Virtual Tours To Enhance Your Classroom
If you do not see a tour you would like to offer below, we may be able to arrange it. Contact us to discuss integrating virtual tours to support and enhance your course content.
Virtual Walking Tours
Live-Streamed Cultural Events
Literature and Film Virtual Tours
This live-streamed, virtual tour will take place mostly in the former apartment of Anna Akhmatova, located in a wing of the famous palace known as the “Fountain House.” Here she lived for nearly 30 years and became the foremost chronicler of suffering and hardship during the Repression and World War II. The emotionally moving museum contains the poet’s artifacts and original furniture and some manuscripts. There are also thematic installations that trace Akhmatova’s life. Dependent on timing, we will also make a brief visit to the Akhmatova monument which, per her wish in the epilogue of Requiem, looks across the Neva river toward the Kresty prison where her son was imprisoned. Closed Mondays. T, Th, F, S, S until 6pm, Weds until 8pm. To see the monument and prison, this excursion needs to take place during daylight hours in St. Petersburg.
NOTE: other potential places for a longer, more in-depth tour include Summer Gardens, Stray Dog cafe and dacha and gravesite in the suburbs.
This walking virtual tour blends scenes from Bulgakov’s masterpiece The Master and Margarita with other sites relevant to the author’s life. Scenes from the novel include the “Aquarium” garden in the courtyard of the Mossovyet Theater (chapters 10, 12, 14), Patriarchy Ponds (where the novel began), and Morozov’s Estate (one of Margarita’s supposed homes). Time permitting, we will pass several apartments of relevance to Bulgakov. We will begin or end at the Bulgakov museum, (briefly noting the famous graffiti in the staircase) at Apartment No. 50, where the author lived and which served as the setting for The Master and Margarita. In English. This must take place during daylight hours in Moscow.
Virtually visit the Moscow Art Theater, where The Cherry Orchard and many of Chekhov’s other plays were first staged. We will speak to a Russian theater historian there and explore the theater’s small museum. In Russian with English interpreting.
This museum is located in a simple flat of an ordinary Saint Petersburg building where Dostoevsky rented an apartment twice: in 1846 and from 1878 until the last days of his life, thus linking the beginning and end of his career. The memorial apartment was recreated based mostly on memoirs of his wife and contemporaries. The apartment museum showcases considerable original furniture and memorabilia related to his work – most notable is the study. It was here where Dostoyevsky wrote his last novel, Brothers Karamazov. From old photographs to the smallest household item — everything is reminiscent of the emotionally charged and slightly sinister mood of Dostoevsky novels, offering a deep insight into human psychology. Closed Mondays. T, Th, F, S, S until 6pm, Weds until 8pm.
This walking virtual tour takes place on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Behind the palatial facades and on the side streets is the Petersburg of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Trace Raskolnikov’s footsteps and visit sites from Crime and Punishment and Dostoyevsky’s life. From haymarket square to the pawnbroker’s apartment, a courtyard of typical tenant houses, the police station and more in between – his excursion will help you imagine the city that influenced Dostoyevsky’s work. You’ll see several of the locations where Dostoyevsky rented apartments (there are 19 in total), including the one from which he wrote Crime and Punishment. During the tour you’ll hear more about Dostoyevsky’s life in St. Petersburg and how his writing was influenced by the city. Time permitting we will also visit the location of the seven bridges, relevant to Dostoyevsky’s work White Nights from his early career. Must be scheduled during daylight hours in St. Petersburg.
This walking virtual tour takes place on the streets of St. Petersburg. Although Nikolay Gogol lived in the city only 8 years, it had a great influence on him as seen throughout his works and the characters in them. We’ll start out at the Monument of Gogol and walk along Nevsky Prospect, ever present in Gogol’s writing. Along the way we’ll stop at the Alexandrinsky theater where Gogol himself was involved in the rehearsal of The Inspector General and found inspiration for some of his other ideas. See the building on Canal Griboyedova where Gogol lived and wrote the Diary of a Madman. See the famous bridge of The Overcoat and of course, no excursion would be complete without seeing the monument to Major Kovalev’s nose. Because some sites are rather spread out across the city, you’ll also have the opportunity to take a virtual tram ride during the tour. In English. This must be scheduled during daylight hours in St. Petersburg.
In this virutal tour we blend a virtual visit to Pasaternak’s museum dacha in Peredelkino with a live visit to the streets in Moscow that served as settings for the novel.
Visit the last home of Russia’s most celebrated poet, Alexander Pushkin. The apartment, located on the embankment of the Moika is just minutes from the Hermitage and Nevsky prospect and was carefully preserved after his death, thus a fine example of a noble’s residence in the 1830’s.
Among the 12 halls is Pushkin’s study where original manuscripts are on display along with a number of personal items. It was here in this apartment where Pushkin died after his famous duel. Time permitting, we’ll also make a short visit to the Statue of the Bronze Horseman (daylight required). Wednesday-Monday until 6pm. Tuesdays closed.
Note: Additional excursions such as the Lyceum in Pushkin and Pushkin’s dacha may also be available. Inquire for more information.
This walking virtual tour takes place on the streets of St. Petersburg and will take you to some of the relevant sites of St. Petersburg’s revered literary hero. You’ll see places such as the statue of the Bronze Horseman, the Summer Gardens and the Mikhailovsky castle – all settings or topics of various Pushkin works. See the Literature Cafe (formerly Cafe Wolfe & Berange), a place frequented by Pushkin and other literary elites of the time and where he was right before heading to his fateful duel. We’ll get a glimpse of the grandeur of noble life from the courtyard of his memorial apartment and stop by the monument erected in his honor in Arts Square. These and other stops will give you an idea of both the poet’s life and his legacy in the city. Must be scheduled during daylight hours in St. Petersburg.
We will walk through the Yasnaya Polyana estate, where Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
History Virtual Tours
Visit the Political History Museum in St. Petersburg. The building itself played a significant role in history in both Imperial Russia and during the Russian revolution when it became the Bolshevik headquarters. The museum records and showcases the political history of Russia from the 18th century up to the contemporary period. It’s collection of over 500,000 articles includes original documents and artifacts owned by key figures in the history of Russia such as the belongings of politicians, statesmen, scientists and military leaders, among them Catherine the Great, Nicholas II, Vladimor Lenin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yury Gagarin and others. The exhibits and interesting stories behind them help illustrate and bring to life the political history of the country. Excursions can be customized to provide a general overview or to focus on a specific period in Russian History.
A visit to the Decembrist Museum in Irkutsk will help bring to life the period of the mid 1800’s, when some of the most prominent participants in the Decembrist uprising (1825) were exiled to Siberia and re-established their lives there, resulting in the cultural growth of the region. The Museum is located in the mansion where the Volkonsky family resided. A guide re-enacts the period with the backdrop of accurately recreated historical interiors to help present the traditions and way of life of the exiles and how they continued to contribute to the growth of Russian and provide revolutionary inspiration for generations of future dissidents.
This emotionally stirring virtual excursion to the Siege of Leningrad Museum brings one up close to the realities of the Great Patriotic War. A visit to the monument and museum of the Defenders of Leningrad tells the story of the horrors of a city under siege for 900 days and the sacrifices of both soldiers and civilians in both Leningrad and throughout Russia. Each element, from the lighting to the steps, has significance. The excursion also illustrates the resilience of the city and people who protected it and lived through the Siege.
This is a virtual visit to the Battle of Stalingrad Memorial Complex at Mamayev Kurgan, the main location of the infamous 140-day Battle. The centerpiece of the memorial is the Motherland sculpture which dominates the city at a height of 85 meters. As you virtually climb this memorial complex with a museum guide, the story of the Battle is recreated on the very site it took place.
The moving GULAG Museum in Moscow provides a striking picture of what life was like inside the USSR’s Political prisons.
The Contemporary History Museum in Moscow covers Russian history from the revolution to the fall of communism and the Yeltsin years.
Religion Virtual Tours
Take a general tour of the over 200,000 exhibits in St. Petersburg, or select a focus on a specific collection. One of the few museums in the world featuring a permanent exhibition of the origin and development of religion. The Museum keeps collections that cover a vast expanse of time from the Archaic (c. 6000 BC) and Ancient Egypt and Israel Times to the early Middle Ages in Europe; from the Ancient Greece and Rome to the present day. The history of Buddhism and Islam is also presented on the display. Russian or English.
Take an excursion inside and outside one of the most impressive Orthodox Cathedrals in St. Petersburg. The massive domed structure holds 14,000 people and is a masterpiece down to every detail. Although it is a museum, services are held regularly and one might get a glimpse or hear the sounds in the background. English or Russian.
The Tolerance Center in Moscow provides an in-depth study of the Jewish history in Russia and the USSR. The Center, opened in 2012, is a modern venue that allows one to look at Russian history through the lens of a particular population. English or Russian.
I think this project is fulfilling my main goal – to get my students to overcome their psychological barrier of speaking and get reassurance that they can indeed can sustain a rather long conversation with a native speaker. I could see that they are more comfortable speaking and expressing rather complex ideas despite the grammatical mistakes, which, however, do not hinder the communication of the message.
My students are LOVING the poboltaem sessions.
It is wonderful to see how many important and interesting discussions, workshops, courses, and virtual excursions SRAS has organized during the pandemic. I know our SLI alumni [at University of Pittsburgh] have been in attendance at some of them and are full of praise for their educational value!
I really liked the experience of talking with another Russian student and learning about the culture. I learned how diverse cities can be. St Petersburg is like none I have ever seen before. I really would consider studying abroad there.
We’re really grateful for the work SRAS is doing and consider them to be a valued partner.