The Civil Barbarian

Peter the Great drove thousands to their deaths to create his dream city, St Petersburg, 'a window onto Europe'.

Great violence and haunting beauty have marked the metropolis ever since.

On the 300th anniversary of its foundation, writer Kevin Jackson evokes the spirit of Peter's city and questions the legacy of the Tsar's enlightened despotism.

With reflections from Count Nikolai Tolstoy, descendant of one of Peter the Great's ambassadors; Hermitage curator Aleksei Leporc; travel writer Colin Thubron, and other distinguished contributors.

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Peter the Great drove thousands to their deaths to create his dream city, St Petersburg, 'a window onto Europe'.

Great violence and haunting beauty have marked the metropolis ever since.

On the 300th anniversary of its foundation, writer Kevin Jackson evokes the spirit of Peter's city and questions the legacy of the Tsar's enlightened despotism.

With reflections from Count Nikolai Tolstoy, descendant of one of Peter the Great's ambassadors; Hermitage curator Aleksei Leporc; travel writer Colin Thubron, and other distinguished contributors.