By Carissa Hickok
Russia might not be the first place that comes to mind when brainstorming romantic getaways, but the truth is that the home country of Tolstoy is actually full of great places where you can enjoy a trip for two. Romance is in the air in many places around this interesting country. While many of these places do not receive the media attention other places in the world receive, it does not mean that they deserve any less attention. In fact, some of them may be the places you’ve been looking for. Let’s take a look at a few of the places in Russia where romance blossoms…
The palace was built by Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg’s founder, for Catherine, his wife. It is located in a suburb of Saint Petersburg – which is a lovely city to begin with. Empress Elizabeth enlarged the palace years later and aimed to make it as sumptuous as Versailles. Two hundred pounds of gold were embedded into the exterior wall alone – just to offer an idea of its splendor.
This is the country estate where Tolstoy lived for most of his life, so the estate breathes Tolstoy like no other property in Russia. There are large areas of open land, bookcases full of extraordinary reading material and birch trees - all of which will quickly plunge you into the world of Tolstoy and romance. The estate is located near the Tula village and it is where the two masterpieces – Anna Karenina and War and Peace – were written. You can take a tour of the house and then get lost in the wilderness that surrounds the property. Note that this is roughly three hours from Moscow via train.
The Museum-Estate of Leo Tolstoy is located in Moscow and was the author’s winter home. You will have the unique chance to visit the property and accustom yourself with some of Russia’s greatest authors (Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and, of course, Tolstoy). The graveyard of fallen monuments (a sculpture garden) is the location where you and your loved one will experience what Russian romance is like. The museum is one of the best fine arts museums in the entire country. The architecture and the surrounding area are breathtaking. Don’t miss it if you ever get to Moscow with your significant other!
The Troitsa Monastery (the seat of the Orthodox Church) is located in Moscow and it’s where Countess Sonia wrote a tearful letter alongside the wounded prince Andrew. The Alexander Nevsky Monastery is in Saint Petersburg and was built by Peter the Great in the 18th century. One will find the relics of one of Russia’s most potent leaders – Saint Alexander Nevsky. This monastery is also pictured in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina as the place where Ann was praying for forgiveness. The church is linked with political life in Russia, and this reflects in the monasteries in the country.
Carissa enjoys traveling so much that she left the corporate world to work as a freelancer, which allows her to up and go on a regular basis. She lives with her dachshund, Daphne in central Florida.