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Russia (Россия in Russian) is a country that stretches over a vast expanse of Asia and Europe, spanning eleven time zones. With an
area of 17.1 million km² (6.6 million miles²), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering almost twice the territory of the
next-largest country, Canada. Russia has the world's ninth-largest population (less than half that of the USA). Its best known cities,
Moscow and St. Petersburg, are from its imperial past. A complex and varied country, Winston Churchill once characterized
Russia as "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

Locator Map for Russia

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Map Overview of the River Tour

This map is an overview of our trip. We opted to travel with the river's current so we started in Moscow and ended in Saint Petersburg. Along the way, we stopped at Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritzy, Kizhi, and Mandrogy. We cruised the Moscow canal, the Volga, Svir, and Neva Rivers, and the 1st and 2nd largest lakes in Europe (Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega).

Many travelers require a visa to enter Russia. This year's version is a very colorful, full-paged stamp with anti-tamper features. Note that my name is in both Latin and Cyrillic (Russian) lettering.  russia visa  

My Visa For Russia

St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow

The starting point of our adventure was in Moscow where we used our ship as a hotel for several days. Pictured is St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square. This is covered on a separate page.

Leaving Moscow, we pass a sunken church tower at Kaljazin. Once belonging to the Church of the Trinity, the area was flooded to build to Moscow-Volga canal system.
Kalyazin kalyazin   

Sunken Church Tower at Kaljazin

Church of St Dmitry On The Blood, Uglich   Church of St Dmitry On The Blood, Uglich   Roof detail - Church of St Dmitry On The Blood, Uglich

In Uglich, we find the fanciful Church of St Dmitry On The Blood (also Demetrius).
It was on this site that Dmitry, son of Ivan the Terrible, died (possibly murdered) at age 8
(thus the name 'on blood'). (C) Jerrold Patz posing at the church,
and (R) a detail of the onion domes. saint demetrius "St Demetrius" "Saint Dmitry"     

(L) Standing next to Dmitry On The Blood is the five-domed Church of Our Savior's Transfiguration. It was from this bell tower that the death of Dmitry was announced. (C) A detail of the Uglich Coat of Arms that displays Dmitry with the knife that killed him.
(R) Leaving Uglich, we see the two churches in the diminishing daylight.

Church of Our Savior's Transfiguration, Uglich   Dmitry on the Uglich Coat of Arms   Leaving Uglich - The Churches Dmitry On The Blood and Our Savior's Transfiguration

Yaroslavl War Memorial   Yaroslavl Modern Religious Sculpture

In Yaroslavl, we find two very different types of sculpture. (L) a War memorial in traditional Soviet block style and (R) a modern trinity or Three Wise Men interpretation.

One of the best sights in Yaroslavl is the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Although being renovated, some of its beautiful gilding and ornamentation were evident.

Entryway to the Church of Elijah the Prophet, Yaroslavl   Back view of the Church of Elijah the Prophet, Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl town center building   Naimah with Yaroslavl town center matryoshka topiary

At Yaroslavl's town center we found this very interesting building (L). (R) Naimah poses in the town center garden with a topiary matryoshka doll.

Entranceway to Goritzy's Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery, built by St Cyril in 1397. (L) The two gates were separate entrances: the nobles used the wider gate while the commoners were pushed to the left. (R) A detail of the frescoes in the entranceway.  Goritzy goritzy

Entranceway to Goritzy's Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery   Detail fresco in the entranceway to Goritzy's Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery

Chapel in Goritzy's Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery   Plan of Goritzy's Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery   Detail photo of grave markers used as cobblestones in Goritzy's Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery

(L) One of the many chapels within the Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery, (C) a plan of the monastery, and (R) a detail of the courtyard cobblestones. Local cemeteries were raided and their grave markers taken to provide cobblestones for the monastery paths. Many of the resident monks abhorred this practice.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kizhi Island in Lake Onega, Europe's second largest, housed the Church of the Transfiguration [Preobranzhenskaya), a wooden, multi-domed structure built in 1714. The original structure used no nails. (C) A plan of Kizhi Island, (R) Jerrold Patz and Naimah pose at the church.

Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi   Plan of Kizhi Island   Jerry & Naimah at the Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi

Detail of roof domes - Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi   Icons within the Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi   Leaving Kizhi Island. The Church of the Transfiguration can be seen behind us.

A detail photograph of the many-tiered dome structure of the Church of the Transfiguration [after the sun actually peeked through the clouds] (L). (R) One of the many icons within the church, and (R) a picture from the Kizhi pier as we prepare to leave. The church can be seen in the background.

A fanciful building and play slide at the village on Mandrogy.

A fanciful building in Mandrogy   A slide in Mandrogy

Entrance to the vodka museum, Mandrogy

Detail of the entrance to Mandrogy's Vodka Museum which boasted 2601 varieties. The Cyrillic lettering shows "museya vodka".

We pass through the last lock on our way to St Petersburg. On the side of the lock was an old soviet sculpture.

Soviet sculpture at the last lock on the river   Passing through the last lock on our way to Saint Petersburg

The spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg

The spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg. This is covered on a separate page.

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Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.


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 tourist attraction "Viking Kirov" Kirov "mother volga" statue "Mother Volga"  Goritzy  Sobinov sobinov