Mondays Musings

Today was St Petersburg Russia.  We were here for two days  so I am going to break down the days into the tours that we went on.  The first tour was a tour of the city. We had a wonderful guide by the name of Natasha.  Our first stop was the Cathedral of St Issac’s.  We were able to stop and take photos and enjoyed the history .  St. Isaac’s Cathedral was originally the city’s main church and the largest cathedral in Russia. It was built between 1818 and 1858, by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand, to be one of the most impressive landmarks of the Russian Imperial capital. One hundred and eighty years later the gilded dome of St. Isaac’s still dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. Although the cathedral is considerably smaller than the newly rebuilt Church of Christ the Savior in Moscow, it boasts much more impressive fades and interiors.  The cathedral’s facades are decorated with sculptures and massive granite columns (made of single pieces of red granite), while the interior is adorned with incredibly detailed mosaic icons, paintings and columns made of malachite and lapis lazuli. A large, brightly colored stained glass window of the “Resurrected Christ” takes pride of place inside the main altar. The church, designed to accommodate 14,000 standing worshipers, was closed in the early 1930s and reopened as a museum. Today, church services are held here only on major ecclesiastical occasions.

Then we went to the Neva River, and walked along the bridge.  We could see the Fortress of St Peter, and St Paul and the cathedral there.  The first structure to be built in St. Petersburg, and thus the birthplace of the city, it never served its intended defensive function. Instead it has had a rich, hugely varied, and sometimes sinister history as a military base, a home of government departments, the burial ground of the Russian Imperial family, the site of groundbreaking scientific experiments, and a forbidding jail that held some of Russia’s most prominent political prisoners. the last tzar, Nicholas and his family are buried there.

The  Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was another place we stopped. The Church of the Resurrection, also known as the “Savior on Spilled Blood”, was built in memory of Alexander II who was assassinated in 1881. The church stands in the very place where a bomb was thrown into his carriage by a young man who opposed the Tsar’s reforms. The Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood attracts people with its five onion-domes exuberantly decorated and covered with jeweler’s enamel. It has a similar façade to St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow and its peculiar multicolored exterior makes the church stand out from St. Petersburg’s typically strict architectural proportions and color combinations.It took around 24 years to construct such a majestic edifice as the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and, after early Soviet vandalism, 27 years to restore. People would even joke that as soon as the construction trestles outside it were removed, the Soviet Regime would fall.

We then had a chance to walk along the Nevsky Prospekt..  Nevsky Prospekt is St. Petersburg’s main avenue and one of the best-known streets in Russia. Cutting through the historical center of the city, it runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and then, after a slight kink, to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. In the very first days of St. Petersburg it was simply the beginning of the road to the ancient city of Novgorod, but it quickly became adorned with beautiful buildings, squares and bridges and became the very center of the bustling, rapidly growing city. After that Back to the ship for a bit of relaxation.


Cathedral of St Issac


dome on St Issac


main dome


Neva River


The winter Palace and Hermitage


Fortress of ST Peter and St Paul


Church on the savior of the Spilled Blood


Domes from the Church


over the doorway


smaller dome


side of the Church


Well,   that’s all the news from the south,
Happy” farming” to all the farm girl sisters out there.
See you next time down on the farm.


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