The Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg is a “must see” on any tour or St. Petersburg shore excursion.
Compared to the grand suburban palaces like Peterhof and the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and even Gatchina Palace, the Yusupov Palace fits into the city environment in which it resides. It is only when you enter that you get a sense of its grand scale and wealth required to build it
Built in 1770 during the reign of Catherine the Great, the Yusupov family had “status” to preserve as there were many other wealthy families who were not a part of the ruling Romanov family. Among these families were the Sheremetevs who owned the Fountain House in St. Petersburg and for whom the main airport in Moscow is named. It was a tall order to “keep up with the Sheremetevs”. The Yusupov Palace did its job well.
Upon entering the Yusupov Palace you are greeted with a magnificent marble staircase. Your visit will reveal all manner of functional, albeit exquisite, rooms and a variety of special purpose rooms which include a ballroom and a spectacular private theater. The wealth of the Yusupovs enabled them to entertain not only the aristocrats but also the Russian royal family. Technically the wife of Yusupov was royal. She was the niece of Czar Nicholas II.
Art lovers will enjoy the Yusupov Palace. The family loved art and culture. It is obvious even with the pieces in the palace today. Vast numbers of art works were looted by the Bolsheviks and are on display in various museums around Russia including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
It is said that some of the most famous works of art owned by the Yusupov family,including a Rembrandt, were sold to support the family in exile in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution.
Look at this painting of a charity ball staged in the ballroom of the Yusupov Palace. (click on the image to see a larger version)
A MURDER MOST FOUL -
Perhaps the event which most distinguishes the Yusupov Palace is the murder of one who was as crude as the Yusupovs were refined. That would be Gregori (Gregory) Rasputin. A fake faith healer, Rasputin had become essential to the Tzarina Alexandra. Her son, heir to the Russian throne, suffered from hemophilia and Rasputin convinced her that he had the power to relieve the boy’s suffering. Seeing that Rasputin’s influence was causing Czar Nicholas II to govern more irresponsibly than ever, Felix Yusupov and others lured Rasputin to the Palace where they murdered him.
While in Paris, where he died in 1967, Felix Yusupov filmed an introduction to a movie entitled “I Shot Rasputin”.
When you tour the Yusupov Palace you will definitely visit the state rooms, the music room and galleries of fine art owned by the Yusupov family. Only if you receive a proper tour with a tour guide recognized by the palace will you see the area of the palace where Rasputin was murdered. (There are periodic tours of the Rasputin murder area offered by the Palace but they are in Russian language only)
In order for St. Petersburg tour guides to have permission to tour in the Rasputin exhibition of the Yusupov Palace they must receive training and be credentialed by the the Palace. Re-certification must be accomplished each winter or they lose that certification. RussianTourGuide.com enjoys a special relationship with the Yusupov Palace and can take you, not only to the Rasputin area but also the Boudoir area, if enough notice is given.
There are evening cocktail parties,with live chamber music, which our clients can enjoy ! Ask us about a “Magic Evening at the Yusupov Palace”.
Starting in 2013 all RussianTourGuide.com
- St. Petersburg 2 Day Shore Excursions
- Comprehensive Tours of Russia (St. Petersburg ,Golden Ring & Moscow 12 Day tour)
will include an inside visit to the Yusupov Palace.
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If you would like to visit the Memorial Synagogue and Holocaust Museum while you Tour Moscow, it is located just a few hundred yards behind the Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
On our Day Tour of Moscow including the World War II Museum, you may substitute the Memorial Synagogue and Holocaust Museum for the New Maiden Convent if you wish.
For those of Jewish faith or anyone whose intellectual curiosity pushes them to learn, the Memorial Synagogue is a very interesting visit. I was there in Feb. 2012 with one of our Moscow tour guides, Oleg.
We braved -30 C temperatures to go from the metro to the Synagogue where I was completely taken by surprise.
The modern structure of the Memorial Synagogue in Moscow is in a wooded section of the expanse around the Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
When we entered, a historian who works for the Synagogue, Katya, gave us a memorable, personal tour.
In addition to being creatively designed on the interior with Jewish religious symbols in metal-art, the basement houses a high technology Holocaust Museum. Katya’s commentary on the evolution of the Jews in Russian society and their participation as combatants and victims in World War II was riveting.
I highly recommend taking this tour regardless of your faith.
This is a walking tour of Moscow which includes visits many of the sights overlooked on Moscow holidays.
The Best of Moscow Tour is frequently scheduled in conjunction with a private tour to:
Almost every building in the historical center of Moscow is associated with different events and celebrated personalities of the Russian history and culture. You will see and hear the stories of the most popular places of the city.
The Best of Moscow Tour includes:
- Red Square, the hub of Russia, with its fantastic “stone flower”- St. Basil Cathedral, one of the symbols of Moscow
- Pushkin Square, the most popular meeting spot in Moscow where you can witness the hustle and bustle of the big city
- Tverskaya street, the main street of the city, where we will visit Yeleseyevskiy Grocery Store. This one-of-a-kind store was built as a palace and turned into a luxurious grocery store more than a hundred years ago
- Theatre Square with the stunning Bolshoi Theatre
- The notorious Lubyanskaya Square with headquarters of the former KGB
- The fancy Manezhnaya Square with the Zero Kilometer, a starting point for all Moscow roads
- Alexander’s Garden with the eternal flame and a WW2 memorial, where you may be able to catch the changing of the guards
- Zamoskvoretskiy bridge across the Moskva River for photo stops of a panoramic view of the Kremlin and one of the 7 Stalin’s Sisters;
- Zamoskovorechye, an old neighborhood of Moscow with little churches and stately mansions, some interesting pieces of contemporary art and the most romantic city spot which has the Love bridge with Love trees
- Christ the Savior Cathedral, the main church of Russia and a foot bridge next to it offering some of the best view of the city;
- Arbat street, a lively colorful promenade with numerous cafes, souvenir stalls, street musicians and painters- places that make Moscow one of the most beautiful cities of Russia.
The “tour Russia â“ Guide for Independent travel” is now available!!
This is the Independent travelers’ Essential Guide for touring Russia.
Make your independent tour of Russia much easier, more rewarding, efficient
and fun with our products. Independent travel to Russia presents special challenges
and opportunities. Give yourself the tools to make it happen with less time,
Learn how to :
- Obtain your Russian visa.
- Choose a hotel.
- Navigate Russian Customs.
- Get from the airport to your hotel.
- Choose visits on the appropriate days to avoid closures.
- travel within and between Russian cities.
- Exit Russia with no Russian Customs’ problems.
- Avoid common scams.
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