Kunstkamera

The Kunstkamera in Saint Petersburg. Taken by Steven & Nadine Pavlov ::: senapa.livejournal.com

Located on the Universitetskya Embankment, right opposite the Dvortsovaya Embankment and the Winter Palace, the Peter the Great Museum of Antropology and Ethnography is among St. Petersburg’s most vivid sights. The museum is a no-miss attraction for both city residents and travelers.

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Founded by Peter the Great in 1714 and completed in 1727, the Museum presents an incredibly diverse collection of items. It is housed in the turreted Petrine Baroque-style Kunstkamera building by Georg Johann Mattarnovy, and presents stunning anthropologic and archaeological collections reflecting the diversity of cultures, customs and traditions.

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The Museum’s collection is the largest in the world, and it comprises nearly 2,000,000 items. It houses one of the world’s most extensive anthropologic collections, which originated as Peter’s personal cabinet of curiosities. The collection included human and animal fetuses with anatomic deformities. The goal was to dispel myths about freaks and monsters and make a step forward in anatomical and anthropological research. One of the tsar’s orders was to deliver still-born infants to St. Petersburg from around the country and thus replenish the collection.

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The history of the formation of the Museum’s collection began with Peter’s purchase of a collection of fetuses from Frederic Ruish, a renowned Dutch anatomist.  Today, the Kunstkamera presents 24 anatomic collections featuring 1388 exhibits, with the Ruish Collection comprising 937 items, and the Russian Anthropologic Collection presenting 144 items.

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The idea to create the collection dawned upon Peter the Great when he saw an unusual double-trunk birch tree on the Vasilievsky Island with one trunk growing out of the base of the other one. Allegedly, the scene perplexed Peter so much that he decided to establish a museum of ‘accidents of nature’.

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St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Isaac’s

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the greatest and of the most beautiful parochial buildings in St. Petersburg. It was rebuilt four times. The first St. Isaac’s Church was built and sanctified in 1707 under the Peter’s I the Great government. The church was wooden and it was almost ten times smaller than the actual one which is more than a hundred meters tall and occupies over a thousand square meters of territory.

St. Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac’s Cathedral which decorates the city nowadays was sanctified in 1858 in the presence of Alexander II the liberator. Many famous Russian artists and sculptors such as K. Brullov and P. Clodt took part in works on appearance of the Cathedral. The interior is astonishing, all kinds of monumental and decorative art such as paintings, sculptures, gilded bronze, mosaic, marble, facing stone are presented in there; the main iconostasis is enriched with lazurite and malachite columns. The building is so beautiful that it creates a tremendous impression which imprints in your memory forever.

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Since 1948 the Cathedral works as a museum under the same name. Access balcony was placed on the dome from where a great panorama of the whole city is presented. Now, its doors are opened for all comers.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum in St.Petersburg – is a memorial Museum of the world famous poet Pushkin. Moreover it is an apartment where Pushkin has lived; it became a museum after his death. The Museum can tell us about Pushkin, his life and his creativity.

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Pushkin was a famous poet, prosaist, playwright, publicist and founder of a new Russian literature known all over the world. He was born in Moscow in a family of a noble line, since his childhood he was well – brought-up by French tutors. He got an educuation at home where he received splendid knowledge of french language and got love for reading. When he was a child he got aquainted with works of many famous writers, such as Lomonosov and Zhukovskiy, Volter and many others. His grandmother and his nurse where well educated women who teached him and developed his love for Russian language.

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Pushkin continued his education in a new building for russian children from noble family lines, it was called Tsarskoselkiy lyceum, it was the first building in the country that was intended to give education by a special programme of goverment bureaucrats. Actually here for the first time Pushkin felt himself as a true poet. His talent was admitted not only by his friends, among whom were Pushin, Kuhelbeker, Delvig, but also by his teachers – Zukovkiy, Batushkov, Karamzin and many others.

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During all of his life Pushkin gave the main meaning to writing, he wrote lots of splendid poems and fairy-tails, stories and novels. At the very beginning of his creativity way his works were not published though were well-known all over the city. In 1814 his poem was published in a Moscow magazine.In 1817 he was graduated from Tsarskoselkiy lyceum and then went to serve in the Collegium of foreign affairs.He could not stop wrtiting and didnt pay much attention to his work there.

Saint Petersburg, Russia, 25/07/2005. Portraits of Alexander Pushkin and his wife Natalia Goncharova in his apartment in the National Pushkin Museum.

While his life Pushkin wrote many splendid and wonderful poems though whenever he was he felt like an outcast, for his high talent and amazing works he got terrible attitude at any city where he stayed. Even the Emperor Nikolay didnt hide his hateness to Pushkin. In 1831 Pushkin got married with Goncharova. They lived in marriage 6 years and had 4 kids.

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Last years of Pushkin’s life were complicated, he had a lot of debts and that is why tried to write more. His books were hardly bought, that is why he decided to leave his service and started to write only. He issued a magazine called “Sovremennik”, but it was still not popular. In 1836 Pushkin got a letter where it was said that his wife and baron Dantes have relationship. So this letter became a reason for a duet between Dantes and Pushkin, where Dantes shot the first and injured Pushkin. His wound was fatal. After two days Pushkin died, his life tried to save the best doctors but for those times such wound was fatal, during these days many people came to visit Pushkin, and even Nikolay 1 wrote him notes. Before death Pushkin asked him to help his family and let them want for nothing.

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Nowadays in his apartment there is a Museum. In his house are met people who appreciate and commemorate the date of his death.The exposition in the Museum is divided into two parts: the first tells about the history of the house consisted of 11 flats one of which was rented by Pushkin, also it tells about the historical events of  Pushkin’s arrival in St.Petersburg. The second – is an apartment where he lived and where are saved his and items of his family. In the apartment there is an atmosphere of Pushkin’s age.Here are the furniture, his writing desk, an armchair and the sofa, a smoking pipe and his ink-pot – all these things that remain us about Pushkin. In his wife’s room you can find her parfume, purses, a coral bracelet and many other things.

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Among many other items there are portraits of a poet and members of his family. In the museum there are also items connected with his duet and death, and the main are his waistcoat and the sofa he died on. In two small halls are also represented prints, paintings, portraits of friends and materials that tell about the duet of 1837.

The main territory also takes a large library, it includes 4000 books on 14 languages. As the most of Apartment Museums, Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum is not only a place of excursions, but also a cultural centre, where different conferentions, seminars and literature evenings take place.

Alexander Garden

 

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Alexander Garden 1

Alexander Garden is placed right in the heart of the city encircling the Admiralty building. The garden was opened in 1874 after two years of laborious tasks and work of hundreds of botanists, architects, engineers and workers. The idea of the creation belongs to Russian admiral Samuel Greig, and Eduard Regel was appointed to be the main botanist and administrator of works. Just to imagine how big the performance was: 5260 trees were planted, 12640 boscages of 52 various species were cropped, 115 cast-iron benches with wooden seats were placed across the garden, most of trees were supplied with tags on which names of species were written in Russian and Latin. The emperor Alexander II in honor of whom the garden was named planted an oak which still remains at the same place guarded by enclosure.

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The garden changed its names ten times throughout the history. The first name was given in 1706 even before the plan of the garden had appeared. Only during the 20th century the garden changed its name three times and since 1997 it exists under the original name. It is surrounded by city sights, monuments and memorials such as Zimniy Palace, Dvorcovaya square, Medniy Vsadnik, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Admiralty building. Alexander garden is connected with two St. Petersburg famous squares – Senatskaya and Dvorzovaya. If you take a look at the map then you will see that it seems like there are three rays coming out of the garden – this scheme was an initiative of Peter I the Great – they are three main streets Nevskiy and Voznesenskiy avenues, Gorohavaya Street. At present there are a fountain, two statues, and six monuments of outstanding people in Russian history. They were a writer, poet, composer, scientist, and politician. Total area of the garden is over 90 thousand square meters, so it is a great place to spend time usefully becoming familiar with various historical sights.

Alexander Garden

Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic

Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic – is the only one in Russia and the largest in the world cultural building that reflects polar theme, it is a unique Museum of polar countries. The scientific conception of the museum was created by the leader soviet scentists and polar-explorers. A significant part of St.Petersburg citizens is involved in scientific progress, connected with exploration of North.

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The history of the museum has started from the Travelling Polar Exhibitions (1922- 1935), that later were added into Museum of Arctic.With the beginning of researching works in Antarctics, 1956-1958, the Museum opened a new section called “ Antarctic”, so the whole name of the Museum started to sound like Museum of Arctic and Antarctic. In 1988 the Museum became an offical building. Nowadays there are three departments there: Nature of Arctic, The history and exploration of North sea way, and Antarctic.

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The materials that are kept in the Museum considered unique historical monuments, that have a world meaning, and the Museum tries to keep cultural and historical tradition of St.Petersburg as a centre of polar researches of Russia. Officially the Museum was opened in January 1937, though the decision of its creation was made long before.

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The Museum got not only Soviet but also international recognition very quickly; in 1937 on the World Expossition in Paris the Museum got an Award. Later in 1950 started a new period in searching of new polar regions of the world- it was researching of the Antarctic.So the collection of the museum added new exhibits from the First Soviet Expeditions.

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Though one of the first exhibits of the Museum was a three-seat hydroplane SH-2 that was built in the Leningrad by the Shargaev project.Though there are many interesting can be found in the Museum and actually you dont know which section is the best. In “Nature of Arctic”section are represented exhibits, characterizing georaphical peculiarities of Arctic, its picturesque and vegetative world. Its unique artistic works are dioramas Bird market, Tundra in winter, Tundra in summer, Rookery, Glacier of Shokalskiy in winter and many others created by Platunov and Zipalin.

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The central place of the exibition takes model of Arctic, that represents by itself a part of a globe with a relief map. This model was made on the basement of materials by Shokalskiy in 1936. Antarctic is another part, and in reality Antarctic is a lowest polar area of the world. It includes in itself Antarctic and the water territories of the Southern Ocean with small ice islands. Antarctic is a place of an ice continent, where less than 1 % of its territory is free from ice.

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The climate in Antarctic is very frosty. Even in summer time the temperature of the air on he most part of the territories doesnt raise up for than 0. In winter the temperature is above – 30-50 degrees, in some other areas -80 degrees. The lowest temperature of the air on the Earth was in July of 1983, and it was – 89 degrees. The flora and fauna on this ice continent is almost absent. The most well-known animals of Antarctic are penguins.

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So this section tells about the nature of the 6th continent, the history of its discovery, the main expiditions and the activity of Soviet researches. The first who saw the shpres of Antarctic were russian sailor Lazarev and Bellinsgauzen. On the small boats they passed ices and lots of snowy icebergs and in 1820 they found a new continent, called later Antarctic. While their world round trip they went around Antarctic and found a new island of Peter 1 and the earth of Alexander 1.

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The most unique collection in the museum is a collection of items of cold-dwellers in the first half of the 17th century, found in Western Siberia. There is a collection of art from the North, including clothes and items made of deer’s skin and water animals, collection of paintings from the University of North of 1930, here is represented sculpture and oil paitings, there is also a great and unique collection of coins (4000 items), where are gathered different coins from all over the world.

Nowadays the collection of the Museum gathered 75000 of exhibits. Among them are unique exhibits of 16th century. During 70 years of its work Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic took more than 300 of exhibitions in Russia and abroad. More than 6 million people saw its collections. So Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic became an essential part of cultural life of St.Petersburg and Russia.

Summer Garden

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The summer garden or “Letniy Sad” how it is actually pronounced in the original is the oldest garden of the cultural capital of Russia, St. Petersburg. It dates from the first quarter of 18th century. The building process started in 1704 and took 15 years to complete. Bounds of the garden were determined, land was reclamated, ponds were made, a dike over Fontanka River was built during these years etc. Peter I the Great ordered to lay the park and approved the primary plan of it, which corresponded to the style of Dutch Baroque. For the first time in St. Petersburg fountains were set just in the Summer Garden. Peter the Great brought them from Italy along with sculptures and in order to provide water he built the Ligovskiy channel of many kilometers.

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At the time of Peter I the Summer Garden was closed for public and no one could enter the garden without an invitation. It was initially established as a summer residence of the monarch. The daughter of the latter in time of her governing made the garden opened for citizens that were pleasantly dressed. After the flood of 1777 the fountains were destroyed and it was decided not to restore them.

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In 1839 Karl XIV, the Swedish Monarch, gave a porphyritic vase to Russian Emperor Nikolay the First as a token of a goodwill which was made at king’s manufacture in Elfdalen and since then it became a part of the gardens embellishments. In 2008 some comers noticed a crack on the vase and the information got in all mass media. However specialist said that there is no danger in the micro crack but it split into two pieces. After the accident and because of anxiety about vandalism the administration of the Summer Garden thought of copying statues that are in the garden and send originals in storage, placing video cameras across it and reconstruction of the whole park.

Gatchina

Gatchina

Gatchina is a wonderful picturesque city, located in the south- eastern part of St.Petersburg, 46 kilometers away from it. In this small city there are many palaces and landscapes that can be considered a real works of art. This small place in the world was built and decorated by talented masters, architectures, sculptors and gardeners, they created there a real piece of art that still didnt loose its beautiful nature.

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The first villa in Gatchina was built for Natalia Alekseevna, who was a sister of Peter 1, in 1708. Catherine 2 bought its place for Graf Orlov after death of Natalia Alekseevna. Graf Orlov appreciated her gift very much and at once started to invite famous russian and foreign achitecturers to build architectural palaces and parks there.

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The Palace that looks like a hunting house with towers was built by the project of famous italian achitect Antonio Rinaldi. Creation of Chemenskiy obelisk in honour of victory of russian sailers over turkish army in 1770 was also planned by Rinaldi. Park was designed in english style in accordance with modern requires of landscape design, and became one of the most wonderful parks.

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The Empress decided to bought the villa after the death of graf Orlov and gave it as a gift to her son Pavel Petrovich, who became later the Empreror Pavel 1. He changed the look of the villa and it started to look like a real camp. Pavel 1 asked an achitect Vinchencco Brenno to change the look of the Palace, to make it look like a middleaged castle with bridges and bastions.

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Instead of the field in front of the Palace appeared a military camp.There were spent marches by armies and taught soldiers and officers of Prussian army. Gathina started to be called a city officilally and even got its own emblem in 1796, when Pavel 1 became an Emperor. Since then the Palace got the functions of Emperor residence. After the death of Pavel there were no changes in a city, and in 1851 a monument to Peter 1 was located on the square in front of the Palace.

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In russian history of aviation Gatchina played an important role, here was opened the first air school and aeroclub, and on the military field aeromen showed their first flights.

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The architectural territory of Gatchina was not robbed after the October Revolution as it happened to many other historical places, later there was opened a museum. With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War many works of art from an artistic gallery of the Paalce were removed and brought abroad. In 1941 german army occupied its territories and the city was ruined, the Palace was destroyed,trees damages and pavillions were ruined with explosions.

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The reconstructionstarted after the war and lasted for many years, so the park and the palace were opened visiting again only in 1985.So after the Great Patriotic war the Palace became a museum where were gathered for more than 54.000 precious exhibits. It was possible to save 5th half of all the exhibits during the war with the help of museums workers.The Palace suffered a lot from bombing and the inner decoration was almost entirely ruined.

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Gathin’s gardens and picturesque parks are represented by its projects and rich with its flora, beuatiful kinds of trees. There are bridges, terraces, effective stone stairs, pavillion with an Eagle symbol on the Long Island, Venus pavillion on the island of Love, Wood orangery, Poultry house, Birch and Admiralty gates.

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Prioratskiy Palace is also unique with its look and architecture. It reminds a middleaged castle. In 1971- 1975 a unique Birch House was built in Gatchina, by its look it reminds a huge stack of wood. The main peculiarities of Gatchina represent parks and basins – White and  Silver lakes, Karpin Pond and its islands.

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At the presence of Alexander 2, Alexander 3 and Nikolay 2 till 1917 Gatchina was their favourite place of hunting. At the beginning of 20th century Gatchcna became a country villa and became a favoutrite place of rest for citizens of St.Petersburg. Later there developed social life, started to work organizations and societies, was opened the first theatre.

In the city appeared cars with high speed that moved on the lit streets, and in the sky appeared first military aeroplanes.

That is how citizens of Gatchina became the first spectators of new technologies in the 20th century.

The Field of Mars

The Field of Mars

The Field of Mars is the greatest memorial park in the center of St. Petersburg which occupies almost 90 thousand square meters. Majestic panorama of spacious square with a monument in honor of victims of the revolution ends with the Summer Garden in the South, the Michael Garden in the East, and Suvorov Square and Neva River in the North. The field originates in first years of the city itself.

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In the beginning of the 18th century there was a swamp in place of today’s Field of Mars. Actually, the field received its contemporary name in 1805 for the first time. During a period of 1711-1716 the territory was used for holding of holidays, military festivals and marches. Lots of holidays were accompanied with fireworks that used to be called “poteshniye ogni” that is why the field was called the Poteshnoe Field. Under Catherine I the Great it was called “Caryzin Loug” (empress grassland) because her summer palace was placed there at that time. In 1805 a statue of famous Russian general Suvorov was set on the land and the field was named the Field of Mars. Some historians believe that it was called so because the statue depicted Suvorov wearing armor of an ancient war god Mars. In 1917 the fallen of February and October revolutionary actions were buried in the field. A year later it was renamed again in honor of the dead. The Mars Field turned into the Revolution square and a well-known memorial “Borzam Revoluzii” (in honor of fighters of the revolution). In 1942 during the time of the siege of the Second World Two the field was completely covered with vegetable gardens. At the end of the siege in 1944 the field was given its contemporary name. On November 6 of 1957 the first Eternal fire in the USSR was lighted in the center of the memorial “Borzam Revoluzii”.

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The mars field is an integral part of St. Petersburg which carries the spirit of history and traditions of the city.

Tauride Garden

Tauride Garden

The Tauride Garden came into existence along with the Tauride Palace, which was built in 1783-1789. This architectural complex became a memorial in honor of Russia’s victories in various wars at the end of the 18th century.

The garden was planned and designed by an English gardener William Gould. In place of Samoroyka River builders dug two ponds that were connected by canals with each other. The ponds were filled with water from the Ligovskiy Channel and fish.

Neva River

In the South part of the big pond two islands were created and one of them was planted with trees. In the North a high hill was built with ground that was left after the digging. The islands were connected by two bridges, one of which was made by Ivan Kulibin. He designed this bridge earlier for Neva River but it wasn’t mounted then, so Kulibin used the same construction but ten times smaller for the garden (in 1816 it was dismantled in order to free a way for water transport).

Tauride Palace

At the second half of the 19th century the Tauride Garden was opened for public. A little bit later during winters a skating-rink and slides were frequently visited by citizens. At the time of the Second World War plenty of bombs were dropped on the streets of St. Petersburg, the Tauride Garden couldn’t escape. Right after the siege kitchen gardens of children’s hospitals were placed on the territory of the park. Not long after reconstruction works were started under the guidance of Russian architect D. Goldgor. The process was finished in 1958. Since 1960s the garden was actively used as a place for organization of children’s leisure, therefore lots of sports classes, various clubs were organized. So, later the park needed the second reconstruction which occurred at the end of the 20th century and lasted 4 years until 2001.

Nowadays Tauride Garden is a historical monument that attracts lots of people every day by its beauty.

Michael Garden

 

Michael Garden

The Michael Garden is one of the most beautiful parks of St. Petersburg which occupies almost a hundred square meters of land. It’s always calm and quiet in spite of the fact that the garden is rather close to one of the main arteries of the city Nevskiy Avenue and also there is another thoroughfare Sadovaya Street. The secret is in location of the park. It is segregated from noisy streets by the Russian Museum, the largest museum of Russian art in the World.

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The Michael garden arose at the same time with the Summer Garden and in the beginning of the 17th century people called it the 3rd summer garden. In place of current Rossi’s Pavilion there was not great Ekaterininskiy Palace, the building with a golden spire on the top. In some historical document this building is written as “Zolotyie Horomy” (Golden Mansion). The Palace itself was luxurious but a layout of the garden was rather simple and was similar to Moscow’s estates of the 17th century that distinguished with its gardens. Apple and other fruit trees were planted; greenhouses, stables, warehouses and many other buildings were built. A big fountain which was placed in front of the main facade was decorated with gold-filled bas-relief, vases and marble statues.

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Dominant figure in the whole architectural complex is the Michael Palace, one of the best creations of the architect. The main facade has a colonnade which rises up to the second floor. 12-column loggia is crowned with an attic which includes a sculptural group. Architects declined the idea of straight paths and made them meandering, instead of balanced ponds they create ponds with natural coasts, as a result the garden looked like a landscape.

At the present, the Michael garden changed its meaning completely. Originally it was planned to be a residence of the Emperor but now it is a rest place for people and a memorial of landscape architecture