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Romantic Destinations to Visit in Russia
28 September 2009 03:09 am
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Russia is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting destinations in the world. Since the fall of Communism , Russian traditions that were hidden for decades have come back and are frantically making up for lost time.

Though Russia, the most enormous country in the world by physical size , offers numerous other options, most Western visitors to Russia begin with Moscow and St. Petersburg. Here are four dreamy places to visit in Russia.

Abramtsevo is an retreat north of Moscow. It was a colony for artists and writers over 100 years ago . initially owned by Sergei Aksakov, artists and writers like Nikolai Gogol visited there as guests. They wanted to rid Russian art of outside influences to create a more authentically Russian ethos. In 1870 it was purchased by Savva Mamontov, and under his purview , Russian art thrived there. Abramtsevo contains a picturesque church, winding paths through woods , and a rather bizarre house straight out of a fairy tale . The main manor may have been the origin for Chekhov's design for The Cherry Orchard.

Gorky Park, Moscow is a beautiful place to visit near Christmas . The footpaths ice over making much of the park into a skating rink. Skating along with your love is one of the most sweet ways to experience Moscow. If you go in the summer , you can enjoy the dozens of rides, cafes, and vendors where you can shop for souvenirs . First opened in 1928, Gorky Park was formerly the gardens of a local palace. Whether you go in cold weather or during summer , you will find countless things to delight you and your sweetheart . Located by the Moskva River, it is a romantic setting you shouldn't miss when visiting Moscow.

The Hermitage Winter Palace is perhaps the most spectacular place in St. Petersburg. With its abundance of architectural touches , this magnificent monolith has over 1,000 rooms. Formerly the residence of Russia's tsars , it also was the site where in 1917 Bolsheviks commenced their coup d'etat. While that particular part of the Revolution was not as brutal as it was later portrayed , it did lead to civil war and the Bolshevik triumph in 1921. Now , the Winter Palace holds the Hermitage Museum, the most expansive art gallery in Russia. Paintings by da Vinci, Raphael , and Rubens are just a fraction of the works in this enormous art collection.

The Grand Hotel Europe is a luxurious delight, with outstanding food in any of the restaurants, and a long and enchanting history. Among the Grand Hotel Europe's numerous historic visitors was Johann Strauss From this center of indulgence , visitors can easily get to St. Petersburg's most unforgettable sites. As a backdrop for love , Grand Hotel Europe cannot be equaled . It is like going back to an earlier time , with opulence and elegance complemented by 21st century conveniences .

While Russia is graced with many enchanting sites, these four are great choices for first-time visitors. The spectacular architecture of Eastern Europe combines with a 20th century mostly filled with stories that are unfamiliar to Westerners make Russia a unique, but unforgettable backdrop for romance.

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