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Author Topic: St Petersburg Leningrad Ленингра́д Санкт-Петербу́рг Petrograd Петрогра́д ́  (Read 16401 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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St Petersburg, Russia's "Northern Capital"

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"Petergrad" or "Peter" was created in 1703 to be the window on Europe that Peter the Great so passionally wanted.  It was also a way to cement Russia's claims over a territory won from Sweden.  St Petersburg accomplishes the  idea of a capital which represented Russian heritage but with a distinctly European outlook.

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Considered as the cultural heart of modern day Russia, St. Petersburg is truly one of the Great Cities of Europe.  Built literally from the swamp, visitors often call this beautiful city a "Northern Venice".  Perhaps such another will not be found anywhere in the world.  "Sons" Sankt Petrburg include the writers Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Goncharov, Lermontov, Fet, and Griboedov.  Art of pure genius has been created by such artists as Brullov, Repin, Shishkin, and Malevich.  Monumental masters like Rastrelly, Montferrand, Rossi created their best monuments here in St. Petersburg.

Petergrad is filled with classical living monuments as St. Isaac's Cathedral, Kazan's Cathedral, Peter and Paul's Fortress, the Admiralty, Russia's Hermitage, and Smolniy Cathedral and was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713-1728, 1732-1918).  It is Russia's second largest and Europe's fourth largest city (by city limit) after Moscow, London and Paris. 4.6 million people live in the city, and over 6 million people live in the city's vicinity.

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Wikipedia describes it this way:  Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг), Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: [sankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk]) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Sankt-Piter-Burh (Са́нкт-Питер-Бу́рх, 1703), Petrograd (Петрогра́д, 1914–1924) and Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991). It is informally known as Piter (Пи́тер).

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Video Presentations:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/tfu6W_hLFcg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/tfu6W_hLFcg</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/oWuT2ZfvJTE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/oWuT2ZfvJTE</a>
   

Offline mendeleyev

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This is the city where Bolsheviks stormed the czar's Winter Palace in October 1917, bringing Communism to power in Russia. This is the city, then known as Leningrad, that heroically survived the famous 900-day German siege during World War II.

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Sitting astride the Baltic Sea, St Petersburg is a city of extremes. Its magnificent architecture is astounding, but decay and dilapidation are constant threats, and city officials have embarked on a never-ending restoration program to restore the city to its greatness.

Peter built the city using raw labour from Russian serfs and Sweden's prisoners of war.  The comfortable life of the tsars depended on the abject poverty and squalor of serfs and peasants. Today, the newly rich, in their designer clothes, pass tattered beggars on the streets and slowly but surely the middle class is growing to close the bridge between the classes.

Petrograd is a city of extremes and that includes the weather.  Freezing cold in the northern winter where the rivers and canals freeze in the depths of winter, but in midsummer all of Petersburg stays outdoors to enjoy the White Nights of this northern latitude where the light is never quite extinguished.

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(Map:  NY Times)



Video Presentation:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/M8jkooWE2Xs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/M8jkooWE2Xs</a>
   

Offline mendeleyev

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Things to See/Do in St Petersburg:

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The Hermitage Museum/The Winter Palace: is Saint Petersburg's prime attraction and truly one of the world's great museums.  To see all the exhibits inside this one palace would require approximately 36 hours.  Ticketing is complex, but the Hermitage itself is 100 rubles for Russians and 350 rubles for foreigners. Students of all nationalities get in for free with a student card with photo.  Entrance is free on the first Thursday of every month. Bags aren't allowed in the museum and all bags and coats must be checked.  If you take a camera, and you should, you will need a photo ticket in order to use your camera.   

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The State Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva, right in the heart of St Petersburg. The leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars that was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-62. This ensemble, formed in the 18th and 19th centuries, is extended by the eastern wing of the General Staff building, the Menshikov Palace and the recently constructed Repository.

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Put together throughout two centuries and a half, the Hermitage collections of works of art (over 3,000,000 items) present the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Today the Museum is creating its digital self-portrait to be displayed around the world. Computer technologies enable the State Hermitage Museum to provide people from all over the world with wider access to information about the Museum and its treasures.

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Advice for foreigners visiting the Winter Palace/Hermitage Museum: Find a tour group. This may have changed, call the museum ahead of time to find out.: They're 200 rubles instead of 350, and include the photography fee.

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The size of many of the rooms and the ornate detailing is breathtaking.

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Today the Winter Palace, together with four more buildings arranged side by side along the river embankment, houses the extensive collections of the Hermitage.

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The Hermitage Museum is the largest art gallery in Russia and is among the largest and most respected art museums in the world.

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Video Presentations:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/3Ls6NbwQB6U" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/3Ls6NbwQB6U</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zb7S65LoTXM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zb7S65LoTXM</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/GIO4HIAIIJk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/GIO4HIAIIJk</a>



Offline mendeleyev

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The Mikhail Palace: 

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Another great art museum in St. Petersburg.  St. Michael's Castle (Михайловский замок), also called the Mikhailovsky Castle or the Engineer Castle (Инженерный замок), is a former royal residence in the historic centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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St. Michael's Castle was built as a residence for Emperor Paul I by architects Vincenzo Brenna and Vasili Bazhenov in 1797-1801. The castle looks different from each side, as the architects used the motifs of various architectural styles such as French Classicism, Italian Renaissance and Gothic.

According to Wikipedia, St. Michael's Castle was built to the south of the Summer Garden and replaced a small wooden palace of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. Afraid of intrigues and assassination plots, Emperor Paul I didn't like the Winter Palace where he never felt safe. Due to his personal interest in Medieval knights and his constant fear of assassination, the new royal residence was built like a castle with rounded corners in which a small octagonal courtyard is located. The castle was surrounded by the waters of the Moika River, the Fontanka River and two specially dug canals (the Church Canal and the Sunday Canal), transforming the castle area into an artificial island which could only be reached by drawbridges.

Construction began on 26 February (N.S. 9 March), 1797 and the castle was solemnly consecrated on 8 November 1800, i.e. on St. Michael's Day according to the Eastern Orthodoxy, though works on its internal furnishing proceeded until March 1801. In 1800, the bronze equestrian Monument to Peter the Great was erected in front of the castle.

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Ironically, Paul I was assassinated only 40 nights after he moved into his newly built castle. He was murdered on 12 March 1801, in his own bedroom, by a group of dismissed officers headed by General Bennigsen. The conspirators forced him to a table, and tried to compel him to sign his abdication. Paul offered some resistance, and one of the assassins struck him with a sword, and he was then strangled and trampled to death. He was succeeded by his son, the Emperor Alexander I, who was actually in the palace, and to whom general Nicholas Zubov, one of the assassins, announced his accession.

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After Paul's death, the imperial family returned to the Winter Palace; St. Michael's Castle was abandoned and in 1819 was given to the army's Main Engineering School (later to become the Nikolayevskaya Engineering Academy). Since then the building has been called the Engineer Castle.

The Mikhailovsky Castle was the first building to be erected on the site that was to become Arts Square. The castle was built farther up the bank and inland than the Winter Palace and the Admiralty. Paul I was a ruler who did not really endear himself to his subjects and government ministers. His first acts of power were to thwart the progress and reforms of Catherine II, his mother. He freed the "political prisoners," people he felt who were unjustly imprisoned by Catherine's reforms, and instituted a reign of terror by ruling by emotion and whim.

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The Palace decoration included tapestries, paintings, sculptures, and wood-carving.  The first foundation stone was laid in February 1797. The work on the castle continued uninterrupted day and night until its completion in 1800; the builders used torches when it became too dark to see.  The central courtyard is octagonal in shape and most of the rooms of the castle face into it. The entire castle was painted red, Paul's favorite color, perhaps a portent for the future.


Video Presentation:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/DMRaHlk7ASc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/DMRaHlk7ASc</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/XHcqkrbEwPM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/XHcqkrbEwPM</a>

Offline mendeleyev

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The Admiralty, located in the area of Admiralteyskaya. You can't go inside, but the facade is nice.  Located across the street from the Hermitage, the original Admiralty was one of the first structures to be built in St Petersburg. It was designed to be a dockyard, where some of the first ships of Russia's Baltic fleet were built (some with the participation of Tsar Peter himself who, was an expert in shipbuilding). The Admiralty was also fortified to be an extra defense for the newly acquired territory of the Neva delta.

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Wikipedia:  Admiralty Board (Адмиралтейств-коллегия) was the supreme body for the administration of the Imperial Russian Navy in the Russian Empire, established by Peter the Great on December 12, 1718.  The responsibilities of the Admiralty Board had been changing throughout its history. It supervised the construction of military ships, ports, harbors, and canals and administered Admiralty Shipyard. The Admiralty Board was also in charge of naval armaments and equipment, preparation of naval officers etc.

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Shipbuilding in the Admiralty went on till 1844. Later only some departments concerned with the Navy remained in the building, and since 1925 the Admiralty houses the Higher Naval Engineering School.

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Central Navy Museum - founded by Peter the Great.  This is the museum which tells the story of the Russian Navy and it's history.  Visitors enter the museum through a small side door that faces the Hermitage.

Address:   Birzhevaya Ploschad 4
Metro: Vasileostrovskaya or Nevsky Prospekt
Telephone: +7 (812) 328-2501
Open: 10:30 am to 4:45 pm
Closed: Monday, Tuesday, and the last Thursday of the month

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Video Presentation: An interesting 105 minute tour of SP!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/2ItZFNegL80" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/2ItZFNegL80</a>
             
 

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St Petersburg Rivers and Bridges


The bridges on the Neva River open 2 times per night to allow boats to pass.

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It is such a beautiful sight at night!

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The longest bridge in St. Petersburg is Alexander Nevsky Bridge (Most Aleksandra Nevskovo) - 2971' 5'' (905.7 meters) long.

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The widest bridge in St. Petersburg (and in the world) is the Blue Bridge (Siniy Most) - 319' 2'' ( 97.3 meters) wide.

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The narrowest bridge in St. Petersburg (excluding bridges in parks and gardens) is the Bank Bridge (Bankovskii Most) - only 6' 1'' (1.85 meters) wide.

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The first permanent bridge across the mighty Neva River is currently called the Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge (Most Leitenanta Schmidta) and was built in 1842-1850.  It was the first bridge to unite the banks of the Neva River and the first bridge on the course from the Gulf of Finland to the center of the Northern Capital.

When opened in July 1826, the Lions Bridge was an innovation, because its support was hidden in the metal bodies of the four white cast-iron lions which stand in majestic pairs at each end of the bridge.

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The Moika River (Мойка) is a small (5 km long, 40 m wide) river which encircles the Saint Petersburg downtown, effectively making it an island. The river, originally known as Mya, derives its name from the Finnish word for "slush, mire".

The river flows from the Fontanka River near the Summer Garden past the Field of Mars, crosses Nevsky Prospekt and the Kryukov Canal before entering the Neva River. It is also connected with the Neva by the Swan Channel and the Winter Channel.

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In 1711, Peter the Great ordered the banks of the river to be consolidated. After the Kryukov Canal linked it with the Fontanka River four years later, the Moika became so much clearer that its name was changed from Mya to Moika, associated with the Russian verb "to wash".

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In 1736, the first Moika quay was constructed in wood. Four bridges originally spanned the river: the Blue, the Green, the Yellow, and the Red. The 99-meter-wide Blue Bridge, now hardly visible underneath St Isaac's Square, remains the widest bridge in the whole city.

Among the magnificent 18th-century edifices lining the Moika quay are Stroganov Palace, Razumovsky Palace, Yusupov Palace, New Holland Arch, Circular Market, St. Michael's Castle, and the last accommodation and museum of Alexander Pushkin.

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In 1798, work started to construct a stately embankment faced with red granite and adorned with ornate railings. After construction works were completed in 1811, it was discovered that the water of the river became so muddy that its use for cooking has been officially forbidden ever since.

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More St Petersburg Rivers and Bridges

Wikipedia:  The Neva (Нева́) is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast (historical region of Ingria) and the city of Saint Petersburg to the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length, it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge (after the Volga and the Danube).

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Water is important to transportation in St Petersburg. 

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Saint-Petersburg's bridges are an integral part of its panorama. It is impossible to imagine St. Petersburg without its bridges: one might just as well try to visualize New York without its skyscrapers or Egypt without its pyramids.  The next two photos are of the bridge across the Okhta river which is called the Okhtinskiy Bridge or sometimes the Okhtinskaya bridge (as in the name of the Okhtinskaya hotel).

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This next photo is of the Trinity Bridge:

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"It was a swamp before, it is a swamp today.  If you are studying the Russian disease (culture), you must live in the Russian swamp (Petrograd)."  Author John le Carre'

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Video Presentations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAvt6QKiKNc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsHTbwWk-ao

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Yusupov's Palace

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Today it is an elegant museum to the greatness of Russia's past.  But in 1916 this grand place was the scene of a murder.  It was the murder of Grigory Rasputin.

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Its such a quiet place along the Moika River and upon which stands a long yellow building, once the residence of the wealthy and respected Yusupov family and which saw one of the most dramatic episodes in Russia's history. In 1916 a group of the city's noble elite, including one of the Grand Dukes and led by the prominent anglophile Prince Felix Yusupov, conspired to kill the one who they felt threatened the stability of an already war-torn Russian Empire.

They dumped his body in the frozen river.

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The colonnaded building was acquired in 1830 by the aristocratic Yusupov family to house their magnificent collection of paintings. 

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The cellar contains an exhibition with wax figures on the notorius "mad monk" Grigoriy Rasputin, who was murdered there in 1916 by Prince Felix Yusupov.  (You'll need to buy a separate ticket for the Rasputin exhibit.)

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The museum's collection represents some of the finest art from across Russian periods.

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Video Presentations:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zJlNoZiHm0A" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zJlNoZiHm0A</a>


       

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Sankt Peterburg is home to some of the most beautiful churches

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Many of them are famous historical landmarks.  But a handful of churches have earned special recognition over the years.  And the two churches in St Peterburg which receive the most attention are the Church on the Spilled Blood and the equally significant St Isaac's Cathedral. 

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The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (Храм Спаса на Крови) is one of the main Russian Orthodox churches of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also variously called the Church on Spilt Blood and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Собор Воскресения Христова), its official name.

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Also known as the Resurrection Church of Our Saviour, the Church on the Spilled Blood was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assasinated on March 1, 1881. 

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After assuming power in 1855 in the wake of Russia’s disastrous defeat in the Crimean war against Britain, France and Turkey, Alexander II initiated a number of reforms. In 1861 he freed the Russian serfs (peasants, who were almost enslaved to their owners) from their ties to their masters and undertook a rigorous program of military, judicial and urban reforms, never before attempted in Russia.

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During the second half of his reign Alexander II grew wary of the dangers of his system of reforms, having only barely survived a series of attempts on his life, including an explosion in the Winter Palace and the derailment of a train. Alexander II was finally assassinated in 1881 by a group of revolutionaries, who threw a bomb at his royal carriage.

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During the Great Patriotric War the Soviet government used the Church as storage for weapons.  After the war it was used, unbelievably, as a garbage collection center.  Then later it was converted into storage for a public theatre and performing arts committee.  Today after the rightful discrediting of the communist lunacy, the Church has been restored and it now a state museum.

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Video Presentations:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-65xmNjC9Nc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/-65xmNjC9Nc</a>


Offline mendeleyev

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Saint Isaac's Cathedral, St Petersburg is one of the most beautiful and special churches in all of Russia. 

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Saint Isaac's Cathedral (Исаа́киевский Собо́р) in Saint Petersburg, Russia is the largest cathedral (sobor) in the city and was the largest church in Russia when it was built (101.5 meters high). It was dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great who had been born on the feast day of that saint.

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The dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg and its gilded cupola can be seen glistening from all over the city. You can climb up the 300 or so steps to the observation walkway at the base of the cathedral’s dome and enjoy the breathtaking views over the city.

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The cathedral can accommodate 14,000 worshipers but is held by the state as a museum and services are held only on significant church holidays.

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During the October revolution and following, many churches were looted and/or destroyed.  Leading the ruthless destruction of Russia's historic religious heritage was Vladimir Lenin who said that "without ruthless confiscation, we can not even start thinking about any economic means, any state work, any upholding of our position in Genoa. The process against should end with the execution of a very large number of reactionary bourgeoisie and clergy.”

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As a result cathedrals were vandalized, there were thousands upon thousands of victims, much of the Russian cultural heritage and religious loci were destroyed. Only in Petrograd alone, more than 3 poods of gold 665 poods and 16 pounds of silver, 1028 of diamonds and 366 jewels were confiscated from churches. About 3 poods of gold, 140 poods of silver and about 800 jewels, i.e. the most part of what was confiscated in city cathedrals was taken from St. Isaac’s Cathedral.  The church articles were priced according to their weight, therefore the majority of unique pieces of art were lost forever.

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In the year 1809 Emperor Alexander I announced an architectural competition for the design of a new cathedral in St. Petersburg, which after its completion (some 49 years later), St Isaacs became the main cathedral of the Russian Empire from 1858 until its downfall in 1917.

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One of the best videos on St Isaac's Church: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agx6_bcI2oo

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The Menshikov Palace: St Petersburg

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A good friend of Peter the Great's, Alexander Menshikov built this large palace on Vasilievsky Island in 1710, and lived there unitl 1727, when (after Peter's death), he was accused of treason and exiled.  Once the most luxurious residence in the city (superior even to Peter's Summer Palace), Menshikov Palace is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city.

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An art museum today, the palace combines both traditionally Russian and new, imported, methods and forms, incorporating all the latest achievements in construction and art of the era.

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Saints Peter and Paul Fortress

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(Wikipedia:) The Peter and Paul Fortress (Петропа́вловская кре́пость, also Fortress of SS Peter and Paul) is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded in 1703.

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The fortress contains a number of buildings including the Peter and Paul Cathedral, where all Russian tsars from Peter I to Alexander III are interred; the remains of the Imperial martyrs, Nicholas II and his family and entourage, were also interred there, in the side St.Catherine's Chapel, on the 80th anniversary of their deaths, July 17, 1998. Towards the end of 2006, the remains of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, mother of the murdered Nicholas II, who died in 1928 were brought from Roskilde Cathedral outside Copenhagen, Denmark to finally rest next to her husband, Alexander III.

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From around 1720 the fort served as a base for the city garrison and also as a prison for high ranking or political prisoners. The Trubetskoy bastion, built in the 1870s, became the main prison block. The Cathedral was built from 1712 to 1733, and has a 123.2 m bell-tower and a gilded angel-topped cupola.

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During 1917, it was attacked by mutinous soldiers of the Pavlovskii regiment on February 27 (J) and the prisoners were freed. Under the Provisional Government hundreds of Tsarist officials were held in the Fortress, for their protection from the angry people. So many officials were held that the Fortress was filled and the rest had to be taken to the Mikhailovskii Manege. The Tsar was threatened with being incarcerated at the Fortress on his return from Mogilev to Tsarskoe Selo on March 8.  The threat was not followed through and he was placed under house arrest.

On July 4 when the Bolsheviks attempted a putsch the Fortress garrison of 8,000 men declared for the Bolsheviks. They surrendered to government forces without a struggle on July 6.

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On October 25 again the Fortress quickly came into Bolshevik hands. Following the ultimatum from the Petrograd Soviet to the Provisional Government ministers in the Winter Palace, after the blank salvo of the Cruiser Aurora at 21.00, the guns of the Fortress fired thirty or so shells at the Winter Palace. Only two actually hit, inflicting minor damage, and the defenders refused to surrender - at that time. At 02.10 on the morning of October 26 (J) the Winter Palace was taken by forces under Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko, the captured ministers were taken to the Fortress as prisoners.

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The Provisional Government ministers were the last prisoners at the Fortress. In 1924 most of the site was converted to a museum. 

The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, the burial place of Russian royalty, is only a functioning church on special events.  Visitors however are allowed to pray as they tour the museum, however candles are not permitted.

Offline mendeleyev

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Tsarskoye Selo (Ца́рское Село́), translated as "Tsar’s Village" is a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility 24 versts (km) south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin.  Sometimes we think of Tsarskoye Selo as the same as the Summer Palace.  And that is partially true, but a better analogy would be a "housing sub-division" of sorts.  In this case it's a housing sub-division of palaces. 



The Catherine Palace/The Summer Palace

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The Catherine Palace (Екатерининский дворец) is the summer residence of the Russian Tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (home of Pushkin), 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia.  The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia engaged the German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure.

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In 1733 Empress Anna first decided to expand the Catherine Palace.

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Empress Elizabeth followed her mother Empress Anna to the throne, she found her mother's residence outdated and in May 1756 asked her court architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli to demolish the old structure and replace it with a much grander edifice in a flamboyant Rococo style.

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Catherine II, called Catherine the Great (Екатерина II Великая) reigned as Empress of Russia for 34 years until her death in 1762. She exemplifies the enlightened despot of her era.

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Construction lasted for four years and on 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress, her dazed courtiers and stupefied foreign ambassadors.

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Tsarskoe Selo is also associated with Russia’s greatest poet Alexander Pushkin, who studied in the town’s Lyceum from 1811 to 1817. Here, in Tsarskoe Selo, Pushkin’s presence can be felt everywhere: in the beautiful Tsarskoe Selo Park where the young poet used to wonder, in the town to which Pushkin dedicated so many of his famous verses, and in the building of the Lyceum itself, which currently houses a memorial museum.

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During the Second World War many glorious monuments suffered badly. Park pavilions, bridges and water systems were completely destroyed by the Nazis. Many century-old trees were chopped down. Bolshoy Catherine Palace and Alexander Palace were completely looted and badly damaged. When the Nazis were finally driven out of Pushkin, work began on restoration of unique architectural ensemble. Presently, major monuments have been restored and are open for public.

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Currently the Catherine Park is open for visitors year round, except November. From mid May till October the entrance fee is charged from 9:30 to 17:30. During summer time thematic excursions of the park are available. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices by the entrance. For information, call 465-53-08.  The museum also offers a wide range of opportunities on organizing of gala events with cultural programs arranged on park premises.

[ Guests cannot view attachments ] (Mr and Mrs Mendeleyev enjoying January at the "Summer" Palace)


Video Presentations: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JvmUL6DqFY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClqFzeTVzIw

Offline mendeleyev

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Catherine's Palace/The Summer Palace


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Tsarskoye Selo (Ца́рское Село́), translated as "Tsar’s Village" is a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility 24 versts (km) south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin.  Sometimes we think of Tsarskoye Selo as the same as the Summer Palace.  And that is partially true, but a better analogy would be a "housing sub-division" of sorts.  In this case it's a housing sub-division of palaces. 


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Tours of the Palace:  Tsarskoye Selo and Catherine Palace are available daily, except Tuesday.


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The gorgeous gold and blue architecture of the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg is just a taste of this stunning testament to the Tsars' wealth. Also known as the Summer Palace or Tsarskoe Selo (Village of the Tsars), the Catherine Palace is one of the most popular places to visit in St. Petersburg.


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Visitors may tour the idyllic grounds of the Catherine Palace, but may also explore the interior. The palace interior displays typical royal opulence - gold gilt scroll work, floors made of precious woods, and marble staircases.


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Portrait of Peter the Great, the man who put Russia "on the map."


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Catherine's private chapel.


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Summer palace sitting room.


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Catherine's ballroom:


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Offline mendeleyev

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The Alexander Palace, St Petersburg

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The Alexander Palace (Russian: Александровский дворец) is primarily remembered as the favourite residence of the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, and his family. It is situated in the Alexander Park of Tsarskoye Selo, not far from St Petersburg.  Catherine the Great built the palace as a wedding gift for her 17-year-old grandson. The grounds around the palace are fantastic as well, accentuated with statuary, fountains, and thousands of trees.

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The palace is most famous though for the role it played in the reign of the last tsar, Nicholas II. He and his wife Alexandra always loved the palace and decided to make it their permanent residence after the Bloody Sunday which made the Winter Palace odious to them.

During the reign of Nicholas II, the palace was wired for electricity and equipped with a telephone system. In 1899 a hydraulic lift was installed connecting the Empress' suite with the children's rooms on the second floor. Furthermore with the advent of motion pictures, a screening booth was built in the Semicircular Hall to show films.

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Nicholas II abdicated the throne of Russia on March 2, 1917. Thirteen days later he returned to the Alexander Palace not as Emperor of Russia, but as Colonel Romanov. The Imperial Family were now held under house arrest and confined to a few rooms of the palace and watched over by a guard with fixed bayonets.



Great Links:

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/

http://it.stlawu.edu/~rkreuzer/pete5/alexr.htm