Open-air museum at Kizhi, Russia

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If you voyage along Russia’s Volga River, you’ll surely stop on the island of Kizhi to view its open-air museum, founded in 1951. The most prominent display is Kizhi Pogost: two wooden churches and a bell tower that comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site. The elegant Transfiguration Cathedral, crowned with 22 cupolas, is a masterpiece.

You’ll also see farmhouses, barns, mills, and a sauna, all constructed in traditional Russian fashion. Inside are domestic artifacts: tools, dishes, utensils, samovars, handmade lace, and furniture.

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Cruising the Volga River on Volga Dream

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The luxurious Volga Dream — the most elegant yacht on the Volga River — seems more like a charming floating hotel with a library, lounge-bar, and sun deck. The gracious service, sumptuous cuisine, and thoughtful planning made us feel right at home. and there’s no better way to see river cities between Moscow and St. Petersburg like Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi, Mandrogy, and Valaam.

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Volga River Cruise: See Before You Go

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Discover charming historic towns along the Volga River in this 100-page, full-color book. The view is superb from the elegant Volga Dream, the most beautiful cruise ship on the river: magnificent Russian Orthodox churches with their “onion domes,” beautiful lacquerware crafts, the Vodka Museum, traditional wooden architecture …

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Mandrogy Collective

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Even though there is an extensive Vodka Museum at Mandrogy, there are two inviolable rules: Nobody drinks alcohol and nobody steals in the village. This collective on the Volga River is complex of farmstead-type ornate houses, craft workshops, a school, a mill, horse stables, and a rabbit farm.

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Moscow and St. Petersburg: See Before You Go

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See both highlights and hidden attractions in Moscow and St. Petersburg: palaces, museums, city scenes, art, sculpture, the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, GUM, the Moscow metro, Peterhof, Tretyakov Gallery, and the amazing Park of the Fallen Idols …

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