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Dobro pojalovat! Welcome to Russia! Moscow Russia Russian's people and cultures are as varied as its terrain, its cuisine as tempting and historical treasures as exciting. No matter how you explore Russia, it never fails to surprise. Let our experts at Silk Road Treasure Tours make your adventure unforgettable.
In the early ninth century Viking chieftains unified the Slavic tribes of Eastern Europe creating Russia's first dynasties. Christianity was adopted early on as the state religion and the iconic onion-domed Orthodox churches dominate the country's cities and towns. Islam, Buddhism and nomadic tribal customs arrived with the invasions of the Mongols in the 1200's, who were finally defeated by the late 15th century. Moscow became the central governing power and the home of the Romanov dynasty. Rulers such as Peter the Great and Catherine II ruled imperial Russia until the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 when the Soviets came to power.
Moscow still stands amidst the vast forests of eastern Russian as capital of the Russian Federation. It's a cosmopolitan realm of bustling activity that fuses Western comfort with Eastern charm. It's heaven for history and art buffs, full of museums, historic monuments and scenic locations. Take in the magnificence of Red Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Lenin and Stalin spoke to the populace, and subsequent Soviet governments stage their military parades. It is said that Red Square is the central square of all Russia and each building is a legend in its own right. On one side loom the towers of the Kremlin, the heart of Russian politics and history and a treasure of architecture; the cathedrals and Patriarch's Palaces, once the home of Tsars and church Patriarchs. Stop in one of the many nearby restaurants for a cup of borscht, a bliny pancake with sour cream or jam or delicious shashlyk (lamb kebab). Step outside to marvel at the fairy tale colors and shapes of St. Basil's Cathedral – its vibrant colors and lofty domes will beckon you to explore the hallowed halls of this global symbol of Russian Orthodoxy.
Visit the historic Bolshoi Theatre for ballet or opera. Hop on the Moscow Metro and zip to the other side of Moskva River to enjoy the phenomenal collection of Russian fine art in Tretyakov Gallery. Shop and dine riverside under the street lanterns on pedestrian Arbat Street. Look for souvenirs and art, nesting dolls, fur hats and traditional painted boxes with scenes of old Russian tales. Still haven't finished your shopping? Go to the historic GUM department store or Izmailovo Park, a huge open-air market. And don't forget to try some Russian vodka! In fact, not far from Moscow central, you can visit the Museum of Vodka, and sample the finest selections.
No trip to Russia is complete without a tour of St. Petersburg. On the way explore the Old Russian town of Novgorod. Established in the 800's, Novgorod was and is a center for Russian culture, featuring some of the oldest buildings in the Russian Federation. Novgorod is now a fascinating town that carries the feel of "Old Russia" with some of the best medieval monuments in Russia. Let colorful icons in the Cathedral of St. Sophia dazzle you, as you step inside this age-old monument to the town's patron saint. Peruse the Novgorod market, where merchants sold their goods in medieval times. Explore the remnants of Yaroslav's Court, part of what used to be a grand princely complex. Uncover the past in one of Novgorod's many museums, which attract travelers with rare collections of art, historical documents and iconography.
When you arrive in St. Petersburg, the "Venice of the North" you will see why it has captured the hearts of millions. Founded as an imperial capital by Peter the Great, whose equestrian statue dominates Senate Square, St. Petersburg is an astonishing maze of canals and historical sites. Lose yourself in this blissful paradise of palaces and churches, gardens and theatres. Spend a day at the fabulous Hermitage museum. Consisting of six buildings including the Winter Palace - a baroque masterpiece and former residence of the Tsars, it holds one of the greatest collections of art in the world. Admire the nearby St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Alexander Palace. Take a short trip outside the city limits to the small town of Pushkin. Don't let the size fool you: you will want to explore every inch of Tsarskoe selo (Tsars Village) and the Lyceum, where Alexander Pushkin studied. Next-door find Catherine's Palace, the stunning sky blue baroque summer residence of the Tsars. Prepare for astonishing beauty as you step into "The Amber Room," constructed from six tons of pure amber. Join in the mystery of where the original amber might be – never found after being looted by Nazi soldiers. Find yourself walking the famed Nevsky Prospekt, mingling with the warm, hospitable citizens of St. Petersburg, your hosts at the gateway to fascinating Russia.
Whether you want to follow this classic route, investigate lesser-known regions such as Sochi, Altai or Kamchatka or create an itinerary based on personal interests, Silk Road Treasure Tours can make your dreams come true. Experience the greatest adventure of your life in Russia!