Russia & Caucausus Wonders

Hermitage winter palace

The State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia, is comprised of six main buildings which includes the Winter Palace. Five are open to the public. Its total collections contain over three million items, of which only a small part is on permanent display. The site incorporates the largest collection of paintings in the world.

The Hermitage, on the other side of Palace Square

We visited Hermitage winter palace in 2012 as part of our 3.5 week Russia and Scandinavia trip.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, was built to honor tsar Alexander II of Russia, who was assassinated at the site where the church now sits, hence the reference to “spilled blood”.  The church was built between 1883 and 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family.

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

We visited the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in 2012.

The Kremlin and the Saint Basil’s cathedral

The Moscow Kremlin, is a fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west.  The complex now serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation and as a museum with 2.8 million visitors in 2017.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Intercession, is located on Red Square, beside the Moscow Kremlin. Ivan the Terrible is responsible for the construction of St. Basil’s Cathedral in the 16th century.

The Changing of the Guards Ceremony takes place every hour, just in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

We visited the Kremlin and the Saint Basil’s cathedral in 2012.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre

The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center in Azerbaijan is a very amazing white building with almost no straight lines designed by the famous architect Dame Zaha Hadid. It is spectacular architecture, outside and inside.

There are permanent exhibitions on 5 floors such as the history of Azerbaijan, the life of the former president Heydar Aliyev with 4 vintage cars that he used, famous buildings in Baku in miniature, traditional music instruments, traditional cloths of various regions, jewelry, dolls, and more, along with temporary exhibitions.

The amazing architecture of Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Azerbaijan

We visited the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center in 2018 as part of our 6-week Germany, Eastern Europe & Caucasus trip.

Tbilisi Old Town

Tbilisi’s Old Town is one of the oldest parts of the city in Georgia and nestles on the mountainside under the 4th century Narikala fortress. The Old Town is part of the Tbilisi Historic District and contains a number of officially designated monuments, churches, cobbled streets and picturesque pastel colored wooden houses with open, carved balconies. The houses are mainly 19th century as much of the city was destroyed by the devastating Persian invasion of 1795.

Rike Park after sunset

We visited the Tbilisi Old Town in 2018.

David Gareja Monastery Complex

David Gareja is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex in the Kakheti region of Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja, some 60–70 km southeast of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, and partially in Azerbaijan. The monastery is dated to the 6th century.  The monastery complex of Gareji is an ensemble of 19 caves and is considered a masterpiece of Georgian art.

The monastery is name after Father David Garejeli, who brought the preaching of Christianity in these lands.

Hiked up a path to capture David Gareja Monastery Complex within the desert setting

We visited the David Gareja Monastery Complex in 2018.

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