Historians discover Moscow and St. Petersburg

The History 6.2 tour to Russia seemed on paper a short visit of six days but the content and variety of places visited meant that the students experienced a huge amount. A small but select group of 12 historians led by Nick Meigh and Alison Mason set off for Moscow mid-snowstorm only to arrive in a proper Russian winter. The focus of the visit was naturally historical and the group visited many of the sites of revolutionary Russia. The highlight perhaps of this city was the extensive visit to the Kremlin. Here the group not only trod the usual tourist trail but had the privilege of visiting parts of the Grand Palace that are usually off limits. We were treated to a private tour of the oldest surviving 15th Century parts of the original fortress and to the lavishly restored state rooms.

We travelled by overnight train to the imperial capital St. Petersburg where we experienced the artistic riches of Russia in the State Hermitage Museum whilst also remembering the role of the city in the revolution with a visit to the apartment of Kirov. A favourite venue of St. Petersburg was the sumptuous Yusopov Palace, infamous now for being the place in which Rasputin was murdered in a variety of ways.

The group experienced the full range of Russian culture in the evenings from watching dancing elephants in the Moscow circus to attending a very challenging production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. It must also be noted that all members of the group displayed amazing skills at traditional Russian dancing during one of our folklore inspired dinners.

By Nicholas Meigh, Teacher of History

Bedales historians visit Russia


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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