Greek and Roman Classical Russia
Thanks to Peter I, Catherine II and Lenin, Russia boasts not only an impressive collection of Neo Classical Architecture, but also of Greek and Roman, Hittite and Persian, Naukratis, Black Sea and Scythian archaeology – not forgetting Schliemann’s treasure from Troy!
Perfect for a joint trip with the Modern History and Art Departments!
Fly to Moscow. Transfer to Hotel for your evening meal before taking an atmospheric walk across the Moskva River to Red Square, the Kremlin Fortress and St Basil’s. Day 2
< State Historical Museum, Moscow, Turmanskiy Hellenic and Chinese composite Sarcophagus
Tour the Kremlin Citadel; Palaces, stunning Orthodox Cathedrals, Campanile, Armoury and gardens within the famous red walls and arsenal towers. Descend to the tranquil Alexander Gardens, tomb of the Unknown Soldier and ‘ruined grotto’ constructed from masonry remains of the 1812 Invasion with Doric colonnade and decorative Roman Fasces. Visit Lenin’s Mausoleum, continue to C16th Resurrection Gate, Iveron Chapel, Revolution Square, Lenin museum, Bolshoi and open-air markets. The adjacent State History Museum houses a fine Palaeolithic to Bronze Age collection from Siberia, Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine and Tauric Chersonese. Highlights are the C2BC Aphrodite of Taman and Turmanskiy Hellenic and Chinese composite Sarcophagus.
After Dinner take an evening stroll to the 98m high statue of Peter the Great en route to the Graveyard of Fallen Heroes and Gorky Park, accessed via an impressive Doric Propylaea. Therein lie manicured gardens, cafes, fast food outlets, roller blade parks and ornamental ponds. Open 24/7 it is the perfect place to spend a very safe evening.
< Roman Cast Gallery, Pushkin Museum
Begin the day exploring the Moscow Metro System. Not only are the stations in themselves home to fabulous architecture, mosaics and statuary depicting
idealised propaganda, but some trains carry art exhibitions and others decorated with beautiful livery.
Continue to the Pushkin Museum with Ionic façade concealing a reproduction Panathenaic Frieze and vestibule with breath taking monumental Ionic staircase. View Priam’s Gold, rock crystal lenses, amber jewellery, lapis lazuli axe heads, interactive screens on the Hissarlik excavations and Ancient Daily Life, Hittite and Mycenaean artefacts, a vast array of Greek Ceramics and impressive Cast Galleries.
Optional late afternoon visit to the Ryabushinsky Mansion. The Art Nouveau extravaganza was gifted to Maxim Gorky on his return from exile in Naples and Capri, the walls adorned with watercolours of the Bay of Sorrento.
After Dinner explore the galleries of the GUM and Okhotny Ryad Shopping Centres. Late Evening Departure from St Petersburg train on the overnight transfer from Moscow to St Petersburg. Passengers will be accommodated in 4 bed rooms – any unused beds much be purchased in order that no members of the public share the compartments.
< Lighthouse, St.Petersburg, with Roman Bema
Morning arrival in St Petersburg to meet your guide on the Station platform, transfer to the coach and load luggage. Brief sight-seeing tour of St Petersburg prior to visiting a café for breakfast.
Tour of the city highlights of Neo Classical, Baroque, Art Nouveau and occasional Bauhaus architecture; Lighthouses decorated as Roman Bema, Peter and Paul’s Fortress (Cathedral burial place of Russian Royalty), Lenin Statue and Finland Station. Check in to hotel and dinner, after Dinner, explore Nevsky Prospect.
< Jupiter, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Full Day Winter Palace/Hermitage Museum, site of Red Sunday massacre and Bolshevik overthrow of Provisional Government. morning escorted tour of Old Masters, Campaign Patriotic Hall, mechanical peacock, Tsarskoe Library, State Rooms and Raphael Loggia. Afternoon free for the 37 room Antiquities Collection; Hellenistic and Ancient Greece, Ancient Italy and Rome, Armenia, Georgia, Pre Islamic Central Asia, Parthia, Greco-Bactria, Northern Black Sea, Caucasus, Egypt, Scythia and Middle East.
After Dinner, optional Canal Cruise of the original city thoroughfares. Floodlit monuments and bridges adorned with golden winged Griffins, Lions and Sphinxes.
< Scythian Death Mask
Explore Peter I original cabin, his Kunstkammera (the first University in Russia; anatomical specimens, scientific and astronomical instruments, anthropological section with C6BC silver Scythian death mask), Art Nouveau Book House, Singer Building, Elisyeff Emporium, bronze horse statues of Anichov Bridge, Orthodox Kazan Cathedral, St Isaacs, Armenian Chapel and stunning Saviour on Spilt Blood at the site of the assassination of Nicholas II (interior of spectacular mosaics, exterior surrounded by commemorative reform plaques).
After Dinner visit the Great Gostiny Dvor (C18th shopping mall) and elite Passage (glass roofed C19th Department store).
< Wedgewood Pompeiian Green Dining Room of the Catherine Palace
Visit Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, a marvel of restoration, in particular the Amber Room. Having read Charles Cameron’s ‘Baths of Rome’ the Empress summoned him in order to execute her Neo-Classical vision. Her private apartments are Romano Wedgewood Green in style, the gardens (often compared to Stowe) contain several Classical allegorical follies, a two storey Greco Roman cold Bath House, a Neo-Classical Pavilion (her favourite promenade) adorned with statues of ancient philosophers and a model town, Sophia, designed to represent Constantinople.
Return flight to UK.
Feel free to contact us to tailor your own tour. 01342 324727
Invite the Modern History or Art Departments and tell us what you wish to add – if anything.
A Classics Trip to Russia?!