Marina Oborotova

St. Petersburg: The City That Should Not Be and Would Not Die

Dr. Marina Oborotova, CFIS-AIA
January 9, 2018

The City of Peter, Window on the West, Northern Palmira, Venice of the North, Cradle of the Revolution, Hero City – these are some of the names given to a truly phenomenal city of St. Petersburg.  Created by Peter the Great’s cruel will out of the marshes of the Neva River and constructed literally on the bones of its builders, St. Petersburg became one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It called to mind Venice and Amsterdam, and yet none of these could match its magic, mystical, ethereal, illusive, sublime, almost supernatural character. Lit by sun at midnight in the summer, and wrapped in mist in the winter, the city is famous for its artistic brilliance, power, suffering and monumental heroism. St. Petersburg was the capital of the Russian empire until 1917 when its citizens jumpstarted the Bolshevik revolution and a three-quarters-of-a- century-long Communist experiment. In 1941 – 1942, the armies of Nazi Germany lay siege to Leningrad for nine hundred days, but the its people stood firm and survived paying a terrible price – the lives of nearly half a million men, women and children. St. Petersburg/Leningrad has become a symbol of the fighting human spirit that does not surrender and of a beauty that never dies.

Marina Oborotova will walk you through the city’s amazing history and she will give you a tour of the most beautiful architectural ensembles. This talk opens the series in preparation for AIA trips to Russia in June & July 2018. Everybody is welcome.

Dr. Marina Oborotova is the AIA founder and president. Many of the AIA members still remember her talk “Moscow: Building a New Third Rome?” and the Russian dinner that followed “as one of the best we had”. She was born in Russia and visited St. Petersburg so many times that she lost count. Professionally, Dr. Oborotova is the author of multiple articles and books on foreign affairs. She worked for Russia’s leading think tank, USIC, TC International and taught at UNM’s History and Political Science Departments and the Anderson School of Management.