Reading suggestions for this trip

If you have already been on this trip, what books would you recommend as most helpful?  Thank you for any suggestions.

  • The guidebook "Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Golden Ring" by Masha Nordbye is excellent and very comprehensive. "Land of the Firebird" by Suzanne Massie was a well-written and captivating overview of history and culture prior to the trip, but after returning I found "Natasha's Dance" by Orlando Figes a very absorbing read - an amazing book! More comprehensible after having learned so much on the trip.
  • Hello
    We are planning on doing this trip July.20. Any suggestions on buying original icons and religious art work in Russia?
    Is it easy to purchase? Are the price points pretty significant? How about old art work? any comments?
    Any ore books to recommend? Please an thank you Louanna
  • I believe really old icons are subject to laws about removing them from the country. As far as contemporary icons, we saw quite a selection in Sergiev Posad in the monastery gift shop. You might want to think in advance about what subjects you are interested in, because I felt rather overwhelmed by the number of choices. I did purchase a small icon in egg tempera for about $60. You could do some online research about contemporary iconographers in Russia, and inquire if they display their work at any of the locations you plan to visit.

    One unexpected treat was that at a few monasteries/churches local artists set up shop on the lawn, and we purchased a lovely watercolor and a small oil painting (both landscapes) for quite small sums.

    If you are interested in icons, you may already know the book "The Russian Icon" by Viktor Lazarev, which is pretty much as comprehensive a survey as one can find.