St. Petersburg Seminar

Culture, Art, and History

August 2 - 10, 2020

$4,395 from St. Petersburg, Russia

MIR Corp.

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Russia's most beautiful city, St. Petersburg, is well- known for its world-class museums, dazzling theaters and the beautifully preserved baroque and neoclassical buildings along its winding canals. Some of the world's most radiant artworks hang in its museums, and some of the world's greatest performers, writers and musicians have walked its streets.

With accommodations for the week at the Helvetia Hotel, a converted 19-century mansion located just off Nevsky Prospekt, we'll explore St. Petersburg's past, present, and future through a series of lectures paired with guided  tours. For example, a study of Russian literature includes a walking tour of some of the sites described by Dostoevsky in his classic novels. A day dedicated to the Russian dacha tradition includes a driving tour outside the city to a community of summer homes. Morning talks introduce participants to the people who have spent their lives in this beautiful city over its 300-year history and the accompanying tours showcase its art, architecture and visionary spirit.

We'll get to know the ambitions and the accomplishments of the man who founded St. Petersburg, Peter the Great, and the women who ruled after his death, including the Empress Catherine. We'll gain insight into the events leading up to the October Revolution, when Lenin and  his Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace and hijacked the earlier revolution that had overthrown the czar. We'll also learn about the 900-day siege in World War II that nearly destroyed the city. Against this backdrop of information, we'll be able to discern the explosive birth, meteoric rise, enduring history and dramatic presence of Peter's magnificent northern capital.

Serving as the W&L faculty escort will be Richard Bidlack, Martin and Brook Stein Professor of History and author of "The Leningrad Blockade: 1941-1944."

Contact Us

Office of Lifelong Learning
Washington and Lee University
204 W Washington Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450