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ITMO’s Russian language and culture summer school kicked off in St. Petersburg in mid-July and is coming to an end today with about 20 students participating from 8 countries in three different language levels. The summer school attracts university students currently studying the Russian language, as well as students of Russian origin, future students wanting to enroll in the University and simply those interested in Russian language and culture.
The media art festival MediaIN took place on the new stage of the Alexandrinsky theater from 14th to 16th of July. Visitors had the chance to admire different interactive light and sound installations and video art. ITMO.NEWS managed to get an interview with Taras Mashtalir, a media artist, composer and producer whose works were displayed during the three days of the festival. He was behind the project SONICOLOGY and created some of his works in collaboration with The Higher School of Lighting Design at ITMO University. Mashtalir also worked as a lecturer at ITMO during the last academic semester.
St. Petersburg is known for its great palaces and temples which vividly reflect its rich and eventful history; The Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral or the Church of the Savior on Blood - each has a story to tell. Yet, amongst this abundance of architectural masterpieces there is one that stands out due to its grim and sinister past; despite its dignified looks and the calming peachish shade of its walls, this palace has a strange and even ominous presence. Meet Mikhailovsky Castle, the dream project - and deathbed - of Russia’s most oddball emperor.
One of my earliest dining experiences in Russia came during my first trip to Moscow, over twenty years ago. After a gruelling day tramping through the city — then still in the midst of chaotic transformation — my guide decided to treat me to a blast from the communist past that she said would certainly soon be consigned to the dustbin of culinary history: the stolovaya
Gatchina is the largest town in Leningrad Region, one of its cultural, industrial and educational centers (Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute and Radium Institute, as well as other important educational establishments are located there). More than anything, Gatchina is famous for its history and sights — once an attempt at creating Russia’s exemplary town, it is still proud of its heritage. Its main attraction are parks, especially the Palace park beside the Gatchina Grand Palace — built in neoclassical style, it’s a monument from Paul I’s reign who tried to make Gatchina the permanent residence of Russian Emperors.
One of the most exquisite agonies of living in St Petersburg is the sheer, precipitous speed with which winter closes its jaws on the city. It's really not so long ago that the evening skies — though not quite burning with the boundless intensity of White Nights — were still serviceably bright while the majestic bridges continued to yawn into the luminous twilight with admirable tenacity and enthusiasm.
The Unity Day is one of Russia’s most recent holidays — it has been around only since 2005. The holiday is dedicated to the liberation of Moscow from Polish occupation in 1612. This year, several grand events will be held in Saint Petersburg on this day — be sure not to miss them!
As the new tests and deadlines approach, so does the Indian Summer — which is deemed the best time for visiting St. Petersburg’s many suburbs, their historical sights and beautiful park ensembles. Such places as the Amber Room in Pushkin or Petergof’s fountains are among St. Petersburg’s most famous tourist attractions. Still, there’s a lot more to the region than these two popular destinations.
In the first part of this series on St. Petersburg, we delved deep into the variety of idiosyncratic work that can be found on some of St. Petersburg’s larger stages. In this second instalment, we’re heading straight for the fringes to find something even more delightfully peculiar. And there could perhaps be no better place to start than the tiny "Osobnyak' or "Mansion' theater tucked away under an arch behind Kamennoostrovskiy Prospekt on Petrogradskaya.
It’s entirely fitting — given that the city of St. Petersburg is one of the great neoclassical wonders of the world — that its' pillared and porticoed theaters should be jam-packed with some of the most traditional and ultra-classical performances ever seen on stage.