The non-royal royalty: Yusopov Palace, St. Petersburg

Nothing spells grandeur more than a visit to the opulent Yusopov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Traveling couple Divine Lee and Victor Basa tell us more about their royal encounters.



(In this column, globetrotters Divine Lee and Victor Basa look back on their travels and regale us with their fun, intriguing, exciting, and often wacky stories.)

Photos by Victor Basa

D: I have always been a fan of dynasties and family sagas. So it’s no wonder that when I was younger, I would gladly skip watching Disney movies for Spanish teleseryes. I think I got my overdramatic streak from it (yes, I’m the type who would run to the E.R. screaming and shouting, as if my life depended on it...and this was for only a bad case of eye stye). During our last trip to Russia, it was pretty obvious that I’d be learning more about the Romanovs (Who knows, maybe I am related to the “lost” Anastasia?), but one thing that caught my attention during our tour was another clan: The Yusopovs. The Yusopovs were not royalties like the Romanovs, but with their lifestyle, heritage, and fortune, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have got nothing on them! Let’s start our story by touring their palace!

V: I first heard about the name Yusopov when I was searching for places to visit in Russia. Upon further research, I learned that the family was involved in the brutal murder of the Russian mystic and claimant of prophethood, Rasputin. The Yusopovs were a Russian noble family that descended from the Khans of the 10th century, but they were more known for their incredible wealth and philanthropy. Although they weren’t royalty, they had immense influence and power. Browse the gallery for my travel notes!

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