The Top Ten of Russia in Paris
Russia's love affair with Paris can be experienced through a plethora of churches, stores, restaurants and graves throughout the City of Light.
The name Petrossian has been on the lips of connoisseurs since 1920, when the famous caviar house was founded. Almost a century later, its sturgeon roe, and variety of salmons prepared in a myriad of different ways, are still star turns in Petrossian's restaurant, located on the first floor of its historic store, just a stone's throw from Invalides.
Petrossian Rive Gauche : 144, rue de l’Université - 75007 Paris
A datcha in Bougival
The Russian writer Ivan Turgenev bought this stately home in Bougival for the opera singer Pauline Viardot in 1874. Here, he set up his beloved's entire family, while he lived in a datcha, built just next door, until his death in 1883. Transformed today into a museum, this chalet, with its Swiss and Russian influences, houses the study and bedroom of the author of "A Month in the Country". A bewitching, timeless place.
Musée Ivan-Tourguéniev : 16, rue Yvan-Tourgueneff - 78380 Bougival
Gilt and spirituality
A stone's throw from the Quai Branly Museum and the Eiffel Tower, you will find yourself transported to Moscow and St. Petersburg when you enter the spectacular Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité de Paris, with its five onion domes covered in gold leaf. The cathedral is part of the Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Centre, an ensemble of ultra-contemporary buildings designed by the celebrated French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
Centre spirituel et culturel orthodoxe et cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité : 1, quai Branly - 75007 Paris
For lovers of Russian literature
Aficionados of Russian language and culture have been gathering in this Marais bookstore, located a short distance from the Place des Vosges, since 1952. Readings, language lessons, concerts, exhibitions, debates and a cinema club are frequently held here.
La librairie du Globe : 67, boulevard Beaumarchais - 75003 Paris
An Orthodox cathedral
The beating heart of Paris's Russian Orthodox community, the Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky Cathedral hides its Neo-Byzantine splendours in a discreet road, a short distance from the Parc Monceau. Outside of the regular services, the building is open to visitors, who can admire its multiple frescos and gildings as well as the many majestic icons and religious paintings.
Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky : 12, rue Daru - 75008 Paris
Samovars of tea
Who isn't familiar with Kusmi Tea, the tea house founded in Saint-Petersburg in 1864? To discover the complete range of exclusive blends and traditional teas, presented in beautiful multi-coloured heritage tins, head to the Maison Kusmi Tea, its spacious 2-floor flagship store on the Champs-Élysées.
Kusmi Tea : 71, avenue des Champs-Élysées - 75008 Paris
Russia on the silver screen
Each November, Russia's top contemporary filmmakers come to Paris for a rich and exciting festival "Regards de Russie". The event, which lasts one week, offers a new perspective on Russian cinema and allows outsiders a chance to discover the most exciting new Russian directors.
A final resting place
A small corner of Mother Russia can be found in the Paris region, in the Russian Orthodox cemetery, the largest cemetery of Russian emigrés in the world. Here, in a bucolic and romantic setting, lie some of the greatest names in Russian art and culture, such as the writer Sergei Bulgakov, the artist Serge Poliakoff, and the ballet stars Serge Lifar and Rudolf Nureyev.
Cimetière russe de Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois : 4, rue Léo-Lagrange - 91700 Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois
Cabinet of curiosities
The Peterhof stores in Paris are infused with the flavour of Russia. Timeless charms on sale include Matryoshka dolls, fine porcelain, fur chapkas, glittering Christmas decorations, cosy shawls, sublime icons, delicately painted eggs, refined lacquered boxes inlayed with mother-of-pearl and weighty amber jewellery.
Peterhof : 25, rue Bonaparte - 75006 Paris, et 4, rue du Pas de la Mule - 75003 Paris
The land of fine flavours
Borscht or beef Stroganoff? Three iconic Paris groceries offer almost every Russian delicacy imaginable, from fish to caviar, charcuterie, cheeses, sweets and spirits, for a delectable journey through Russia without leaving Paris.
Gastronomie Russe : 53, boulevard des Batignolles – 75008 Paris
26 bis, boulevard Diderot – 75012 Paris
4, rue Gustave-le-Bon – 75014 Paris
- Copyright image: SoleneC1