Home > Traveling > St. Petersburg, Day One

St. Petersburg, Day One


St. Petersburg is Russia’s 2nd largest city, with a long and difficult history.  It has had three different names, depending on the government in charge (Petrograd, Leningrad, St. Petersburg).  Curenr population is around 3 million, and the city is considered the cultural center of Russia.   Our tour was fascinating for its history, and the rich diversity of the buildings and historical sites.  A few highlights:

The Yusupovs were the richest Russian family and the Palace was considered the center of Russia in the 18th century.  It was the site of Rasputin’s murder in 1916.

St. Isaac Cathedral  is the largest Russian Orthodox Church in Russia.  Building took 40 years (1812-1842) and the dome is visible in most parts of the city.  After the revolution it was used as storage and pretty well neglected.  It survived WW2 because of its very prominence, it became the center point form targeting the bombing of St. Petersburg.   Since the fall of Russia it has been restored to its historical prominence.

Catherine 1 began the original summer palace in 1717.  Subsequent rules by Elizabeth 1 and Catherine 2 (the Great) saw major additions.   It now defines the word “opulence”.  It is 325 meters long and has over 1,000 rooms, all magnificently decorated, it defines the rich/poor relationship of the time.  

The Peterhof Palace was commissioned by Peter the Great in the 1700s.  He was a science buff, and added magnificent water features.  He did this by using water piped in from far away lakes and ponds, so no mechanical means created the waterfalls… only gravity.  It is also known for the large gardens and walkways. 

The quickest was back to St. Petersburg was by hydrofoil.  A quick and pleasant ride, but the walk to the boat was painfully cold… 30+ MPH winds in 30 degre weather had us all wearing every bit of clothing we had!

  1. jaap en inge van Kampen
    May 14, 2017 at 2:03 am

    Sounds fantastic!

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn iPad

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