2017 marks 100 years since the last Tsar, Nicholas II, was overthrown, sparking a revolution that would lead to 70 years of communism and the rise of Lenin as a celebrated leader. However, fast-forward to 2017 and the official line on the celebrations for this centenary is that there won’t be any. Putin himself has championed a stable country in which revolution is seen as unproductive and a recent poll of the current population shows that 53% would not agree with the 1917 uprising if it were to happen today.
Instead, a focus is placed on the great things that happened following the Russian Revolution, namely victory in the Second World War. Today, Russia remains a somewhat contradictory country that lionises Lenin on one hand and yet reverted certain cities to their Imperial names on the other.
Regardless of whether there will be an official acknowledgement of this landmark year, 2017 is still a great time to learn about the history of Russia. Something which you can do on our range of Volga River cruises. Here are just a few of the activities you can look forward to.
Armoury Museum and Diamond Fund
These two exhibits are located within the Kremlin and visiting them both is akin to touring the Tower of London. The Armoury Museum houses many glittering artefacts such as goblets and shrine covers, as well as hand-forged weapons and priceless Faberge eggs. The Diamond Fund is where you will find beautiful jewellery and heirlooms owned by and gifted to some of the Tsarinas of Imperial Russia. Amongst the displays is Catherine the Great’s coronation crown, complete with nearly 5,000 encrusted diamonds.
One of the largest monasteries in Europe, it is situated on the shores of Lake Siverskoye, close to the historic town of Goritsy. Inside, there are many religious pieces of art and personal gifts owned by the Tsars that visited throughout the years. One of the most notorious visitors to the monastery was Ivan the Terrible, who is said to have been there three times in the 16th century.
When you reach St. Petersburg on your Volga River cruise, you will get the opportunity to look around the Peter and Paul Fortress. The Fortress Cathedral, at the centre of the site, is a great place to learn about Imperial Russia as it is the final resting place of the Tsars. Along with Nicholas II, who was overthrown during the revolution, you can see the tomb of Peter the Great, the ruler responsible for many reforms during his time in power.
One of the most iconic buildings in St Petersburg, and indeed all of Russia, the Peterhof Palace is the city’s answer to Versailles. As well as the acres of beautiful gardens and the numerous fountains, the museums hold nearly 300,000 artefacts between them. The Grand Palace itself features large murals of historic events and embellished furnishings once used by royalty.
If you would like to discover this history for yourself during the centenary of the revolution, we have various different Russian river cruises available. Contact us today to learn about your options.