My dear travelers, welcome to the Mr.M blog. I sincerely hope that you are well and that you are ready to spend this weekend with me in St. Petersburg well known also as Sankt-Peterburg or Leningrad. We will agree later on how we will call this beautiful golden city, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia, while for some people it is also the most beautiful city in the world!
When I announced on social media channels on the day of my departure for Russia that I was on my way to the tsarist Russian empire, most people were shocked where I plan to go to snowy Russia in the middle of winter at minus 20 degrees. My hosts from the Tourist Board of the city of St. Petersburg sent an interesting invitation where they briefly evoked the winter magic in this imperial city. My desire for adventure, as well as my suitcase that craved airport tracks with the first dose of the vaccine received, I decided to embark on a new unusual adventure!
St. Petersburg, formerly known as Sankt-Peterburg, and later as Leningrad, is the second largest city in Russia. The city is located on the banks of the Neva River, at the very top of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. This imperial city today has about 6 million inhabitants.
Interesting information that St. Petersburg is the fourth most populous city in Europe, and at the same time the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, as well as the northernmost city in the world with over a million inhabitants. St. Petersburg is considered one of the most important Russian ports in the Baltic Sea.
The city was founded by Emperor Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century on the site of a occupied Swedish fortress, and was named after the apostle St. Peter. St. Petersburg is historically and culturally connected with the birth of the Russian Empire and Russia’s entry into modern history as one of the greatest European powers.
It served as the capital of the Russian Empire during the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century (replaced by Moscow for a short period between 1728 and 1730). After the Great October Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks moved their government to Moscow.
St. Petersburg is known as the “Cultural Capital of Russia” and today is considered an important economic, scientific, cultural and tourist center of today’s Russia and Europe. The historical core (old part of the city) of St. Petersburg and related groups of monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
St. Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world, the center of Lakhta (Gazprom Tower), the tallest skyscraper in Europe and was one of the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
As you are used to, I always try to look back at the history of the creation and development of a city. According to the interpretations of the first written documents on the territory of modern St. Petersburg, the first human settlement can be traced back to the time of the last melting of the glacier that covered this territory.
About 12,000 years ago, the ice receded, and people went further north because of the ice. Data on the Slavs are known from the 8th to the 9th century. They were engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting and fishing and carried out armed attacks on other peoples. At the beginning of the 9th century, these lands became part of the Old Russian state, forming part of the territory of Veliky Novgorod called Vodskaya Pyatina, the area on the right along the Neva was called the Karelian Land, on the left – the Izhora Land.
As a result of the defeat in the war with Sweden due to the Stolbov Peace Treaty in 1617, the territories along the Neva River became part of Swedish Ingermanland, whose trade and administrative center was the city of Nien near the Nienskans fortress, built in 1611 on the Landskrona site.
As a result of the Northern War of 1700-1721, the Neva River Valley was conquered by Sweden and became part of the Russian Empire under the Nishtat Peace Treaty. At the beginning of the 18th century, at the mouth of the Neva, not far from Nien, the city of St. Petersburg was founded.
In the first quarter of the 18th century, the name was written as San (k) t-Peter-Burh. When the city was built, no special act was adopted defining the name of the city, but in the letters of Peter I and the official newspaper Vedomosti, the name “San (k) t-Peter-Burh” is almost always mentioned in accordance with the Dutch version. St. Pieter Burch). The spelling “St. Petersburg” was first recorded in the newspaper “Vedomosti” in July 1724.
In the first ten years of its existence, the main part of the city was the City Island (modern Petrogradski Island), there were Gostinji Dvor, Trinity Church, many service buildings, craft settlements and military units. The first industrial company was the Admiralty shipyard, where the Galija shipyard, the Winter Palace and the Summer Palace of Peter I with the Summer Garden were later built.
Peter and Paul Fortress (St. Petersburg Fortress) is the oldest architectural monument in St. Petersburg. Located on the island of Hare, the historic heart of the city. It was never used in any battle, and from the first quarter of the 18th century until the beginning of the 1920s, it served as a prison. Since 1924, this fortification has been turned into a state museum.
The Peter and Paul Fortress is a monument of Russian architecture, on which numerous architects worked. The modern fortress houses numerous architectural monuments and museums: the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, the tomb of the Grand Duke, the Botan House, the Commander’s House, the Engineering House, the Mint, the Museum of the History of Technology.
The fortress belongs to the historical part of St. Petersburg and, together with the complex of monuments, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The model of the fortress of Peter and Paul has become a symbol of the city and occupies a key place in its panorama. From 1873, an artillery signal shot was fired from Naryshkin’s bastion of the fortress every day at 12 o’clock, which was not carried out from 1934 to 1953.
It is a historical symbol of the city together with an angel on the tower of the Cathedral of Peter and Paul together with a boat on the tower of the Admiralty and a monument to the Bronze Horseman.
The Cathedral of Peter and Paul is an architectural monument, the tomb of the Russian imperial house of the Romanovs. The wooden church of Peter and Paul appeared on this site in 1703. In its place, 1712-1733, according to the project of the architect Trezzini, a stone cathedral was built in the style of the early Russian Baroque.
In the middle of 1756, due to a fire, the wooden tower, the roof and the upper layers of the bell tower burned down. The building was renovated until 1780, with some minor architectural changes to the plan. After the fire, a great storm occurred which tilted the cross and tore off the image of an angel from the cross.
The bell tower is 122.5 meters high. A bell clock has been placed on the bell tower since 1776. From 1708, the burial of members of the Romanov family began in the Cathedral of Peter and Paul. At the beginning of March 1725, the coffin with the body of Emperor Peter I was placed in a temporary wooden chapel, and in 1731 it was buried again in the iconostasis of the cathedral. During the 18th century, until the beginning of the 20th century, all the emperors and empresses of the Russian Empire were buried in the cathedral, with the exception of John VI and Peter II. In 1998, the last Tsar Nicholas II was buried in Catherine’s Palace.
During 1918, church services in the church were stopped and all church valuables were confiscated. Currently, the cathedral is under the jurisdiction of the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a cultural center of world importance, it is often called the “Cultural Capital” of Russia. The city has over 8000 places of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments), including 4000 places of cultural heritage of federal significance, which is almost 10% of all monuments that the state protects on the territory of the Russian Federation.
There are over 200 museums and their branches (including the Hermitage (about three million works of art and monuments of world culture), the Russian Museum (the largest museum of Russian art), the Central Maritime Museum, the Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, the Museum of Modern Art and Sculpture, St. Petersburg History Museum). , Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of Peter the Great (Kunstkamera), museums-palaces and parks Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, art Pushkinskaya 10 Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta, Sverdlovsk Museum of AS Pushkin, Museum of Defense and Siege of Leningrad and others, exhibition complex Lenekpo.
There are more than 70 theaters in St. Petersburg, including the Mariinsky Theater, the Alexandria Theater, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Bolshoi Drama Theater named after GA Tovstonogov, the St. Petersburg Academic Comedy Theater named after NP Akimov, the Small Drama Theater (Europe Theater), the Lensovet Academic Theater, the Baltic House , VF Komissarzhevskaya Academic Drama Theater, Litsedei Clovneri Theater, St. Petersburg Bolshoi State Circus and many others).
Da li ste znali da je Sankt Petersburg dom više od 1000 biblioteka (najveće među njima su Ruska nacionalna biblioteka (javna), Biblioteka Ruske akademije nauka, Predsednička biblioteka Borisa Jeljcina).
Sankt Petersburg je kulturna prestonica Rusije i Evrope, bez obzira na period godine kada se odlučite da posetite grad imaćete priliku da uživate u raznim kulturnim i umetničkim manifestacijama.
When we finished with the most important sights and getting to know the city, my hosts from the tourist organization sent me a nice form, what would I like to see in St. Petersburg? The list included botanical gardens and aquariums. Since I haven’t visited aquariums for a long time, I decided to visit the St. Petersburg Oceanarium.
“Oceanarium” is a kind of “underwater museum” with living exhibits – the inhabitants of the aquatic environment. It is located in the shopping and entertainment complex “Planet Neptune” in St. Petersburg.
The total area of the Oceanarium is about 5000 square meters. There are 59 aquariums, and the largest aquarium has an underwater tunnel 35 meters long. The unique exhibition of the Oceanarium allows you to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world because more than 2,000 specimens of freshwater and marine fish, aquatic invertebrates and mammals live here.
Here you can spend a few hours observing the inhabitants of the underwater world. Colorful fish, frogs, graceful sharks will calm you with cheerfulness, and clumsy seals and curious faces of Asian otters will make you laugh to tears!
Every visitor can not only dive into the atmosphere of the underwater world, but also become a spectator of interesting “shows” in which the actors are sharks, numerous fish and seals. Performances with these amazing residents are held every day except Monday.
After the adventure I had in the wilderness of the underwater world, the tourist organization prepared a surprise for me, so we just went a little further from St. Petersburg, where we had the opportunity to hang out with unusual inhabitants of this part of the country – European Bison (Wisent).
Zubrovnik Park, a nature reserve located near St. Petersburg, you can enjoy nature, winter sports and socializing with European bison.
The “Zubrovnik” family vacation and ecotourism park is one of the largest suburban complexes in terms of area and the only facility in the Leningrad region specialized in ecotourism.
Zubrovnik Park can provide you with interesting walks and excursions to beautiful places, contact with the wild and leave an incredible impression that you will remember for a long time.
The Wisent or European bison is a European type of cattle (Bovini). Wisents were found in the primeval forests of western, central and south-eastern Europe until the early Middle Ages. Their habitat are temperate deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests.
Wisents are herd animals, but only to be found in small groups depending on their habitat. Typical herds include 12 to 20 animals and consist of cows and young animals. Sexually mature bulls only stay with the herds during the rutting season. The outwardly similar American bison (Bos bison) can be crossed with the bison without restriction.
In addition to getting to know the bison, I had the opportunity to feel the adrenaline and be in contact with nature while riding a snowmobile where you have organized tours. A unique experience, I have to admit that it is one of the more extreme things I have done in my life so far.
Believe me, you don’t even notice the cold over time, for the first 3 days I couldn’t imagine spending more than 5 hours outside, but after that my body got used to the environment and I easily spent a few hours outdoors and in nature. It is amazing how quickly a person gets used to the weather conditions in Russia. The immunity of the Russians is good and they are one of the healthiest nations in Europe.
My dear travelers, we have reached the end of this special post from Russia, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Tourist Board of St. Petersburg, an institution that allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of the former tsarist Russian capital and share my impressions of this unusual city. The Baltic Sea on the banks of the Neva River. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the national Russian airline Aeroflot for the wonderful trip.
Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global COVID-19 health crisis.
I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the very top in the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to feel the beauty, culture, spirit and hospitality of tsarist Russia in a completely different way.
How did you like this story of mine about St. Petersburg? Have you had the opportunity to visit this city in Russia so far?
If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.
With love from St. Petersburg,