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Latest News from A&K Russia
Ancient Silk Road still shaking things up
The famous Silk Road that connected various historic cities across the Eurasian landmass through trade of jade, spices, silk (of course!) and much more may look a bit different today compared to the times its voyagers journeyed on horseback, but it still has the capacity to excite and enrapture modern-day visitors. A trip to some of its lesser known outposts reveals unique cultural differences, sometimes subtly displayed in the local architecture. Azerbaijan’s city of Sheki is one such example that demonstrates the once-significant wealth that trade generated along the route. 18th-century commerce helped spark a flurry of architectural ingenuity and creative design, leading to stunning creations such as the Khan’s Palace. The rich original colours and patterns proudly endure to this day and the interior features perhaps the finest example of the art of shebeke, whereby stained glass decorations are fitted within wooden lattices without the aid of glue or nails. These beguiling attractions are the examples cited by UNESCO in July, when the city’s historic centre and palace became one of the latest sites to earn official World Heritage status.
Making An Impression
Some of the finest art collections around are set to be gathered together for the first time in decades later this year. Way back in the 1930s, the magnificent Shchukin Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art was split up on the orders of Stalin, aiming to achieve a balancing act of support for both the Fine Arts Museum in Moscow and the Hermitage in St Petersburg. But from mid-June to mid-September this year, the collection will be reunited in a single exhibition once again. Visitors to Moscow’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts will be able to appreciate the works of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and many more, as well as discover an intriguing insight into the dramatic history of the Shchukin merchant family.
Announcing the Grand Premiere of "The Flames of Paris"
Considered one of the great artistic successes of the Soviet era - not to mention its reputation as Stalin's favourite show - The Flames of Paris recounts the events of the French Revolution, with the decadent bourgeoisie swept away by the popular masses, in a stunning visual performance that will captivate audiences. The Mikhailovsky Ballet of St Petersburg will perform the seasonal premiere on December 8th, under the direction of Mikhail Messerer, who aims to deliver an almost-perfect restoration of Vasily Vainonen's legendary work from 1932. Ivan Vasiliev, perhaps the most famous ballet dancer in Russia, is the Mikhailovsky Theatre's star man, and will be adding to a personal repertoire of theatres that reads like a who's-who of the leading ballet venues: Moscow's Bolshoi, Milan's La Scala, the American Ballet Theatre, the English National Ballet and the Bayrisches Staatsballet are some of the more familiar theatre floors that he has graced years past. The combination of talents for this latest version of The Flames of Paris is sure to delight ballet fans from near and far.
Airlines bring the Caucasus ever closer
One of the hottest emerging destinations at present, the Caucasus lies at the convergence of civilisations and offers up some incredible treats for the more adventurous traveller. And the good news is that it's never been easier to reach! In addition to last year's opening of a new direct route between London and Tbilisi, its national capital, Georgian Airways has extended direct lines to a number of European cities to the west of the Black Sea this summer, including Paris, Berlin, Bologna and Barcelona. Azerbaijan Airlines is working towards the same goal and has also started selling direct flights to Central Asia, in the opposite direction. So it's not just the multi-city or even multi-country trips that are getting ever easier - the multi-region options now let you include a fascinating new destination into your plans. Check out the recommendations of General Manager Natalia Odinochkina to see how best to explore the region
Museum of Russian Impressionism Opens in Moscow
This month Moscow welcomes Russia's first major private art museum to the capital. The Museum of Russian Impressionism which features over 1,000 square metres of exhibition space and around 70 art works in its permanent collection is housed in a former chocolate factory and contains paintings by many Russian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
St Petersburg Wins Award
St Petersburg has recently won an award for being ' Leading European Destination' at the prestigious World Travel Awards. The city's rich culture, traditions, beauty and prospects have contributed to winning this category. All of which continue to attract visitors worldwide. Please contact us for further information.
Starwood in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan welcomes the arrival of the Starwood chain of Hotels and Resorts to the country as it prepares to debut the St.Regis brand in the countries capital. The arrival of this luxury brand adds to the countries international appeal. Please contact us for further information.
New Russian Fairground Park
The Russian city of Sochi made famous for hosting the 2014 winter Olympic Games is now home to a new amusement park. The new park offers over 18 attractions and is decorated in the style of Russian fairy tales, legends and cartoons familiar to many generations of Russians. Contact usfor further information.
Moscow Bike Rental Stations
This spring sees the launch of bike rental stations in Moscow, 40 stations will be in operation with the projection to open a further 300 stations as the season progresses. The Velobike website provides information on tariff’s and how to use the bike rental service. Please contact us for further information.
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