Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

In the Russian town of Pushkin, not far from St Petersburg, there’s a district called Tsarskoye Selo – a sweep of palaces and gardens which was once the summer home of the Romanov family.

article summary —

The preceding article explores how historical narratives are shaped over generations, and how street names reflect a historical understanding that now seems outdated. But what happens when there is a great caesura? A very good example is Russia’s October Revolution, which brought the Bolsheviks to power in autumn 1917. When it came to the touchy subject of toponyms, the key early imperative for the new Bolshevik government was to remove a Tsarist overlay in the country’s place names. The politicisation of Russian cartography with all manner of places named after party leaders, living or dead, only came much later. One of the very first place names to be changed was Tsarskoye Selo (Царское Село), which means ‘Tsar’s Village’. It’s an understated name for the grand sweep of palaces and parkland which was the summer haunt of the Romanov family just south of Saint Petersburg.

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About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 65.