To the fortress, for Pete’s sake

Saint Petersburg Travel Blog

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Approaching the spires of Peter & Paul Fortress

Getting to bed at 2:30AM after Scarlet Sails made for a late rising.  We actually started the day by ordering lunch in the hotel restaurant before embarking on the first day’s exploration – many meals were enjoyed here and Vino & Voda earned a review, below.  Today’s target was the island of Petrogradskaya and its main feature: the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Our march began by crossing the Neva on the Liteiny Bridge and hanging a left.  There was a convenient pedestrian walkway along the water which we took advantage of, eventually passing near Peter the Great’s Log Cabin.  We made the obligatory stop here and I have included a review, below, but it was far from remarkable.

Peter's Log Cabin

On to the Fortress.  The site has a huge footprint and there are numerous standalone attractions within.  To offer an understanding of the Peter and Paul Fortress I opted to write a general review, but supplement that with several more focusing on specific sites.  While I need to express we were not blown away so much as anticipated, it remains a worthwhile destination.  The bottom line is that several brilliant bits lie within, but they are surrounded by a hoard of more pedestrian attractions.  Because you will be battling crowds no matter which site you visit, I believe it is beneficial to have an idea of where there is no need to waste time and energy.

After rambling about Peter and Paul Fortress for several hours we exited and tried to sample Alexandrovsky Park, a huge green space immediately north.

SS Peter & Paul Cathedral
  Alas, we exited at the western end where the enormous Artillery Museum served as an effective blockade for half a mile!  The park supposedly harbors numerous attractions, but we were discouraged by the effort to gain entrance (not so much the distance, but the constant search for ingress) and only strolled a few paths before exiting.

We subsequently headed for a phenomenal blue dome we had espied hours before as we made for the Fortress.  Sure enough, it was a splendid mosque.  Formally the Sobornaya Mosque, built in the early 1900’s.  Despite hefty chunks of Muslim heritage throughout the former Soviet Union, I was surprised to learn of any presence in St. Petersburg (what I had read on local culture seemed totally immersed in Slavic tradition and Orthodox Christianity).

Sobornaya Mosque near Peter & Paul Fortress
  Though I know nothing around the mosque’s origins, I did learn it is the one and only mosque in St. Petersburg.

Leaving the mosque behind, we returned to the city proper by taking Troitskiy Most (most = bridge) back across the Neva.  Then we headed for the hotel, where we freshened up before striking back out for a terrific dinner at Vox Restaurant (reviewed below), another recommendation from the concierge.  The evening concluded back at Hotel Indigo by redeeming the complimentary drink tickets received at check-in.  This was realized back at Vino & Voda, where we followed drinks with a pair of their outrageous sorbet’s for a fitting conclusion to a lovely day.

lauro says:
wonderful shaeds of blue here!
Posted on: Nov 02, 2016
Paulovic says:
Interesting day!
Posted on: Oct 30, 2016
monkeymia79 says:
Your photos show such beauty Vance. The mosque and church are simply spectacular to view.
Posted on: Oct 23, 2016
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Approaching the spires of Peter & …
Approaching the spires of Peter &…
Peters Log Cabin
Peter's Log Cabin
SS Peter & Paul Cathedral
SS Peter & Paul Cathedral
Sobornaya Mosque near Peter & Paul…
Sobornaya Mosque near Peter & Pau…
St. Peters Gate - one of several …
St. Peter's Gate - one of several…
Laura attempting to enter the Wax …
Laura attempting to enter the Wax…
Artwork in Commandants House at P…
Artwork in Commandant's House at …
Ioannovskie Gate into Peter and Pa…
Ioannovskie Gate into Peter and P…
Nakhimov Naval School, a lovely bu…
Nakhimov Naval School, a lovely b…
Close up of facade at Nakhimov Nav…
Close up of facade at Nakhimov Na…
Inside SS Peter & Paul Cathedral
Inside SS Peter & Paul Cathedral
Almost every czar is interred with…
Almost every czar is interred wit…
Inside Peter & Paul Fortress
Inside Peter & Paul Fortress
Bells climbing the spire of SS Pet…
Bells climbing the spire of SS Pe…
Views from the SS Peter & Paul Cat…
Views from the SS Peter & Paul Ca…
There were a few nice views from t…
There were a few nice views from …
Ornate door at Sobornaya Mosque
Ornate door at Sobornaya Mosque
Beauty at Sobornaya Mosque near Pe…
Beauty at Sobornaya Mosque near P…
Interesting details of St. Peters…
Interesting details of St. Peter'…
Double-headed eagle at St. Peters…
Double-headed eagle at St. Peter'…
Walking about St. Petersburg...
Walking about St. Petersburg...
On the way home after departing Pe…
On the way home after departing P…
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