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Splendors of Russia with Jewish Heritage

8 days
7 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

USD
EUR

PER PERSON:

$ 2,990.00 (double occupancy)

Dates:

ALL YEAR ROUND

Hotels:

Moscow: Courtyard Marriott City Center
St. Petersburg: "Crowne Plaza Ligovsky "

Listed hotels will be used on all tours. If changes become necessary for any reason, substitute hotels will be similar to those listed.

Included:

2 nights in Moscow
4 nights in St. Petersburg
Fast train from Moscow to St. Petersburg
Tours described per itinerary with entrance fees
Daily breakfast, 3 dinners
Transfers: airport-hotel-train station

Highlights & Experience:

City Tour of Moscow with Jewish Heritage
Tour of the Red Square, Kremlin and Armory
Visit to Moscow Choral Synagogue
Visit to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow Metro Tour
City Tour of St.Petersburg with Jewish Heritage
Visit to St. Petersburg Grand Choral Synagogue
Visit to the Jewish exposition at the Museum of Ethnography
Visit to St. Isaac Cathedral
Visit to Peter-and-Paul Fortress
Hermitage Tour
Peterhoff Tour with Grand Palace and Park with Fountains
Pushkin with Catherine Palace and Amber Room

Itinerary:

This amazing tour will take you to Moscow and St. Petersburg, the two most important Russian cities, the capital and major social center and the cultural hub of Russia attracting thousands of tourists to its amazing palaces, sophisticated cathedrals and unique museums. Russia, this year’s hot travel destination, is a not to be missed.

Day 1  : ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW

Upon arrival in Moscow you will be transferred to the hotel. Overnight in Moscow.

Day 2  : MOSCOW

You will enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast before we start our morning city tour that will take you to the most famous areas of Moscow within the boundaries of the Garden Ring and the Boulevard Ring. We will drive by the Kremlin, Red Square and the Kitay Gorod area, Tverskaya, Arbat and Zamoskvorechje areas. Sparrow Hills, topped by the Moscow University skyscraper, will offer the best views for us to enjoy so many of the sights. We will have a more in depth look at some of these sights later in the trip. 

In the afternoon we will tour the magnificent and renowned Moscow Metro, one of the most beautiful and efficient subway systems in the world carrying over 10 million passengers daily (more than the New York and London systems combined). It was designed by prominent Russian architects and artists whose goal was not to create just a transportation system, but a showcase to glorify socialism and its achievements. We will visit the most amazing stations decorated with granite, marble, bronze, statues and other pieces of art - making it look more like a museum than a subway. 

Later we will visit the Tretyakov Gallery - one of the most celebrated and extensive collections of the Russian art and artifacts in the world. It is located in one of the oldest districts of Moscow Zamoskvorechye. The collection contains more than 130 000 works of painting, sculpture and graphics, created throughout the centuries by successive generations of Russian artists.  Dinner will be at a local restaurant to give you a sense of real Russian life and cuisine. Kosher menu is available. Overnight in Moscow (B, D)

Day 3  : MOSCOW

The Jewish Moscow tour will get you acquainted with the heritage of Jews residing in Russia and the capital before the Revolution, in Soviet epoch as well as modern Russia. During the tour you will visit the oldest Choral Synagogue which continued to operate throughout the Soviet era despite all hardships of that time. Another interesting and unique stop - Lubavichi ( CHABAD) synagogue on Bolshaya Bronnaya street. Originally founded in the home of the prominent Jewish industrialist and entrepreneur Lazar Polyakov, nicknamed “Rothchild of Moscow”, who allowed the congregation to pray in his house until the Big Choral Synagogue was constructed  (largely due to his sponsorship and financial support). Lubavichi Synagogue was closed in the Soviet era. Reconstructed in 2003, it now houses a Holocaust and Sobibor museum, museum of Jewish life in Moscow, classrooms, a bookstore, a lecture hall, mikvah, kosher grocery store and a kosher restaurant. Lazar Polyakov remained the leader of the Moscow Jewish community for 35 years. Rebbe Mase said in the funeral eulogy, that "his name is retold in fairytales across the pale of settlement. Our poorer brethren, blessing themselves on their wedding days, say 'Let G-d make you equal to Polyakov'”.

In the afternoon we will visit the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center housed in the Bakhmetyevsky Bus Garage,  the world-famous Constructivist masterpiece designed in 1926 by Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov. The main goal of the Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center is to establish a creative, interactive platform for dialogue between different cultures. This ground-breaking museum, designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, is divided into 12 galleries and features a host of high-tech displays based on the latest interactive media technology.  Tonight, you will enjoy a free evening with options.

Later, we will visit the historic Red Square, Kremlin and Armory. You will see the golden domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State Historical Museum, elegant arcades of the GUM store and other landmarks around the Red Square. Inside the Kremlin you will find the three famous landmarks: the Cathedrals of the Assumption, Annunciation and Archangel, dated back to the 15-16th centuries. Other landmarks are Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Tsar Bell, Tsar Cannon, Hall of Facets and Terem Place.  Our tour includes a visit to the Armory, famous for its stunning collection of treasures: royal regalia, Faberge Easter eggs made of precious metals and jewels, the 800-diamond throne of Tsar Alexey, the jewel-studded and sable-trimmed gold Cap of Monomakh, the coronation dresses of the 18th century empresses, the sleigh in which Elizabeth rode from St. Petersburg to Moscow for her coronation pulled by 23 horses at a time. Between the Armory and the Annunciation Cathedral is the Great Kremlin Palace - the official residence of Russian president. (Options might include the Bolshoi Ballet, Folk Show, etc.)

In the evening we take a fast train "Sapsan" to St. Petersburg. You will be met at the train station and transfered to the hotel. Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)

Day 4  : ST. PETERSBURG

After breakfast on the train, we will be taking a city tour of St. Petersburg, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. The tour will take you to the elegant buildings on the Nevsky Prospect, stately palaces on Palace Embankment along the Neva River, Palace Square with Winter Palace and Alexander Column, Admiralty, Schmidt Bridge, Bronze Horseman - the famous monument to Peter the Great, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, Strelka with Stock Exchange and Rosstral Columns, Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Canal Griboyedova, Fontanka, Kazan Cathedral, Church on Spilled Blood and other finest architectural, historical and cultural landmarks. During the tour you will visit Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

The Jewish part of our city tour is dedicated to the history and heritage of the Jewish community in St. Petersburg.  You will see the oldest Russian Conservatoire established by the esteemed Jewish composer and pianist Anton Rubinshtein,   Kolomna district which was largely populated by the Jews in the 19th century, the Academy of Fine Arts, where well-known Russian-Jewish painters such as Isaac Levitan and Marc Chagall were educated, English Embankment where former luxurious mansions of Ginsberg and Polyakov are located. The tour includes the visit to the famous Grand Choral Synagogue - one of the largest in Europe.  Continue to the Museum of Ethnography to visit the exhibition dedicated to the history of Jewish communities on the territory of former Russian Empire. Tonight you have a free evening with optional outings to the Ballet or Folklore Show. Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)

Day 5  : ST. PETERSBURG

After breakfast, we will be taking a tour of the Hermitage Art Museum - one of the nation's main glories. The State Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings along the Neva River embankment, right in the heart of St Petersburg. The leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars that was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-1762. This ensemble is extended by the Menshikov Palace,  eastern wing of the General Staff building,  and recently constructed Repository. Put together throughout two and a half centuries, the Hermitage collections (over 3,000,000 items) present the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Today you will have some free time in the afternoon to relax, to shop and explore, or continue your visit to the Hermitage on your own. Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)

Day 6  : ST. PETERSBURG

After breakfast, we will be off for a tour of Pushkin. The town of Pushkin is located 25-30 km from St. Petersburg. Its palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. The main landmark is the Catherine Palace designed by the famous architect Rastrelli. We will visit Catherine Palace and Amber Room which is part of the Catherine Palace exhibition. Pushkin's original name is Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village). It was renamed in 1937 after Russia's famous poet who used to study there. On the way back, we will visit the WWII Museum and the St. Petersburg Siege memorial. Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)

Day 7  : ST. PETERSBURG

After breakfast, we will drive to Petergoff (formerly known as Petrodvorets), located on the southern shores of the Finnish Gulf, 14 miles away from St. Petersburg. The main landmark of the estate is the Grand Palace with its lavish interiors, gilded decorations, mirrors and paintings. The Park outside the Grand Palace is a kingdom of 144 unique fountains, all operating without the use of pumps by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic. Walking in the park, you will be amazed by the splendid beauty created by a man. This evening, we share a farewell dinner with our fellow travelers. Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, D)

Day 8  : ST. PETERSBURG

After breakfast, we will transfer to airport for our flight home, our minds filled with endless photos of unique, exotic and very foreign places, new friends and great memories to share at home.(B)