The intermingling of Russian and French culture is renowned. So while in Paris, one must simply make a trip to visit Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski. Located north of the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe the five-dome church and clearly the unofficial Russian cultural centre of Paris provides a little taste of Russia in this chic city.
This church may not be as visually stunning as the Church on Spilled Blood in St Petersburg but it was witness to Picasso’s marriage to Olga Khoklova in 1918. The couple then lived just a few streets away on Rue de la Boetie.
Who was Alexander Nevksy?
Alexander Nevsky was a Grand Prince of Vladimir from which the kingdom of Russia was formed. It is said he successfully defended his kingdom against the Germans, Swedes and Tatars. Despite not being directly in line for the throne it is believed he was invited by the inhabitants to take the throne as he was respected throughout the region for his military might and political aptitude.
The infamous Soviet film-maker Eisenstein made a film about Nevksy and his military exploits which was used as part of Stalin’s expansionist propaganda campaign; its success furthered Eisenstein’s career, Stalin later permitting him to tackle the first Muscovite Tsar, Ivan the Terrible. Unfortunately, his fall from favour did not take long.
Cathdrale Alexandre Nevski Rue Daru Paris Open Tuesday, Friday, Sunday 3 – 5 pm
Marina Regia is located 15 km (10 miles) north of the city of Constanta, the largest port on the black sea and home to a rich heritage of Ancient Greek, Ottoman and Christian civilisations. Constanta was founded as the citadel of Tomis by Greek settlers in the 6th Century BC and later became part of the Roman Empire, counting the poet Ovid, banished from Rome for political reasons, amongst its residents. Constanta and its surroundings have a cosmopolitan history, with Genoese, Venetian and Greek merchants, mixing with Jews and Turks. Many of these ancient communities are represented in the city today, where mosques stand alongside Orthodox churches and Italian basilicas.
Spectacular views and unbridled luxury come with every part of Marina regia residence, which hosts two beautiful hotels, a spa, an exclusive club and restaurant, a private beach with bars and stylish chaise lounges and 46 gorgeous Mediterranean villas. Marina Regia residence is a perfect retreat for pampered relaxation as well as fine dining, and is ideally located as a base from which to explore the intriguing coast and countryside. The residence offers a wide variety of activities, catering for relaxed beach and spa holidays as well as active breaks. When not soaking up the delicious sun and enjoying the fine sand and warm water, guests can unwind in the chic restaurants and bars in the Arcadia and Arena hotels or in the Colonial Club. For the adventurous there is an abundance of water sports on offer, be it jet skiing, water skiing or parasailing. Tours of Constanta and the seaside resorts, trips to the Danube delta and wine tastings at Murfatlar are also organised for guests.
The splendid location and extensive facilities at Marina Regia make it the ideal setting for both private and corporate events. The Arena Hotel, the Arcadia Hotel and the Colonial Club have flexible spaces which can be used, as required, for conferences, art exhibitions, presentations, receptions and other such occasions. The superb beach provides a stylish location for weddings or private parties.
Immediately to the south, Marina Regia lies next to the best-known resort on the Romanian Black Sea, Mamaia. The resort started life in 1906, and in the 1920s became the summer residence of the Romanian royal family, the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens. Mamaia’s location on a narrow strip of land between the sea and lake Mamaia provides it with a wonderful expanse of beach and arguably the best facilities on the coast for water sports. Mamaia is at the height of its glory in summer, and regularly hosts international events such as concerts, club nights, yacht exhibitions, car racing and fashion shows.
The hinterland around Constanta and Mamaia comprises Dobrogea, which became a well-established trading centre under the ancient Greeks and Romans. What is little known is that romania is one of the largest wine producers in Europe, and, with a history of viniculture dating back 6,000 years, it is also one of the oldest. Murfatlar vineyard, the largest in Romania, is located in the middle of the Dobrogea plateau, and is blessed with the perfect climate to produce a large variety of quality wines, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Ottonel, which are available for tastings all year round.
Further north of Constanta lies the Danube delta, Europe’s largest remaining natural wetland. It is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, with fishing and shooting also available at restricted times of the year. Fascinatingly, the Danube delta is home to a sizeable community of Lipovans, an ethnic minority of dissenters from the official Russian Orthodox church, who fled Russia in the 18th Century and settled by the delta as fishermen.
How to get there
Marina Regia is accessible by road, rail and air.
From Bucharest: car, or train from Gara de Nord, the main railway station in Bucharest (journey is approximately 3 hours).
From Otopeni (Henri Coanda) or Baneasa airports (Bucharest): car, or taxi to Gara de Nord and train as above (journey is approximately 3 hours).
From Mihail Kogalniceanu airport (Constanta): car or taxi (journey is approximately 30 minutes).