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The red portico of this temple immediately catches your eye as you drive along the otherwise nondescript avenue. At once eastern and western, it is a blend of Tibetan Buddhist features and Russian Art Nouveau, built in 1909. Construction was led by Czar Nicholas II's personal doctor, a Buddhist, who rallied funds from open-minded sponsors in Russia and even from the Dalai Lama. It has enjoyed renewed attention in Russia in recent years thanks to the eclectic Russian rock legend Boris Grebenshchikov, a devout visitor. It's now run by monks from Buryatia, one of Russia's primarily Buddhist republics, near Lake Baikal. Inside, the red-and-yellow prayer hall and smell of incense transport you far from 21st-century St. Petersburg.