Winter Seminar 2016: Russia

This year, our annual Winter Seminar headed off to St. Petersburg—a metropol exceptionally close to Finland both culturally and geographically.

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Choosing St. Petersburg as a Winter Seminar destination had been the long-cherished dream of the Institute’s Director, Risto Heiskala (shown in the middle wearing a black coat in the picture above) since at least 2014!

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The city centre is built around the gigantic river of Neva, which divides further into numerous canals and tributaries interlacing the city.

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If not so much around Jena, then at least on the bus ride to the hotel we had a chance of gaining a glimpse of everyday life in the city…


… as well as the breathtaking beauties of Imperial Russia, including the numerous Orthodox churches in the city (here showing the Peter and Paul Cathedral located in the Peter and Paul fortress, on a small island bordering the city centre) …


In Finnish, there’s a saying that if something takes exceptionally long, it takes as long as to build St. Isaac’s Cathedral—so of course, we had to see this crown jewel of Russian Orthodox churches as well.

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The weather wasn’t the best imaginable, but we didn’t let that distract us from enjoying the city—and certainly for most of us it’s something we’re quite used to!

[Photos by Marjukka Virkajärvi and Jessica de Bloom]