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Catherine the Great: Opera Librettist

Catherine the Great reigned as Empress of Russia from July 1762 through to 17 November 1796. She took up this position of power upon the assassination of her husband Peter III and it soon became clear that she was a capable and progressive ruler. She continued to expand the Russian Empire, ensuring that her country kept in step with the modernization of Western Europe to the extent that Russia was recognized as one of Europe’s great powers during her reign. She promoted foreign policy that benefited Russia, but did not shy away from taking harsh and decisive action against rebellion and to protect her country’s interests.


Historic Attractions in Bogolyubovo

It is said that the founding of Bogolyubovo was due to a vision that Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky had of Our Lady, while spending an evening next to the mouth of the Nerl River. He commissioned the construction of his palace, which was built between 1158 and 1165, including the Church of the Intercession of the Nerl and fortifications. The town became known as Bogolyubovo, and quickly grew in numbers. Unfortunately, the fall of the beautiful city came as swiftly as its creation.


Olkhon Island – A Lake Baikal Treasure

Located in Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia, Olkhon Island covers an area of 730 square kilometers of rich diversity of terrain and geological landmarks. Olkhon is the largest island in Lake Baikal, as well as being rated as the third largest lake island in the world. The varied terrain, and even different climate zones, found on Olkhon make it a fascinating attraction to visit. The island is separated from the mainland by a deep strait and the steep slopes of the mountains on the edge of the island facing the mainland are evidence of tectonic movement over millions of years, resulting in the separation the two land masses.


Solikamsk and the Salt Mines

Rated as the third-largest city in Russia’s Perm Krai, Solikamsk is most likely best known for its production of salt. In fact Solikamsk literally means “Salts of Kama” – a reference to the Kama River that flows nearby. Solikamsk was established in 1430 upon the discovery of rich salt deposits in the area. A merchant family from Russia by the name of Kalinnikov set up a salt processing plant, providing employment for the majority of the inhabitants of the rapidly developing town. The town grew into a city, and the mining and processing of salt and its related products continues to be the backbone of the economy of Solikamsk.


The Grandiose Ostankino Park

Located outside of Moscow, Ostankino Park is one of the rare historical jewels of Russia. Once the estate of the Cherkassky Dynasty and the Sheremetevs; the park now lies oddly between exhibition grounds and the Ostankino TV Center. None-the-less, the Ostankino Park is a popular attraction and a preserved part of the country’s heritage. It not only offers visitors numerous statues and sites to explore, but is home to the Ostankino Palace, constructed from wood, and host to a variety of treasures and artifacts from the past.


Delightful Dymkovo Toys

Dymkovo Toys are amongst the traditional crafts of Russia that have survived for centuries, and the toys remain one of the most celebrated crafts in the country. Even though documents recording this colorful art form date back to 1811, historians believe that it has been a part of Russian history for more than four hundred years, and derives from whistle making, which is yet another ancient craft in this diverse heritage. Women were originally the artisans of this craft, but in later years the technique and ideas began to develop and grow as a craft all could participate in.


Fallen Monument Park

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many monuments and statues were torn off their bases and discarded. As they tumbled where workers had thrown them, so they lay for approximately a year, until their significance to history became clearer and the park, now known as the Fallen Monument Park, began to take shape. The park was officially established in 1992, and is known in Russia as the Muzeon Park of Arts or Sculpture Park. The various sections of the park take visitors on a journey through different times in the history of Russia, and it is a recommended attraction for foreign visitors in Moscow.


Trinity Lavra of St Sergius

The picturesque town of Sergiev Posad is located in the Moscow Oblast and forms a vital part of the Golden Ring of Russia. The tourism generated by Golden Ring tours assists the small town’s economy, and many visitors come to Sergiev Posad to marvel at its many historical buildings and experience its fascinating attractions, such as the legendary toy factory. What most people do not realise, is that the town is home to a significant religious site, namely the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius. Many followers still make the pilgrimage to the monastery each year, which is also an important part of the history of the town.

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