November 01, 1997

Hidden St. Petersburg

Hidden in a lightly populated expanse between Vologda and Veliky Ustyug, along the peaceful Sukhona river, is Totma, an 860-year-old architectural marvel. As William C. Brumfield shows, the small town, once an economic and political powerhouse, is quietly struggling to reclaim its centuries-old treasures. Photographs by the author.

Russian Life: Okay experts, you did so well on Unknown Moscow (August 1997), that we’d like to give you a similar challenge. How about a list of your favorite “hidden” spots in St. Petersburg –     places that don’t commonly get written about or noticed on the usual itineraries or in the mainstream guidebooks?

Bob Greenall: St. Petersburg is so rich in hidden places that you literally just need to step off either side of Nevsky Prospekt towards the Hermitage end, negotiate a few back streets, investigate a few courtyards, and talk your way into a few of the grander buildings. More often than not you’ll discover a palace with a stunningly decorated interior.

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