Next on our tour, we head to the Old World splendors of St. Petersburg, Russia! The amazing Jennifer Laam will guide us through the modern streets of the sprawling city, and show us the specter of a bygone era!
The historical characters who emerged from Russia’s Romanov dynasty include the formidable Peter the Great, the transformative Catherine II, and the tragic romantics Nicholas and Alexandra. Many of their stories played out in St. Petersburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this gorgeous city, travelers discover not only the ghosts of Russia’s imperial legacy, but the cultural heritage of the Russian Empire. This is where Tchaikovsky’s grand music was first played and Alexander Pushkin’s clever verse first adored. Consider a visit during the early summer to celebrate the city’s magical white nights. Discover the lost glories of the Winter Palace and revel in the world class art collection of the Hermitage Museum. Admire the towering Alexander Column, built to honor Russia’s victory over Napoleon in 1812, and Catherine’s tribute to Peter, the Bronze Horseman. Explore the streets, take in the beauty of the churches, seek out cafes and artists, and let your imagination soar.
Above: The Bronze Horseman ©Alex Florstein Fedorov, Wikimedia Commons
Below: The Winter Palace (Public Domain Photo)
All About Jennifer Laam and The Tsarina's Legacy
Then…Since the moment he first saw her on the night she seized the throne, Grigory “Grisha” Potemkin has loved Empress Catherine of Russia. Their love was forged first from passion, and then from friendship, as they began a long and prosperous political association. Now older, they face treacherous new threats, both from outside of Russia and from those within their intimate circle. Haunted by the horrors of his campaign against the Muslim Turks, Grisha hopes to construct a mosque in the heart of the empire. Unfortunately, Catherine's much younger new lover, the ambitious and charming Platon Zubov, stands in his way. Grisha determines that to preserve Catherine's legacy he must save her from Zubov's dangerous influence and win back her heart.
Now...When she learns she is the heiress to the Romanov throne, Veronica Herrera’s life swiftly turns upside down. Even as she gains a noble legacy, she loses everything she once thought important. Heartbroken and seeking purpose, Veronica agrees to accept a ceremonial position as the new tsarina and to act as an advocate to free a Russian artist sentenced to prison for displaying paintings critical of the church and government. For her efforts, she is both celebrated and chastised. As her political role comes under fire, Veronica is forced to decide between the glamorous perks of European royalty and staying true to herself.
In The Tsarina’s Legacy, Jennifer Laam deftly reveals the compelling connections between Grisha and Veronica as they struggle to make peace with the ghosts of their pasts and help secure a better future for themselves and the country they both love.