Russia is notorious for its long winters, and while the White Nights are certainly amazing, the country undeniably has even more beauty. In St. Petersburg in the Soviet Union, daylight lasts until midnight, and in other parts of the country it stays light for around 50 days of the year. A main attraction in St. Petersburg is Catherine’s Palace, which is now a museum. The Kremlin is also a very popular part of Moscow. Over time, there has been so many negative things said about the Soviet Union, and not a lot has been spoken about the beauty of the country. However, one thing that is popular with Americans is the Russian ballet, and for years many have enjoyed it.
The White Nights in the country beautify the rivers and streets of St. Petersburg, with the skyline looking as pleasing late in the night as in the evening, when the sun starts to set on the river banks. The event in St. Petersburg has a graceful and romantic feel; each summer in the city, this incredible occurrence takes place. It is a truly romantic experience for young lovers, and for teenagers just taking their leave from grade school. Although it is not the only city to experience this festival, it is the only one to have such a poetic atmosphere. This is due to the location and the size of St. Petersburg, which is the furthest city north in the world in which temperatures do not exceed 60 degrees, and has a population of one million.
Russia has more beauty than just the White Nights. For instance, the Kremlin, the aforementioned capital of Moscow, is considered the center point of Russian attractions.
There is evidence of human life here dating as far back as 500 BC, but the human story starts at 1147 AD. Yuri Dolgoruki, the Grand Duke, constructed a fortress made from timber where the Moskva and Neglina streams join one another. Even though Mongolians once destroyed the city, it grew quickly and became strong enough to be considered to be of importance by the Russian territories in 1326. The Kremlin is a powerful representation of two majestic civilizations – the Soviet Union and the Primitive Muscovy. This influential symbol is as ominous as it is fascinating.
The palace of Catherine I is another major tourist attraction. Built by Catherine I, it was once
a summer home to the Russian Emperor and was one of the country’s grand fortresses. At this point in time, it is a museum, and the palace showcases the Russian luxuries enjoyed by its wealthy Russian rulers through its decorative style, which features a classic look on the inside. The palace also contains the “Hall of Lights” in the Royal Ballroom, and has art galleries with perfect paintings on the ceilings. The palace is a testament to individuality, especially throughout the smaller rooms.
The Bolshoi building in Russia has been home to the Russian ballet for quite a few years, and is another of the country’s attractions which is full of beauty. It was Catherine II who, in 1776, gave Prince Urusov the honor of upholding performances of balls, masquerades, and other forms of entertainment. The Moscow Bolshoi Theatre began its story on March 28, 1776. In the fall of 2002, the theater had a new stage constructed. In Russia, this theater has been a symbol throughout time in regards to the contributions it has made to the arts in the Soviet Union. Russia’s beauty has survived through communism and the Cold War, and remains just as breathtaking today, and this entails far more than what just the White Nights has to offer.
Opinion by Katherine Miller-Chichester
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
Moscow History: The Kremlin
Moscow History: Short History of the Kremlin
Viator: Catherine Palace and Park
Bolshoi Russia.com: In short
Photo courtesy of mariuza kluzniak’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License