Russia photo books

December 4, 2008 | 1 Comment

Curious about what Russia looks like today, and how her citizens are adapting to a democratic society?  Jim and I visited in September, and filled two 100+ page travel journals with lively photos and commentary. They’re available as free downloads until the end of 2008.

Book #2 (just out), Russia 2, includes photos of Russia’s two magnificent cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg: this volume showcases grand palaces, sprawling museums, city scenes, centuries’ worth of art, modern outdoor sculpture, the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, GUM department store (converted into an upscale shopping mall), the famous Moscow metro, Peterhof, Tretyakov Gallery, the Park of the Fallen Idols, and more.

My favorite place? Without a doubt, it’s the Tsereteli Gallery, which houses the controversial founder-sculptor’s Adam’s Apple, a gigantic apple you walk inside. The interior walls are covered with gilded bas reliefs of sexual encounters, and the effect is one of entering a holy, wholly erotic chapel.

Book #1, Volga, includes photos and descriptions of the towns we visited along the river:

  • Uglich, known for producing watches and mineral water that cures nervous breakdowns.
  • Yaroslavl, which will celebrate its 1,000th anniversary(!) in 2010 (good subject for travel articles).
  • Goritsy (”Nine months of winter followed by three months of disappointment.”)
  • Kizhi, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the tiny wooden Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus. (Believing the church to have curative powers, pilgrims have chewed off pieces of log in hopes of being healed.)
  • The artistic collective at Mandrogy: throwback to the Communist era. (Russians consume more than four billion liters of vodka each year; don’t miss the Vodka Museum.)
  • Valaam, the spiritual center that was close to Ivan the Terrible’s heart.
  • Peterhof: summer palace of the czars for 300 years.
  • Locking (going through the 18 locks on the waterway between the two cities), often with only two feet to spare on each side of the ship.
  • Behind the scenes on the Volga Dream (three 500-hp diesel engines power this yacht, which is the most luxurious vessel on the Volga).
  • Primers on Russian language and what to look for when buying Russian lacquerware.

Laurie McAndish King


1 Comment so far

  1. most visited city in world | Digg hot tags on December 4, 2008 3:24 pm

    […] Vote Russia photo books […]

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