A Jazz Lover’s Guide to St. Petersburg

close up of someone playing a saxophone with caption over it saying "jazz in St Petersburg"

There was a saying in the former Soviet Union: “Today he plays jazz, tomorrow he’ll sell out his motherland”. Back then, jazz was seen as Western, subversive and something not to be trusted. Fortunately, times have changed, and today St. Petersburg attracts top jazz performers from across Russia and indeed the world. Every year, the… Continue reading

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Tea for Two: 5 Top Tea Rooms in St. Petersburg

A cup of tea with illustration of the Kremlin on the side

Tea has occupied a special place in Russian culture since the 17th century, when it was gifted to Tsar Michael I by the Mongolians. It quickly became the warming beverage of choice among Russian seeking to colonise the icy Siberian region and has been a staple in Russian kitchens ever since. Today, over 80% of… Continue reading

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There’s an International Ballet Festival in St. Petersburg!

ballet dancer next to caption reading 'Russian ballet in Saint Petersburg'

Ballet has its origins in 15th century Italy. Although the art form quickly spread to the rest of Western Europe, it wasn’t introduced to Russia until much later, as part of Peter the Great’s efforts to modernise the country in the 18th century. With the patronage of Empress Anna and, later, Catherine the Great, Russian… Continue reading

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St. Petersburg: the place for music lovers!

Musician's shoes in purple smoke

Saint Petersburg is called “The capital of Russian rock”, but this definition doesn’t give the idea of how much music is alive through the streets of this culturally thriving city. There is something for all tastes: while walking along the central streets in the evening it is not uncommon, through the windows of the cafes,… Continue reading

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Loanwords: how Russian reflects European influence

Not only people travel, also words do! When a word is adopted from one language and incorporated into another language without translation it is called loanword. Loanwords are used every day: people are so accustomed to them that they don’t even realise that they are using a foreign word. Loanwords of course can be found in Russian, as in every other… Continue reading

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