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Moscow, 2014

No country gives me the impression of being an empire quite like Russia does. Moscow, where I recently traveled for the first time in many years, is the capital of an immense and powerful empire, the vital center of which is the Kremlin, as it has been for centuries. I had imagined that after the…


The patron of the epoch who built the grandest palaces was without a doubt Catherine II of Russia. With unlimited resources at her disposal, she could build colossal homes, grander than all the palaces of Europe. In fact, Catherine was only imitating her predecessor, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great. The latter was…