DENTAL HORRORS OF THE RUSSIAN THRONE

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Nothing surprising that even the members of the imperial family were helpless and lost facing different diseases, which sometimes were rather peculiar. However, even in this very special field they occasionally were quite initiative and tried to cure illnesses by their own efforts. For instance, the Emperor Peter I was such a multi-talented ruler, that he attended medical lectures, and was particularly fond of pulling out teeth. By the way, the teeth were not necessarily holed, sometimes they were absolutely fine.

The desire to learn more and more new things made the Emperor to be the first in the line for new skills and information. The fearless Peter liked practicing the new things he learnt straight away, especially those he was taught abroad. He was particularly glad to learn dentistry, and as soon as someone of his associates complained about a toothache, he grabbed his box with medical instruments (which he always carried everywhere) and pulled the tooth out.
Very often good teeth also suffered from Peter’s enthusiasm. You can still see the proof of it in the Kunstkamera museum, where the dreadful instruments and the collection of teeth, pulled out by the imperial hand.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!!

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If the whole Earth population is reduced to a village of 100 people, then, considering all proportions, this village will look like this:

– 57 Asians;
– 21 Europeans;
– 14 Americans (Northern and Southern);
– 8 Africans;

– 52 will be women;
– 48 men;
– 70 non-white;
– 30 white;
– 89 heterosexual;
– 11 homosexual;
– 6 individuals will possess 59% of all the world’s wealth, and they all will come from the USA;
– 80 will not have adequate housing;
– 70 will be illiterate;
– 50 will not have enough food;
– 1 will die;
– 2 will be born;
– 1 will have a computer;
– 1 (ONLY ONE) will be highly educated.

If you look at the world from this point of view, you see that we are in great need of sympathy, understanding, patience and education. Just think of it.

If you woke up healthy this morning, you are happier than 1 million people who will die before the next week.

If you have never experienced a war, an isolation of a prison cell, pain of tortures or starvation, you are happier than 500 million people in the world.

If you can go to your church without a fear of being trapped or killed, you are happier than 3 billion people on earth.

If you have food in your fridge, you are well dressed, you have a home and a bed,
you are richer than 75% people in the world.

If you have a bank account, money in your wallet and a few coins in your pocket,
you belong to 8% of the most wealthy people in the world.

If you are reading this, you are blessed twice, as:
1) someone is thinking of you;
2) you don’t belong to the 2 billion people who cannot read, and…
3) you have a computer!

Somebody once said:

– Work as if you don’t need money,
– love as if you’ve never been hurt,
– dance as if no one sees you,
– sing as if no one hears you,
– live as if earth is paradise.
There is always something to be grateful for. We thank you all for being with us today, for our great experiences in the past and for our mutual great plans for the future. Happy thanksgiving day!!!

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OPEN ART FOR EVERYONE

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You can visit Menshikov Palace, which is a part of the Hermitage Museum, for free. This is something pleasant that November 2016 offers you. 

The largest bank of Russia – Sberbank – is celebrating its 175th birthday and free admission to the Hermitage is their gift for the dwellers and guests of St Petersburg. Even though they do not open the main complex for free access, Menshikov Palace is also an incredible place to visit. Honestly, how many of you have been there? Apart from the luxurious palace interiors, you have a unique chance to see the restores copy of the most famous painting by Jheronimus Bosch “Garden of Earthly Delights” (central part).
You can visit the Palace every day (except Mondays) from 12 to 30 November in the working hours of the Hermitage. Great time to see and learn something new!

HER MAJESTY’S BEAUTY SECRETS

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It sounds unbelievable, but the Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I, was known as one of the most beautiful women in Europe, however, she was not educated. She was mainly interested in her own beauty, dresses and parties, than in education and science. She never read books, and even being the head of the state she did not know, for instance, that Great Britain was an island. She was a living proof that beautiful women have only one task in their life, which is just sit and look pretty. Elizabeth loved dressing up, and after her death about 15 000 dresses were found in her wardrobes – sure, as an Empress she could not allow herself to appear in public in one and the same dress twice!

By the way, she was also known as “cheerful Elizabeth”, as her balls and parties were running up to 5 am and gained the world fame. But looking pretty was still important, so Elizabeth forbade to install candles and chandeliers up on the ceiling – they should have been on the level of her face, so no one sees the shadows under her eyes. Besides, the Empress could regularly check how she looked in the innumerous mirrors in the interiors – they came in fashion right in her reign. Coincidence? Don’t think so.

Elizabeth was particularly fond of masquerades, where she ordered all gentlemen to wear women’s outfits. The very thought of the poor men having to wear huge dresses of the 18th century can make you cry. On the other hand, the ladies had to wear military uniforms with very tight pants. Elizabeth strongly believed that there are no legs in the world that are more beautiful than her own, so she was very happy when the ladies did not look too well in the military outfits. Just as the queen in a well known fairy tale, she could not allow anyone to look better than Her Majesty.

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Recently on the Italian Sardinia island the ceremony for the most prestigious world award in the travel industry – World Travel Awards – took place. Within the contest which gives the award known as “Travel Oscar” St Petersburg has become the best in the nomination “Best travel destination in Europe” for the second time.

The responsible committee considers the safety of the destination, its infrastructure and hotel market, according to RATA-News. As the President of World Travel Awards Graham Cook announced, “everyone who voted determined St Petersburg as the best destination on the continent, which welcomes more and more foreign travelers from all over the world”.

This year Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Paris, Portu, Yorkshire and 3 Italian cities – Rome, Florence and Venice – took part in the contest for the most attractive destination for tourists together with St Petersburg.

THE OTHER SIDE OF ROYALTY

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Did you know that a lot of little pleasures of today have rather stinky origin? Saying “stinky” we assume the most literal meaning of this word you can possibly imagine. Just think about perfume and elegant wide-brimmed hats: where you think the ideas come from?

Both these things originate from medieval Europe, and were nothing else but the protection from anti-sanitary environment. Strong perfume was used to compete with the stinky odors, which were usual even in royal palaces, as with all the gold and luxury the residences of royalty and aristocracy did not have such things as bathrooms. Moreover, it was considered immoral and unhealthy to bathe, and a lot of people were washed only twice in their lives: at their birth and death.

Elegant wide brims of the hats have a similar story behind. In medieval cities and towns all the home waste was just dumped out of windows. If you were not attentive or quick enough, it could all land on your head, so these hats were invented as the means of protection.

At the same time in Russia the hygienic standards were almost like that. For instance, if you visit one of the Russian palaces, you can find strange sticks on the toilette tables beside a mirror. They were usually made of porcelain or gold and silver, but used for something not romantic at all. Those fancy hairstyles you see on the old portraits were inhabited by flees, so the noble ladies and gentlemen used the sticks to scratch their heads. Besides, they had pretty little porcelain boxes to put there flees they caught. What a peculiar medieval alternative to the modern toy dogs!

When you think of old times in this perspective, you probably are thankful that you were born and raised in the modern world with running water in every home. However, these are some facts that bring you closer to the old aristocracy and prove that they were humans just like us.

Follow the news and you will not miss any of the amazing facts and anecdotes we have in store for you!
P.S. We are not equipped with a time machine to bring you back to the times of the Tzars and give you a chance to see them in person. However, we have another interesting offer for you: what about coming to St Petersburg at half price next year and visiting all those royal palaces? You are also most welcome to tell your friends about it, or share on the forums you visit, so more people have the opportunity to walk around the palace halls, which are nowadays clean and shiny.

Safe travels and bright impressions anywhere you go!

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PLACES & STORIES – FABERGE MUSEUM

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On 30 May 1846 Carl Faberge, the son of Gustav Faberge, was born. He was the one who brought the worldwide fame to the family with his masterpieces. And he made it due to an incredible round-the-world trip! At the age of 18 young Carl Faberge went on a cruise to learn all the secrets of the technology of jewelry, used in the world at the moment. He absorbed all the information, so became an experienced jeweler by the age of 26.

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Officially, the cooperation of Carl Faberge with the Imperial Family started in 1885, when he got his first order from Alexander III, who was impressed and amazed by the skill and talent of the jeweler. The Emperor wished to make a surprise for his wife, and ordered an Easter egg, which would remind the Empress Maria about her motherland.
The result was outstanding, and there was the decision to make such souvenirs every year, and even a few pieces, so in total there were 54 eggs made for the Imperial family, each one with its own unique design.

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Totally, there were 71 Faberge egg, and in 2015 there appeared one more unique example of the production of Faberge Jewelry. Now Faberge eggs exist in 9 countries. The majority is kept in Russia (25 pieces), a little fewer – in the USA (22 pieces), and in the rest of the countries there are 1-3 items. We still do not know anything about the missing 11 Easter eggs.
In 2014 an incredible discovery was made – one of the lost Faberge eggs was found on a flee market in the USA. The cost was estimated as 33 million dollars.

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After the Soviet Revolution the Faberge Jewelry ceased to be one of the leading workshops in the market. There was a period when two firms operated under the name of Faberge at the same time. One of them was located in the USA and produced perfume, and the other was registered by carl Faberge’s sons. However, both companies changed quite a few owners.
Only in 2007 a businessman from South Africe called Brian Gilbertson bought all the rights for Faberge name. He planned to revive the fame of the world-known jeweler. Nowadays the brand exists and actively participates in the jeweler’s life in the world.

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Masterpieces normally cost a lot.
But can you imagine a painting, which appeared to be woth over 50 million Dollars, as converted to modern currency? Welcome to Peterhoff to see it!

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The memorial Chesmensky hall in the Grand Palace of Peterhoff is the most known room in this place. It is named after the battle at Chesma Bay 25-26 June 1770, where the Russian navy experienced a great victory in Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774. When Catherine II was informed about this victory, she decided to have a memorabilia in the form of a series of paintings. In the same 1770 a German artist Jacob Philipp Hackert, who was known as a gifted landscape master, got the order to create the paintings. The boats were still away to “archipelago” when he started working on the series. The artist lived and worked in Italy at that moment, and in fact, had never seen a burning ship. So specially for Hackert they blew up and burnt an old 60-canon frigate “Saint Barbara” so he could paint the sea battle in a more realistic way.

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A Russian artist Aivazovsky later commented, that the most known painting of the series, “Burning of Turkish fleet in the night of 26 June 1770” used the most precious model in the history, and therefore has become the most expensive painting, that appeared to be worth a whole warship.

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SUPERSONIC PLANES WELCOME BRAVE PASSENGERS

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I believe everyone feels jealous watching blockbusters and seeing brave and courageous pilots doing amazing things with their aircrafts. They fly like there are no physical laws for them! Could you ever imagine that your childhood dream may come true and you can fly on a real war plane doing all those tricks? Sure, this would be the brightest impression and the most exciting adventure ever!

The supersonic planes are actually ready to take you to stratosphere in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. You suspected something like this would come from this country, didn’t you? MIG-29 has been the fastest and super high-flying war plane since 1977, and until recently it was only accessible for servicemen on closed airfields. Today you do not need any special training or extraordinary health for a flight. You will just need basic instructions, special outfit and a professional pilot beside you. However, this will give you 45 unforgettable minutes and an annual dose of adrenalin, while you are flying at supersonic speed and performing aerobatic maneuvers. Besides, after the flight you get a certificate proving you actually did it, so all your friends believe you and listen to your story with their mouths open.
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I believe everyone feels jealous watching blockbusters and seeing brave and courageous pilots doing amazing things with their aircrafts. They fly like there are no physical laws for them! Could you ever imagine that your childhood dream may come true and you can fly on a real war plane doing all those tricks? Sure, this would be the brightest impression and the most exciting adventure ever!

The supersonic planes are actually ready to take you to stratosphere in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. You suspected something like this would come from this country, didn’t you? MIG-29 has been the fastest and super high-flying war plane since 1977, and until recently it was only accessible for servicemen on closed airfields. Today you do not need any special training or extraordinary health for a flight. You will just need basic instructions, special outfit and a professional pilot beside you. However, this will give you 45 unforgettable minutes and an annual dose of adrenalin, while you are flying at supersonic speed and performing aerobatic maneuvers. Besides, after the flight you get a certificate proving you actually did it, so all your friends believe you and listen to your story with their mouths open.

By the way, if you are at a loss about what to present your boss for their birthday, this kind of flight is an excellent gift idea for someone who has everything. Just consider that they might like it so much that finally decide to join the Russian army and stay there forever.
Stay tuned, and you will see and learn even more amazing things!

Safe travels anywhere you go!

Catherine’s Palace

On the territory of Catherine’s and Alexander’s parks there are over 100 architectural monuments. Spread on the surface of about 300 hectares. They are magnificent palaces and intimate pavilions, bridges and marble statues, as well as exotic constructions in gothic, Turkish and Chinese style, giving romantic atmosphere to the landscape.

The palaces and parks of the Tsarskoe Selo ensemble were greatly damaged in the WWII. Catherine’s Palace was on the occupied territory during 28 months, and by 1944 turned into burnt ruins. Some of the park pavilions were partly or completely destroyed, other buildings of the complex were also seriously damaged. In the ruined parks of Tsarskoe Selo about 25 bridges, 50 dams and cascades were destroyed.

Now, in over 70 years after the war, the restoration and refurbishing works in the preserve that started in 1950s, can definitely be called one-of-a-kind in the international practice. Architects and restorers are reviving the priceless heritage of the past up to the present, using traditional materials and technologies of gilding, stone carving, molding and other crafts of 18-19 century craftsmen. Their secrets are constantly discovered in the old documents and archives.

Catherine’s Palace 1944/2016. Great Hall

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Catherine’s Palace 1944/2016. First Anticamera

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Catherine’s Palace 1944/2016. Main staircase

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Photo made by Sergei Larenkov

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