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The Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul

architect Vasiliy Kosyakov

There are more than 200 churches and cathedrals in Saint Petersburg including synagogues, kostels and mosques, most of them are orthodox, it stands to reason. You cannot imagine this city without them; the word ‘Saint’ in the name of it does play a role. The Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul is in top ten of the most beautiful.

Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul

The building process was started in 1894 under the guidance of Russian architect Vasiliy Kosyakov and the work was finished in 1904. Its height is about 70 meters; it can seat 800 people under the roof at the same time. The cathedral is surrounded by roofed gallery which has special rooms for consecration of attributes that are used during the Easter. There are a bell gable and a chapel by the main entrance. The doors of the chapel are decorated with arched portal made of blocked stone. The main iconostasis was designed on the same pattern with Grecian, orthodox The St. George church in Venice.

The main iconostasis

The Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul will blow your mind, and impression which you will get after visiting it is never going to fade. It never became a museum and still works as actual place of worship.

St. Petersburg Today

Familiar St.Petersburg

By the end of WWII, Leningrad had pretty much recovered from the consequences of the Siege and raids. Following the Great Victory, the government and city residents continued to sacrifice their lives for the city’s resurrection. Unlike other Soviet cities, Leningrad was restored to its pre-war magnificence. Even completely destroyed buildings, such as the Palace of Peterhof, were reconstructed precisely.

St. Peterburg 2

By the 1970s, the city achieved social and economic stability and became one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. Tourists from the USSR and from abroad, even those from rival countries, flooded the city’s historic blocks, squares, museums, etc.

St. Peterburg 4

From the 1970 through the early 1980s the city’s economy was stable. With the advent of the renowned Perestroika reformist policy, the city began to deal with serious economic problems. In the times of total economic, political and social disintegration, followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union, the city slid into chaos and lawlessness.

St. Peterburg

In 1991, after the city referendum, the city’s Soviet name of Leningrad was changed back to the Germanic St. Petersburg.

St. Peterburg 1

Throughout the 1990s, St. Peterburg was dealing with political instability and notoriously high criminal activity. After the turn of the 21st century, some business areas began to show signs of improvement. By now, the city has attracted a substantial amount of foreign capital. Although most industries are still down, and St. Petersburg is behind Moscow and some other industrial cities economically, the city has obtained its own unique economic climate.  By the 300th anniversary of its foundation, which was celebrated in 2003, St. Petersburg had undergone a significant renovation. Being one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions, it has become no smaller an attraction for both domestic and foreign hotel business.



During World War I (1914-1918), when everything German would grate on every Russian citizen’s mind and ear, the Russian government decided to change the capital’s name from the Germanic St. Petersburg to the Russian Petrograd. The involvement in the protracted war entailed total militarization of national economy, and contributed to its rapid exhaustion and therefore social and political unrest.  By 1916, food supply deteriorated drastically, and the revolutionary process became irreversible. The social disturbance and wartime hardships culminated in the 1917 February Revolution, which ended in the abdication of Nicholas II – the last tsar in the history of Russia.


The situation continued to worsen throughout 1917. The Provisional Government’s ineffective methods resulted in total chaos and discord. On October 25, the socio-democratic Bolshevist party, headed by Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin), overthrew the Provisional Government and arrested most of the ministers. The cruiser Avrora fired a blank shot to signal the storm of the Winter Palace.


Economic collapse and the brewing Civil War forced many city residents to leave Petrograd and settle in the countryside where food was more available. By 1920, Petrograd’s population decreased threefold.


Because the Germans were dangerously close to Petrograd and the national boundary got closer to the city due to the collapse of the Empire, Vladimir Lenin moved the capital to Moscow. Many streets and objects in Petrograd were named after famous revolutionary activists and events. Nevsky Prospekt was named Prospekt of October 25. Palace Named after a famous Communist activist, Palace Square became Uritsky Square.


The New Economic Policy instituted after the Civil War contributed to a relative betterment of the situation, and the city began to recover from the recent social, political and economical upheavals.

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.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum 7

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.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum 6

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.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum 5

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.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum 3

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.


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.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum 1

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


Alexander Garden 2

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.

Alexander Garden 3

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic6

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic3

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic7

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic1

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic8

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic5

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic4

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.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic2

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


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.

summer garden 1

summer garden 3

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.

summer garden

summer garden 2

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.

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.


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.

The Michael Garden 1

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

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg


Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia – is a Slavonic catherdal church that is situated in the very centre of the city. Foresides of the building look on Nevskiy prospect and Griboedov channel. It is one of the largest buildings in Northern capital and its height is 71.5 meters. By its name are called an island in Neva River, a bridge through Nevskiy prospect and Griboedov channel, and a street that goes from the church.

Kazan Cathedral
In 1710 on the Nevskiy prospect near the wood building of the hospital was built a new chapel that later that wood church started to be called Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan. A new stone church was bilt in September of 1733 by the order of the Empress Anna Ioannovna. It was built by the project of Zemtsov and was called Christmassy.

The greatest decoration of the church was a bell in height 58 meters. On 2 july from the Trinity Cathedral arrived an icon of  Lady of Kazan, and the Christmas church started to call by the name of its icon, later this church got the status of a Cathedral, that became the main Cathedral in Northern capital.
At the end of 18th century the building was ruined and it was decided to build a new Cathedral. Pavel 1 wanted this Cathedral to look like the Cathedral of St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome and in 1799 there started a contest for this project.

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg
Graf Stroganov, which residence was near the church suggested the project of young architect Voronihin, his previous bondman. So the project of Andrey Voronihin was approved. In the presence of Alexander 1, was built a new church.Graf Stroganov became responsible for the building which was over in 1811. Voronihin the author of the project was awarded with an order of second level and life-long pension.

In the building of church toll part only Russian masters, most of builders were peasants who gave all their money to their owners. At first they lived in houses in the country and later in barracks. For the decoration of church were used soviet materials such as: marble, granite and limestone.

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg4
Voronihin had the main task, as on the west of teh church should be the entrance and on the east – Holy table, then the church was turned to the Nevskiy prospect by its side. By the decision of teh architect before the north side, there was built a colonnade of 96 columns with height 13 meters, made in a half round. And that is how the north side of the church became front.

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg3
The project was not the whole. By its plan there should be two cononnades from both sides – northern and southern, but it was built only the one norther. So the cononnades should be connected together with a fence and make a square. At the northern side there are 4 bronze sculptures, bronze door are situated at the entrance from the northern side and they are the copy of the Cathedral in Florence.The project was also not finished, there should be two figures at each of the side on the pedestal, figures of archangels Mihail and Gavriil.

The design of the church remains a huge Palace hall, the light that goes through the windows make an impression that the dome is on the huge height.
Actually all the main evwnts in Russian history are connected with the church, this place visited field marshal Kutuzov before he left in the army, here in 1813 arrived his ash, his body was burried in a crypt within the church. Monuments to Kutuzov and Barlay de Tolli were added to the Cathedral, they looked splendid together with sculpture and architecture of the Cathedral.

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg5
Their fugures are depicted in the whole height, on their shoulders they have coats, they were made of bronze by sculptor Orlovskiy.
After the revolution of 1917 from the dome was taken away a cross, and on his place was located a golden ball, later here also opened a museum of Religion history. The look of Lady of Kazan was moved to Kniaz-Vladimirskiy Cathedral.

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg2
The building got several tackles during the blockade of Leningrad, but after the war the Cathedral was rebuilt. Since 1991 Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg was opened again for church services. An icon of Lady of Kazan was returned into Cathedral and a golden cross appeared on the dome again.
To the anniversary of St.Petersburg the Cathedral got the largest casted dome with weight of 4 tonnes and with height more than 2 meters. Nowadays there take place church services.