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Topics - vladm

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Forum Announcements / Last national of Russian Empire dies in Paris
« on: November 09, 2008, 04:18:21 PM »
Russia’s oldest ‘first-wave’ emigrant has died in Paris after a long fight against illness. Andrey Shmeman, who was 88, was among those who fled during the country’s civil war after the October Revolution of 1917.

He spent most of his life as a military instructor, who raised Russian youth abroad in the tradition of the Motherland’s army officers as they had been before 1917.

He was head of the Association of Emperor Nicholas II Cadets and a member of the Russian Royal Guards Association. He carefully preserved the traditions of tsarist Russia’s officers and collected unique relics and documents on the history of the country’s emigration.

Shmeman was one of two twin brothers born on September 13, 1921, in Tallinn (in those years called Revel) in Estonia.

Their father, Dmitry, had been an officer with the Russian Life Guards Semyonovsky regiment until the October Revolution. That was one of the two oldest regiments in Russia, set up by the young tsar Peter the Great.

In 1929 the Shmemans emigrated to France. In 1930 Andrey was sent to Emperor Nicholas II's Cadet Corps in Versailles and graduated in 1939.

Instructors in that corps were selected among emigrant officers of the tsarist Russian Army. They inculcated the trademark Russian officers' intelligence and love for their remote but not lost Motherland into their minds.

Neither Andrey nor his parents ever applied for French citizenship. He lived with a so-called Nansen Passport, a temporary identity card for stateless refugees.

The passports were introduced by the League of Nations in 1922 on the basis of the Geneva Agreements. But in 2004, then Russian president, Vladimir Putin, handed a Russian passport to Shmeman and thanked him for helping maintain Russian national traditions.


The Alexander Palace / high radon level in area
« on: September 01, 2008, 05:32:21 AM »
Some time ago, I've heard about existence of the secret map covering Alexander Palace grounds with very high level of radon. I found confirmation of the theory in report done by Finnish Ministry of the Environment, original report can be found at:

Here some cut out from it:

Natural (geological) radiation is rather high in many areas of St. Petersburg; about 75 % of radiation (mainly radon) originating from the natural sources. In order to protect the population from this natural radiation the program "Radon – St. Petersburg" was launched in 1996 with studies on radon-based radiation of the territory and buildings. Studies showed that buildings in two districts – Pushkinsky and Krasnoselsky – have high radon concentrations. Hazardous buildings were identified also in the towns of Krasnoe Selo, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, and Tsarskoye Selo.

Unfortunately Joanna berried announcement deep in the forum, and folks may missed great news we all were waiting for:

Here is my translation:
Iraida Bott, announced on July 29th, that ownership of the Alexander Palace from Russian Navy to GMZ "Tsarskoye Selo", complete. It will be part of the GMZ budget from next fiscal year (I believe Russian fiscal - year equal to calendar year). From next year (2009), work will begin on roof of the building and preparation to general plan of the restoration. Restoration will start on year 2010, but according to announcement, only on exterior of the building.

Current Events / A czar's collection comes to Oshkosh,WI museum
« on: July 12, 2008, 01:11:38 AM »
If someone from Wisconsin, folks have a chance to see exhibition at Oshkosh Public Museum:
"The Tsar and the President"

Please visit following site for details:
Or you can read the article at:

Pushkin Town History / Travel report part 2
« on: September 22, 2007, 05:30:09 PM »
In continuation of the first report from here:,10222.0.html

Second part of the report will be Yussupovs Palace
Part -1

Part -2

p.s. I will put original messages in appropriate sections of the forum, and will create duplicate here

Pushkin Town History / Travel report part 1
« on: September 19, 2007, 12:41:32 PM »
I start putting together photo report, text will come for now only pictures:

Cameron Gallery - Chapter one
Here few images

For detail report follow the link

I primarily use for my trip Master Card network, and I found after traveling in Russia "Foreign transaction fee" equal to 3% of the transactions (this is on the top of the 3% fee's they charge to merchants). But this transactions fee applied not only to Credit Cards charges but also to ATM. If you have card with ability to use Maestro or Cirrus network, I would advice to stop using them for duration of the trip, because of the outrages fee's, even for ATM cash withdrawal. My fee's comes up to over $200 in charges total.
I would recommend to read this article before you would decide to investigate any direction:

Pushkin Travel Center / Time in Pushkin now days
« on: August 23, 2007, 04:14:03 PM »
I am spending some time in Pushkin. I apologize for silence and secrecy (but I have a reason for it), I have only few days left to stay, and I am planning to stop by at AP and Catherine Palace. I can fulfill minor requests in regards - taking some pictures of the particular places, but you must hurry with it.
It short description, how did I like changes in Pushkin/St. Petersburg for past 10+ years: I did not! Complete report will follow...

Please read brief, but really good news about Alexander Palace on Virtual Pushkin site:

The Defense Research Institute will completely depart from Alexander Palace with in next 6 month

Sightseeing in Pushkin / St. Catherine cathedral
« on: June 02, 2007, 11:23:50 AM »
We all know, St. Catherine cathedral will be restored in center of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo), I was trying to find good photographs, and it was undertaking task, so I took liberty to digitally restore some of the Post Cards, please let me know, what do you think about it.
Before Restoration:


Current Events / New exhibition at Pushkin's Lyceum
« on: June 02, 2007, 02:49:33 AM »
"Pushkin and Romanovs" - an exhibition by G.A.V. Traugot, which will be open on June, 3rd, 2007 at 16.00 in a showroom of a memorial museum "Lyceum" (2 Garden St, Pushkin).

At an exhibition 28 works of artists Alexander and Valery Traugot, among which brilliant portrait of Peter the Great, a number of illustrations to a various poems. Pushkin "The Copper Rider", also to a poem "Memoirs in Tsarskoe Selo" and other Pushkin's work. Also, exhibit will show 7 works to S.Yesenin's poem "Tsarevnam" (In a crimson glow sunset sparkling and foamy) which poet read to OTMA on July, 22nd, 1916 in Fedorovsky Gorodok of Tsarskoye Selo. Theme of an exhibition "Pushkin and Romanovs". The exhibition will last until the end of June.

Pushkin Travel Center / on Steam train to TS
« on: May 24, 2007, 06:56:18 PM »
From June 2nd, everyone who visits St Petersburg, will be able to travel to Tsarskoye Selo on Imperial type of train, with steam locomotive.
From St. Petersburg – Vitebsky station train will depart at 10:30 and from Pushkin back to St. Petersburg at 17:30.

btw this true color picture from 1909 by Prokudin-Gorsky

Rasputin / Who is responsible for the Rasputin death?
« on: March 23, 2007, 04:02:46 AM »
We keep discussing who made a last shot - killing Rasputin. I think more important  question, who is responsible for the Rasputin death?
Single person, group, or combination of the events.
Also, possibility Rasputin himself, responsible for his own execution, because he entered big politics, without knowledge of consequences, basically overestimated himself.

Current Events / Gossip
« on: March 14, 2007, 02:37:04 AM »
I would like to start gossip thread.
Everything we know about some events/people, in TS, pleasant and unpleasant, from historical events and now days. 
What type of topics, can be under gossip category? Everything at all, confirmed and unconfirmed, just please follow up guidance of the forum, with your language.
Now, if you have very sensitive material, and afraid to reveal your identity, I would recommend to complete forum registration, second time.
Now little disclaimer, with this post, I am not targeting anyone in particular, and no agenda at all, let's have some fun.

Pushkin Travel Center / New summer trips to TS
« on: March 07, 2007, 09:42:18 AM »
Travel season approaching, and I would like to ask: what folks would like to know, before visiting Russia/St.Petersburg/Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo)?
Also, we would like to have some travel reports, as they come.
Few advices a head:
You don't have to exchange Rubles before going to Russia: Russia today like every civilized country, have ATM (cash machines), for small fee and correct exchange rate, you will be able, safely withdraw from your account money, under any circumstances please do not exchange money, with private individuals. Citibank and other banks, just have the same name and logo, please expect from them to get charged for ATM transaction as well.
Traveling from International Terminal to St. Petersburg, if you will take a bus instead of taxi to the city less than 8 km (5 ml), you will be able to safe $50 or more. If you plan to travel to St. Petersburg only, under any circumstances do not get transit trough Moscow, because International and Domestic terminal in Moscow, located on other side of the runway, and to get shuttle for person who is first timer, even if he/she speaks Russian, will be impossible. 
Reserving hotels online, by using yahoo or expidia, is much cheaper, then calling same hotel direct.
Renting car in Russia is not recommended, please use organized tours, concierge in hotel you will be staying in, will help you to make necessary resrvations.
If you will visit Catherine Palace with tour bus, it will be faster in terms of waiting in the line, but including to the same tour visiting Alexander Palace, will be waist of money, its probably better to do on the separate tour.

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