church was almost entirely funded by the Imperial family and thousands of private donators. The church was closed for services in the 1930s, when the Bolsheviks went on an offensive against religion and destroyed churches all over the country. It remained closed and under restoration for over 30 years and was finally re-opened in 1997 in all its dazzling former glory. The view of the church from Nevsky Prospekt (the main street in St. Petersburg) is absolutely breathtaking.

Needless to say, I am ready for my return!

No comments: