St. Petersburg Edifices


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We spent our third and final day in St. Petersburg viewing some of the city’s most famous tsar-initiated edifices. We started with Peter & Paul fortress, where in 1703 Peter the Great founded his new Baltic port city, and toured two spectacular churches: Church on the Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. We also viewed some smaller tsar-commissioned items at the the Faberge Museum, notably the ornate jewelled eggs traditionally given to their wives as Easter presents.

Below are trip highlights from May 26th, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

5/26/2019
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Armoured Buses
We saw dozens of police and security officers, and several armoured buses, on the streets this morning. Likely this is related to the upcoming St. Petersburg Day celebration
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Mikhailovsky Castle
The Mikhailovsky Castle, a former royal residence built as a residence for Emperor Paul I at the end of the 18th century. Paul constantly feared assassination and didn’t feel safe in the Winter Palace, so had this castle built with a moat so that it could only be reached by drawbridges. Paul was right to be concerned—he was assassinated in his bedroom in the new castle only 40 days after moving in. The imperial family returned to the Winter Palace and the castle was abandoned and later turned into a military school where Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky once studied.
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Bridge
Ornate lampposts on a bridge over the river Moyka.
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Eternal Flame
The eternal flame in Mars Field has been burning since 1957 in memory of war and revolution victims from St. Petersburg.
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Suvorov Monument
Monument to Russian general A.V. Suvorov, considered one of the greatest commanders in Russian and world military history.
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Peter & Paul Fortress
View to Peter & Paul Fortress from the Troitsky Bridge across the River Neva.
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Fortress Map
Map inside the grounds showing the layout of Peter & Paul Fortress.
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Petrovskiy Curtain Wall and Gate
The Petrovskiy Curtain Wall and Gate, completed in 1719, are one of the oldest surviving parts of the fortress. The imperial wing crest above the arch weighs over a ton.
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Rabbits
Rabbits were the most abundant animals on the island before the fortress was built, and several statues of them are in the area. This one might be depicting rabbits helping a friend escape a flood.
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SS Peter & Paul Cathedral
Most of Russia’s imperial rulers are buried in this cathedral inside the Peter & Paul fortress.
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Church on the Spilled Blood
After Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, his son Alexander III built the Church on the Spilled Blood on the site where he was stabbed as a memorial.
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Mosaic
The lavish interior of the Church on the Spilled Blood is covered with more than 80,000 sq ft (7,500 sq m) of mosaic. The construction was estimated to cost 4.5 million rubles—a fantastic sum for that time.
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Bike Rally
Nevsky Prospekt was closed to traffic as we walked east towards the Faberge Museum. We’d arrived just at the start of a bicycle rally with thousands of participants.
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Lada
The Lada, famous throughout the world for having set a new standard for quality, longevity, and minutes of rust free operation :-).
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Faberge Eggs
A display of beautiful Faberge Eggs at the Faberge Museum inside spectacular Shuvalovsky Palace. Alexander III began the tradition of tsars giving their wives jewelled eggs for Easter.
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Elephant
A relaxing lunch with an unusual beer mug at Elephant Belgian Bistro.
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262 Steps
Starting up the 262 steps to the colonnaded walkway of St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
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Colonnaded Walkway
The sweeping view to the River Neva from the colonnaded walkway around the dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral (click image for a larger view).
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St. Isaac’s Interior
Over 100kg of gold leaf, 6500 sq ft (600 m sq) of Monica, 35,000 (16,000kg) pounds of malachite and 14 different types of marble were used to decorate the spectacular interior of St. Isaac’s Cathedral (click image for a larger view).
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Jet Ski
Several jet skis roared past along Griboyedov channel as we walked back to our hotel.
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Security Line
We arrived back at the ferry terminal around 4pm, two hours before our ferry departed, to a huge line-up of people waiting to enter the building. It was for a security check where everyone entering had to pass through the single security scanner. We’d not read about this in any of our trip research, so perhaps it is new. It took an anxious hour to get through.
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Passport Control
Once inside the terminal building, we quickly checked in and were through Customs and Passport Control within ten minutes. Our passports weren’t stamped when we arrived, rather we were given a paper migration card that we handed in on departure. Then our passports were stamped with both the arrival and the departure dates. With the visa-free program, you can only exit the country the way you came, and having no entry stamp in our passports makes longer-term stay or broader travel in the country difficult.
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Ready to Board
We’re finally through all the process and are ready to board the Princess Anastasia for the return to Helsinki.
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Commercial Port
Looking from the deck of the Princess Anastasia to ships moored in the Big Port St. Petersburg, the third biggest largest port in Russia.
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Queue
The ship departed on time at 6pm, but a queue of passengers were waiting to board right up until then. This is at 5:45pm.
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Icebreaker Mudyug
The icebreaker Mudyug uses an innovated dual-bow design that rides up on the ice and then crushes through it. This is a common approach to ice-breaking but the dual bow design is not. This was the first of three ships delivered to the Soviet Union by Wartsila Oy of Finland in 1982 and 1983. The ships were insufficiently maneuverable, especially astern, so the design has not continued to be developed.
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VIP Lounge
With rain falling, we spent much of the departure from St. Petersburg enjoying the view forward from the VIP lounge. We had a fabulous time in beautiful St. Petersburg and quite enjoyed the ferry ride both ways as well.
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Flood Control Gate
Passing through Ship Passage S-1, part of the flood control system for St. Petersburg. The gates look similar in design to the Maeslantkering we saw near Delft in The Netherlands. A 6-lane automobile tunnel passes underneath the channel at this point.
5/27/2019
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Spitfire
Jennifer returning with Spitfire from Helsingin Kissahotelli, where he stayed for four nights while we in were St. Petersburg. They took great care of him.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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